Today, author Colleen Brunetti posed this request on her Facebook page: as we remember September 11, 2001, with all its darkness and tragedy, please post something good. She didn’t ask for an exhaustive list, and she didn’t place any limits. It didn’t have to be specific to 9/11. Just something good.
In the past few months, one of my cats, Rosie, has had some strange moments where she is inexplicably terrified and seems to recognize no one; I have scars that bear witness. If she were human, this is the part where we’d be getting a neuro consult to rule out dementia, but she’s only ten years old, and this isn’t that old for a cat. Plus, she always comes out of it, sometimes in an hour and other times in a week. So for now, we’re watching and waiting, treading gently when she has such a moment and moving forward when it passes.
This morning’s scare jolted me from my bed. I followed her as she dashed through the house. In soothing tones, I reassured her that Mama was here and she was safe. Finally, Rosie paused under a chair and allowed me to touch her. As I have learned to do, I resisted the urge to pick her up and cuddle her. Instead, I spoke to her as if all were well, rejoicing quietly when she came out to join the others for breakfast.
The day went on, as such days do. Social media is replete with discussion of the day’s meaning, of those who were lost, those who survived, and those who risked and sacrificed all in service of others. Like everyone else of my era, I have vivid memories of the day. We shared our thoughts, and in between social media posts, I struggled to fix my thoughts on my work.
Late in the afternoon, I came upon Ms. Brunetti’s request for something good. I thought of going large and abstract, as some did, listing indisputably good things like freedom, love, and family. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it occurred to me to look a bit closer to home for something precise, something more than a concept. Something personal to me.
At that moment, Rosie began meowing for me to take her down from her bed in the filing cabinet. The fact that she’d meowed to get up there earlier was significant, because she had to permit me to pick her up, and that isn’t always allowable after a scare. But she had, and I did, and so she’d spent much of the afternoon dozing in her perch.
But now, she wanted to come down. She can jump down, but she prefers not to. I did her bidding. To show her approval, she purred and began licking, licking, licking any part of me she could reach–my neck, my cheek, my hair. We sat down at my desk, and she made herself comfortable in my lap, still purring and licking.
So this was my something good for today: my beloved Rosie, who isn’t scared now, curled up in my lap, purring and licking my hand.