Leaning into Time: Petting the Cat
We have three elderly pets: our dog, Princess Leia, a black lab mix who needs constant love and attention, Columbus, a black cat who is definitely the alpha male of the mix, pretending to be self-sufficient, but playing like a kitten when he thinks he is not being watched. And then there is Gryffindor, another black cat, who is just a bundle of love. For those of you who are Harry Potter fans you will know what I mean when I say that we should have named him Hufflepuff.
Indeed, all Gryff wants from life is a full food bowl and lots of love and attention. But life is busy. The humans of the household run from here to there always doing, always in a hurry, and Gryff has learned that cuddles are usually short and sporadic at best.
He has discovered however, that in the early morning hours I usually spend some time on the bedroom floor meditating and he has taken to cuddling up next to me as I do so, gently butting me with his head until I reach out and scratch behind his ears, or rub his ample belly and then he purrs as though his little heart would break from happiness.
I know he would love our cuddle session to go on all morning, but life is busy. There are places to go, people to see, blogs to write, and things to do. Usually after a few moments I reluctantly rise and leave him. But one morning last week, it occurred to me that this was a precious moment. I had no pressing commitment to run off to. Sure, there were many tasks with my name on them, waiting for my attention. But in that moment there was nowhere I had to be, and there was a small being next to me who was sitting in total happiness, just to be close and loved. And so there we sat, Gryff and I, letting the warmth of the sun, and the pleasure of loving and being loved, wash over us. And it occurred to me that sometimes petting the cat is the most important task of the day.
And if some of you may draw connections to your own lives and your relationships with the people who are precious to you…well, you just may be onto something.