Flavors of faithfulness

Flavors of faithfulness

There are so many ways to be a good cat.

I have yet to discover a single way to fail at this lofty goal.

This is good news for all of us.

Number of doldrums detected on Rawlings: 0

It’s late January, when even the jauntiest among us are banging the doldrums. The leaves have all left, even the hardy ivies. The sky is stuck on that noncommittal shade of yellow. We find ourselves building pinecone people with googly eyes and wondering if we should be committed.

It’s a new year, right?

But we wonder, if we’re wondery beasts (which readers of this blog invariably are), if we’re doing “new” right. The fresh powder has been pounded down; the snow angels have flown; January promises have gone the way of party punch.

This was going to be Your Year. Are you taking all the bulls by the horns simultaneously? Are you making the most of all the moments? Are you exercising your wintered body and exorcising your anxieties and exerting all the effort at all times?

Why are you not svelte or social or shiny or stargazing, instead of soft and shy and subtle and sleepy?

Old questions cackle back.

Cats, meanwhile, are busy being answers.

Rawlings is busy not being Spaghetti. Rawlings comes into 2023 on the magic carpet of his own calling, which is: to loll.

To loll, and to lollygag, and to be the Good Ship Lollipop for all pilgrims in need of plushy, pressureless presence. Rawlings will never careen through the room like a comet, never be energy-independent. But Rawlings frets not. Were Rawlings anything other than Rawlings, mushy and mushable, the unsung captain of the Manateam of Feline Marine Mammals, Rawlings would not be able to comfort you like a grandma.

(Let the reader understand that a creature of Rawlings’s caliber is quite content being compared to grandmothers, manatees, and any and all varieties of basketballs, cantaloupes, celestial bodies, minivans, etc.)

Spaghetti’s answer to Rawlings is, of course, to be Spaghetti. His vocation is Velocity; his monastery is Madness; his business card is covered in finger-paint and smiley face stickers and exclamation points and questionable smudges of marinara. He has chewed the googly eyes off all the pinecone people.

Spaghetti will never be the coziest of creatures, too tightly coiled to cascade over your arms like purring sauce. But Spaghetti is proud of his Spaghettititude. Were Spaghetti anything other than Spaghetti, saucy and celebratory, Spaghetti would not be able to make you laugh until you cry for joy at the jolting juice of being alive.

Far across the universe (which is to say down the hallway and several metaphysical leap years), Porkroll is the answer to a question that no one dared to ask aloud: is it OK to stand alone?

What can you offer the solar system if your calling is moonlike, an orbiting angel who adores from afar?

What do you bring to the table if you’re a party of one, persevering in your quiet, happy in your hiding?

How can you be a good cat when you’re not very good at glad-handing and grandstanding, as gregarious as a mollusk?

Quite easily. For you, little moonstone, have a calling, too.

Porkroll is more than an answer. Porkroll is a promise kept. Porkroll is an icon of love itself, the love that lives when all attempts at “proving” and “earning” and “hustling” and “deserving” have died, which they always do, whether you are a comet or a manatee or a meandering snowball like you and me and Jennifer Lopez.

Rawlings. Spaghetti. Porkroll.

Every one is honest, and good, and needed, and nurturing us as I type these words.

This is Their Year.

They are doing it right.

They were created to cherish this world, and its weary creatures (e.g. you, me, J-Lo) in precisely their own colors.

Being cats, they are committed to those colors, those callings…and us.

So when the doldrums start beating your door, fret not your worth, kittens.

Be what you are, with your high-beams on.

There are so many ways to be a good cat.

Including, and essentially, yours.

1 thought on “Flavors of faithfulness

  1. You are right, Angela … our good cat will help us through the day. Comfort, comedy and cuddles. Life will always be good if you have a cat to love – and love you.

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