I’ve mentioned previously that our Siamese cat, Thor, is always cold. In the winter, or even fall, when the temp drops below 70 degrees, he begins to whine and fuss while trying to find someplace to get warm. I really prefer a cooler home, but we are not really allowed to set the thermostat below 70 in the house, or the gyrations begin. On those days when the sun burns pretty brightly into the living room, the temp will rise to about 74 degrees. Thor is in heaven. His number one heating spot is Cheri’s lap, so whenever she is home and sitting down, he worms his way into snuggling there, finding heat. He is also known for finding our tawny colored cat, Hermes, as he sleeps on the bed, and pushing and nudging his way onto the spot that Hermes has pre-heated. He is just one cold cat.
A couple of years ago, we bought a little cat bed that actually plugged in and would heat up, thinking that this might solve the chilly boy’s problems. Instead, what happened is that it became the haven for our rather chubby large female cat, Phoenix, who took it over and would never move. Thor was able to get into it a couple of times when she finally did leave, but it never seemed to fit the bill.
I have to say it’s a bit irritating to have Thor spending the greater part of the day howling and complaining. There are lots of places in the house that are pretty warm, including all the beds, and the furnace air vents, but apparently he has a particular formula for warmth that is acceptable. He will even wander into the office and bother me until I put my hands on both sides of his skinny torso, which then function as heating pads, since I run pretty hot. We have even threatened to get him a white cable knit turtleneck sweater to wear. Trouble is, I don’t think they make them in size 1/32 slim…
I’ve also mentioned before that Adam, who has a great job, income-wise, likes to buy things. In perusing the web one day, he discovered a pet bed that is about 3 feet in diameter, but it looks like an over proofed donut, with the donut hole still attached. It is made of that incredibly soft furry looking fabric, and is super-fluffed. It would be the perfect bed for a whining cold-cat, since it would retain all the heat as the animal could sink down into the fluff.
They delivered the bed, Adam opened it up, tossed it on the floor, and wouldn’t you know in mere moments – our big girl cat, Phoenix, climbed in and claimed it as her own. In any 24-hour day, she has probably spent a good 16 hours in the bed, only getting out to eat, drink and go to sleep on our bed when it’s bedtime. Not quite the action plan designed to take care of Mr. Whiny…
To tell you the truth, though, even when the bed was unoccupied, Thor would just walk by it, as though it were just an eyesore in the living room. One time, I did happen to catch him stopping to look at it, and he even put his paw on the outside of the bed, but then quickly walked on – he must have had a pressing appointment…
For more than a week, both Phoenix, and Hermes as well, spent time nice and toasty warm in the fluff bed, while Thor wandered the earth, looking for a warm lap. Then, last night it happened. I was fixing spaghetti for dinner, and happened to look across the room, and I saw the grey popsicle actually put his paw into the bed itself. Next, he gave a little hop, and ended up standing in the middle of the bed. After that, it was the slowest process I’ve ever observed – glaciers would have gone flying by in comparison – but slowly, slowly, slowly, Thor lowered his rear haunches, and then dropped his front paws, and he rested his head on the donut hole, and closed his eyes. I had to whisper to the rest of the family to come quietly to see this thing which had come to pass. Very quickly, cameras were out and pictures taken, as though we had discovered a new species of tropical jungle cat, known by its scientific name of Thoricus-is-warmicus.
Thor stayed in the bed for a good hour, and then of course, had to go downstairs to sleep on Cheri’s lap. You don’t give up best practices for a new gizmo. I am hoping that perhaps today we will witness a rerun of the miraculous event. Right now, he’s asleep on his favorite rocking chair, which is positioned next to the heating vent. Still, it could happen. It could…
It’s a rare event when we seem to be able to create something, or even some experience by the sheer will of our efforts. More often, our hopes and plans don’t quite turn out as we hoped and planned. Sometimes in fact, as intentional as we may appear to be acting, things can quickly go off the rails, and the complete opposite reaction occurs. And even sometimes, we experience a paler, weaker result, even after our hard work and sacrifice, and wooing and hoping.
I would once again say that the most important thing we can do in life is to act with intention. Whether that’s in the manner of our love, our worship, our work in the world or our relationships with others, our intentions matter. In fact, it’s good to remember that we are not in control of this world, and even our best laid plans may sometimes turn out to be nothing. Sometimes Thor just won’t get in the bed. That just proves we aren’t God. But if we never try, never intend, and just live accidentally… well, let me know when you are coming, and from what direction, so I can get out of your way, because that kind of living is just a runaway train. Choose, decide, plan and hope, and let that be your mark on history. Have a good day.
Word for the day: rhathymia. Pronounced ruh-THIGH-mee-uh, it sure sounds like a Greek word, doesn’t it? And it is. The two important parts of the word are rha, which means “easily” and thumos, which means “heart, or spirit.” Rhathymia literally means, “an easy spirit,” or what we also call light-heartedness. To be rahthymial is to live with a lightness and the ability to see the world without having to always color the dark edges, the minor key undertones that seem to slip in, especially during this pandemic. It’s not a matter of being simple minded, are acting like a Pollyanna, but it does take all of the world and balance it in a way that ends up positive. I like the idea of an easy spirit – it’s easier to carry that around than to be weighed down by the burdens of life.
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.