MY LIFE – It’s the little things in life

MY LIFE – It’s the little things in life

Last Tuesday as the knitters were clustered around one end of the living room knitting and chatting, I thought I heard a truck pulling away from in front of my house. I wasn’t expecting any deliveries, but in my family one never knows, so I went to the front door to take a look. Sure enough, right there by the front step was a large box.

I managed to pick it up and wrestle it into the house, announcing as I carried it into the next room, “I have no idea what it might be, but it’s from Chewy,” a mail order pet supply company.

“But you don’t have any pets,” someone commented.

“I know, but the last package that came in from Chewy contained a book called ‘Crafting With Cat Hair.’” It was a glossy, hardcover book most likely from my daughter Barbara that was full of ideas on how to spin, knit, felt, and create all kinds of amazing things using cat hair.

I kid you not. You can’t make this stuff up. But this box was bigger and much heavier.

Amid calls of “I wonder what it is?” and “Quick, open it up” as I slit the packing tape, my friend Brenda excitedly declared, “I think I know what it is!”

Other than the fact that she’s psychic, I don’t know how she knew, but what was finally revealed once the box was opened was what the online Chewy site called “A Two Story Cat Condo.” A stunning double-decker cat house upholstered in beige “loop-free” carpeting, more commonly referred to around here as a cat house.

There was much laughter and excitement in the room as Brenda grabbed the new cat house and placed it between her chair and my sister Bev’s, pushing the small round table that had been there out of the way and ceremonially transferring their two mugs of tea onto the new surface.

“And don’t let Jonathan sit on this one!” she declared.

Here’s the backstory:

Many years ago, after my daughters had adopted a shelter cat to keep my late son Rick company, I bought a furry blue-covered cat house for it. Long story short, Miss Kitty was not impressed. She never used it, but more importantly, we did.

In no time at all, it became a lightweight, highly portable, multi-use end table. Unobtrusively stored at one end of the living room, it was the go-to fixture we used when a convenient extra surface was needed, and no one used it more often than the knitters, or more specifically, Bev and Brenda. It always went between their two chairs.

It was also much favored by my daughter Kathy when she visited. Kathy always sits at the far end of the love seat and the cat house was her footstool, but with her feet tucked into the upper apartment instead of on the top surface. If my niece Kelly also happened to be here at the same time, her feet went in, too, or as she likes to put it, “It was the footstool equivalent of the vanity bench that Kathy and I always shared when we ate at Nana’s.”

But nothing lasts forever.

And so it came to pass that during one Christmas celebration maybe three years or so ago when seating was at a premium, my son-in-law Jonathan pulled the cat house over and sat on it, crushing its top in a way that it could never again be reliably used to hold a mug of tea. It was with much gnashing of the teeth and heavy hearts all around that the furry blue cat house was finally consigned to the trash.

Consternation reigned in this little household, far and above what one might believe would be possible ... or even reasonable. We were almost in mourning at the passing of the little furry blue cat house and the search was on to find a replacement. The best I could eventually do was the small round wooden table of approximately the same diameter later found on consignment at Pine Swamp Place in Cumberland, but it was just never the same. We eventually learned to live with it, but we weren’t happy.

And then came the surprise package last Tuesday. The look of sheer glee on Brenda’s face was a sight to behold, and joy was once again restored.

In the overall scheme of things a cat house may not seem like very much, but here among the knitters, it was a very big thing, indeed!

Thank you, Barbara.

Rhea Bouchard Powers is a writer from Cumberland.