Cats and Their Staff (Me)

Quiet, no peaceful.  Content, no blissful.  Settled, no sedated.  Attentive?  No, but watchful.  My two cats.  Try sleeping for 23 hours a day and see how you feel!  Just try smelling the same furniture for 11 years and see if there’s a new scent to be gathered and retained.

Their satisfaction is simply a daily supply of water, a crumb-filled place to poop and dry food for the rest of their lives.  An enclosed surrounding that suits them just fine, keeping their seemingly high anxiety set at low.  A petting is only allowed when it is beckoned by them and they will also determine its length.   One of them uncannily knows when I’m typing or on the phone as his cue to jump up to be a part of it.  The AT&T guy comes to fix stuff and the other one hides until his scent exits.  The uncanny cat just plops himself in the middle of the AT&T’s work space begging to be stepped upon so he can yell that he is present.  (Sounds like an aunt I knew.)

But it’s the sleep.  It is the sleep that prompts my little diddy.  With the head gently resting on something contour and the body at rest; if there is a picture of blissful it is truly that.  Dreams?  I don’t it.  Birds they can’t have?  It’s not going to happen.  A tasteful mouse?  Not in my house but if I had mice they’d be the pleasure of these two sleepy but now awake cats.

It’s all instinct, I’m told when the female wakes me up in the morning (no alarm clock needed) and the male first greets me when I arrive home from work.  He’ll watch a movie with me in my lap and sleep through the whole thing (even a Bruce Willis thriller!) and she’ll jump up periodically to let me know she’s still alive.

I know when to touch them and when to back off.  After all, I’m staff.  I live in their house although it seems I’m left with all the bills.

They take nothing for granted but except whatever they want.  One surprising treat at 8:20 p.m. one night needs to now be a nightly ritual.  No exceptions, even if I come home at 10:30, it’s still 8:20 to them.

Being single, they are great and wonderful companions.  I wouldn’t trade them for a dog any day.  (Wisconsin winters are not dog friendly at 6:30 a.m.)

This has been too many words to emphasize the bliss and complete peace that she now shows me watching her as I type this on my porch on an quiet August night.  I can only dream of a piece of that bliss.  But then again, she can’t dream…but I can.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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