"Cats are a wonderful waste of time." ~Alva Hughes Clark (Gracie)
Hestia (l.) and Circe (r.) observing the world from the porch on a sunny day.
I never met my mother-in-law. My husband and I were married in 2018, and she had passed on many years before that, but my husband often quotes her. She said many fabulous, curious, funny things — I get the impression she was a formidable woman. And on this point, the point about cats, I thoroughly agree with her.
And although there are many lessons to be learned watching cats, the one I've been thinking of this week is this one — rest. There they are now, one on the cushions in front of the fire (which is not on today), and the other one, across the way on a chair. They've had food, they watched birds out the window, played "chase me" up and down the stairs. Then they asked for more food, and now they are resting. The entire day will be a repetition of these elements, with resting happening often.
How often do you, do I, feel tired, but press on because we feel we should? Yes, we have obligations that cats do not — someone has to earn the money to pay for their first and second breakfasts as chase me pays very little these days. But is there a little more room for some rest? How would you be more productive, more creative, more playful, more well in your health and relationships, if you only took the time to rest when you needed to?
I spent a large portion of my day today mediating the relationship between my cats. Circe was at the vet this week (see a few posts back), and when she came back, Hestia was very afraid of her. And she continues to be, so when Circe gets too close, Hestia hisses and spits and runs away, which encourages Circe to chase her. It's a little tense around here. So, I sat on the floor of an unfinished bathroom today between two cats, occasionally giving each of them treats and pets, telling them that they were good girls. (Can you spot Hestia hiding in the sink?) Between those moments, I sat quietly on the floor (it's heated, so don't feel too badly for me) for a really long time. I got a book and read. And then I found that it was a good moment for quiet reflection and some meditation. Take the moments when they come to you.
One of my two cats, Circe, ate a boot lace last week. My husband thought that the cats would have fun playing with it, and while Hestia was having fun with it, Circe immediately gobbled it up. After several days of waiting for it to appear in the little box or otherwise, she went to the vet. It was stuck in her intestines, clogging up the works. She's had surgery, spent a night in hospital (where she hissed and growled at anyone who would do anything other than pet her) and has now returned home with the cone of shame. Her sister is not pleased to see her.
You can find some short thoughts here, some personal moments, and other nuggets. I hope you'll join me on The Journey. *April was National Poetry Month, so along with some other posts, there was a poem every day here.