Greetings friends, neighbors, strangers-to-whom-I-haven’t-spoken in 562 years!
I’m sure you have forgotten me, so let me reintroduce myself. My name is Rose, and I’m a geek.
Lately, I’m a geek who travels for work, and I’m starting – today! – a blessed entire four weeks of no travel, thus I have time to update my journal. I have two stories. First, the story of the pump organ.
About eight years ago, I had a friend named Mary. We had a mutual interest in Renaissance music, and we had both managed to teach ourselves how to play recorder, so we got together frequently and attempted some period pieces. We weren’t close buddies, but as I said, we had this mutual interest in music, and one day, I played her old-fashioned pump organ while she played recorder, and it was great fun.
Offhandedly, I said, “If you ever decide to sell it, let me know.” She quite eagerly agreed, which took me back a little, but we set a price and planned to wait for a time when I could borrow a transportation vehicle.
Time went by, and being busy then as now, I kept neglecting to acquire the transportation vehicle, and then Mary went into the hospital.
Not the hospital. The hospice.
Unbeknownst to me, she had a terminal illness, and she had decided against further treatment, keeping her beautiful long black hair until the end.
She died, and recorder music was played at her funeral. About a week later, her husband called me and told me to bring the pickup over, and I took the pump organ home with me. He wouldn’t take any money, and the organ has lived with me as a memory of Mary and music ever since.
A living memory, since I exercise my legs on it at least once a week. In retrospect, it’s obvious that Mary was divesting herself of her possessions, as I’ve heard some dying people choose to do. I lost track of her husband after his generous gesture.
And now the story of the cat, because apparently I’m unable to write about anything that doesn’t involve my cat lately.
When I got my cat about a year ago, I made a coldblooded choice to get one: I’m gone so much that I knew a cat would be a self-sufficient pet while I’m on the road. I went through Craig’s List and picked an older cat, already declawed and neutered, already litter-trained, already socialized.
I never expected to become so fond of her. I didn’t realize that I would wake up in strange motel rooms in the middle of the night and wonder why the furred lump wasn’t beside my feet where she ought to be. I didn’t realize I’d start buying her toys and choosing cat food based on her preferences.
And I certainly didn’t realize that I would care when I came home after a long trip and she blessed me out because I had been gone so long and she was lonely.
But all that happened, so I decided to get my pet cat a pet cat of her own.
Again, I coldbloodedly went through Craig’s List and found a 10-month-old declawed, neutered male, already litter-trained, already socialized.
I spoke with the owner first by email and then on the phone, then I went over at lunch today to see if the cat was as beautiful in person as he was in his photos.
He was. The owner told me that her husband just dotes on the cat, but they’re moving and can’t keep the cat – or any of the other seven pets they have, oy vey!
And sure enough, when I went back with the cat carrier, the husband baby-talked and cooed to the kitty and gently lifted him into the cat carrier and told him goodbye.
I lifted the cat carrier and took it to my car, noticing the way the wisteria bloomed and it made me think of how the wisteria was overtaking Mary’s house the last time I was there.
And then it hit me.
That was Mary’s husband. Remarried, obviously, and the interior of the house had been remodeled after her death, so I didn’t recognize it right away, but that was Mary’s husband. A little fatter, a little older, but just as kind.
Once more, I drove away from that house with a precious, precious memory and an amazing impression of grace bestowed.
But before I get too maudlin, I’ll mention that my cat is right this very minute sitting on top of the dresser sulking because I brought home another cat and I won’t let her growl at him all night long.
Heh. I bet she becomes as fond of him as I’ve become of her.