The Day of Small Things

Isn’t it amazing how some small thing can make a huge difference in your day — or even send your life in a completely different direction? Many people can testify how a quick decision, almost by chance, to go here or not to go there has made a huge impact on their lives. A chance meeting with someone gives important information about a friend or an answer to some problem.

The writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was delayed by a (Boston?) editor so he had to rush to the dock to catch his boat. To his dismay it was just pulling away from the dock. He might have jumped the gap — about four feet — but the dark ocean below made him think twice. As soon as he’d seen a newspaper the next morning he wired his family to assure them that he was still alive, that he’d missed the ship and so wasn’t on her when she sank in the dark ocean water that night.

My mind goes back to forty years ago, around the end of November, when I found a small lump in one breast. About the size of a walnut — and just as hard. As millions of other women have also experienced, that small chunk of rogue tissue sent my life spinning in a completely different course than I’d ever anticipated.

We could talk about this microscopic Covid virus that has changed the course of all our lives this year. And how long will it take the economic community to recover? What changes and precautions will be permanent?

I found a small thing on our doorstep this morning. Our cat Angus wanted outside and when I opened the door Angus went over and sniffed at the small insulated picnic cooler we’ve used as a winter cat shelter. Two little black ears and a black nose poked out. Angus was not amused! But when the little guy saw the open door, in he came and there was no going back. All of today this half-grown kitten has demonstrated that he was a lap cat in his past home.

He has white mittens, white whiskers, a white chin & tummy, and the black fur on his back appears to have been touched by hoar frost, giving it a charcoal grey color. It appears from all the paw prints outside that he’s been around the yard for a day or so. At present his future is uncertain and how much he’ll impact our lives remains to be seen. He’s sprawled at my feet as I write this. We absolutely do not need another cat at this point in our lives.

He’s very lucky. He could have been killed by a coyote or fox, torn to pieces by a great horned owl, gotten thoroughly beat up by Angus, or been driven off and left to starve and/or freeze. I have no nice words for clueless people who think they can dump a cat off and it will survive.

8 thoughts on “The Day of Small Things

      1. However many we have, they are provided with a home for more time than they would be without us. I don’t go out of my way to look for pets. But they just keep coming on their own and when they do, I’m here waiting…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. We live out in the country; he’d have had a good half mile across country through snow to wander from the nearest place — and he’s such a clinging vine! He’s curious, but won’t stay outside for more than a couple of minutes.
      I suspect he reached the age where his first owner called the vet and discovered how much it actually costs to neuter a cat. On Sunday a friend was complaining about how many (obviously) house cats get dropped off in the village a mile or so from here — and how many don’t survive. People find out they have to pay a vet — or have to pay the SPCA a hefty sum to take it, so…

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