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ODE TO CARL

We rescued a kitten last week. One of my wife’s friends from grade school posted on Facebook that a feral cat gave birth to 3 kittens in her barn. 3 weeks ago, she stopped coming around. They were doing the best they could to care for them but were looking for people to adopt them. In a perfect world we would have taken all of them. But alas, I am not crazy cat dude and we already have another rescue cat we got 5 years ago when he was a kitten. We were fairly confident our older cat, Jimmy would be ok with a little one.

We drove 2 hours up north last Saturday to see these little nuggets and we absolutely knew we were going to be coming home with one. The drive up involved much conversation about potential names. Personally, I can’t really name an animal until I meet them. Their personalities usually help me in the naming process. I had a couple ideas and we laughed about some of our potential choices on the car ride. Upon meeting them, I knew immediately which one we were going to take. I just had to bring my wife and my Little Man to my way of thinking. This little guy was completely chill. He did not cry. He let us hold him and handle him. They were tiny for 6 weeks old, no doubt a little behind the growth curve with no Ma cat to help them along. My wife’s friend and her husband were very nice, and the kittens seemed well cared for. I held him up to my face, our eyes met, and I knew immediately what his name was going to be. Welcome to the family Carl. Kitty Carl. Cool Carl. Chill Carl. It was wonderful to see the joy in Little Man’s eyes and his gentle soul welcomed another gentle soul into our brood.

Having the chance to watch Carl for the past week, I have learned (well relearned I suppose) many things about life. You have some food, a warm place to sleep, and people who love you and you’ve got it made. I was watching him today while both the wife and LM had calls to take. He played and played. He and Jimmy are now fast friends and our rescue chocolate lab gives him the appropriate level of attention and ignoring. As Carl wound down from this play session, he started cleaning himself. Lick the paws, rub the face. Repeat. Over and over until he cleaned himself right into a blissful little nap.

Many on the news shows would have us believe the world is spiraling out of control. Covid this and Covid that. The Governor this and the President that. My friends, I think it is time to be more like Carl. We need to lick our paws and rub our face and let the world do its own spinning for a while. For many people, their stress hasn’t been reduced as a result of staying home or not being in school. Their stress has been transferred to other things. Same stress, different names. Those who have had to take pay reductions, forced furloughs or layoffs have even more stress. If you have a decent meal today, a place to sleep, and people who love you, take a minute and relax. Lick your paws and rub your face. Learning, check that, relearning that wonderful outlook from Cool Carl has been the greatest blessing he has given us. I hope you are willing and able to take a page from Carl’s playbook. Having a toy mouse doesn’t hurt either!

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