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Cat Birthdays and Toilet Paper

So there I was at my computer, blissfully writing this heartfelt blog about my kitties. Dickens and his three sisters – Molly, Pippen & Star – turn 10 years old today. My dog, Jake, found them in the last week of May, and the vet thought they were about 3 -4 weeks old, so May 1st became their official birthday.

As my fingers flew over the keyboard, my mind replayed all the adventures the cats and I have shared over the last 10 years. They are dearer to me than I can put into words. It is impossible to have a bad day in the presence of these furballs. Each has their own magical way of touching my heart. They have unique purrs, different ideas of “fun,” and their own proven method of telling me the food bowl is empty and needs immediate attention.

A few of the kitties are a bit on the chunky side, so I’ve been cutting back on their food…ever so slightly. No more refilling…and refilling…of the bowls. I’ve tried to explain about the Zen of an empty food bowl. The empty food bowl is full of possibility. The girls are pretty philosophical about this forced food reduction, but Dickens is not happy. As a kitten, Dickens attacked his bottle with gusto…and that enthusiasm for food has never diminished.

Which brings me back to my first sentence. As I was writing this blog, I heard a strange sound coming from the bathroom where the empty food bowl was sitting. I peeked around the corner and there was Dickens, shredding the roll of toilet paper with a level of dedication and commitment I had to admire. Then he ate the toilet paper. He was ticked off, and somehow he was going to let me know it.

I admire clear communication skills. I have a hard time letting someone know when I’m upset about something. Dickens has become my teacher. The next time I feel hurt or angry, I’m heading straight for the toilet paper.

In the front of my book, For Every Cat An Angel, I have written some notes to my readers which include these words:

“I am in awe of these cat creatures. They have cast a spell over me that I don’t expect will ever be broken.”

How true.

Happy birthday, furballs!


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