The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Belonging

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She was resting against the front door whining softly.  When do you get that feeling of belonging? She was transplanted only a little over a year ago to a home where she was not queen. Cats ruled. But they were friends with a pecking order.


My mother adjusted to assisted living almost in minutes though she had cried forlornly when we left her home. “No one will visit me there,” she said. “Of course they will,” I assured. They didn’t. She made more friends. Martha who played the grand piano in the lobby was her best.

We picked her up to spend the holidays with us. Family. She was happy to be with us and just as happy to leave. Because she had her own home where she felt easy. She belonged.


When Boots slept over last night in the apartment, she felt uneasy. Her toenails tapping the laminate flooring in the long trailer-like hall revealed her stress. “Come sit on the couch,” I patted a place. Usually, she would be on top of me pestering for attention. But here, she sat quietly. In the concreted back yard that was turning white in the night, she circled the fence stopping in her tracks when she spotted one of our alley cats. “NO.”


We slept together on the couch not moving until I was ready.

Round and round and then crisscrossing tracks on the white concrete until she found her spot. Back inside, she went to the front door expectantly. “Is it time to go home?” her deep brown eyes pleaded.

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