August 3, 2009

Here Cat!

Filed under: About The Animals — Ann @ 6:56 am

Past a certain age, one seems not so much to be learning life’s lessons but to be re-learning them. Lately, I’ve been working on non-attachment. It started with the cat.

A few months ago, we began being visited by a sweet little one-eyed tabby. We discovered that he belongs to a woman across Broadway but he so loves playing in our creek bed that he risks all nine lives to cross five lanes of traffic to get here. Born feral, he’s a wanderer. His “mom” and Neal and I have had numerous conversations about how best to manage little Geronimo’s care and safety. Early on, when we mistakenly assumed he wanted to be with us (when it’s actually our neighborhood he pines for) his mom even “gave” him to us – but we discovered that he can tolerate being indoors only three minutes at a time, then he howls like a banshee: “mee-ow…me-OUT!”

The bottom line is this: he’s neither ours, nor not ours; he’s neither here nor there; he belongs to all of us, he belongs to nobody. He’s his own cat.

So I’ve had to assign him to a special part of my heart – like a bad boyfriend, every encounter with him comes with internal whispers: “Don’t fall too hard!” and “He’s going to love you and leave you!” It’s quite the challenge.

Geronimo has become a near-constant reminder of one of life’s most important lessons. He’s a living, breathing variation of every quote about “letting go” we’ve ever heard, sent in a greeting card, or uttered to others in comfort: “Happiness is as a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” ~Nathaniel Hawthorne. “Happiness is something that comes into our lives through doors we don’t even remember leaving open.” ~Rose Lane

I don’t remember leaving a door open for Geronimo – yet here he is. For now. And right now, there is happiness. It’s all I ask. That, and a lot of purring.

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