Monday, December 27, 2010

Happiness


We have a cat.
It has been two years since we lost Lise-Lina.  The disappearing of our 7-year-old pet caused considerable amounts of grief in our house, and for the longest time, our kids couldn't accept the fact that our beloved cat wasn't going to just show up again.Everybody missed her, but, my husband and I also saw the practical aspect of not having an animal in our home.  The everyday life wasn't the problem, but traveling was.  Every single time we left for a weekend or longer, we had to find somebody who was willing to come by our house a couple of times a day, feed the cat, let the cat out and back in again, pet her.  It was actually a stress factor for me, and not having that felt sort of nice.
But, after a while, we start feeling the same regret as the kids had been having all the time.  We missed having a cat in our home.  We didn't only missed Lise-Lina, we also felt the void that any feline friend should have filled.  A warm bundle who curls up on your lap, who forces you to stop for a while, relax, unwind.  A little creature who makes you focus on being here and now, in the moment, nowhere else.  I think it's healthy to have a cat around.  
And, as the Norwegian poet Helge Torvund has expressed it: 
"A house without a cat is only a house."
So, on Christmas Eve, early in the morning, our kids got to unwrap an early gift, tagged "Happiness."  It was a basket.  A cat basket.  We saw the comprehension dawn on their faces, and the wild joy who made our seven-year-old run and hide in her room for a little while.
They could hardly believe it, that we had caved, after all this time, and when we announced that we were going to get the cat as soon as they all got dressed, they disappeared immediately, and only a few minutes later they were ready to go.
Our cat came from the Norwegian Animal Rescue Oganisation. (Dyrebeskyttelsen.)  She is an almost totally black little girl, about 5 months old, and we named her Happiness, shortened to Happy.
She spent most of Christmas eve hiding under furniture, but before the day was over, she went back and forth between us, sounding like a lawn mower.  Now, three days later, it is like she has always been here.
And, I have a hard time writing this post, since Happy is curled up on top of my forearms and keyboard.
We're having a Happy Christmas this year, and I think she'll do us all good.

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