I have a cat named Mushashi. He is, in a word, nuts.
When we got him, he was maybe 8 weeks old. There were two of them. Beautiful, fluff balls. White and black Himalayan kittens with huge blue eyes. We only meant to adopt one kitten but when we saw how attached he was to his sister, Yasuko, we knew we couldn’t separate them. She was fierce; I didn’t worry about her at all. But, Mushi…I could tell he was different. He needed her. I don’t know what happened to him in those first few weeks of life that made him such a cautious, scared kitten but, whatever it was, the damage was deep.
Those first weeks, I never saw hide or hair of him. He ate, drank and went to the litter box like a ninja.
Eventually, he’d pop out of whatever dimensional rift he hid inside to play with his sister. But only in secret. The moment he was spotted, POOF! Back into the shadows.
He is eight now. He is still the King of the Introverts and spends 20 hours of his day in my daughter’s room under her blankets. But whenever my Shy Boy appears at my feet, meowing for a scratch behind the ears, it is a treat as much for me as it is for him.
This morning, while sitting at my desk trying to conjure up words, he burst into my office, chasing a sock. He tossed the black raggedy thing up in the air and caught it in mid flight. Falling to the ground, he’d clutch it to his tummy with his claws, his tail wagging in triumph. He’d jump up, pushing the sock away and the chase began again.
He didn’t notice me so I froze, kept silent and just watched him. It was glorious to see him so free, so alert, so CAT. I wanted desperately to say something, tell him how wonderful it was to see him so happy and just how so goddamn cute he was!
But I didn’t. I knew I couldn’t. It would break the spell.
And then I wondered if this is how God must feel sometimes. Desperately wishing to connect but knowing that if one word was uttered, the spell would break and everything would turn to dust.
That must be incredibly lonely.