This morning the house is quiet. Rob is gone, and the TV is off. It is cold and wet outside, and all the animals are strewn around the livingroom floor like patches of shag carpet.
Gary (our 13-year-old Maine Coon cat), is in his customary place beneath the tv cabinet. He lies right in the path of the tv remote and the receiver, making it impossible to change channels. I think he Knows this, and smiles, in his cat-way, in the knowledge he is making our lives a bit more challenging.
The Alpha-Cat. Don't Mess with Gary. He has switchblades for claws and is not afraid of using them.
Baden, our First Collie, is asleep right by the back door. HE is the reason for all the "Collie things" I do and for all the Colliefriends I have. We've done a lot of things in the past 12 years, BayBay and I. He is the first dog I have ever put a title on. The first one to be a registered Therapy Dog. The first to travel with me out of state. The first one to have ever run Agility (might I mention that, at one point, Baden was #19 Collie in the nation in Agility).
He's retired now. Doesn't drive at night, either. It takes him a while to get up from a down position, and we don't ask him to "sit!" for a cookie anymore. As Rob tells it, "Seniors get in free."
Now they sleep a lot, Gary and Baden. My Animal Communicator friend, Barbara Janelle, tells me that Baden is a bit "surprised" that he sleeps so much. They still romp and cavort and bark (Baden) and jump atop the 6-ft-high fence (Gary), but, mostly.....They sleep.
In the Quiet this morning (with the boyz strewn all around the livingroom, remember), I looked up from my knitting because I realized I was hearing a rhythmic sound of gentle, but intense and sonorous breathing. The old boys were working at their task of sleep. They were busily going about their relaxing and re-charging their bodies. The sweet snoring was perhaps the most beautiful sound of the day. It was like a lovely song sung from the depths of their spirits which had fled, momentarily, to a world of ease and comfort and, well, Youth.
I could weep for the years gone by with these two. I could be saddened knowing that there is less "in front" of these two than there is in the past. And I know, that, come the day, I shall be inconsolable. But, at the Moment....at this very moment....I can only be grateful for all the days that I have had with these two. These two very different, yet loving characters who have woven themselves into the fabric of my life. They have taught me volumes and volumes about Life and what is important and how to communicate.
Continue to "be," my dear, furry companions. Continue to sleep on my floor and bark at the younger Collies, Baden. Continue to meow piteously to come inside and snarl at the other cats, Gary. Continue. Continue to dock your wooly bodies next to mine and turn your shining eyes to my face. Continue to teach me. And bring me Peace.