It is the night before 2020, and all through the house, a creature was stirring who has no idea what in the hell to do with a mouse. Or a spider. Or normal cat toys. I started the last decade with this little orange cat, and we are ringing in the next one together tonight as well, with some new friends and family in tow. Currently she is walking across the dining room table, rubbing her face on the orange roses that sit in front of me, as I try to reflect on the last year, or decade, in a coherent way. Like any respectable cat, Leeloo abhors work, especially if it is mine to accomplish. She would rather I work harder at patting her, but not right now, but please don’t go away, stay here, but over there. The cat is the ficklest at boss I have ever had, and that is saying something. We do our best to keep her happy, leaving out cardboard boxes, giving her just enough wet food, and perhaps too many treats. We have to keep her away from tape, and crunchy plants, because she will eat them, get irritated by eating them, and then try to eat more crispy crunchy forbidden snacks, in a bid to throw up the first.
I don’t know where I mean to go, with this meditation on the cat, but I suppose it has something to do with her constant nature. The last decade has brought a lot of change, that has largely not affected her, besides a handful of eventful (terrifying for her) car rides, that brought her to a new place in which to receive cardboard boxes and hunt down any scraps of tape or plastic in said new location. While the cat has remained largely the same, besides a little shifting of her fat from her little kitty hips, down to her little kitty belly, I have learned and grown so much with her.
She is a fearless explorer, the first to leap into any open cabinet, closet, basement or bathroom that she may have momentary access to. She is unafraid of the consequences, and will ask for help, if she somehow ends up somewhere unpleasant- say, locked in a hall closet. She listens to the needs of her own personal clock, sleeping when she needs it (for hours on end), and zooming about when she needs to burn off excess energy (thankfully this is usually in short, but ecstatic bursts). She is unafraid to make her needs known- typically choosing the furthest accessible location from me that is acoustically suitable for her yowls to bounce around in. It is my job to guess what the yowls mean- even though we don’t speak the same language, she trusts that I will figure it out, and I usually do.
In 2020, I’d like to be more like my cat. I would like to leap before I look more often. I’d like to sleep when I feel like sleeping, and zip around when I feel like I’ve been a little too slovenly. I would like to stare out the windows more, and cuddle up in my favorite chair with the person I love. I will however, refrain from eating tape and plastic, as I know better about that, but perhaps there are other things I could avoid. I’d like to go where I’m led, even if I have to sit through a scary car ride (or gondola, or helicopter) to get there. I’d like to learn how to trust that the world will be cozy and loving, and that my people will always come back. I’d like to be better about asking for help when I feel stuck. I’d like to learn to step back from work a little more, so I can enjoy my life as it happens. I hope in this next decade we can all accept ourselves as gracefully as the cat seems to- as far as I know, she isn’t bothered by her shifting kitty belly, or her waning levels of energy. She isn’t a kitten anymore, sure, but who ever said that was the only way to be a cat?
Happy 2020, wherever you are, and whoever you are. May we all nap a little more, work a little less, and enjoy our lives, as they come.