Oh Holy Night!
Let me start by saying that I’m old enough to know that life can be crazy sometimes, but I have to admit that the last days of December, the last days of 2015 have been exceptionally crazy. Not bad crazy, but crazy in an interesting way.
We’ve travelled, as we always do, with Grandma in tow down to Uncle Paul and Aunt Patti’s house for our Christmas Celebration. This celebration usually involves lots of food, lots of laughter, numerous naps, long walks, and many romps. This year has been no exception though we have yet to take the long walk.
We tired to take a long walk, but this happened…
I know it doesn’t look like much, but on our one attempt at the long walk around the loop, we spotted this cat in the walnut grove. Normally, I would have chased the cat, but Gretchen saw him before I did and when she spotted him, she started to worry because unlike most cats, this guy didn’t move a muscle. He just stared at the ground and barely moved.
After a quick phone call back home, the troops were mobilized with a car, a pet carrier, and a blanket. The cat — shivering and emaciated– was scooped up and escorted back to the house where he was dried off, cleaned up, and fed. Let me tell you, this guy (yes, we finally determined it was a boy after much lifting of the tail and searching on the internet!)…this guy was starving! He at ravenously…so much so that we had to slow his pace and offer him food in small doses.
The rest of the story is long and at this point, undetermined — will he find his previous home or end up in a new forever home? — but all of this rescuing has given me “paws”…it’s made me contemplate the gifts I receive every day — LOVE, FOOD, FAMILY, HOME, and yes, LOVE.
I suppose this is all fitting since the holidays are all about honoring those we love and celebrating the joys of family and giving, but there feels like something much deeper in this experience. Perhaps that’s why Gretchen gets weepy every time she thinks about this cat, who we have decided is named “Rudi” after Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.
Perhaps it’s because it appears that Rudi is blind — whether permanently or temporarily — and struggles a bit getting around. We’re hoping that this is a nutritional and reversible condition, but it’s hard to know.
Perhaps she’s weepy because it’s hard to imagine how Rudi got to the middle of that field. Was he blind before he got lost? Was he dumped in the field? Was he about to be eaten by a coyote or a hawk? Does his family want him? Are they sad that he’s missing?
Perhaps she’s weepy because the holidays always reminds us of who’s not here and the list is long. Grandpa Bob, our dear friend Ann, my momma Ann’s parents, Dezi’s dad, Michael…and a whole bunch of dog friends who have passed — Sonny and Wilson most recently.
Whatever the reason(s), this holiday has been emotional on many levels.
And still, there has been as much fun as usual and as much love…no walks around the loop, but we’ve walked and romped in the pasture, which is great fun for me and Kili and not as much fun for Dezi, who is too old to romp these days though still enjoys a play bow now and then, and for Ringo who, unfortunately, had to have 7 teeth pulled on the day before Christmas Eve.
Loss and love, I suppose, is the theme for this year and even the thought of those two opposing emotions makes even this dog a bit weepy.
I am feeling both — the loss of family and friends — but I’m trying to focus on the love and I suppose that is what makes family and holidays so special and important — a circle of arms and hearts helping you weather the pain of loss and the uncertainty of life.
I love my family very much and as difficult as it is to get here sometimes — finishing up with work before we pack up and leave, the long (and sometimes treacherous) drive down here, the finishing up of the last gift shopping and wrapping, the cooking, the opening of presents — all of that can’t compare with being surrounded by love.
I hope you have arms of love around you tonight as well!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!