All politics is local.
Someone famous said that, but cats proved it.
There’s big, craptacular stuff roiling our world right now. I don’t need to tell you that. I wish I could tell you how to take a vacation from it, even for a day. But the truth is that reality is rocking wildly this summer, and not in the “keep on rocking in the free world” sense.
Simple humans though we are, we don’t know what to do with these Big Giant Problems. The cracks and clefts and chasms in the human family seem so vast, we can hardly see across, let along leap, let along grab hold of each other’s hands. It kind of makes me hope that 2016 will go down in history as a particularly painful year, if only because that will mean that the years ahead will be kinder, quieter, setting this season off in relief.
But while we’re still in it, mucking through and musing and mourning all that we cannot comprehend, we need relief. We need a way to mend and move through the mists of now.
And fortunately, all politics is local.
Cats don’t, of course, consider things like immigration reform or the tax code. But that doesn’t mean their worlds aren’t rocked by things larger than themselves. (Personal request: do not tell the cats that I told you there are things larger than themselves. That won’t go over well.)
The Special Needs Suite, more accurately described as the Special Emotional Needs Suite, is rocked regularly. The cats of this shy “socialization” room might well prefer riots to the grabby human hands that appear unbidden, eager to pet them and socialize them and tame them…
…and terrify them.
Kaycee, Gherkin, Wesley, Bacon and Riley (yes, that Riley) are all making progress. Every cat tells a story, and this league of lives criss-crosses in non-parallel, nonpareil lines. One has strange seizures; one was wretchedly wounded; one was more wretchedly wounded; two are just awfully afraid.
All are a little anxious…or in some cases, a lot.
However small, soft-footed and gentle you may be, your arrival in Suite Special Needs will alarm these cats. Kaycee will duck and cover; Riley will stare at you with fear-enlarged eyes; Bacon will try his best to sleep through your visit.
But Wesley and Gherkin will act on the greatest of all political wisdom: they will act locally.
When the world whirls around them, with Kaycee flying overhead and somebody growling from somewhere, these boys will simply do the next right thing, right in front of them. In this case, that means embracing each other. When fear threatens, Gherk and Wes just wrap themselves into huggy half-moons of mutual comfort. Reach into their cubby (you knave!) and they’ll tremble in fear, but they won’t let each other go…or let each other down.
And maybe that’s how we should limp forward in this strange, shattering season: holding onto each other.
Gherkin and Wesley really don’t know what’s going to happen next when their world gets wonky. For all they know, your arrival means that life, as they know it, is about to end. That’s happened before, to both of them, in different ways. They cannot change the state of Suite Special Needs, or prevent the unpredictable.
But they can get through it together. And, if for some reason they don’t make it through, they’ve still got each other.
Wise creatures, these.