The Little Things

Recently, my cat Meep came rushing into my bedroom and woke me with a cacophony of “meeps”. Usually, she saves such communication for dire emergencies, such as she can’t reach the bug on the wall and wants me to knock it down for her. So, I turned on the bedside lamp, rubbed my eyes, and tried to figure out what had set off the alarm.

“What is it, Meep?”

She answered in a series of sounds that mimic the character Beaker from The Muppet Show, complete with changes in tone that sound like an unknown language. Then, she threw something up in the air and it landed on the floor with a rattle. I rose up in bed and squinted since my contacts were currently soaking in the bathroom. I imagined she had killed another mouse or bug and wanted my approval for a job well done. Nope. Too small and odd-shaped to be a critter. She threw the object into the air with coos of delight. That’s when I recognized the shape.

It was the ring from a Gatorade bottle. The orange color was easy to recognize now that my eyes were a little clearer. She was throwing it into the air with glee and excitement.

“Did you find a toy?” I asked her.

“Meep…meep…meep,” she replied, tossing it in the air again as proof.

“Go play with your toy, then,” I said.

She picked up the ring and carried through the house, stopping occasionally to throw it into the air and pounce on it. The other two cats watched in envy.

All of that excitement over a plastic ring that is thrown in the trash by the thousands on a daily basis, but it made her week. It truly is the simple things that make my cats happy. For instance, an empty cardboard box becomes a fort, a scratch pad, and a hiding place from which to pop out and attack. They love it when the UPS guy drops something off. It’s the highlight of the day, mine too if I were to be honest. Getting packages delivered always feels a little bit like Christmas. I enjoy opening the package, and they enjoy the box it came in. We all win. At one point I had a collection of empty boxes in the corner that the cats had turned into a virtual fort, jumping from one to the other and hiding before pouncing on an unsuspecting passerby. I left it for weeks before the clutter drove me to throw them out, which was accompanied by disapproving looks from all three cats.

This incident remind me of a movie that I recently watched, Miracles from Heaven. At the end of the movie, the narrator talks about all of the little miracles that happened everyday that she almost missed because she wasn’t looking for them. I think that is so true. It’s the little things in life that can bring us joy if we will only look for it. Like a cat who found a plastic ring, let’s notice the little things in life and be grateful. Then maybe the world will look a little brighter even if the sun isn’t shining.

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