The Rotation of the Cats

The cats have their spots. When in doubt of their location there are a half dozen of so standard places to check before you need to break out the cookie bag and start shaking it. They have a smaller number of nighttime spots, really only a few but they do a funny thing these cats – they rotate throughout the year. In the last twelve months I’ve really noticed the behavior more, I’ve always been aware of it but now all of a sudden I am paying attention. So now I’m sorry that I haven’t been recording this over the years. I have a sense that it follows some fixed period of time, or a cycle of the moon, or the sun or something. But I’ve only been aware, I’ve not done a good job of scientific observation so there are available learning that I have missed. And that’s the thing really, once it’s gone it’s gone – sure you can always start from now and it’s never too late to learn new things, but an opportunity missed is missed, that’s just all there is to it.

I’m thinking about this now because my son, the younger of the children starts his junior year of high school on Monday. Tonight was the first football dinner of the season and I was thinking that the freshman look so little. Two years ago, 24 months ago my son was 9 inches shorter than he is today. I was standing in the room a little lost, trying to make myself useful but watching in awe as these parents of the varsity boys moved about feeding fifty hungry football players with grace and efficiency. Today I was explaining how it worked to new parents. I knew where to go for the bowls for the bread and how much time you expected to wait between JV arriving and then the bigger, stinkier Var boys. It doesn’t feel that long ago and yet so much seems to have changed.

Right now Samson is sleeping in our bed. It’s a big bed and he is a small cat, more so now that he is over 15 and thinner than he used to be. Yet somehow in our bed it feels like there are three human sized beings, not two humans and a small old cat. Delilah is sleeping in the cat tree in our room – I like that, I can watch her up there being cute but she isn’t in my space or trying to get me to pet her when I want to be sleeping. But they have been in these spots for a while now and the season is changing so I expect they will shift soon. Just before this Samson was on the chair in my son’s room and Delilah was in his bed. Before that she was in our bed and he was on the floor of my son’s room. They move together, maybe that is a function of being siblings, but it is never just one shifting, they go together to the new spots wherever those may be.

We live in a house that has windows facing due west. That is one of my favorite things about the house. Twice a year I can stand in the dining room and see the sun set right in front of me. I watch the march to my right during the long days of summer and the progression left in the cool, quiet days of the fall and winter. I feel connected to the earth, to the seasons, to something ancient when I stand in that room and feel the shift of the sun. When I was young it felt like change took forever and the days dragged on. Now I look outside and I see how fast the sun moves from far too my right to deep left and back again. Just when you get used to things being a certain way they stop being that way.

I’m ready for the cat to move out of my bed, but it might be we go to the season when they are both in the bed together, and they are not young so there may be yet another season coming that I am not ready for at all. I am frustrated and aggravated by the seasons of homework with my son, but soon the season will change, sooner than I think. Everyday the sun is just a little different than it was before.

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