It has been a month since my darling kitty died…he was 21 and had lived a full and adventurous life on two continents. While I recognize that a happy, long, and well loved life is fortunate, I am missing him every day. We had daily rituals together and I miss him in every room of the house, when I got out of bed he was always the first to greet me, when I did my morning yoga he climbed on top of me, when I opened the kitchen door to let in the sunshine he would take a little stroll outside, and when I sat in my favorite chair to drink tea…this is when Julietto jumped onto my lap and settled himself in for a good purr and kitty massage. And this is only the first hour of my day. Working from home without my constant companion is lonely, and I need to change my rituals and adapt to life without him.
My children adored Julietto and have known him their whole lives, so we have been remembering his life through the many photos we have together. He was beautiful, a huge camera flirt, and we have hundreds of photos together. This is the cat who graced our family Christmas card every year, who nestled on top of my pregnant belly as if he were hatching an egg, who snuggled with my newborn sons, went for walks with us, traveled with us, and made each of us feel special. This kitty was the master of simple pleasures…
My goal when I create my designs is to inspire and enhance simple pleasures. There is a certain simplicity to a cat’s life and happiness: sunbathing, listening to the birds singing, taking little walks outside every day. Julietto was always available for a cuddle or brushing session, and his life was interspersed with regular tasty meals and small snacks. Together we played silly games like kitty-in-the-bag, tick-tock-kitty, and the-longest-string-in-the-world. When he was younger could do these extraordinary backflips when I twirled a long rod with a string and feathers. In his prime, our cat was a ruthless hunter; the list of birds, gophers, bunnies, mice, rats, snakes and lizards he caught (and shared) is long and savage. The most memorable occasion is the night he brought a live rat into my bedroom at 3 a.m.! My husband was traveling, I was pregnant, and after he let the rat loose I was obliged to whack it to death with a broom in my nightie. Julietto? He was quite pleased with himself =^.^= After a second rat experience with a dinner guest in residence, we began to lock the cat door on garbage nights.
Some of the simple pleasures in my life are avocados, sleeping well, swimming, sunshine, teatime, cooking, reading, spending time with my family and hanging out with my kitty. I don’t always optimize my time to enjoy these pleasures, but I know that that Julietto grounded me and has been a key part of my well being for many years. Sometimes we have to let go of simple pleasures, remember our relationships fondly, and explore new rituals and ways of living.
There was an extraordinary sweetness to my time with kitty over this last year. It was heartbreaking to see Julietto growing frailer, but we were closer than ever. We would fall asleep together in my bed and sometimes I would wake up as he jumped onto my chest in the night. This past winter he slept in the crook of my arm, on my chest, or between my knees. I have always loved cats, but there was an intimacy and simplicity to our affection that I have not shared with other living beings.
People ask me if I will get another cat, and I think that I will someday, but not yet. I am still lingering over the sweet moments I enjoyed with my kitty. Julietto was tired and frail in his last few days, I am glad that we were all with him then. It is painful to watch your loved ones decline suddenly; but when I think of my own life, I hope that when I die it will be quick, that I will be old, and that my family will be there to support me. Having my kitty in my life these past 21 years has been wonderful.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.”
This blogpost has nothing to do with Maia Ming Designs products, (though one of the advantages of being a ceramicist’s kitty is owning a fine collection of cat bowls.) I am musing on simple pleasures that add up in our lives, a subject I learned much about from a Master Kitty.
#lifestyleceramics #beautytexturewhimsy #simplepleasures #maiamingdesigns