Savoring Every Second

Those of you who know me, know I’ve made a life-long project of re-crafting myself.

At the moment Bugs found me – at that very moment – I found myself not much liking whom I’d turned into.  Wanting to become more myself, as that person in a more desirable state.

The “gotcha day,” on which Bugs appeared, is getting on for two years now.

Since then, a cliche.  Bugs’s arrival was a life-changing event.  Let that simple worn-out phrase stand for an enormously consequential proposition:  Life, impermanent, can change direction in an instant.  Life’s course can turn on a dime.

Bugs has shown me this:  It’s never too late for love.

It’s never too late for love.

Bugs has also shown me that never mind all the pre-Bugs decades I devoted to study – of martial arts, of meditation and mindfulness, of law, of FELDENKRAIS, of Nonviolent Communication.  Now Bugs has arrived, it’s high time all that study bears fruit.  Now.

It’s high time.

Because none of us is getting any younger.

So one of my dear commentators wrote yesterday that “when a feline/human relationship is ‘difficult,’ those moments when you see that the love is mutual mean so much more.”

So, that commentator encourages:  “Savor every second!”

Savor every second.

Like another dear commentator wrote yesterday, love is “ever-expanding.”  Possibly she was thinking of my friend’s Rudy of blessed memory, when she gives thanks to “all those who share,” who “find comfort in,” that ever-expanding love.

Bugs and my grandmother Mimi of blessed memory.

So finding comfort in, savoring, every second of love.  Yes indeedy.

Here’s the challenge, though.  Savoring every second – period.  The good love bits – and the bits bad and ugly as well.

The truth is, this feline/human relationship has indeed been “difficult” at times.

It wouldn’t be the whole truth without at least a nod to what else Bugs gets up to.

The good the bad the ugly – it’s all life.  And dar by gum, life will show up as it will.  As Jon Kabat-Zinn puts it:

It’s the full catastrophe.

Bugs looks so cute and all like that, doesn’t he?  Like he’s playing with that leaf.

The whole truth is:  He’s wanting to tear a squirrel to bits.  Just outside reach.

Nature red in tooth and claw.  The full catastrophe.

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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29 Responses to Savoring Every Second

  1. Anne D says:

    Bugs reminds me of my son’s cat , Amelia. He rescued her as a kitten and though she was not feral, she never did become well socialized. Teeth and claws were a big method of communication for her. She had her first heat cycle when she only weighed 3 pounds. Luckily my son recognized it and confined her. A few weeks later I took her to the vet for her spay surgery. I warned the techs that Amelia was feisty, but they reassured me that they could handle her. They had lots of pit bull owners as clients. The next day when I picked her up, I noticed that there was a little metal dish in her carrier. I was about to retrieve it for them when they shouted “Don’t open that cage”. Like Bugs the moments when she curled up on our laps and purred her heart out were very much to be savored. To be trusted by such a half wild creature—wonderful.

  2. Anne D says:

    A question–is Bugs black and white or dark Maltese gray?? It is hard to tell in the photos

    • nadbugs says:

      He’s gray. I wouldn’t even call him particularly dark (don’t know from Maltese; sounds like I want to research that). One thing our pictures have never been able to capture is the ginger flavor to his coloring — like a light gold-dusting or misting. Some genetic dye job! OldCat the Blogger would know what this is about. What I know is, I want his stylist. Bugsy looks absolutely luscious. Golden, in some light. He’s amazingly beautiful, just mind-boggling to me.

      • Oldcat says:

        I’d say he’s Blue – dilute black. Maltese is another name for that. The dusting could be either ‘fading’ of the blue due to sun, or maybe he has high ‘rufousing’ like Julius in his ‘brown’ areas and it peeks out slightly.

        • nadbugs says:

          I imagined it was that latter. Bugsy doesn’t seem to spend a huge amount of time in the sun . . . . I love that word rufous. I thought of it last weeked, when I got an unusually good look at a young hawk. Not a red-tail? Can’t check otherwise — I’ve lost track of my bird-book.

  3. Dianda says:

    He reminds me so much of my cat Hiro. What a cutie! That fourth picture is just absolutely adorable. Watching your cat sleep so peacefully, is what makes it all worth it.

  4. Massgirl says:

    Love your cat and the patience you’ve had to have with him. Too many adjectives needed to define him but he sure is adorable! Curious about the reference to Jon Kabat-Zinn – if you are near to him, we are neighbors.

    • nadbugs says:

      Hey! You give him my regards, OK? Because I am many miles away from y’all — in Arkansas, over here. I am a huge fan of his MBSR program, which a friend of mine has just begun to offer here. I am in Week 7 and I simply cannot believe how effective the work has been for me. After many, many decades of trying! Hurrah!! Massgirl, it is simply terrific to meet you.

  5. Dawn says:

    Beautiful photos of you two!
    Savoring the sweetness of the moment and appreciating y’all so much…

  6. littlemiao says:

    Oh Bugs. He has such an irresistible face. I would not like to be that squirrel he has his eyes on, though. He is beautiful. I wish the pictures could capture his gold highlights – I’ve never seen a kitty like that before.

    I just can’t stop wondering what they went through before they were found. I know it is pointless, but I do waste time speculating about Sprocket’s time in the wild. I want to know if it was people who hurt him or if it was an accident. He is so friendly and fearless, the missing leg and tail-tip are the only signs that he’s been through rough times. Does he remember? I don’t think so… I think he’s too busy savoring every second (literally, at the food dish).

