Thursday, September 01, 2005

Weltschmertz Rx

My Orange Cat is a big fan of my broken tailbone, because it means I spend large chunks of time lying on my side, which creates a nice little warm spot, which is his favorite spot, which he normally only gets to sleep in at night when I'm sleeping. He approaches this spot by climbing up from my feet (never, like a normal cat, by just jumping onto the couch or bed where the spot is!), walking up to my head, turning around, walking flush against my body until his stinky butt is directly in my face, and then flopping all 17 pounds of himself down against me with a "whoomf!" When I'm very unlucky, the butt is still in my face. On good flops, it ends up down near my shoulder. If he doesn't get a good enough "lean," he'll either scramble his feet to get himself higher up against me, or he'll re-flop. He feels no compunction whatsoever about knocking the wind out of me repeatedly to get a good snuggle spot.

But I need the snuggles this week. Not only does my butt hurt, but I can't get the devastation of Katrina out of my mind, and I have little to distract me because my life is limited to the couch and my computer chair. I can't stop worrying about my college friends working down there, and I know I can't call them (and shouldn't tie up the lines when people are trying to call family), and I know that the "all-safe" will reach us in a couple days via e-mail or phone, once they've gotten in touch with their families and worried about their more immediate concerns, but I worry anyway. I worry lots.

The worst are the stories about people who lost everything, who loaded up their cars to evacuate and took only their most beloved and irreplaceable possessions with them. I know they are the lucky ones, because they were able to leave, with their entire families, and even had time to get a few things from their homes. Whenever I read those stories, I can't stop thinking melancholy thoughts about what *I* would take with me if I had to evacuate, what pieces of my life I couldn't bear to leave behind.

But then one of those pieces, who would spend the entire evacuation process just shrieking and yowling at the top of his not-inconsiderable lungs in his cat carrier in the back seat, sees me lying on my side on the couch, and his eyes light up and his ears perk up, and he crawls over my legs, turns around at my head, sticks his butt in my face, and flops with a "whoomf!" And purrs like a crazy cat, secure in the bliss of the food-bringer's warm body in nap position.

I know it doesn't help the victims of Katrina -- nothing I can do anyway to help them right now but pray -- but that little orange furball turns out to be a very potent cure for weltschmertz. It's hard to feel despair when there's so much purring in the world.

American Red Cross - Katrina Aid

1 comment:

Star said...


I know whatcha mean. My own two (Libby particularly, but even Calli deigned to plop down on my lap last night) have been a wonderful comfort. Purring may not fix anything, but it sure does make one feel better for a bit.