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.

Di di Mau

Enthusisatic Pup

We have a little puppy;
we call him Di di Mau.*
Always in a rush he is
to go somewhere, somehow.

He’ll tear around the table,
dash through an open door,
chase his tail, plague the cat.
Why don’t his feet get sore?


*The Urban Dictionary says di di mau is a direct
translation from Vietnamese words “go, go quickly.”