‘Pardon me while I burst’

I’m probably at my healthiest right now. Not because I quit smoking yesterday (grrrr) but because I almost feel like I have a tiny amount of control over my life right now.

I know, it’s ephemeral. And an absolute illusion.

But bear with me here.

I’m going to beat the stray-cat drum one last time to say that meeting that little guy and spending time with him, even if it was just a couple of hours, was the most-important thing I’ve done while here in South Florida.

I’m not kidding.

Usually I’m at work, or working at home. And that work is important to me. I don’t half-ass things, I don’t work as quickly as others, and I’m still planted firmly on the learning curve.

I don’t love being in “on” mode every minute of every day, but if it means I will know my shit and eventually get a mental break once I’ve mastered what I need to master, that’s the way it goes until that “rest for the wicked” can kick in.

But holding that sick, sad kitty who needed a human to care for him and love him? It occurred to me on a variety of levels that I don’t treasure the humans and felines in my life enough. That there’s always work to be done and it’s a convenient excuse to be gruff or just plain absent.

It’s not even so much an excuse. There’s just nothing left of me to give, and there hasn’t been for years.

But holding a sick, sad kitty contributed SO much more to the world than staring at my computer. Even if it was just his world.

And it wasn’t just his. Being present with him did my own heart a world of good.

I usually wake up every morning in a snit. Usually still tired from the night before, usually before the sun comes up, usually my mind reverts back to WTF I was thinking when I took on the expense of two apartments, two sets of bills, feeding two people, not having anything resembling “me” time and freedom and money in the bank, etc.

But when I woke up after meeting that cat, it was different. I felt like, yeah, the “me” I used to be may be squelched far down, protecting herself and maybe even trying to be invisible for a while, but she’s still there. She’s made a lot of stupid fucking decisions in 2009, and a whole lot of people and things have failed her, but her heart remains intact.

So, while I try to look for the greater meaning in why this loving little cat came into my life (and out of it so abruptly), I think it was to remind me to guard my time, guard my space, guard my heart. People will take it from me and I’m dumb enough to hand it over without a fight.

Gotta save pieces of it for the experiences I need to have, that I want to have. And maybe even when I think there’s nothing left, I can always find something to give when it counts the most.

I just wish, in Lucky’s case, I could have done more. But just like when Maddie died, I’m left with the feeling that this is all telling me to take care of myself, or else end up dying of something that could have been cured, if only I was smart enough to slow down to notice it in the first place.

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