The Whiskered One

I love everything about him, his face, his smell, his attitude, his voice.  He fascinates me.  I’m sure that we have had many lives together.  My heart leaps for joy when I see him after even a short separation.  I’m referring to my 4-year-old tabby cat Garfield, of course.

Weeding Rings Garden for potatoes, carrots, cabbage and onions. Asparagus, in the center two rings, isn't up yet.

He’s a big part of my personal Happiness Index i.e. things that don’t have price tags but have real value.  I read about the Index this week, how England’s Prime Minister David Cameron, as part of his Big Society project, “is trying to measure the happiness of a society, rather than its growth and productivity alone” with a quarterly household survey.

Philosophical critics say that our problem is that we would even try to measure or control happiness, that advancing technology is death to the spirit.  Political critics say that government is trying to weasel out of its collective responsibility by focusing on individual responsibility.  I say there’s a lot of tension in the world these days.  I wish everyone had a cat.

The Bearded One regularly reports moments of happiness when he is outside savoring his freedom from a job.  Our oldest Twenty-Something daughter had many truly happy moments this week when she landed a job.  I contributed to the Gross Farmlet Happiness this week when my childhood pen pal from Scotland contacted me through Facebook.  It’s been over 40 years.  She wrote, “Oh Christi I am so chuffed that I got it right, you still look a bit like the girl in the picture.”

How chuffed are you? 

We got Garfield on Craigslist 2-1/2 years ago from a soldier stationed at Fort Lewis.  He and his wife were expecting a baby and Garfield plus their dog was too much.  So Garfield, who they got at a shelter, was used to dogs, which was good because at that time we had two golden retrievers.  Jake has died since then.

Ruby and Jake, American Gothic

Garfield is an indoor/outdoor cat.  His litter box is on the enclosed front porch.  In this forest, cats go missing, but Garfield is a great tree climber and he stays close to home.  Still, I could lose him.  I know this.  He disappeared for a whole week once, right after we got him.  When he returned, I was ecstatic:  he was not only reborn, but I was also free of the burden of fearing his ultimate death.  I’d already been through it.  But please don’t test me again.  The Bearded One says cats are fungible.  The next one will be just as great.

Living with animals is teaching me about death.  How to die, what to treat, what not to treat.  They give steady reminders as their lives are so comparatively short.  Jake died 1-1/2 years ago.  He was 9.  Honey Girl, a beloved Akita on our road, died this past weekend from kidney failure.

Garfield also heals me, lying on whatever organ is acting up at the time.  My younger Twenty-Something daughter is in nursing school, and she and her two nursing student roommates have a cat who nurtures whichever one of them needs her most.

Believe it or not, this is a live cat who takes care of 3 nursing students. Can you find her head?

 I wonder how it will be with the goats and chickens, if that connection will be there with some of them.  Herd animals are fascinating in their own ways.  The leader of the goat herd is the oldest female mother, not a male.  I want to get Pygora goats, which are a mix between Pygmy and Angora goats.

This next week I’ll buy some broccoli, cabbage, and onion starts at the nursery.  It’s still freezing here at night.  I don’t have a hoop house yet, and the plants that I started from seed indoors last year were super leggy.  It’s still very cold and wet here.  Nothing dries.  There’s moss on the moss.

But that’s okay.  Garfield plays indoors, too, with his Mouse-on-a-String.

The Bearded One invented this

  And every week Garfield helps me with this blog.

Garfield on blog

 He was particularly chuffed with this week’s.

Oh, and the Twenty-Something’s cat’s head is the uppermost middle part.

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8 responses to “The Whiskered One

  1. I really enjoy your blog, here 🙂
    Love the Animals! and Tales
    Thanks,
    Peace to you,
    Laz

  2. great blog! yes, critters are essential to happiness…..we love our ducks 🙂
    sorry to hear about honeygirl
    and, love the picture of garfield helping with the blog!

  3. Christine Widman

    Cats are a favorite animal in our family.
    Our grandson, Noah, created two of his birthdays around cats – a Cheetah birthday party and a Shadow Cat (black panther) birthday.
    Our last cat, Grembelina, always sat on my desk when I wrote – took great interest in my papers/tiny teeth marks in the margins years later stopped my heart remembering her company.
    Here in our desert home we regularly are stopped in our tracks by the sudden and astonishing beauty of bobcats resting on abode walls, sitting on the roof, strolling the property, catching rabbits.
    So I loved your blog today about the happiness your whiskered one brings.
    Thanks, Christi.

  4. I love the American Gothic photo. So them!

  5. I have had pets since the age of 8. Dogs only, because everyone in my family, besides me, are allergic to cats. My dogs have gotten me through some of the rough patches in life, and they are always there with a sympathetic face and a shoulder to cry on. My “girls” Daisy and Lucy, are with me whenever I’m at home and always happy to see me when I return. That kind of love and devotion is priceless indeed. Thanks for the insight as usual, Christi! Love the American Gothic picture. What lovely creatures they are.

  6. Thanks for the comments Laz, Leslie, Molly, Christine and Kathie! Ducks and dogs bring great happiness, too. Hugs to Daisy and Lucy as they help you get well, Kathie.
    And thanks for sharing the link on FB, Molly. All the new visits adds to my happiness as well. Ha!

  7. I love your carpet? where did you find such a wonder?

    • Oh my! How nice of you to say so! It is a rug and about 15 years old and I can’t remember where we bought it, but it’s nothing fancy. But I am seeing it with different eyes now after your praise. Thank you! 🙂

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