Full disclosure: yours truly is just a little bit compulsive.
For example, I have two marker boards in my kitchen. The small one includes planned meals for the week as well as a list of perishables that need to be consumed in the short term. The big board includes the contents of the stand-up freezer and all the homemade canned items available for us or for sharing. Both marker boards are kept in good order — tidy, up-to-date, easy to read.
It is entirely possible that the marker boards are over ordered, as is the quantity of dry erase markers required to maintain the necessary level of organization.
“Over ordered” is a theme in my home. Among my compulsions is a desperate need to feed others — all the others, near and far, two-footed and four-pawed, and most especially local humans, personally known and otherwise. Take-home dinners for the two-legged residents and any guests are always over ordered. More food than can possibly be consumed ends up on this hostess’s table. Leftovers are organized, stored, and added to the little marker board.
These compulsions are not left at home.
Weekly trips to Tabby’s Place are another safe haven for indulging in both organizing and cleaning compulsions. The first is aided by the laundry room list, on which tasks are clear and well-ordered. Sweeping and mopping allow for indulging in the need to go over areas two or three times (admittedly, four in certain spots on certain days). Other tasks require more attention to detail, but lead to the satisfaction of initialing the appropriate space on the list to show that the jobs are done.
In sharp contrast to the over ordered, over clean, over organized everything else in my world, there are the Tabby’s Place suites, offices, lounge, lobby, and Community Room, where kitty chaos reigns supreme and surprises abound. Suite B is especially good at providing delightful disorder and marginal mayhem. The usual actors include Shaggy and Elliot. Lately, they have been joined, somewhat more calmly, by attention-seeking Garbo and leg-rubbing Cammy.
Recently, however, the biggest surprise came from an unexpected source: Thurman. Despite his orange collar warning humans to engage mindfully and carefully, Thurman and I have always had a good relationship. Mostly this is because Thurman is almost always asleep or sleepy when I visit Suite B. So, a quick “hello” and a scratch on the head have typically been the limit of our interactions, with more wakeful, longer visits being the rare exception. Our history has been clean, well-ordered, and predictable.
Then there was this one Friday.
A visit with my beloved, befriended fearful feline Yuki, as I do weekly, became an exercise in consoling and calming several of the Suite B cats. Happy to oblige, things settled to a point where I could focus on my BFF in her cube.
Then, there was a tickle on my face. Sniffing and tickling my cheeks, there was Thurman, sitting next to me, perfectly poised. Then, he leaned his forehead to mine. After a few seconds and a few pets, I returned my attention to Yuki. Thurman leaned in again. Clearly wanting more attention from me than he has ever requested, I included him in my visiting time. After a little while and for secret reasons of his own, Thurman left to find a cozy spot for a pre-dinner nap.
Thurman was not the only one with his heart and head clearly settled in better order. By the time Yuki and I finished our visit, the overly active suite had calmed. The swirlers had stopped swirling, the toy batters and had stopped batting, the door runners were nowhere near the door.
Nobody could ever accuse the sweets of this suite of being over ordered, but in this instance, for an instant (maybe three) chaos and entropy were put on hold.
For the briefest time (likely just until dinner time), calm, quiet, and order were the order of the moment.