Time for a slice of admittedly peculiar philosophy, served up in the strangest of packages.
I’d like to take a moment to talk about my cat. (Bear with me.)
Now, I come from a family who never really ‘did’ pets when I was a kid. The best my brother and I seemed to have were hamsters, all of whom seemed to come and go in quick succession. It wasn’t in a ruthless way- we weren’t like the Henry VIII of pet-keeping or anything… they just all seemed to have a very short shelf life for one reason or another.
Anyway, around two years ago, we acquired a cat. Please overlook the ambiguity of the word ‘acquired’ and just believe me when I say that it was all above board. We had never had a cat before. I had always really wanted one, to the point that I do have a bit of a reputation as a crazy feline lover amongst my peers. Thing is, as soon as we got her, I came to realise how temperamental they can be. I know they chase birds and things in cartoons, but the grisly reality of watching this lovable ball of fur kick seven bells out of an adorable fieldmouse before dragging it into the house and presenting it at my feet was a bit rich. It’s not always about cuddles either. Sometimes she can be a really moody so-and-so, and we’ve had our fair share of scraps when she tries to get me to give her breakfast at 6am by giving my toes a nip.
But then there’s those other times. It’s when she’s looking beautiful and enjoying a stretch. Sometimes she’ll be on the blanket at the end of my bed and she rolls over and lets me give her a bit of a tummy rub. I will look at her and just sigh, thinking about how adored she is. This then sometimes this turns into worry… what if she gets lost or run over? What if she tries to have a scrap with a fox? What on earth could I ever do without her?
It was at this point I was struck with the astonishing realisation of the entirely universal nature of what it is to love.
An example. For a moment, let’s replace the word ‘cat’ with ‘boyfriend’. While they may not drag the bloodied corpses of woodland creatures into the house, they can certainly cause domestic chaos. They can often be more difficult to deal with than first anticipated. They get on your nerves. You can scrap, you can argue, you can be driven crazy by them. Sometimes we can’t even tell what they think about us. But despite all this, it’s all worth it. It’s when you allow yourself to appreciate the wonderful moments of affection and togetherness you have that you realise that you could never be without them, and how much your life would lack if they were no longer there. It’s just what it is ‘to love’.
It can come along in many different forms and for many different figures in our lives, but isn’t it a wonderful thing? Maybe every now and again it can’t do any harm to actually take a little time to appreciate the relationships we have, and to enjoy that warm toasty feeling that comes from being able to love and be loved in return.
Remember… I did warn you that this was a strange one.