Every cat that you ever have is the best cat in the world.
Beezler Boy, found creeping matted and starved out of a sewer drain seventeen years ago, is probably about eighteen this year. His arthritis flared up so badly in late ’07 that I thought we were going to have to let him go, but I crossed paths with an acupuncturist who made a very reasonable arrangement to come around and stick him full of needles at intervals, and he is back to jumping up in the easy chair, though he lets himself down more gingerly, because he’s just about completely blind.
Getting down involves an intermediate step to a small cat condo, you know the things, carpet covered cylinders too small for a big old Mainie like Beez. If his forepaw doesn’t detect the top of the cylinder when he wants to debark from the chair, he feels around, and if I see that happening I move it where he can find it.
He’s stiff and he can’t see, but he seeks out his sunbeam with perfect delight, and sits patiently by his dish when humans have been too busy to notice its emptiness. His grooming is haphazard, and he tolerates my trimming of the occasional belly dreadlock pretty well.You can sometimes see his pupils contracting in bright midday light, but mostly, he progresses around the house with a stately measured gait, so that when he walks head-on into something — it only happens occasionally — he doesn’t do it too hard. When he collides with a table leg or chair corner that he hasn’t calculated for, he just shakes his head and corrects course, uncomplaining.
And we humans raise such a fuss and stew when our newspaper is in the bushes, for instance, or the traffic light is slow to change!
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contained,
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
–Walt Whitman, 1819-1892