Nine Lives

We’re missing a cat, the one we always knew might vanish someday. The one who likes to run underneath the wagon when we coast down the hill, or, on his more mellow days, likes to jump in for a ride. The one who decided he should ride the garage door as it was closing, and that the wasp flying around his head looked tasty. The coyotes have been really talkative the last few nights, and the sad truth is, he probably went on one too many adventures. There’s a small chance he wandered into someone else’s yard and once they showed him some love, he lost track of time.

It happens, you know. Ever wake up in the morning and feel like you’ve missed something? That either you or the world is not the same and you’re not sure which or why or when? Like you’ve been on pause. Losing Sookit, the not-so-bright black and white rescued feline, pushed my play button again. Life is going to move, it's going to change, and eventually it’s going to end.

It’s not such a bad thing. Knowing we’ll die just might make us live our lives differently, if we ever take the time to stop and think about it. But if you’re like me, your mind might wander when you try ponder. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit is a beautifully written way to be completely enthralled while you contemplate. Eternal life, forever seventeen. It's an option for Winnie, and the offer comes with the affection of a boy. But the older, wiser Tuck family member tells Winnie, “You can’t have living without dying. So you can’t call it living, what we got. We just are, we just be, like rocks beside the road.”

Sookit lived like he’d never die and I’m afraid he had it perfectly wrong. Or maybe he had it perfectly right. Climb every tree, pounce on everything that moves, and go down in a blaze of glory, off to the happy hunting grounds. It’s something Rachel has to think about when she gets tangled up in all things Time Walker. She and Winnie could have had a good long talk when Winnie grew to be seventeen, that age when there are so many decisions to make. I won’t tell you what Winnie chooses. You’ll have to read the book.

To live forever, to die in time. Either way, I can’t find my cat. Maybe it's time to rescue another.


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