Well, the dust is settled and all props and costumes for my end-of-year drama recital featuring my first, second, and third grade drama students is tucked away after our gala event Tuesday night. I kept my classes today simple and turned to the soothing balm of story to regroup with some fun.
But, the end of my school day couldn’t come swiftly enough for me to retreat to my home and the comfort of my cats. What a treasure they are, renewing my weariness in the simplicity of their affection. Curled up in my reading chair, Copperfield and Emma huddle together on my lap and purr with pleasure. Work week demands melt away. Thursday looms – my day off. The cats and I have big plans.
I have always owned cats. I am awed by the intelligence in their faces. Their rush-me-not ways and constancy in companionship delight my heart. No matter the toil I face in my day, just a few minutes sitting with them in their calm repose reduces me to rest.
After bidding farewell to my much loved Blaze who reigned for sixteen years in our home as resident cat, I needed time to adjust to his loss. But, after two months without a stitch of fur to greet me at the end of the day, I knew it was time to love a feline once again. The local animal shelter would be the place to seek – but would I find? Blaze was the perfect lap cat. How could I be sure that the animal I chose now would develop into a loving creature content with house and human?
Each day for a week I spent hours every afternoon at the shelter’s visiting room “trying on” various contenders. One in particular I avoided. He looked too much like Blaze with his fiery copper tabby coat. I wanted a cat who looked different. But, no matter how I tried to avoid him, every time I walked past his cage, he stared at me – patiently – waiting for me to acquiesce. He watched me fumble about with the other cats, each one eager to jump out of my arms and gad about on adventures. Testing them all thus, I knew “lap cat” would not be in their future.
Finally, I could bare it no longer. I opened the copper cat’s cage and drew him out. He looked at me, blinked, and then settled happily into the crook of my arms, taking simple joy in being held by me, denying the distractions around him that might beckon for his attention. I was smitten.
But, he had some competition. A sweet, tiny calico with the most arresting beauty mark just under her nose was too darling to pass by. My daughter and I couldn’t decide between them – so we took them both.
What fast friends they became! But, oh – for a name!
Being a bookish sort of family – my husband a career bookseller, my daughter a literature major, and myself, a literacy enrichment artist – there really was no doubt: Our cats would be literary cats.
Since Charles Dickens and Jane Austen are our favorite authors (speaking of me and my daughter, here) David Copperfield was the obvious choice for the male of that color, and Emma for our pert little female. And, don’t you know, their favorite thing is when the master and mistress settle into their chairs for a good read – so they can settle into a welcoming lap and do their job. Purrrr Pleasure!
I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the photographs posted here of our little bits. The artsy looking ones are signed by my art photographer friend at Violet Brown Photography who was doing a photo-shoot at my house and caught them after she had put all her special lighting away. We loved how the shots came out with this vintage grainy effect. They always seem to get into the middle of my projects – be they composing on the computer, arranging vintage finds, crafting costumes or drama props, chatting with a photographer friend – you name it, they’re right there in the middle of it.
I close with Copperfield and Emma’s literary pick for the day from this beautiful 1905 poetry book – echoing a Biblical admonition to the Lord’s golden rule – a specifically appropriate poem they both love: