Don’t get me wrong. I like cats as much as the next guy. But I have to say that this stray hanging around the house is causing me to seriously reconsider my position. I’ve temporarily named him Cat-astrophy, and here’s why.
Laundry day in Italy. No big deal other than the fact that the lavatrice, washing machine is only big enough to hold three pairs of socks at a time. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but everything here is on the small side except me. And, of course there’s that pesky problem with the essicatore di vestiti, dryer where it takes your clothes hostage and won’t release them for what seems like hours, until the machine decides that it’s finished with them and ready to free the captives—never quite dry. So, our solution is to simply wash more frequently and hardly ever use the dryer. But lest I stray too far from the point of this story, I must get back to the cat thing!
There were some bed sheets to launder, so I crammed them into the washer one at a time trying to optimize my turn. Everything went as planned. Once the machine decided to relinquish the goods, I scurried outside while the sun was hot and dutifully draped them over the cute little standino, portable laundry rack.
Later that afternoon, I did a swing-by to check the progress and was shocked and dismayed at what I saw. Apparently that gray wandering intruder had decided to check it out as well. Dirty cat feet don’t do well on clean sheets. Che sarà sarà, back into the quirky little washing machine it went for another round.
While waiting for the machine to do its mysterious thing, I decided to move the car from where I had unloaded bags of concime, lawn fertilizer earlier that morning. As I opened the car door, something leaped wildly from somewhere in the back seat, scaring the living daylights out of me. It seems that my new little cat friend had sneakily climbed into the car for a look-see while I was dragging those heavy bags out of the back—unbeknownst to me. Evidently I closed him in for several hours of really warm sleep time. After regaining my cool, I went about my daily chores, trying my best to ignore that gray visitor pitifully meowing and lurking in the bushes.
The next day I was on my way to the supermercato, grocery store to get a few provisions. Plopping down in the driver’s seat, I looked up at my recently cleaned windshield in frustration and a slight twinge of anger, I must admit. My little cat buddy had decided to parade around on the glass for a couple of hours in the night. It looked like he had dipped his paws in some olive oil just before the big event, perhaps trying to get back at me for my inadvertent faux pas of locking him in the car. Curiously enough, one of the things I intended to buy at the market was some more window cleaner since I had just used it all up. Oh well.
So, in my strivings toward becoming a more enlightened being, I decided to try once again to love what is, as Byron Katie keeps saying. In a more relaxed frame of mind, I started the engine and effortlessly slipped it into gear—loving every feeling and tactile moment of the experience. I motored on down the driveway with sheets still held captive in the washer, the ever-present possibility of a cat slinking around in the back seat, and smudgy little paw prints on my recently cleaned windshield—making my innocent little trip to the grocery borderline dangerous.
In my moment of pause, I contemplated the positive side of the adventure, in search of what was to love about it. I concluded that the events of the past several days weren’t really frustrating after all. Instead, I came to see them as incredible poetry in motion amid the relentless beauty and surprise of sweet and unpredictable Italia.
Note: You may be interested in some of our other cat stories.