Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memory: Of Sour Cherries and Figs

My prayers and yours are answered! Shrek and Minkins II were adopted together, yesterday! Only a day in the shelter, and they are together!

My heart is very full, mon coeur est gros. Meanwhile, back in the unicorn meat eating cats' territory: Pancake has a field day, although she needs someone to play with. So she will go to her new Mommy's house a week earlier than planned; she will go next week. It's a good thing, all around. I have come to miss the blissful pace of older cats, although Georgia is only 4 years old. And too, I want Pancake to start bonding with her new Mom, as soon as possible, instead of the dog. 

She won't have any use for the dog-bonding skills where she is going...

Her new Mom came over yesterday to watch movies, and formulated a plan. Whenever she visits, she will bring Pancake with her to visit, too. I think this is a marvelous idea.

I hope that the unicorn meat eating tribe will forgive me soon, for my act of altruism in raising this litter. Minkins is the one most well adjusted to the litter. I hand-raised him as an orphan from birth. I don't know if that makes him more flexible or no, but something does.

Georgia and Ratty are very discombobulated, at this point. Georgia, because she is the lap cat, and the kittens were in her way, and Ratty, just because. Because he is growing into the role of The Dude, and has to keep up appearances.

The Dude, by the way, was a solid black cat, who passed a week after my mother did, at the age of 24. He had attitude, with a bit of the otherworld about him, and a lot of savoir faire. The Dude was master of all he surveyed, and regularly would curl on Mom's pillow. One day, a week after she passed, he curled there and never looked back. We wanted to give him a pagan funeral. He was definitely a pagan. I think of him now as a forest god, stalking the woods he loved, at the Old House.

He had the real swagger. Ratty is growing into The Dude, but he misses a bit with that French touch that Dude had. The Dude was so cosmopolitan, and Ratty is straight out of America's heartland, a farm boy.

Anyway, the kittens made Ratty insecure about his territory, and there was nothing insecure about The Dude. It just takes time.

Today, I am grateful to know how much my cats need my love and care. They didn't need a litter of kittens to feel young again, and spring-like. They just need me.

So, just for today, I will take my meds for them, and a shower. I will not cut or drink or overeat. I will finish cleaning my kitchen. I will work on the garden, the Pond, and go to an AA meeting. I will do everything I can to finish cleaning the apartment, so that all is sparkling, and clean, and gleams in the sunlight. I trust the power in the forest and I ask it to relieve me today of all my burdens, so that I may live what is best for me and the other travelers on this planet.

Will my life magically become what it was? Will I regain the Old Life I had living in the Old House? No. That Alice is gone. That time is gone. But some core remains: my need for serenity, my love for cats, and the dog, and what else? That is what I look for.

I am surrounded by the Old House this morning, I don't know why. Although I am, in a way, always encircled by the Old House. My heart lived there before we got there, and some part of me lives on that plot of land, still. I love the way the light shafts down through the trees. I know when each tree blooms, and each flower. I still sit on the deck in the morning sunlight, like no other light there is.

It was the country: the air is fresh, and I was encompassed by green, as far as I could see. I wander in the small orchard my father planted, and taste the sour cherry and fig.

What is left of the Old House are memories of sun and rain, of leafless tree, and blooming tree and flowers. As Maureen O'Hara's character proclaimed in the movie, "The Quiet Man", I have my things about me. The rocking chair that I came home to at birth sits by my bed. The picture of my mother at 16, still shines like an emerald in it's mahogany frame. My dressers were given to me by my grandparents in Raleigh, long ago. You understand. I have loved, and will love being surrounded by dark, rich woods, just as I am encircled inside by the forest.

Eddie and The Dude, live in the forest now, and tiny Echo, who passed two years ago. All the cats I have known and adored are there, waiting. Outside the lavender I used to plant for my mother, blooms.  Her geraniums live in the pots I inherited, simple and clay. New and old treasures also surround me. A pillow, faced by needlepoint that my mother did long ago, is captured and finished by my sister-in-law and her mother.

It was the anniversary of Mother's Day, three years ago. I was in jail at the time, over that weekend. For the first time in my life. Our disorders lead to some horrid places sometimes. It was the year my Mother died, and The Dude, and my service dog, Eddie, later on that summer. It is not a year I hold in fond remembrance.

It is the weekend of remembrance, for us in America, Memorial Day. Perhaps that's it.

Perhaps the going on of the New Adventurers, to other places and times, simply reminds me of the passing of my life, as well. And while I will not be the stereotypical 'older' person, nor am I young anymore. I crave solitude and quiet, that only older cats can give. I have my collection, as I hope you do, of the tokens of affection from loved ones, and friends. The small cat statues, the clock on the dresser, the pictures and jewel box, from those who think well of me. Even the bed I sleep in holds me as my Mom and Dad did.

But that's enough of nostalgia. It is part of this holiday, as it is of no other. 'What could have been' is everywhere.

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