My New Year’s Resolutions (and maybe yours)
1. Play with my cats for at least 5 minutes a day.
This might seem like a simple task, but in the work-a-day reality of life, finding a moment of quality playtime may be harder than you think. For instance, kitty wants to play at four in the morning: Not going to happen. Or during kitty’s afternoon nap, you dangle a string in front of one slitted eye; she gives you a look that could turn a Gorgon to stone for disturbing her, and that’s that. Somewhere there is a compromise, but it will probably be on your side. A feather dancer or ribbon toy with a long pole works well while watching TV. A string tucked into your pants-waist like a tail will have kitty chasing you around your kitchen. (Be careful: both string and cat can be tripping hazards.) If your cat plays fetch, you’ve got it made. Unfortunately most cats don’t get the part about bringing the toy back to you for another round.
2. More brushing.
My cats are beautiful! Win-prizes-at-a-cat-show beautiful. Well, at least, to me. But when I do manage to run a comb through the silken fur, I get tines full of fuzz. This definitely means I should do it more often. I have an assortment of grooming implements, and I’ve found the best approach is to line them all up and go for it. First the wire brush, then the Furminator, then the wire brush again to get the loose under-fur that the Furminator dislodged. Then the combs, one large and one small, to get places like underarms and butt fur. I do the butt last because that’s when the cat usually ends the session. No matter how much they like brushing or how asleep they are when you begin, fiddling with their butt fur is an instant wake-up call.
3. Never take them for granted. (Warning: sad alert)
One of my cats is old and declining. I love him every day, every minute. When I asked our vet if there was anything I could do, he replied, “Give the King whatever he wants.” I will do that. This will not be my first beloved pet to pass into the Rainbow, but he has been with me the longest. I will cry and mourn when it happens, but until then I will live each day with joy and quiet gratitude that I was allowed these moments of love. Cats teach us things, among them that death is a natural result of life. No denial, no bullshit; just live till we die. Period.
I never make more than 3 New Year’s resolutions, even though there are probably many other things I should be trying to get right. But 3 in enough for now. Well, maybe one more:
3.5. Have fun. Be grateful. Be kind. Volunteer. Happy New Year, every day.