Opinion

Lessons learned from an old feline friend

My old cat and I took one last ride together this week. He was 19 years old, he’d been around the house a long time, but after all, he was just a cat, right? No sense getting all weepy over a cat, right? Besides, I have control of my house back now.

Fluffy taught me some important lessons. For instance, when it got noisy or confrontational, he would disappear. Instead of wading into the fray like so many of us do, he would find a spot to hunker down and wait for it all to blow over. It took me a long time to learn that.

Most important, he always found the warm spot. If it was a cool fall day or a blowing winter storm, he was usually on top of a heat register, sound asleep. He didn’t seem to care that he was blocking the heat from the rest of us.

He would always find the shaft of sunlight coming through the drapes or splashed on the deck. When he was outside he would follow the sun across the yard like a sundial. If you were looking for him at three in the afternoon, he was in the southwest corner of the yard.

I think we all look for the warm spot and we don’t even realize it. When we chose that important someone in our life it’s probably because we found a warm spot when we were with them; a quiet, warm spot where we both felt safe.

When you chose a new place to live, it may not have had the kitchen or the colours or the number of rooms you were looking for, but something felt right walking in the front door or stepping out of the elevator. You felt warm right away. It felt like a home not just a house.

Maybe it was the way the sun came through the trees or the wave and smile from the neighbours, but it instantly felt like you’d found a warm spot to lie down.

Why have you worked so many years at the same place? Maybe there were bigger places to work with better benefits and more money, but chances are you stayed because the people around you are warm. You never felt the urge to hide or escape. It’s a sunny spot you enjoy to go to every day.

Maybe you tried different jobs in steel buildings above noisy streets but when the tension and stress got too much you followed the sun across the country until it brought you home, where you could wear your warm smile again.

Why does it feel so good to be home when you’ve been on a holiday or business trip? Maybe it’s that hot shower or the home cooked meal coming out of the oven. Maybe it’s a leather recliner or your nest in the comfy couch. Maybe you haven’t been there for awhile; you might have to look for them again. You’ll always find those spots hidden away, from the noise and the deadlines. Like an old cat, you’ll recognize them when you see them.

My vet is at 0 Avenue and 216 Street. It’s a nice drive through farm country to a spot surrounded by trees and animals. No concrete or steel buildings. The setting is quiet, the people are warm. I figured that was a good destination for our final ride together. At least that’s what McGregor says.

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