This is a personal post. I guess they all are, really, but this one is for myself. Just as the flowers above are flowers I bought for myself. I am in curled into myself this weekend, taking care of myself, feeling intruded upon by others - even those whose arms are open to give me a hug. Even the act of reading feels invasive, the sound of music too loud. I need these days for me and Maggie.
Maggie the cat is sick again, and it appears that it may be serious. I spent yesterday morning at the vet's (again, thank you Dr. Alexander!), and she is scheduled for a sonogram Tuesday afternoon. She was 16 on May 4, and has spent her entire life with me, if you start counting from Independence Day, 1992. The ever-wonderful Michael brought her to me - she was born in the country, at his sister's house, on the day my cat Stella had died, and she looks just like Stella did. It was a very karmic thing, but no two cats could be more different. Stella never met a stranger - Maggie loves only me. (And Michael a little, and the lovely Katie a little.) Maggie doesn't even love other animals - as a matter of fact, she doesn't even like other animals. I'm it. It's just me & her, as far as she's concerned. She's been my best friend all this time - she knows when I'll be home from work, and waits for me in the middle of the driveway. Robert & Katie, who have a bird's-eye view of the yard, have told me that at a certain time every day, she meanders out there & sits & waits. (It's very touching, and it makes me feel quite guilty whenever I'm late.) She's always been a sitter. Even as a baby, she would just sit at the foot of the bed & look at me. Not bug me, not meow, not anything, Just sit. Just sit - how very Buddhist of her. She still does. In the kitchen, in front of a window, next to the tub when I'm taking a shower. She can sit for hours.
I'm writing these things NOW because I don't want to wait until she's gone to say them. In the hope that I can play a reverse karma game with God & the Universe. In the hope that she'll be okay & I won't be put into the situation to even think them, much less say them. It feels like almost more than I can bear. Yes, I know - she's just a cat. But like I said, she's my best friend. We've been living together all these years - she knows all my secrets. And I cannot bring myself to say these things out loud. I am just drawing a circle around the two of us & writing these magic words to ward off evil spirits. Once, when my niece Emma was very young, she asked me to draw a picture for her. I drew a cat & wrote "Maggie" at the top. Emma was just learning to read & she said "OH! Magic, the cat!"
She was right.