    • nadbugs says:

      The wondering, LM — surely that makes you a bit of a philosopher? I really think so . . . thinking of the before this moment, the moment, and what’s to come — taking a longer view, wondering about it . . . . I myself appreciate perspective, the interplay between what seems and what may be . . . . Life is so much more than what we see . . . . and eat. Hey. That reminds me. Where’s my breakfast. Eat. I must eat. Sesame noodles? For breakfast? Well, when I was in Japan, they thought I might enjoy a raw egg on lukewarm white rice — nah. Think I’ll go for the oatmeal. Later!

    • Oldcat says:

      Cats can definitely remember things – over the decade or more I took my cat Cassie back to Ohio from school, or on vacations she remembered exactly which room they stuck her foodbowl in and made them keep putting it right there.

      I think that they are able to put aside things we think of as important like his injuries and concentrate on what is really important – savoring his good life now.

  7. I have to say that this post made me a little bit teary… First of all, let me say that my human saw Bugs’ photos and she’s smitten. She loves his wide eyes, little pink nose, and white pants (even if it is after Labor Day!). I’m a little jealous…

    My human was sick for a few years before she found me, and Full Catastrophe Living was one of the things that kept her semi-sane and semi-functional. She was just starting to “recraft” herself and her life when she found me. And that’s when she began full CAT-ass-trophy living. She jokes about it, but I see the honesty behind it. And I think you and Bugs will, too.

    No relationship is easy. When one of the parties is a narcissistic, semi-feral, codependent predator there are bound to be problems. But that just makes it mean more when they cuddle up next to your feet.

    • Actually my human was in the midst of recrafting herself too when she found my cat-ass-trophy. It certainly is challenging living with my narcissistic, semi-feral, co-dependent bean. But it is nice when she cuddles up next to my feet. I don’t know how our dear Bugs puts up with his crazy bean.

      Love you, Pedro!


      • nadbugs says:

        JhaJha, you make an extremely interesting point. Do you think they actually know they’re projecting here? Surely not. The tricky thing about projection is, it seems so real. I think this is grounds for further inquiry. I may have to write more about this. As usual, I am much obliged to you. Who is crazy here? The answer is obvious, as you point out. We bear with them — but it’s not easy. They think feeding us is such a big deal. You and I know we could have wildebeest any time we want — but we make the sacrifice. Do they appreciate it? They think they do and they get all googly-eyes at us. Could make you a bit nauseated, put you off your wildebeest, know what I mean? Fed up sometimes —Bugs

    • nadbugs says:

      Ahhh — MaruCanKiss, I love this little peek into your life, your journey, your way . . . . and that we are companions in the CAT-ass-trophy thing. That’s just terrific. I can’t believe how much that MBSR work has helped me and as I’ve said, I’ve been an awful long time trying . . . . And the white pants after Labor Day? Don’t TELL me we both know about that? Are we the only ones on the planet? Think Lady Gaga knows about white gloves after Labor Day? You and I both must be a million years old! And I SO SO SO enjoyed the “narcissistic, semi-feral, codependent predator” characterization! AbsoLUTEly. And then I thought of the joke to make — but I see that razor-sharp-wit JhaJha has beaten me to it. Which really makes me laugh big-time. Hugs at you. Gotta go respond to JhaJ.

  8. Wazeau says:

    Thank you for sharing yourself in this post. Teary eyed at work yet again.

  9. Such a great post! But oh my, that was a pretty good scratch on your leg. It’s true that cats are not always lovable, but neither are hoomins. I do try to savor every moment with mine, because you just never know how much time you will have with them.

  10. minlit says:

    He looks like Smoggo McDoggo, one of my first two. I adore greys. You know, young cats have a LOT of energy. They are killers. They have instincts. Think of it as the raging hormones of a teenager. It’ll settle down. Though my theory is with ferals that they’re always a bit edgier. Stripey is. I’ve had bruises from stripey claws and teeth more times than I can remember. I never really paid much attention to it – it’s just Stripey being Stripey! But the knife edge they live on is amazing. Mind blowing, actually.

    • nadbugs says:

      So vividly helpful, dear minlit. Killer instincts, raging hormones, living on the knife-edge. I love how these words convey the certainty of companionship. I mean there’s just no doubt in my mind that you know what I’m going through here. And that is just so supportive.

  11. MelanieJ says:

    Happy gotcha day! You know that you truly have a “cat of the heart” when they are able to earth-shatteringly alter your life, change the path that you were on, and change the way you view the world. Yet like me, I’ll bet even with the relationship “snags” that you wouldn’t give it up for the world.

    • nadbugs says:

      Never. Although I often say — it’s a really good thing I didn’t know what I was getting into, as far as the blood n guts is concerned. I’m pretty sure I might have hesitated once more before driving to the shelter — but I seriously suspect in the end I’d have deprived myself of this exact love, for this exact little gray n white monster. Now, praise Cod, I know differently.

  12. I wanted to ask a question related to your comments on poor Stripey Pants’ wound, but that didn’t seem like an appropriate place. So I’m back here because the mood seems right on this post, and because I wanted to see Bugs’s white pants. My human won’t stop talking about them…

    My human is a believer in nonviolence. I’ve napped on many books by assorted wise and/or enlightened individuals, so I understand the concept. And here is my question: is an act of violence really violence if it’s pure feline instinct and nature? If there’s no malice in the action? If my intent is not to HURT something, but to protect my territory or my meal or my self?

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