Somebody said, “Dogs have masters, cats have staff.”
Being a staff member for two cats, I will testify to the veracity of the statement. Our 12-year-old cat, K.C. (um, short for “kitty cat”), has abruptly made a significant behavioral switch, leaving me in the position of having to adjust to this alteration – as I seem powerless in my attempts to convince her to revert to old behaviors. It appears that the bedroom where she has spent many years sleeping, purring – and shedding – is no longer acceptable to wile away the hours. Rather, she has commandeered our bathroom.
In addition to the fact that she has no need for such facilities, I find it puzzling, as tile and porcelain seem to be rather uncomfortable furnishings (especially compared with the warmth and comfort of a carpeted bedroom).
Yet, undeterred by my urgings to return to a softer habitat, she has taken over, napping in the tub or sleeping on the toilet lid. At first I was unnerved in the wee, dark, quiet hours of the night should I happen to sleepishly stagger into the bathroom and be greeted unexpectedly by a low, rumbling, noisy purr. Now, I have learned to simply lift her from the toilet seat, place her on the edge of the tub, take care of business, return her to the lid, pat her goodnight, and totter unsteadily back to bed.
To be honest, our cat has always had a thing for sleeping on toilet seats. Once, when our neighbors threw a party in their garden, K.C. was found napping inside one of their event toilets that had been hired especially for their party. Fortunately, everyone saw the funny side.
That is not all though. Shaving has become virtually impossible as she jumps onto the vanity and sticks her face in mine. We have developed a dance: I place her on the floor, shave as quickly as possible before she leaps back, replace her on floor, shave, floor, shave, repeat as necessary.
As with most change, I do eventually adjust.
This is just one aspect of life beyond my control. Should they all be as benign as modifying my morning constitutional to accommodate a furry, affectionate feline, life would be delightful. Yet, that is not so. Often, change crashes in, an out-of-control 18-wheeler through a tent, crushing and crunching everything in its wake; proof of the observation, “Life is what happens while we make other plans.”
The question is not, “Will life change?” Instead, it is “How will I adjust to its changes?” Rather than dig in my heels to be dragged screamingly into the dark places, I can find some peace in accepting that the only constant is change. Lamenting a changing diet or the aging of my body does nothing more than tear down my attitude, depleting what I joy I could have.
Change is in all things: the blooming of spring flowers, the laugher of an infant, even the wrinkles around my eyes. It is neither “bad” nor “good,” it merely “is.”
Embrace it. Adjust to it. And, oh yes, take some time to purr.
A couple of notes about this piece:
- KC passed away last night (1/14/2011). If you click on her photo, it will take you a minor tribute at Facebook. She is already greatly missed.
- My wife, Mary Ann Testagrossa, has a wonderful blog dealing with cats; it’s full of great stories. If you’re a lover of cats, you need to check it out and get involved. It’s called www.TheVeryBestCats.com