Finding My Bliss ~ Day 2 ~ January 2, 2013

Hungry Calico kitty named Calleigh

Not Kitty Bob–but close.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cats do not like ketchup. You may wonder how I know this, but I am really quite certain. At least my cat, Kitty Bob, does not like ketchup.

Yesterday, while searching for my bliss, I forgot to buy cat food. I had Kitty Bob’s usual dry food, but I always put a dollop of cat food pâté on top to make it more palatable. I learned this little trick from my neighbours, whose cats I took care of when they went on vacation. At the time I started taking care of their cats, I did not have one of my own. But they gave their cats dry food with a dollop of the pâté. So when Kitty Bob adopted us one November morning about seven years ago, I used this method of feeding.  Kitty Bob has never complained so I must be doing something right.

On occasion I run out of the pâté, and give Kitty Bob some cut up beef or chicken or even gravy to make the dry food a little less dry. He has never complained. Until yesterday. I could not find any leftover meat to give him. Or gravy.

Schedro_ketchup Dansk: Ketchup sælges typisk p...

Heinz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I put the dry food in his dish as he swirled around my feet waiting to be fed. I scoured the fridge for something interesting to put in his food, as he pretty well refuses to eat just dry food. (Spoiled you say? For Sure.) I spied some ketchup.  It was NoName, not even Heinz (which is made in the next town over so I should be ashamed of myself.) So, I thought I would try it. I did not go overboard, just added a nice amount.

I put the dish down. He eagerly went over to it ready to chow down. He looked at it. He smelled it. Then he took a step back, and turned his head slowly to look at me. I told him to try it, it was good. So he moved forward again, trusting me. But he just could not eat it. The look on his face said it all. Disappointment. Hunger. Disappointment again.

He left the room and ran into the living room to sit on his latest favourite perch which is a table by the front door. It was cold out. Kitty Bob does not like the cold—but I think he was thinking that a little bird would be more luscious than what I was serving up.

I took his dish and cleaned it out. I left no trace of ketchup—just poured some more dry food in and left it for him. I am pretty sure he did not touch it. When I told my husband I thought he was going to split a gut. He thought it was so funny that Kitty Bob was so discerning. Then he went to the store and bought some cat pâté to go over the dry food. He is a sucker for the cat. He will do anything for that cat.

So my husband brought home the pâté and put it on the dry food. The cat then deigned to eat it. I believe he may have royal blood. The cat had found his bliss.

So, since this year is going to be the year I find my bliss, I will share it with those around me, and consider it a day well done. If someone in my household is blissful, then so am I.

Have you ever found your bliss in strange places?

Published in: on January 2, 2013 at 6:25 pm  Comments (62)  
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Or Not

Carl Sanburg's house where he lived while he w...

Carl Sandburg’s house. Now a Chicago landmark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It is necessary ….for a man to go away by himself …to sit on a rock…and ask, ‘Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going?’”* So said Carl Sandburg. My answer: “Or not.” Admittedly a succinct, even superficial response, nonetheless I sometimes wonder if we should really be so navel gazing. I have noticed in my numerous decades on this earth, that too much introspection can be harmful, and that those who do not put in the time to ask the questions that Sandburg put forth are perhaps happier than those of us who delve into these depths.

According to Wikipedia (that repository of somewhat questionable knowledge for the lazy), Carl Sandburg was born in 1878 and was the recipient of not one, not two, but three Pulitzer prizes. He was a much celebrated writer and editor–so, he can be forgiven for being a deep thinker—it obviously paid off for him. But I am still wondering about his choice of a rock to sit on to contemplate his wherewithal.  Why not a couch before a roaring fire, or a comfortable bench overlooking the park, or even a sandy beach? It seems we need to contemplate life from a hard place, or the proverbial spot between it and a rock.

Of course I am not a great philosopher (or even a poor one), but if I take my cues from my cat, strangely named Kitty Bob (try shouting that out your front door when you want your cat to come home), I note that he takes no comfort from hard places, nor do I think that he contemplates life much beyond eating, sleeping, partying hardy all night away from the house, and getting all the attention in the world from three of the four members of this household (yes, I am the holdout—but in my defence I feed him and clean out his litter box, and on occasion at the urging of those who love him, pet him).

Now, I am not saying we should all act like cats (or maybe I am), but a house cat with a good home and people who love him, has it made in the shade. (What would this post be without its clichés—I am single-handedly bringing them back into vogue).  My cat thinks he owns the place, and in essence he does. Pretty well anything Kitty Bob wants, KB gets. Here is an excerpt from some of the conversations that go on around this house all concerning the cat:

1. “Oh, let the Kitty Bob sit in your chair. You don’t need to work at your desk right now, do you?” (For some reason Kitty Bob has taken to sitting in my desk chair of late, and is quite put out when I have to move him.) He is very indignant when I unceremoniously dump him out of my chair and he must sit somewhere else, and it seems the members of this family think he should be able to sit where he pleases too. (For those of you taken aback at my dumping him out of my chair—really, I just gently lift him out and put him in another chair—I don’t want the Pet Police after me.)

2. “Kitty Bob likes sitting on my suitcase—I’ll get him another one to sit on, so he will be happy.” It seems that Kitty Bob’s happiness is a priority at my house. No rock for this guy. The back story: When my youngest son Tyler was home for Thanksgiving, he left his suitcase laying out flat in the hallway upstairs and Kitty Bob started to use it as his comfortable place to nest, so that when Ty needed to gather it up to go back to school, he went and found another suitcase (mine!) for the cat to lie on. And the cat is still using it as his upstairs “getaway” every day—taking his leisurely naps on it. He does leave it to eat and do his duty, but he spends hours on this suitcase. Who knew?

3. “Pet the Kitty Bob, mom, he wants you to pet him.” I do not think the cat cares if I pet him, but I give him attention to make the other humans at this house happy. And their response always is: “See, he is starting to purr, he doesn’t purr when I hold him.” The secret here is that I feed the cat; the cat knows that I am the purveyor of all things “meow mix” so of course he purrs–he wants to be fed, and he recognizes me as the giver of food.

Anyway, my whole point in this is–why go sit on a rock, question life, ruminate over your failures, and make plans to make your life more worthy if you are a cat? It is just us foolish humans who have not yet found the meaning of life: eating, sleeping, and getting a lot of love, who need to make ourselves uncomfortable in order to ask life’s questions.

*Thanks to grosenberg.wordpress.com for the quote.