What Wonder Cats can teach us about love

by | Oct 29, 2013

bolivia_for_nlOur beloved pet, Bolivia the Wonder Cat, died over the weekend. She’d been on a gradual decline for many months, and suddenly the gradual decline became steep. She got very, very wobbly and then, on Sunday, she went to sleep and didn’t wake up.

In the wake of Bolivia’s passing it is bittersweet to encounter the many ways we adapted our lives to suit her. For years I kept the door between my office and the hallway open a crack so that Bolivia could come and go at will, despite the fact that it let the heat out. It feels odd now to close it.

Bolivia had two bowls of food and three bowls of water. She had food and water in the kitchen as well as in my office. When she got older, she had a third bowl of water in the bedroom so that she wouldn’t have to go downstairs to have a drink. Bolivia always made it very clear which feeding or watering station she wished to use.

The older she got, the more prolifically Bolivia shed, and I had become accustomed to sweeping up cat hair at least once a day. (And I’m by no means a neatnik.) I kept a special roll of duct tape handy for lifting cat hair off the furniture. She especially liked to sit on my office chair, leaving grey fur to cling to my black yoga pants.

We especially miss Bolivia at night. For years she has slept with us, usually perched on top of me. In recent months she would even snuggle up to me under the covers.

You could say we made ridiculous concessions to our Wonder Cat, and perhaps we did. But what I realize again in the wake of Bolivia’s passing is something I realized when our old cat Boodle Anne died: that we create love through loving acts.

We can never run out of love so long as we open our hearts to each other and to the critters in our lives. We get to choose moment to moment where to invest our energy, and the more we invest it in loving thoughts, the happier we are, and the nicer the world is.

Don’t get me wrong. I have my share of jaded thinking, selfish thinking, and, I imagine, all the varieties of nasty thinking that are possible for humankind. But it’s nice to know we get to choose which variety of thinking to invest in.

I’m grateful that for a while Bolivia conspired to bring out the best in me.