Life as a familiar is sometimes tough for my permakitten Grace. I thought I’d sensed a funny energy in the house tonight (not bad, just funny) and then realized Gracie was likely sensing it too, as she was bobbing her head like she was watching a tennis match. After 30 minutes of chasing seemingly nothing with the fervor she’d normally reserve for a fly or a piece of string, she is now scowling at the corner where I’d originally sensed the energy, her paws crossed protectively upon my leg. It’s hard out there for a pimp, er, witch’s kitty.
I just spent an hour in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park hugging an enormous golden retriever—soft and gentle and boundlessly sweet—who’d mosied over to my blanket from his mom and dad’s. When I first noticed him he was wriggling in the grass, cycling his legs in the air, and I thought: that guy really knows how to enjoy a summer afternoon. They were a couple about ten years older than me, and something about the way he planted himself between them after he was done rolling around suggested they’d had him instead of kids. When the dog–honest to God, his name was Wrigley–approached me, I asked if it’d be ok to say hi and they said so long as I could “handle a snuggler.” I could, and the two of us sat together for a while, his torso leaning into mine until I just went ahead and wrapped my arms around his neck. Both of our noses twitched as we inhaled the good smells of 5 pm sunshine in the July grass, the barbecue the Korean family was cooking on the other side of the trees, and after a beat we began to match our breaths. Finally he nudged me with his head, and I took the hint and buried myself in his neck.
I love my cat beyond measure but there’s something so wonderful about a visit with the right dog. As the three of them were leaving, I said, “Oh, he’s such a nice person,” and the woman replied, a little conspicuously, “Well, he did used to work as a therapy dog.” Okay, lady.
I consider nothing more luxuriant than waking naturally, unprompted by an alarm, fixing a cup of strong coffee with cream, and then settling back into bed amidst a drift of peonies, pillows, sheets, unread books. A mild wind fluttering through the curtain, a kitten poised at the open window’s sill. And silence. Voluptuous, soft silence. Yes, yes, another effusive post that could be chalked up to much ado about nothing. But I never forego the power in appreciating small pleasures. It allows you to find happiness pretty much everywhere.