This is Benji and let me just say it up front, right out loud: I am not a vegetarian. No, not from my youth. Neither were my ancestors. Nor my big brother Tiger. We are all hunters. If this bothers you then read no further. I understand. For those who wish to continue, be assured that no blood was actually shed today. Here’s how it went down.
It was a beautiful day with mild temperatures and no rain. Tiger and I were out sporting around, all in good fun. Sue happened upon us just as I found the catch of the day. Bad timing to say the least. And wouldn’t you know it she accidentally let him escape by picking me up to cuddle at the most inopportune moment. Oh well. I’m always up for a cuddle. And I knew I could catch him later. He was not that bright and he was awfully slow. (Just begging to be caught in fact. No challenge at all. But I digress.)
When Sue tired of the outdoors, Tiger and I were left to ourselves. As was the mouse. We played in the garden awhile. Nibbled on the grass. Chased one another and a few squirrels. But it wasn’t long until that slow mouse wandered back into the grass and lost all cover. I pursued for a while. Gently for play. When Tiger took note and I perceived he wanted a go at him, I said to myself, why not? What are brothers for?
And so we had some brotherly bonding time today over that mouser until we both tired of him and let him go. (Honest Sue we did.)
Anyway this kind is not good for eating.
And so I remain,
I woke up too early this morning and after a few restless hours ventured outside as the sun was peeking through the woods, painting everything with a rosy glow.
Tiger was pleased to join me.
After a rendezvous with winter earlier this week (was it really only six days ago?)
the rain quickly followed and washed the snow away leaving only heavy clouds by yesterday.
Today the sun emerged victorious giving us a foretaste of spring. Still cold but perfect for walking so we headed to Gene Coulon Park on Lake Washington, where children played and walkers of all ages joined us on the path. The lucky ones sailed by in their boats.
Even Mt Rainier made an appearance.
A small reprieve in the dead of winter to give us hope for spring to come. Be encouraged. We are more than half way there.
No, not the beginning of the islands themselves. (Though you can still witness them grow as molten lava flows into the ocean.) I’m talking about my own humble beginnings with these wonderful Pacific islands collectively known as Hawaii.
It started sometime after my 20th wedding anniversary when I said to my husband, with a smile on my face and stars in my eyes, “Isn’t it wonderful that we will celebrate our 25th Anniversary in Hawaii?”
His laughter indicated he didn’t know this to be true at the time. In fact, I knew my husband had little to no interest in Hawaii, why I do not know. Nevertheless, I continued this prophetic speak when the occasion so warranted, wisely and judiciously until the message was heard; until he deduced from my unabashed hinting that I wasn’t kidding, and yes it may be time for such a trip.
“Honey, if you really want to go, we will go.”
And so my planning began in earnest as we settled on the islands of Oahu and Hawaii (aka, ‘the big island’) to celebrate our anniversary almost 10 years ago.
I won’t bore you with too many details from that first trip. (For I have been making up for lost time ever since.) I can only tell you that I was immediately smitten; it was everything I hoped it would be and much, much more. I can find no word more suitable to describe this magical place than Lush.
Lush. Hanging vines. Coconuts. Papayas and mangoes. Banyan trees. Waterfalls. Rich fragrances of fruits and flowers filling the moist air.
And so while the Seattle winter rains are heavy upon us I am making final preparations for our next trip, the second to the island of Maui. It may be our last, who knows? But I am so glad I spoke that first trip into being many years ago, by a few simple words.
“Isn’t it wonderful that we will celebrate our 25th Anniversary in Hawaii?”
Yes. It was.
I don’t know why they clipped my ear,
I wasn’t born this way;
It makes me different from the rest,
A badge of my dismay.
Despite the cut I’m still the same,
I haven’t changed within;
The wildness they had hoped to cure
Still lurks beneath my skin.
Though I am happy to be found
And thankful for my home;
I’d rather they have brought me here
With all parts left alone.
Don’t tell Benji but I am not as brave as he thinks I am. Oh, I hiss at him all right and swipe at him when I must. (Part of the training. He must learn after all.) But it’s all for appearances. I won’t hurt the little one for I am a dignified and gentle soul.
I am also what humans call skittish. I don’t like the label but I admit it’s true. Inside I carry secret things from previous lives lived in shadows and confinement. It is because of this I don’t like strangers or small spaces or closed doors or sudden noises.
Sue loves me and I know she understands. But she is more and more preoccupied with the young one. He does need the extra attention to get him safely through his first few lives so I don’t hold this against her. We are all still adjusting.
In the meantime I enjoy visiting grandma in her nice big room. I even learned from her that the closed door can be good; it is not to keep me in, but to keep us in peace when Benji has the fire in his eyes. (He can’t help it. He is young and carries secrets too.)
Grandma explains things to me in her normal voice and I appreciate it. She tells me when it’s time for bed and when I can go outside. When to ignore the boy and when to stand up for myself. I have even taken to sleeping on her lap and she does not move or disturb my rest.
I think I have the best of everything here.
I call her Grandma the Cat Whisperer.
Seems like only yesterday I asked please no more rain and today I woke up to this.
It’s soft and pretty and wet and I want to play in it but it’s deeper than me. But Tiger wasn’t afraid at all. I didn’t know he was so brave…
and could jump so high and run so fast!
I want to follow him but ..
I think I am too small.
I hope I grow up to be like Tiger.