Radiation Level: Heating Up
Listening To: Cream by Prince
When I’m at Whole Foods, I usually do my best to skirt the petition takers. It’s not that I don’t sympathize with the whales that need saving or the people with cancer who might benefit from medical marijuana, it’s that at some point these causes need cash and I am strapped. But the other day, I saw a woman with two cats in two cages. I made a bee-line toward them. One black and white cat could care less about me, but a white cat, strong and regal looking, was thrilled to brush her cheek up against my fingers as I stuck them through the metal gaps in the cage. This cat was a lover. Friendly, affectionate. I spoke to the cat, then the cat lady spoke to me, giving me the hard sell.
I explained I’d love to have the cat, but it’s too soon. I lost my beloved Shorty not long ago. She asked, was he a white cat? I said, yes, with orange points. Tears in my eyes, I went into the store. Standing in the baking isle, I began to cry. I’m sure I looked like a crazy person. I cried because I missed my little guy, because the white cat in the parking lot was probably going to get put down. How could people abandon their pets? Oh, cruel world.
On the drive home, I felt ridiculous. Shouldn’t I be over my cat by now? But grief, even for a feline, is the master of its own game.
That night I was watching a rerun of Cheers. I’ve always loved this show and hate to admit that I totally relate to Diane, or “the stick” as Carla fondly calls her. In this episode, Diane gets a call that her cat, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, has died. Diane becomes an emotional wreck and not one person at the bar knew how or why to comfort her. Eventually, Sam figures it out, but it made me think about the white cat in the cage, it made me think about Shorty and wonder why some people bond with animals in such a deep way and some do not. As it has been said before, it’s better to have loved then lost, than never loved at all.