Many years ago I was living with a fellow and we were both very busy and tired people.

I was in University at the time and struggling. I was not a youngster as far as University students go, I was in my late 20’s. I know, young, but I was in over my head taking biology. I’d been out of school a long while. There were many late nights.

My boyfriend was a real estate agent, and in those days, business was booming.

One morning, bleary eyed, we collected the trash and headed to the elevator to leave for the day, me to school, my friend to the office.

We stood at the elevator, in silence, waiting for it to arrive.

You know, when you are really beat, you can have a moment where your brain goes to another place, or shuts off entirely and you do something totally absurd and it seems perfectly fine.

When the elevator arrived and the doors slid open, my friend, with trash bags in hand, threw them into the elevator, to a much surprised passenger, and we waited for the doors to close.

I looked at my friend, and he looked at me, and we suddenly realized what had just happened.

Shame faced, we took the stairs out.

Body Identity

I have watched a lot of videos about animals that are disabled and how they live their lives. One in particular gave me a lot of pause for thought.

A beautiful cat with no front legs and hops around like a kangaroo, plays, rolls, head butts, gives chase and does all the things my cat does and has just as much joy. And he doesn’t seem to notice that he is any different than any other cat. He is unaware. Problem? What problem?

How can that be?

And then I realized it is because they are not identified as their body. They are a cat. It does not matter the body. They are cat no matter what their body looks like.

So what does it mean to be human?

Who am I other than my body?

Women are heavily identified with their appearance, so it is not an easy question to answer. We have been taught from the moment we arrive on this planet that our appearance determines our future, our success, our ability to win at life.

The gift of me getting older is this, my body no longer cooperates with my efforts to remain attractive.

It says, ponder that message from the kangaroo cat. He has the answer. He knows the secret.

I Don’t Have To Go Out

All the familiar sounds of winter.

Snow plows clearing the parking lot and streets.

Tires spinning on icy pavement.

People scraping an inch or two thickness of ice from their windshields.

The silence of no bus coming.

The deadly silence of no train coming.

The north wind howling and angrily shaking my windows.

Ice pellets clunking on my balcony.

Me making another pot of tea, munching a shortbread cookie.

Hey look, I’ve spent most of my life battling winter trying to get to jobs I hated. Long commutes. LONG commutes. Hours to go a couple of kilometers. Non existent buses. Walking miles. Freezing. Hungry. Tired. Wet. Miserable!

So I don’t have to go out now. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Three Stripes

One morning the cat came home with three stripes across his back, where there was no fur at all.

The skin had not been broken and the cat cheerfully wolfed down a bowl of food and retired to his favourite sunny spot for a nap.

Mom and I were extremely puzzled by this. We checked the cat over thoroughly, much to his chagrin as he tried to nap, but he was not hurt in anyway that we could discern, other than the three bare skin stripes.

Dad had gone off to work but came home shortly afterwards and burst through the door yelling “Where’s the cat?! Where’s the cat?!” He was absolutely freaking out.

My Mom told him the cat was in his sleeping spot, and that something unusual had happened, but she didn’t get to say what. Dad rushed to the see the cat. Much relieved he told us the story.

On the way to work, Dad’s car overheated and steam was pouring out of the radiator.

When he opened the hood, a huge mass of cat hair floated out.

The cat had been sleeping on the engine, and when Dad turned the car on, the fan belt assaulted the poor kitty and both were flung off. We can’t even imagine how this happened.

Cats really do have 9 lives.