Cat versus bird

Whenever I get home I'm amazed at the cats. I think they spend the entire day in bed keeping up with the sunbeam through the window. After a long day, I could be quite envious of a cat. When my mother was married to her first husband (early 1960s), her young brother-in-law came to stay with them for the weekend. Her husband's brother was much younger (a change of life baby perhaps?) so he was about 9 or so at the time.

My mother asked Richard what he wanted for breakfast and he declared he wanted cookies. Mom patiently told him cookies were not on the breakfast menu and that he could have waffles or eggs or cereal or oatmeal or any number of things other than cookies. No, he wanted cookies. She told him that she was going to make some breakfast for herself and maybe he would think of something he wanted.

After a bit, Richard asked her, "if you could be any animal what animal would you want to be?". Mom considered for a moment and said she thinks she'd like to be a house cat because they don't have a lot of cares in the world and don't have to worry about money and can sleep all day.

Richard sat silently for a few minutes and then declared that if he could be any animal, he would be an eagle. Mom asked him why that was and he said, "because nobody tells eagles what to do." Well, alright then. I suppose eagles could also have cookies for breakfast if they wanted.

As we begin preparations for Thanksgiving while all the hubbub of Christmas looms, I think about my mother's desires to live as a house cat. It seems like there are so many items on our collective "to do" lists, I'd welcome the chance to just follow a sunbeam across the bed. Cats and eagles really aren't all that different, I suppose. An eagle may force the issue and defy anyone who might try to take his food from him. But if other house cats are anything like ours, they will just ignore you when you tell them they can't crawl in that cabinet or have the left over cereal milk and they still manage to have a pretty stress-free life.

I'm enjoying this house cat mantra of just doing what I want by setting my own agenda and not letting other people stress me out. And for all I know the cats may have cookies for breakfast after we've left for work.