Once upon a time I lived a life where there wasn't a cat hair to be found. But when five kitties came to live with me, that life - and my romantic cottage decor - changed.
How charming my beloved books- including a few very, very old- used to look stacked in various places about my living room ... well, everywhere around the house in fact, except for the "powder room." They were surrounded by an abundance of pretties: bells, music boxes, plates, figurines, dolls- often on a pretty lace or eyelet cloth.
And my Victoria magazines. A sampling of issues was usually given center stage on my somewhat wobbly coffee table/bench, which had at one end - set atop tea books - a ceramic coffee service set.
A few inherited teacups and saucers were placed attractively amongst my vignettes. There were dolls dressed in velveteen sitting on chairs, and even one in a doll chair which was stationed on the floor. My pale green needlepoint footstool was conspicuously on display, along with pillows, throws and handknit afghans.
If I so desired, I could own pretty plants and flowers, light candles, or spray air fragrance.
Adding just the right ambience (before they passed away) to my inherited antiques, along with the piano I adore, were my budgerigar (parakeet) who resided in an aqua cage stationed on my dining room table (not used for meals then and rarely now), and my sweet terrier that could always be found at my feet.
I would often look diagonally across my little house from one end of my bedroom to the farthest end of my living room (because I could), and just sigh over the peace and beauty of it all. My ultimate sanctuary. My haven.
Yet ... none of those things were
It's amusing to me that when I mention to someone who has a cat that I've put most of my pretties away, they exclaim they don't have any trouble with their cat damaging their things. Oh lucky me! Have I wound up with the only claw-bearing, inquisitive, adventure-seeking kitties in existence? But it's true. As my mother used to say about us children: "What one doesn't think of, another will." And then the party's on!
I have to admit I complained. The cat hair everywhere, the frayed furniture and snagged carpet, the hairballs, the meals that wouldn't stay down, litter tracked all about... all that extra work, only to seem to lose the battle for a clean, intact house. Really, nothing was safe (except for on top of my china cabinets, most of the time). And so I gathered in my children (my belongings) to protect them from the horde. (That's why this blog is as much for me as my readers: It allows me to enjoy my pretties right along with you!)
But ... you guessed it. It was inevitable, I suppose. Time passed and I have grown oh-so-very-attached to those precious felines and their shenanigans. I've also gradually developed a housekeeping routine that (for a gal who works fulltime outside the home) is going a long way towards keeping an orderly home.
So on this Valentine's Day, my post is a love letter to my cats. To Sweetie who gently paws my face during the night and wants under the covers to get warm; to Misty who was my mother's cat and loves to bat and attack us for no reason but will also sit on a lap for ages; to Sassy who has her "own apartment" because she was being bullied, and she is utterly, perfectly content to be separated as long as she has her people company (which she has constantly from the family member who lives with me); to Kallie who is the loudest purrer and has taken to screaming like a banshee if she sees a cat outside near the house (and then it takes us all, cats and humans, awhile to settle down); and finally to Baby, the bully of Sassy-cat and her people (see here and here), who has finally stopped seeing me as a threat to her safety and is letting me pet her pretty much at will. Amazingly, Baby is also the only cat who lets me go "kissy, kissy" - as my mother used to say. I love you, Dear Little Kitties.
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God lives in them and they in God.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God,
and God in them.
1 John 4:15-16
With loving thoughts at the end of this day of Love,