Monday, October 6, 2008

You'd be so easy to love

This is not Sherlock at his most vicious, though a cat person will note the ears back and the lowered look of the forehead. He is merely asserting that the newspaper I was trying to read is his territory, and he is getting chemically prepared to defend it physically. That is, by the sequence familiar to cat owners of swatting, hissing, biting and, at worse, leaping on you while doing all of the above. I don't have any pictures of him doing that, though YouTube is exceptionally fond of anything titled Evil Kitty.

We've had this awful cat for over twelve years. He was four when I saved his life, rescuing him from the Animal Shelter; in return, he contracted to become an indoor cat, a contract he has tried to break numerous times.

I have friends who can be as cranky as Sherlock, as unpredictable, secretive, bitey. They're so much harder to love. That's the kind of thing that occupies Grandma's mind these quiet, drab Mondays. One friend irks me because she won't give me her e-mail address, not that I nag. Not that I need it.

What I find interesting is that Sherlock does things like that all the time, and they don't irk me. It's just the kind of cat he is, I think. He disappears, and we go all over the house and garage calling, looking, getting increasingly worried. There he is, yawning, stretching, unable to feel the slightest guilt. Wherever he was, he'd still be there if he hadn't heard the can opener.

Why don't I get mad at him? I accept that it's his nature; I haven't the least idea that he could "do better." I say, "evil cat" with a smile. All this is, I think, one manifestation of something I want to talk more about sometime, Grandmother's Heart. It sees that at least some beings---your cat, your grandchild---are perfectly what they are. It understands. Forgiveness isn't even a question.

So I have to think more about why I don't feel the same way about you . . . or myself.

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