One Year Ago

To this very day – that’s when Bugs showed up.

It was the Thanksgiving weekend.  Saturday, November 28, 2009.  One year ago, to this very date.
It was the second anniversary of the death of a friend from ALS.  I’d just found out that another friend relapsed with cancer.  Another relationship in my life, a big one, had hit the rocks.  Again.  After a lifetime of shipwrecks, indistinguishable in their hopeless character.

It was time to take stock.

I decided I’d treat the holiday like a solitary retreat.  I canceled feast plans.  I wrote letters to self and others.  I thought long and hard about where I seemed to be going.  I didn’t much like what I saw.  It was time for a change.

Little did I dream that, heralded by the stench of bodily eliminations of the second kind,  change was to romp in early that cold clear morning.

I showed up to the downtown studio where a small cohort and I practice FELDENKRAIS®.  The vestibule was eye-wateringly unapproachable, on account of it stank.  We backed out, crawled in instead through a tunnel-like service closet.  After class, we cracked jokes about how we’d been reborn thanks to FELDENKRAIS – bursting outside through the same birth-canal we’d entered.

Later, as I was cleaning up the mess, its cause came bounding down the steps in the form of the as-yet-unnamed Bugs.  As I opened the door to sweep out the refuse, this little gray-and-white scrap streaked past.  Fearing that he belonged to one of the residents, I tried to catch him.  Fat chance.  May as well try to stop a river.

Turns out he was a stray.  The building residents had been feeding him (not well, judging from the eliminatory evidence), and otherwise caring for him not at all.  Well, I thought – things can’t stay this way.  Welcoming my FELDENKRAIS peeps to a supposed place of healing that was, in reality, a pestilential evil-smelling den.  “I’ll take him to the shelter,” I said to the resident.  “Be my guest,” she said.

I called him, he came rollicking up, I gathered him in my arms – strange to think, now, as I recall how wild he really was.  And, together with the filthy pillow he’d been crashing on, an assortment of life-forms – him, me, unseen fleas, ear-mites (the pic below ain’t nuthin, Bugs’s ears were black inside from base to tip), worms, mange, and heaven-knew-what-else – we were off.

Except — I paused at the first stoplight.  To the shelter?  Really?  Or – might I take him in, instead?

The answer came back simple.  “Yes.”

And that was that.  Forget allergies, parasites, aversion.   “Yes.”  That was all.

To this day I really can’t imagine how I had the nerve.   Well, who knew.  This must be what it’s like to have kids.  You just can have no warning what it’s really going to be like.  So.  In a whisker of time, there I was, transformed from a hurt, angry, frightened child in an adult body – to an adoptive parent-guardian and humble student.

How life happens like that, while you’re making other plans.

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About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
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9 Responses to One Year Ago

  1. Pingback: The Turning Of The Season | catself

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  3. I’m glad you did, too 🙂

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  6. lahgitana says:

    Isn’t it funny how he came to you then, rollicking?! And the now-Bugs, not much cuddly-Bugs? He knew who you were then, my dear. Knew you were The One. <:-]

  7. Pingback: Two Years To The Day | catself

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