Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Tale of Two Kitties

It is clearly the best and worst of times in our family.

Each morning this week, I have checked the website of “The Story” to see if this day will be the one they broadcast my interview on sub-prime mortgages (not yet). Happily, the powers in Washington are beginning to look past their own pocketbooks and realize that direct aide to the people who are losing their homes may be an important medicine for the economy.

Twice this week, my face has appeared on the local page of our newspaper. The missing cannon became a 24 hour hot topic around town as people wondered how such a thing so useless, but precious, could be stolen right out of a neighbor’s yard. With the first article, our grief changed to a glimmer of hope.

Amazingly, the publicity worked its magic and another neighbor called to say they believed it might be resting in a nearby cemetery. My son and I raced to the scene (well, limped, actually, since the poor fellow is on crutches), and gloried in the celebration that something lost has been recovered.

The hooligans apparently lost their will to make mischief about 400 yards up the hill when the 200 awkward pounds of cannon robbed them of their bravado. They abandoned it for the night in the cemetery where it looked like just another monument. When the liquor wore off, I suppose, if they remembered it at all, guilt kept them from returning to and completing their crime.

For us, the discovery was jubilant affirmation that despite swollen knees and broken homes, there is compassion and good fortune in the world. The odd little cannon from my mother’s childhood had stood guard nearly 50 years at my parents’ home. To bring it to my new place at Riverside was punctuation both of closing chapters in their lives, and the re-structuring of our own small family here. Since it also represented the time when it might grace the lawn of my son’s children, the loss colored a landscape bleak, while the recovery inspired fireworks in our heart.

Meanwhile, among the logistical decisions required to divide a home, and the 20 years of belongings it contained, our two cats faced various scenarios of disruption themselves. However much I would have welcomed and appreciated their company in my home (especially the orange haired Mookie who seemed cognizant and sympathetic to my transition, curling up quietly beside me in hard times), my children feared for their lives (the cats’) between my acre of woods and the busy road.

Sadly, from the day of transition to his new home at the other place, my favorite has gone missing. Still hopeful after two weeks that he might just wander back from some long adventure, or arrive at his original home after an incredible journey, we have not adequately considered his loss.

Last night, however, the sweet rapscallion Zahdie collided with her fate, the wheel of a too fast car on a quiet street, and was suddenly gone. It would seem no matter how much we try to control our precious possessions and beloved relations, so much is actually out of our hands. Rarely do we get a second chance. The gifts must be appreciated each and every day.

Through all the tough changes in these past months, my son has endured stoically with good spirit and quiet self-determination. Last night it broke my heart, and was comforting relief at the same time, to finally cry with him.
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Anonymous said...

Hope your cat will wander back. I adopted a stray cat last spring. He spent the summer on the porch, following me everywhere I went and then one morning in September, he didn't come back. I still hope he will show up one morning... How true what you say about so much being out of our hands.

Hayden Tompkins said...

"Last night, however, the sweet rapscallion Zahdie collided with her fate, the wheel of a too fast car on a quiet street"

Oh no! I'm so sorry! Poor, sweet kitten. They just...they have a mind of their own.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kip:

Just heard "Your Story." Ouch. I hope things are turning around for you.
I have been through that twice.
(And here I sit so patiently
waiting to find out what price
you have to pay to get out of
going through all these things twice.)
Once in 1998,when my brother ran our business into the ground and I had to start over. Within 2 years, I had a new business and did well until this year.
And I'm starting over again. Oh well, we'll all get through it.
As Herbert Hoover once said, "About the time we think we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends."

Laurie said...

Such a mix of happiness and heartache Kip. I'm happy and sad for you at the same time.

To finally cry with your son....what a release for you. What a connection that had to be for you and your son. You are a tender spirit Kip.

Magnolia Bread said...

Hi Kip. Your "The Story" counterpart--I'm glad it led me to your blog. :-)

Kip de Moll said...

Patou, funny how one makes friends with the strays. We've adopted a HUGE spider and lately a mouse, but after the proper period of mourning, I think, new kitties in this household may be appropriate!

Hayden--minds of their own to the point I'd wring their necks if I didn't enjoy their quixotic company.

Amazing how we just keep banging our heads on those walls. Thanks for stopping by.

Dianne, I thought the two stories were very complimentary, similar work ethics with very different results. And like you have learned with your bread-making, paying more attention to this writing and music is making me much more satisfied.

Anonymous said...

What a mix- the joy of retrieving the cannon. When I read that post on the theft I knew you'd get it back. And the sadness over one cat and worry over the other, but even in that it sounds like there was a milestone in your relationship with your son.