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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Lightning, Feline, Felicitations & Sloth

The night before last, we had a spectacular dry thunderstorm. I don’t think a drop of rain fell. I was already tucked in for the night, my earplugs secure (I’ve noticed I’m getting more sensitive to sound over time—I can’t even dream of sleeping without earplugs nowadays, even when nothing louder than a handful of crickets and cicadas are shrilling at a considerable distance), when the lightning began coming in such rapid succession it seemed like ghostly midday outside, or the phosphorescent crescendo of the local 4 July fireworks display that I didn't get to see.

 The silent strobe light flashes froze my ceiling fan mid-spin. Trixie lay under the bed. Despite my invitations to join me atop the mattress, she seemed content to cohabit with the dustbunnies. In the middle of the night, I did wake up to find a curl of warm cat next to me, but once she was discovered she returned to the rug.

 The first several days Trixie was here, she remained mostly underneath my bed, or beside it. She came out occasionally to be rubbed and complimented, but despite the fact that, after the first day, I left the door open from my room to the rest of the house, she didn't seem inclined to explore. On the third afternoon, I actually carried her out to the living room, hoping that she would find the sun enticing, but after she glanced around briefly, she calmly walked back to the bedroom and reestablished herself on the carpet. I was somewhat concerned that she was ill, given her willingness to lie quietly in semidarkness, not jumping on counters or furniture, but remaining neatly composed at floor level. It seemed downright uncatlike. But she’s since wandered out around the rest of the first floor. She’s been quite ladylike, still not getting up on the furniture, rather inclined to arrange herself elegantly (except when I want to take a picture, and then she invariably looks either judgmental or goofy) on my Persian rugs.

 Trixie doesn’t vocalize, but she does purr robustly. She has a healthy appetite. She uses her litterbox without a problem. The chicken-flavored kitty treats that I bought are to her liking. She enjoys playing with her cat wand. But when I tried to put a collar on her today, she totally freaked. Not that she’s going to be voluntarily permitted to go outside, but I wanted her to wear some form of identification on the chance that she escaped. In lieu of chipping, I may have one of her toe pads tattooed green. She’s already got a little green dot tattooed on her tummy to indicate her spay, so this would coordinate. My first foray into independent feline ownership (or subjectship, depending on one’s perspective) seems to be going well.

Bella invited me to go with her to a cousin’s wedding last night. It was a formal occasion, with many men in tuxedos and at least one woman in a glittering mermaid-like gown. The bride, whom I had met at a family Christmas party two years ago, was stunningly beautiful—she would have been exquisite in a burlap sack, but the strapless ivory dress she wore showcased her perfect features and figure in the candlelit simplicity of the church. What was more astounding to me was that she remembered my name when I congratulated her at the reception. I can’t remember names under the most ordinary circumstances—this morning, I was talking to an elder whom I’ve known for more than 30 years, and I couldn’t remember his at all (all I could think of was the first letter of his first name)—and here she was, on a day that even in its most blissful incarnations is not known for being stress-free, graciously thanking me by name for attending. I don’t think I’ve been to a wedding which had more, or more lovely, flowers. The cake was frosted plain white, and there weren’t tulle or ribbon frills anywhere, but there were cabbage sized pink peonies alongside creamy roses and white hydrangeas festooning four of the eight wrought iron and crystal chandeliers in the reception hall at the country club, and a huge arrangement in the sanctuary foyer and in the center of the reception hors d’oeuvre table.

My Sunday mornings typically follow a pattern: I get up in plenty of time to go to Sunday school and church, or even to make it to the early church service before Sunday school. Then I see something that needs fixing, or needs cleaning, or some paperwork that needs to be filed. And before I know it, I am late to Sunday school, or worse, late to even the 11 o'clock service. I am so efficient in getting things done on Sunday morning that should have been done the previous week. This morning, I woke up in time for the 8:30 service. “I'll be on time to Sunday school!” I thought. Then I remembered that I hadn't filed my Georgia sales and use taxes. So I went upstairs and filed them. Then, when I was putting on my dress, I noticed that the ceiling fan above my bed was very dusty. So I climbed up on my bed and dusted it, a process which required two dust cloths. Then, I spotted the right shoe from the pair that I had worn to last night’s wedding. It needed to be superglued together. So I glued it. I tried on the new blue floral dress I was planning to wear to church, and discovered that it was translucent. So I looked through my entire slip collection, only to discover that I do not own one that was short enough to wear with the dress. I briefly considered simply wearing hosiery, but the first pair of hose I pulled on disintegrated—the elastic had gone the way of all flesh. And as a result, my flesh was covered with sticky rubber residue. So I threw away the hose, sponged off, and went in search of a different dress. By the time I got in the car it was 9:50. Sunday school starts at 9:45, and it takes 20 minutes, when one hits all the lights on green, to get down to church. And did I hit all the green lights? No, I did not.

Honestly, I would use lose my brain if it weren't attached. Maybe it's not – maybe it's untethered and floating around, occasionally bumping up against the sides of my skull. That would explain a lot.

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