Be Kind to Flying Cats

“It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling…” ~ Aldous Huxley

“A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one; it comes as sincerely from the author’s soul.” ~ Aldous Huxley

“It’s a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and to find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than “try to be a little kinder.” ~ Aldous Huxley

Yesterday was a day of pattern-breaking, some intentional, some not. It was also a day of too tired to move much at all. The four day holiday weekend took a lot out of me, retail-wise, which means it took a lot out of me altogether. Period. Full stop. When things get so intense on the job it reaches a point where it don’t matter a lick iffin yer working to live or living to work. It’s all life, after all. Patterns of work and play get set in symbolic stone. Ya jest gotta break ’em up on occasion. Today will be about stillness and breathing. And friggin allergies! I have no idea what is making my eyes puff, burn, and water, but here it is. Here and now, boys. Here and now. Late last night I was sitting here watching an episode of “The Librarians” on Hulu when I heard a mild commotion in the little hallway beyond the room. I paused the show to listen. The noise did not abate. I looked over at one point to see the cat had also taken keen notice. Finally, I got up to check it out, to see what the racket was all about. I gently opened the door. A big ginger tomcat tried to rush into the room, so I shut the door again to assess the situation. After catching my breath I eased the door open and stepped out, closing it again behind me. The cat came out of hiding and began banging his head against the cat door, which he had somehow unlocked and it was stuck so that it would not open out. Dude was stuck in there with me. I’ve had more than my share of cat chases, from my days at the animal shelter. I felt panic stirring but it didn’t take. If you have never seen a cat fly, or climb the walls, or tear across the ceiling, you don’t know what you are missing. Little suckers are fast too! The bottom line is to out wait the beast, knowing that you are either going to have to capture it or corral it where you need it to go – all the while avoiding bloodshed on the part of all concerned. In a small space like that it is crucial that when the cat goes up you make sure you are not the venue of his ascension. As the cat was going up the wall I managed to get the door to outside open, then turned to marvel at the beast clinging to the ceiling. It was the darnedest thing. I could see how he had anchored himself up there, but the sight of it just didn’t make much sense. After perhaps 15 seconds he let loose, fell straight to the floor, and slipped out through the opened door. I closed it and went back to the chair. At no point had I felt fear. I had done this before. The kindest thing you can do for the beast is to get him on his way and let him sort out the trauma later. It all reminds me of the time a feral tom got loose in the tiny intake room at the shelter. There were two of us there, but I had to run out to the cattery proper to fetch the bite gloves. As I was ready to go back in and join the capture I saw the shelter manager, who was not too familiar with cat care. I stopped and told her she really needed to see this. So we stepped into the room and the games began. We, of course, succeeded in capturing the tom. But that manager, that poor woman, likely had some trauma of her own to sort out later. She had gone into total stasis, eyes wide in terror, and though she was of no practical help, I like to think that the experience was one she needed, to give her a broader view of her job. It was a Trickster thing I did. Sorry, Cassie, it was meant to be. All that aside, I think I’ll slide into the morning. Onward.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

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