I don’t believe in luck.
Or the existence of bad cats, bad people, bad Mumford and Sons songs, or good vegan cheese.
But today, with everything turned green, luck is the make-believe matter at hand.
Having been born on St. Patrick’s Day,* it’s perhaps outrageous that I refuse to frolic down that particular path with the leprechauns. Pelt me with all the magically delicious marshmallows you’ve got; dump a Shamrock Shake over my head; I will not say I’m lucky.
I’m touched by something so much larger than luck, it’s a redwood smiling over a four-leaf clover.
I’m here, with you, in the company of cats.
We are not “lucky” to live among such luminaries as Mozzarella. Not even the entire Lollipop Guild is going to tell me it’s luck that brought this wizened old wonderbeast to Tabby’s Place. Mozzarella is Polly-O perfection, a block of aged (real) cheese charming enough to nourish a village and bubble over a love-sagna. No string cheese he, the ancient cat with the squinty gaze and the soaring sweetness has rightly occupied the top seat at Tabby’s Place, supervising and inspiring the Big Cheese himself.
Walk into Jonathan’s domain, and Mozz will mug you with melty mirth, in the form of one excruciatingly tiny meow.
Is your friendship a stroke of luck?
Are marshmallows magically nutritious?
Or how about Pearl? Are you really going to tell me — do you have the actual audacity to tell me — that our acquaintance is a matter of luck?
C’mon, kittens. Look into these orbs that know all things. Our pearl of a girl was sent to heal all of New Jersey, to blanket us in the calm that stills our hummingbird hearts until all we hear is melody and all we see is galaxies, endless starry skies behind blue-blind eyes. Pearl pulls us from the wreckage on a daily basis, loving with silent meows and solemn sweetness, and you’re telling me we’re lucky?
St. Patrick himself would have prayed to cuddle a Pearl. (Let the record show that, should St. Patrick reappear in our time, Pearl volunteers to assist with all the snakes in Ringoes. She’s heard that we once found half a lizard in Solarium C, and she would like to experience reptile tartare personally.)
If you’re still leaning on luck, I have but one last example for you. But I warn you, this evidence is unimpeachable.
Bucca Rosenberg is twenty years old.
She has walked this earth, feisty and ferocious, intense in her affections and unrepentant in her imperiousness, for longer than your favorite TikToker.
She has tasted the bitter and the sweet, the fancy top-shelf souffle with actual shrimps and the excrement-brown slump of slop (let the record show she prefers the latter).
She has learned what it’s like to be weighed and measured and found wanting, only to be launched beyond the mire of measurement and into a belovedness she cannot lose.
She has bitten many, many, many people. (No leprechauns. Yet.)
She has become my best friend, my mentor, my solace and my sweetness when I’ve forgotten all the songs.
She has given no evidence whatsoever that she’s a day over eleven. (Come to think of it, neither have I, in anything but the physical sense. But Bucca is as ageless in appearance as otherwise. I’m just a child who needs to start exploring retinol.)
She has been everything good and anything but lucky.
Word to the wise: do not tell Bucca she’s lucky.
But tell her she’s blessed, and she’ll believe you. Better yet, she’ll bless your socks off (even if she bites you). She’ll remind you what all our talk of luck really means. You’ll find yourself jigging and jazzing and greening with life leaping out of your every pore.
So let’s sport our glorious green and celebrate our sweet sweet Saint today. But let’s do so remembering what we are.
Basking under redwoods of wonder and splendor and joy.
May there be no shame in your shamrock, no hesitation in your jubilation. Bear your blessedness for the world to see. May the road rise up to meet you.
*Yes, I have just shamelessly told you it is my birthday. And, yes, kittens: I am once again asking for your financial support. (This is formally my job.) Bless Bucca’s birthday and mine in your own beautiful way. Help build Quinn’s Corner. Give a garden-variety-glorious donation. Order enough fish mush to feed Bucca, Pearl, and Mozz for the next four decades. The choice is yours. You can’t choose wrong.
And in case you’re on the fence, I am outrageous enough to tell you this is a big honking howler of a birthday, precisely twice Bucca’s age. Neither Bucca nor I have any intention to begin shopping at Chico’s or seeking sensible shoes. We have every intention to be age-inappropriate in increasing measure, for as many years are measured into our bowls. We are so much more than “lucky” to love you.