Of Stray Cats and Ah-ha Moments

Posted: 28th May 2014 by admin in Blog
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I think everyone has them occasionally.

Nah, I’m not talking flat tires, nightmares, or tension headaches that could rival any spring rod you’ve got a curtain stuck to the wall with. I’m talking ah-ha moments. You know…that exact moment when the figurative lightbulb comes on and you see something about your relationship or your job or your life in perfect clarity.

My favorite ah-ha moment so far has been job related and was oddly sponsored by the stray cat who adopted me and who knew little of jobs and life situations.

Picture it.

An early summer morning in upstate NY. The sun was shining already, the birds singing, and BC, the fur- suited stray with seven toes on each front foot (which made her look as if she wore boxing gloves all the time), was sitting on the back steps waiting for her kitty kibble. Before I could get the bowl of kitty kibble ready for a trip to the outside world, the neighbor from across the street spied BC sitting there regally upon the back step and fetched her a bowl of that nice canned cat food that she much preferred to the crunchy stuff.

I left the kitty kibble on the counter and took my coffee outside to talk to the neighbor for a few minutes. When I joined her on the sidewalk, BC remained hunkered down over her bowl of wet cat food, purring loudly and eying us occasionally to make sure we kept our distance.

Here’s the thing about old houses in the historic sections of upstate NY towns. Storm doors don’t always close completely.

BC, with her paws on either side of that bowl and her back end drawn up underneath herself, looked sort of puffed up, happily purring away. All was right in her world.

It was at that moment that an unexpected gust of wind swept through. It caught the not-completely-closed storm door, yanking it open, and…unfortunately…sending it forcefully in BC’s direction.  An unsuspecting BC took the full blow of the flapping door to the back end and it picked her, yowling,  and sent her sailing over the edge of the steps, over the recycle bin besides them, over the neighbor’s head and mine, and dumped her unceremoniously in the muddy grass at the curb.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry for her. Standing there with the neighbor, the thought crossed my mind almost immediately.

“Ah-ha! Just when you’re puffed up and purring, a screen door opens from somewhere and knocks you right off the porch.”

I started job shopping shortly thereafter.  BC moved with me when I came to the Midwest to take my current job. She never was fond of storm doors after that, and I will always credit her with the perfect metaphor, sailing over my head with all her fourteen front toes extended, at just the right time. We all have them occasionally. The question for me in 1998 was whether or not I was going to pursue that change on my own or wait for the screen door to knock me off the porch with my claws extended.

Ya gotta watch for those ah-ha moments. And sometimes, you just gotta laugh. Or move to the Midwest. You know how that goes!



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