Yesterday I got a few things off my chest and realized a few more. I love that particular aspect of this blogging exercise. I often have no idea where I am going to end up when I start. The direction yesterday went was not what I thought I had in mind as I sat down to type…well, reclined in bed next to my beautiful, sleeping wife when I realized I had not scheduled a blog to run.
I have some more of The Trees for you all soon. I am feeling a swell of that story coming along, too, so there may be as many as ten more days of it before the year is over. In looking at my goals for 2023, I think I will focus more on that side of my writing for a while because I want to get the first book done and ready to be edited as soon as I can.
I have another story I want to explore, too. I’m flushing it out in my head a bit, but it seems like it would be a lot of fun. It is very hard to decide where to go with these, as I think I have mentioned, and which ones to give energy to at any given moment. Plus, I’ve just been a lot busier with life lately, too.
Ollie, our cat, is staring at me as I write today. The look on his face suggests some deep thought. I know it is not an original thought or question, but wouldn’t it be interesting to get a peak into what our animals actually think? He’s a very smart cat and seems to be incredibly perceptive. He shows a lot of empathy, if that is even possible (I could be projecting here), and knows just when you need him to be playful or comforting or to give you space.
I’ve had a lot of cats in my life over the years and Ollie is pretty unique.
When I was about 13, my mom had a little cat named Picasso. I had gotten a really bad ear infection and was super sick. I stayed with my mom for about a week and Picasso stayed with me the whole time. I can still see his little face (he was still a kitten). He was mostly white with a what looked like a little black beard on his chin. Kind of like Bob Denver’s character, Maynard G. Krebs, from the Dobie Gillis show.
In short, the cat looked like a beatnik and Picasso was a purrfect (couldn’t resist) name. The little dude brought me so much comfort during that time. I was crushed to find out that it was both of us who were sick together. He had a situation in his throat that caused a bunch of tumors to grow, and he had to be put down. I was crushed. He had been my little caretaker and I could do nothing for him.
Our fur family members come in and out of lives like that sometimes. It’s so amazing how much love they are willing to give. To be fair, many of them, especially the cats, give love in between instances of being complete assholes, too. There is balance, I suppose, and maybe all cats are inherently Buddhist.
Ollie is rarely an asshole. He likes to be petted and every once in a while, he will stop his complete and total adoration of Rhondi to come over and let me know that I am okay in his book, too. This makes Bailey very jealous and any positive attention from Ollie towards me gets me a few extra kisses from her, too. He’s by far the most personable of our cats.
My cat is Lucy. She was just a year or two old when my previous cat, June, died in 2013. It felt as if some of June’s spirit sort of slid over to Lucy. Perhaps Lucy was just waiting her turn, as she was probably aware that June was on her way out. I certainly do miss June, so much. She was not the asshole that Lucy is and was actually pretty loving to the whole family.
Lucy is not particularly loving to anyone but me. She will accept pets on her terms from others, but she is mean to the other cats and the dogs and has a penchant for peeing on things. For some of you, this would be a good recipe for her becoming an outdoor cat, and I’ve been on that team plenty of times, but she’s still in the house with us. Luckily for Lucy, she is beautiful. I can still remember seeing her sitting on Rhondi’s lap when I got home from work the day Rhondi and the kids found her outside.
She was a little white and tan fluffball. She played us like a fiddle. As June typically did, she took her under her wing, though, tolerated Lucy’s youthful energy, and taught her how to be our cat.
We found other kittens, too, and they became part of the family, as well. Each of them kind of bonded to one family member or the other. Liam’s cat is Harper. She loves being in his room and sleeping curled up at his feet. If he’s not home, she is sometimes quite despondent. Her brother, Sumner, is pretty much Teresa’s cat, but I’m sure Rhondi would claim him, too.
He’s a good cat. Last year, during the first time Rhondi and I were separated for a while due to her being in Maine, Sumner slept on the bed with me almost every night. He has an annoying habit of becoming very insistent around 4am. He likes to slap sleeping people in the face around that time each day. Lovely quality.
We have Prince and Chinso, too, in the house. Prince was Elise’s cat that Rhondi decided was our cat and Chinso belongs to Ashton. Both are full of personality, too, but annoying a lot of the time. Prince is also a late-night pesterer and Chinso is destructive as hell. He loves to escape, too, which is a lot of fun. Each time he seems to want to be outside running around more and more.
As much as I love them, I do kind of look forward to the day when we can have nice things. Cats don’t really want you to have nice things, I think. They want to have you and your stuff is merely their scratching post. Who is more easily distracted: the cat or the author? Who has trained whom?
See you tomorrow.
Ollie: The man, the myth, the legend. In reality, he's a snowbird.