We adopted two kittens (sister and brother) from a rescue organization – they had been found in an air conditioner opening at the NC State Fair grounds. They came into our lives with the greatness and power of Greek myth – named Artemis and Orion; and, settled into the ordinariness of our lives – renamed Milkshake and Tigger. Each day, they are content being exactly how they are, in any given moment – nothing less, nothing more, no pretense. Eckhart Tolle says it best: “I’ve had many spiritual teachers in my life – all of them cats.”
I remember when my son entered middle school many years ago. I was immediately transported back to my middle school years – the awkwardness of it all, and how cruel other kids could be. It was in that moment, that I decided we needed something orange, something fuzzy, something I’ll-love-you-no-matter-what to come home to – in the form of two orange tabby cats.
My favorite is the two-cat, one-human pile on in the La-Z-Boy chair for an afternoon nap. I also marvel at their ability to live fully in each ordinary moment – laying in a patch of sun, meowing for a cat treat, watching birds and squirrels for hours on end, chasing bugs or laser lights – then shifting fully into the next moment without lingering about what came before, or wondering what might come next. And how they make us laugh by just being themselves – Milkshake growling like a dog, sighing like a teenager, or being personally in charge of getting me up each morning (by head bumping my arm, then attacking the alarm clock).
Leslie Gernon is an outdoor guide (i.e., shinrin-yoku walks, wellness walks, and labyrinth events), counselor