The Perfect Container

cat in basket

This fits me perfectly.

Actually, it took some effort to stuff his butt into the basket, sit down and look natural. I had been sorting greeting cards and envelopes for an order using the basket, but in the end it’s all about Giuseppe.

I think he’s been vigilant when I start packing things because, soon, he knows we’ll send a package to Mlle Daisy Marguerite with a special letter and a few trinkets which he has chosen, and he’s afraid he’ll miss the action. As if I’d pack it up and send it off without him!

In fact, as my operatically melodramatic Giuseppe tends to wring his little paws and wander around talking about things, he occasionally develops one white whisker, usually on the right side of his face. When he was young he developed two, one on each side, but most of the time through the years he has been a clean, youthful black. I think despite all of Mlle’s protestations, he’s been concerned about their long-distance relationship, the move to the city, and that little twit named Cream Cheese or Butter or—was it Yogurt? Who ever heard of a cat named Yogurt? Something must be done.

black cat with white whisker

Giuseppe with one white whisker.


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My Feline Garden Sprites

photo of two cats in a garden

Namir and Cookie inspect my gardening.

I first posted this article in April 2009 as Namir and Cookie and I finished cleaning up the garden for another gardening year and republished it again in 2010 in honor of Peaches 100th birthday, and now in 2011 in honor of Senior Pet Awareness Month. A number of cats have grown to their senior years here, and one of the treats they get is to carouse in the backyard with me as I garden; the sunshine and fresh air is so invigorating for them and we can enjoy that little bit of extra time and special memories.

My two seniors join me outdoors to supervise my gardening.

My two seniors join me outdoors to supervise my gardening.

It’s a joy to share the time and the experience with them, but with a flicker of sadness, to watch Namir sprint across the yard just for the joy of running and Cookie patrol the garden paths, even in the late winter when strewn with weeds and debris. It means they are old enough to want to stick with me while I’m out in the garden, old enough that our time is limited and these will be our golden memories. It’s a tradition when the old ones get to be this old that they also get to enjoy time outdoors with me.

Because animals live shorter lives than we do, chances are we will outlive them. And if we adopt and foster a number of animals, we’ll live through that many losses. It never gets easy, but with the awareness gained from each loss, watching the oldest grow into their senior years is less shocking and painful. Animals are so graceful about aging, not like us fretting about gray hair and memory loss. The brevity of their lives may seem unfair to us, but that span is normal for them. The lesson is to enjoy them in this moment while preparing for the unavoidable, but not to dwell on either.

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