Josie is my ‘ordinary’ cat. It’s why, I think, she is featured in this blog the least of my four beasts. Nothing about her leaps out at one. She didn’t come to stay with me because she was abused, as was Cammie, or abandoned, like Tucker, or in need of an urgent foster-home, as in Renn’s case. I adopted her as a companion for Tungsten, my first cat.
Once in my home, Josie showed herself to be friendly, spirited, fun. But again, nothing special. She was not a big, curious animal like Renn; or a goofy furry baby, like Tucker; or a tough-skinned softie as is my princess. She was Josie. Her health has been good, her appetite by and large normal. Rarely did she stand out, though I quickly became attached to her.
The local newspaper provides space on Saturdays for rescue-groups in the district to advertise cats and dogs who are available for adoption. One of the things I do for the organisation to which I belong is write its advertisements. The toughest ones are for cats such as Josie, the cats who don’t have any outstanding characteristics. They aren’t terrifically shy, and need patience; they are playful but not exuberant; they are cute but not beautiful; they don’t have intriguing fur-patterns, or strange-hued eyes, or extra toes. They are, in fact, ordinary.
And yet each one is a character in his own right. My Chubs has grown more and more friendly with time - though she was always the chummy sort - and her purr, though not really melodious, is joyful to hear. She likes to play but is lazy, so she lies on the floor and tries to catch a string-toy as it swings past her. She will live in tolerance with Cammie, but once in a while antagonizes her - just for a chuckle, I think. When she is hungry or thirsty, her demands come as shrill screeches that make me laugh and want to plug my ears at the same time. When she does run, her flabby stomach waddles beneath her most ungraciously. And her head really is about two sizes too small for her body. But when I am in bed at night, she will lie beside me, looking at me, purring.
Josie makes me think about all the ‘ordinary’ cats looking for homes, those who aren’t cute or exotic, those who aren’t extroverted or bouncy. Each one has a personality waiting to captivate someone, and each will be a best friend, if given the chance. Too often, these days, many people, myself included, look for the overtly intriguing, the blatantly unusual. Instead, we should cast an eye toward the mundane, the normal. When we do, we may be astonished at the extraordinary in the ordinary.