Life Lesson for a Friday
First, let me explain the picture. For several years I made photo Christmas cards featuring the one and only Hankie. This one is my depiction of Hankie as a shepherd. The card said "Hankie was delighted to have been chosen to play a shepherd in the Christmas pageant. Though he was not thrilled with the costume department."
I sent it out, and several people told me that he did not look like a shepherd. He looked like Mother Teresa. I renamed the photo "Hankie Teresa."
Now that we're all in a spiritual frame of mind, here is the lesson:
About ten years ago, when Hankie and I were living in a long, skinny, shotgun designed apartment, I was sitting on the couch in the living room, minding my own business, watching TV. Suddenly, from the back of the apartment, Hankie came RUNNING. Bounding through the living room as fast as he could. And Lord above us help me, there was a MOUSE chasing him. Just inches behind him, and keeping up the exact same pace as Hankie. I did what any thinking person would do: I leapt up onto the couch, crouching like a spider monkey, screaming my lungs out.
Hankie made a lap through the apartment, and then another, while I tried to gather my wits into a small pile so I could figure out what to do. I was surprised, most of all, that Hankie was this frightened by a mouse. When he ran back in on the third lap, he was moving more slowly, having worn himself out. Then he stopped. The mouse stopped, too. Abruptly.
[Important piece of information: I had waist-length hair at the time.]
There is a reason why the mouse had been so perfectly synchronized with Hankie's pace. It wasn't a mouse. It was, in fact, a turd, held captive by the connection of a very, very long human hair that Hankie had somehow ingested. When he ran, it kept up.
Still with my body in full horror-crouch, I sat stunned. I had to help him. I jumped off my perch of safety, grabbed a Kleenex, hurried after him. I held him with one hand and tried to help him give birth to the hair-turd-chain with the other. Cats do not like it much at all when you try to pull something out of their butt. Hankie let out a yowl that would make a pirate piss his pants. He took off running at full speed again, followed closely by the turd, which was followed by me and my Kleenex.
Finally, I cornered him in the back hallway, told him it would be OK, and quickly snapped the hair, releasing his firstborn turdlet. In seconds, he was back to his old self, happy, content, yawning.
The lesson: Don't run from your shit. The sooner you slow down and let someone help you leave it behind, the better your life will be.