Kitty Lessons 1/16/21

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

Are you tired of reading about my cat yet? Star is still new, so she inspires a lot of new posts. But, hopefully, they’re fun or thought-provoking.

As I’m trying to write this post, she is sitting on my lap, constantly pushing my hand away from the keyboard, interrupting my work in the hopes of getting a little bit of loving. And, of course, I oblige.

I know her purpose is completely selfish, but there’s an important lesson in her actions, at least for me. It is all too common for me to live a life that’s off balance, spending far too much time working and not nearly enough time on fun and love. Well, I’m pretty much alone, so on fun, anyway.

My Masonic brothers would tell me the importance of a balanced life, spending a third of each day on work, a third on family and loved ones, and a third on rest. When your life is off balance things just don’t go right. You end up living alone with a cat and nobody to love you. Like I did. Or suffering a heart attack that should have killed you at forty-seven. Like I did. Or feeling ostracized from your family. Like I do.

Hey, wait…my life sucks!

Well, now I’ll have to finish this post depressed. Thank you SO much, reader. Geeze.

But is it too late to change? I need to take lessons from Star. I need to find the time for myself, and balance in my life. I need to find the time to find and accept love, even if it’s only from my little sweet feline.

Probably the person I most need to find love from is myself. Yes, I know it sounds cliché, but it’s also true. I’ve never really thought much of myself, an extension no doubt of the lessons from my family when I was growing up, but how do you learn such a lesson so late in life? And it’s not that I don’t have love in my life. I have many friends who would go to the ends of the earth for me, of that I have no doubt, but it’s hard to allow yourself to feel the love from others (of any sort) when you don’t feel worthy of that love.

I actually have a saying, “not everybody deserves to be loved”. I pull it out every time somebody asks why I’m single, or something along those lines, and, of course, what I mean by that is that I don’t deserve to be loved. My father used to have a (rather racist) saying, “a billion Chinese can’t be wrong”, although he didn’t say “Chinese”. But the concept stands; in all of my failed relationships, the one constant is me. How can this not be a sign?

Star doesn’t worry about that. If she wants to be loved, she hops up on my lap and snuggles up with me. When she wants me to give her lovings, she just puts her head under my hand. When she wants attention, she sits in front of my screen.

It’s kinda cute, actually.

Never does she wonder if she’s worth it. Not once does she think she needs to do some work first. It’s just, “I’m here, I want love, and I want it now, HOOMAN.” She accepts me for who I am better than I accept myself.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. She wouldn’t jump up to defend me, and if I were to die tomorrow, I know she would eat my face. Well, you can’t blame her; a cat’s gotta eat, right? But we’re partners. And I need to learn from her.

Balance. I need to get in the habit of going to bed at a regular time (something I’ve failed at tonight, but only by an excessive amount), I need to learn that work is work and when it comes to an end it’s over, and I need to take time for myself. I need to take the time to ask for what I need and accept the love my friends offer. And, of course, my feline. And I’ll be honest; I think I need to get back into therapy. My depression is as bad as it has ever been, so maybe I need to try, once again, to find the root. But in the meantime, I’ll just accept the love of Star, and she and I will face this world together. I’m glad I have a partner, even if it is a cat!

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