Friday, October 26, 2012

Big Gifts in Small Packages

I've been ignoring this blog for too long. But now that Fall has arrived in Florida (a good motivating excuse?) I must reapply myself to the posting of those small, everyday things that give me pleasure and revive a sense of appreciation for being here, alive, on planet Earth.

Some days you have to rely on old friends to motivate you. This is one of those days and Poppi Poppadum is one of those motivators today. She is my big gift in a small package.

When I look at, listen to, talk to, stroke and feed my feline friend, Poppi, I am reminded that she is a Gift. Poppi was literally a gift from neighbors (who we value dearly as kindred spirits despite the fact that they left us here in the States and returned to England ; ^ )

Poppi becomes a very vocal gift when I hear her crying for her doorman to let her into the house in the early morning. She moves my lazy butt out of bed and in her direction because we are dear friends and she is always hungry for something. We always start the day together with a gift of greeting.

Poppi is a gift to all neighbors in our fruit-tree-laden neighborhood; she is a huntress who has controlled the fruit tree rat population here quite well. She prefers to spend her nights, like other nocturnal felines, climbing trees and scouring storm drains for rats. Fewer winter attics around here rustle with the noise of nesting creatures these days.

Of course she has brought home several birds and a baby squirrel, but all of these creatures arrived via soft mouth and were returned alive to our neighborhood. Only lizards and rats fail to escape her attentions. She continually reminds me of the natural order of life and death in this universe we occupy together, a gift least I forget who I am and what I am doing here. 

Poppi is a gift in that she beautifies the yard and the interior of this house when she appears. A Bengal breed, supposedly 4 generations removed from a tiger and a domestic cat, she was judged not to be pretty enough for cat shows. HA! My good fortune! My gift of beauty and affection.

Ancient Egyptians reportedly believed that Cats were the guardians of the Soul. If she is not a guardian of my soul, she must be a guardian of my body. This I do believe, particularly since Poppi has been uncharacteristically attentive to my lap lately, settling in while I am drawing. And when she climbs onto the bed and settles between my legs I definitely get the feeling that she is prescient and concerned for me. The recent diagnosis of my prostate cancer only confirms my belief that Poppi is a concerned guardian and a Gift.

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