Apr 15, 2005

Important Life Lessons

Everything I ever needed to know I learned from my cat.

Okay, so not everything. Pretty little in fact, and this is not going to devolve into a poster-mentality thing, so don't go surfing away. Attend me: Eastern philosophy teaches the student to look to Nature, indeed to look to all things around us for life lessons. And, being a student of the Eastern teachers, I try to do so, remaining mindful that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Well, he showed up this morning, and boy did I not expect him.

Egan, our baby cat, used to be determined about staying in the bathroom when the morning showers were taking place. He HAD to be in there with us, as close as he could get without standing inside the shower. Most times he'd add to this a yowling and screaming until we'd get OUT of the shower and play with him again. For some reason which we have yet to understand though, about a month ago he suddenly decided that he wanted no part of the bathroom when the shower was on. The moment the water came on he'd be headed for the door, and he'd wait patiently outside, perched on the dresser until he no longer heard the water running, at which point he'd start calling insistently until the door opened to allow him ingress.

Well, this morning Egan decided that it was time, both for him and for me. He faced his fear. Life Lesson Time.

Perched on the toilet seat on his haunches, the tip of his pink tongue stuck between his front teeth, he determined that it was time to face his irrational fear. And being a Doubting Thomas, I turned on the water and opened the door to see if he wanted to leave. Not the case. I opened the shower door, and turned to the bathroom door to open it in case of a bum's rush. None came. Egan was still as a statue, perched erect on the toilet seat with his Game Face on. So, I got into the shower and started the morning ablutions.

Being certain that he was going to decide to exunt at a bad time, like the moment I had an eye-full of Salon Selectives Strawberry Kiwi, I kept an eye on him through the frosted shower door glass, making sure he wasn't getting uncomfortable or scared. Unwavering in his decision was Egan. Steady as the Rock of Gibraltar he sat through the entire shower. When I stepped out in a cloud of steam there he sat on the rim of the toilet, unmoved, conqueror of his fears, unblemished, made stronger for his passage. Tongue still stuck between his front teeth.

So this morning, my cat taught me two valuable lessons. First, always face your fears, because more often than not they're nothing more than noise and fog. Second? When you sit, be sure you know WHERE you're sitting, because if you're not careful your tail might end up in deep crap.

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