I am a cat.

 

Every summer morning, the early eastern sun spills through this window:

It lands on the stairway below, creating this perfect reading spot for me:

 

I come home from running (on a good day) or stumble out of bed (on an even better day), grab my book and a big glass of water, and crawl onto My Spot.  (I do vacuum frequently, though I won’t make any promises about my carpet’s cleanliness.  But this is pre-shower, so who cares?)  I sit on the last stair so that I can rest my back against it, like a chair, and face the warm sun.  I stretch my back, arching and yawning, and think something I’ve thought many times before:  cats really do have it figured out.  I would purr if I could.

I flip my scriptures open and try to concentrate, and sometimes I learn a lot about Paul and the Grecians and Ceasar and persecution, and I feel proud that my sluggish mind has wrapped itself around something so important.  But other times–much of the time–my mind drifts out that big window to the clear sky beyond and I start thinking about the day ahead.  On a good day, I think about what I want to accomplish and how I will accomplish it.  On a bad day, I think about all of the things I want to accomplish and probably never will.  I’m trying to learn that this is okay.  One of the necessary disillusions of growing up is understanding that we usually trade ten good dreams for one great one.  And not because of laziness or mismanaged time, which is what I used to believe.  It’s because every choice we make crowds out bazillion other choices, and there will always be a twinge of regret at the opportunities that we just don’t have a life long enough to seize.  Do you know what I mean?  I’m sure you do.

These are the deep thoughts I have while pretending to be a cat.  What deep thoughts do you have during your daily rituals?  I know you meditate on life’s transcendent qualities while sorting laundry or drying dishes.  And don’t tell me you don’t discover Higher Truths during your three-mile run.  What do you wax poetic about when no one is listening but you?

As for me, just about the time my reading is done and my muscles are stretched and my back is warmed, a six-year old boy with rumpled white hair comes padding down the hall, eager for a snuggle and some toast.  And then I pick him up (I’ll do it as long as he’ll let me) and we head downstairs.  And I think about those good dreams fighting with a great one and I think, as I have many times before:  it would be nice to be a cat, but I’m glad that I’m a mom.

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