He did that more than a few times when he was a young cat. As he aged, he stopped chasing his tail. He looked at it, twitched it. held it high as he marched through our various apartments and houses, but he stopped chasing it. He had lots of fun other ways, but chasing his tail was not one of them. From a certain point, he ignored his tail. It was there, but he paid very little attention to it.
I thought of this when I found myself, once again, texting someone who hasn’t the time or inclination to text me back. Hadn’t heard from this dear soul in weeks, was concerned I’d said or done something wrong, was sad to not hear anything from my friend. I nearly cried thinking that maybe I’d lost someone I cared about.
I am an only child and it is said that “onlies” look for family all their lives. Certainly, I have done this. I communicate regularly with people who say they like me or love me only to have my communications ignored or answered with bland one-liners. Usually, I hear nothing from these folks unless I initiate the contact. At first, the realization of this made me sad. I reflected on wasted time and wasted energy, wasted money on gifts and cards, wasted emails and Facebook messages, wasted affection. I just celebrated my 69th birthday and I realized that I had spent all my life up to now doing what Gato used to do—chasing my tail.
Then it came to me–one of those “aha” moments: Gato didn’t get mad at his tail. He didn’t feel sad that he never caught it. He didn’t waste time wondering why his tail didn’t like him enough to stop and chat. He just stopped chasing it and went on with his beautiful, starlit life.
AMEN I said to myself. I love you, Gato. Thank the Maker for our furry friends. Point taken, lesson learned.