Posted in cats, pets

Overcoming angst

Windows are wide open to let the sun in, and the fans are buzzing along, while I pore through some closets that haven’t seen the light of day for months, or perhaps even years. Oh, how we humans accumulate things we think we might need some day! Well, if that day hasn’t come in months, let alone years, then out it goes. I wiggle my head in a firm nod and continue to dig into the boxes and crates of stuff.
This is a process distinctly human, and it comes, at times, with some angst. Do I dare part with the fabric blossom that was pinned to my son’s tux in 1999 at my brother-in-law’s wedding? Can I spare the fake plastic nose and Dick Tracy glasses that were a favor at a friend’s birthday party in elementary school? I already miss the buttons from my great-grandfather’s Civil War uniform that I mistakenly threw out in a cleaning frenzy when I was home sick with the Swine Flu in high
school. Only one button remains, a tiny one that I’ve bagged and tagged and tucked away with other one-of-a-kind keepsakes. I imagine Great-Grandpa turning over in his grave in the cemetery, because I value this bit of brass like it belongs in the Smithsonian.
But it gets sillier. Inside the door of the closet is a plastic sandwich bag with writing on one side: “Casper’s baby tooth.” Tacked to the bulletin board with some newspaper comics and addresses of co-workers from a previous job, the bag also reads: “April 2004.” Has it been that long since that pudgy little feline joined our crew? I want to look up Casper’s baby pictures, but they’re on some defunct hard drive from an ancient computer, running on an operating system that my laptop can’t share files with.
I turn the plastic bag over and over, thinking of my two older cats who’ve recently had surgery to remove some decaying teeth. In past years, I might have asked to have the  cats’ teeth to take home. But now I’m glad the sandwich bag separates me from this single tooth in my palm. After all, I know where the tooth has been. And I know what cats have been known to put in their mouths.
I toss it in the swelling pile of refuse with no more hesitation.
Really, what was I thinking?

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Owned by three cats over age 13