Shads the Reminder…

Shadow, our Russian Blue, is a good reminder to practice all things in moderation.

He cannot resist gulping down his food way too fast in the morning,

then bringing it up on the nearest carpet.

He’s literally the loser, because he has to spend the rest of the day with an empty tummy…

although he is a crafty one, he scrounges around the two other cat bowls wheedling the last morsels from between the puzzle crevices designed to slow him down in the first place.

Happily this doesn’t happen every day otherwise…

well…otherwise nothing because when he’s not regurgitating his food or hacking up a fur ball he’s a good de-stresser.

Just watching him gently doze most of the day away, so he can sleep soundly at night at my feet, has my eyelids drooping.

In the hour or so, when he’s not sleeping he plays.

Well, he calls it playing, I view it as unabashed stealing, but he’s a born hunter only doing-a-what-comes-naturally!

He can’t resist carrying off anything he can bat around and finally snag between his teeth.

This is a Lindor white chocolate truffle with wrinkly gold paper, that makes a satisfying noise and rolls enticingly around the bowl.

He sat for a full five minutes until he caught it and carried it off to his secret hiding place…

…not so secret anymore after we found a piece of soft salmon, that had been set out for defrosting, under the loveseat one afternoon along with all the non-perishables he’d socked away that we hadn’t noticed were missing!

When he’s not eating and stealing, he can be found hanging out on a chair.

This particular evening he’s enjoying some Josh Groban while waiting for a piece of arugula.  He goes crazy for it snatching the proffered leaf out of my fingers to run off and put it with his stash.

Lately though he’s discovered that arugula has a peppery bite that perks him up and he’s started eating it.

Slightly energised he instigates a wrestling match with his brother, Magic, before curling up in Callie’s basket.

Callie gets irritated that she can’t leave her space for a moment without Shads, the opportunist, hopping up.  She tells him off when she notices

and sits on him, pretending he’s not there and hoping he’ll soon get the hint.

Not!  He likes the attention.

She takes the opportunity to give his face and ears a thorough wash while he nods off for a  few minutes.

Then the highly focused art of begging commences.

I have no idea why he enjoys this so much, he won’t eat anything I offer him after I’ve finished and am clearing up.

He just likes the idea of snuggling up to me while I eat.

Sometimes I wonder if he’s a human in training!

On Saturday mornings after a long stretch and some wide yawns he gets up to eat, scopes out the back porch then returns to the bed where we take our coffee and cake.

He patiently watches for falling coffee cake crumbs.

No luck.

So he sits guard on a bench that affords him a view of the front driveway and growls if he sees an approaching delivery van or a car.

When he’s been up all of thirty minutes

he grows weary and wanders back to the now vacated bed where he can sprawl unencumbered.

“Go away,” he seems to be saying, “unless you want to stroke my tummy!”

He is quite efficient at dividing his waking hour-or-so into equal moments devoted to eating, playing, begging, guarding and chilling,

and spends the remainder of the day soundly sleeping…

or cat napping as he prefers to call it.

One ear is always cocked for the sound of food being dispensed or the treat bag being rustled.

He reminds me of the value of slowing down many times a day.

But of course, I have a whole lot more to do than he does so I have to be creative.

I quiet my noisy thoughts by noticing

the windows that allow me to look out at the fields from the comfort of my living room,

the wind that causes the trees to whistle and swish,

the sun that warms sofa cushions and coaxes flowers to bloom,

the rain that drives out the ‘hurry up’ clamour in my head,

the cat that softly sleeps and makes my eyes droop as I sip my coffee,

the daily prayers to remind me of who’s in charge.

Thank you Shads,

You’re a keeper.


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