ENTHUSIASM lives in a cat named Benji .
It starts before dawn when the morning is heavy and I am twisted and sleepy and he touches his nose to mine. I stir and stroke his head and that is all.
Undeterred he touches my cheek with his paw and meows quietly.
“Ah, go away Benji.”
I roll over and hide my head under the covers.
He jumps to where my face is hidden to try to poke his way into my little cave. I turn over again but he follows and begs me to rise.
His patience is gone.
“Wake up Sue!” he chirps in frantic cat tongue. “The world is stirring! I feel it! I can’t wait to get started!”
But I am half asleep and settled in.
No matter, it’s time to race! Around the room as fast as he can, onto the bed, across the shelf, down again, faster and faster he goes, knocking things to the floor to be played with later. (So that’s where the watch went. And the pen. And the chapstick. And the glasses.)
I look at the clock and it is 5:45 am.
‘Benji, no!’ I say. ‘Calm down!’
He slows down, collapsing onto my golden slipper, seeming to know it won’t be long until morning rays reach through the tightly closed blinds and I will be willing to play. He will give me thirty more minutes to sleep.
This is Benji and Sue asked me to tell you about my good fortune.
When my mama delivered me and my brothers and sisters it was into a home where forty other cats already lived with human Cat Mama. From the start I knew it wasn’t normal. It was too dirty and crowded, food distribution was not fair and I was hungry. When I couId talk, I discussed it with some of the older ones there including One-Eye, NoTail and Sheba. They told me it was better than living under the house which they used to do and they frightened me with their before stories. I wondered at my fate.
After a few months human Cat Mama disappeared and soon after that some other humans came to rescue us. I don’t remember much from that time, other than when I woke up I was in a new place. I felt strange and my ear was bleeding. Just when I was ready to despair, my fortune turned to the very best it could be! Three humans came into my room and started petting me and loving me. Even though I was afraid, I was on my best behavior so I would be chosen. And that is how I came to live with Bob and Sue and Grandma and Tiger. Now I sleep on a big bed (or wherever else I want to), and it’s all you can eat!
This is my picture when I first arrived home. I was little then.
I’m so happy in my new home. My chopped ear reminds me where I came from. That is the meaning of Fortune to me.
~ from Benji
‘Relax!’ they said as if relaxation was the furthest thing from their mind.
A condemning word to those given over to
analysis and rumination..
Rather than commanding
a behavior unknown to some
I prefer to learn from the experts who have made it their life and art form….
I’ve been watching these two the past few months as they slowly learn to accept one another. Benji is persistent in pursuing his older brother; as fearless and bold as youth can be. Tiger is tolerant to a point and remains gentle even when tested again and again. Though twice the size of Benji, he will flee rather than fight. It hasn’t been easy and the camaraderie and brotherhood we had hoped for remains elusive.
But here they are sleeping peacefully side by side giving us the promise of future possibilities. For now, we will take it.
So this happened shortly before eight this morning and I was compelled once again to stop and take pictures. I didn’t have my ‘real’ camera with me so I had to take this with my phone. But really… what else could I do?
And this verse comes to mind: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1
The moon waits faithfully for the sun to appear …
While Benji and Tiger contemplate their day ….
Today was just another walk at Gene Coulon Park along the shores of Lake Washington. But it’s never ordinary to me when the beautiful snowcapped Olympic Mountains appear and I think to myself, ‘do I really live here?’