…but most of us are not only guilty of such misdemeanors but occasionally even get caught with our paws in the pasta. We’re not always major miscreants, but there are times when even the most proper of persons likes to break protocol just a bit. Ah, well, we do so love our naughty little secrets!
Let’s not quibble about why I’m here; just show some respect for my dedication. I keep watch, I am the guardian, I stand undaunted at attention. I am a tireless protector. Never mind that I’m protecting what I hope might be my lunch, or at the least, my plaything for the while. I am a cat, and that is what the best of us cats do. It is nature and vocation.
The mouse living in there, well, he might have a slightly different point of view. But let’s be honest: his place in the natural scheme of things is as a cat’s toy or treat, isn’t it just. So I shall perch here and keep my patience, and never you mind criticizing my ways. That would be too—well, human of you. And you didn’t want to share your house with a mouse, now, did you! Just look away. I’m busy here.
That little old four-letter word Work has challenged the finest among us to test the limits of endurance, wisdom, hope and courage for as long as there’s been such a thing as a job on this planet. We agonize and weep over our work as though doing unspeakable heroics every single minute, even when we know perfectly well that every living thing has faced challenges of his, her or its own since the first moment there were, well, living things. It didn’t take employers and employees to bring this tension to full expression. If I think I’m sitting on a powder-keg just because I’ve tackled something that pushes me to my limits (or, to be more precise, because it has tackled me), it’s time to step back, take a deep breath, and remember my compatriots of every sort striving and struggling and facing greater odds than I have ever faced, accepting them as the inevitable price of existence.Not that any of this contemplation has the remotest chance of making me stop thinking myself both the greatest martyr and the finest superhero at work on the planet. I only get the smallest momentary glimpses of sanity through the veneer of my regular distorted self-image as the silly person I am, after all. Even though I know that in my own version of ‘cat and mouse’ the tiniest mouse could best me in the flick of a whisker.
‘OutRRRRRageous!’ she purred, ‘I’m only a lady who has fallen prey to the sentimental desires of A Certain Age to visit my old acquaintance!’ Still, her counter-suit of police Profiling would have been more plausible if she hadn’t been spotted in that location and in such a compromising position. The acquaintance in question, quivering in the doorway behind Madame De Léopard, was still squeaking with shrill accusation as the neighbors began to gather and fling catty remarks back and forth like batted feather lures. When the arresting officer demanded a sobriety test and detected that an illegal quantity of West Country Farmhouse Cheddar had been dabbed behind the lady’s ears, pandemonium erupted and many of the surrounding crowd were convinced that there was a far more nefarious explanation for her appearance on the scene than middle-aged maundering.