Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Extraordinary in the Ordinary

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.

20 comments:

  1. Your post today was so true, John. While volunteering at the animal shelter, I've seen it happen time and time again that "ordinary" cats are overlooked. We'll be having our big adoption event on Saturday, (Clear the Shelter Day), and I'm hoping that many of our "long term residents" will find their forever homes. After all, every cat is extraordinary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's sad to see some who are never chosen, never even considered. I hope some will find there homes this weekend.

      Delete
  2. What a beautifully written post in honour not only of Josie, but of all who are "ordinary." I actually prefer "ordinary," am not drawn to extroverted Beings, prefer the quiet, unobtrusive yet affectionate ones. I hope I'm not in the minority!

    So smooches and kitty kisses to sweet Josie, who is absolutely wonderful in her own unique way.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with your assessment. My Jinx is very similar to your Josie. Just your ordinary looking and ordinary cat, but in truth he is the glue that held together the 3 amigos from so long ago when they were abandoned near my house and he kept them together no doubt about it in my mind. He is the gentle giant who allows Annabelle to literally bounce off of him as she tries to 'play' with him and he doesn't let it offend him or scare him. How could she? She is literally half his size. But then again he is the one who will stand up and protect the house or himself if he feels the need. He is such a gentle soul and one I have grown to appreciate ever so much over the years. Thank you for writing this today...and too I wanted to comment as well, that I too would like that "one more day" with my long gone furry companions. I only fear I'd keep asking for one more though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Josie is the solid one here, among the other characters. There always seems to be a steady one among a group, like your Mr Jinx.

      Delete
  4. I have that problem from time to time with foster kittens. Each one that comes through my house gets a write up for the shelter, and 95% of the time 'something' stands out. they like to talk, they love feather toys, they really like climbing.. but occasionally there will be ones that are just your average in everything kitten, they love nothing more than anything else, they play, they snuggle, they eat, nothing 'stands out' and for some odd reason I always feel like *I* failed when that happens, for not noticing what makes them unique.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It may take the special person who adopts them to discover a cat's special quality; maybe only they will have that bond.

      Delete
  5. Josie is beautiful and lucky to have you as her human. Our Sam was the same way. She had been in the shelter for quite awhile while her more exotic looking brother was quickly adopted. She had two willing slaves to indulge her every whim for 9 years. She has been gone for 2 years and I still think about her everyday.

    ReplyDelete
  6. well said.....mom says that sometimes these cats are the "bomb proof" ones that could so easily adapt to anything and yet there are people out there that want to "SAVE" an animal rather than have a wonderful companion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 'romance of the rescue', as some in my rescue-group call it. That wears off; the friend stays.

      Delete
  7. josie we think ewe iz a gorgeouz gal; yur coat iz awesum in coloring N markinz, ya dee sided ya dinna knead gurlee mascara afturr all when ya tried it on yur left eye then said....nah...N ya haz a look a bout cha thatz miss cheef az well az....what ever....at de same time !! ☺☺☺

    we hope yur dad uses sum oh his werds frum his post: "each one has a personality waiting etc..... " next time him rites an advert....

    him sold uz... N we iz all reddy catz ~~~~~~ ♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's too bad cats can't do the adopting.

      Delete
  8. Josie is definitely no ordinary cat. She is extraordinary and very pretty.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My Sami is much the same as your Josie, she's enjoys my company but isn't really a lap cat like Sasha, she purrs but not with the volume of Saku, and play...well there she is definitely like Josie, just laying there batting at a toy.

    Yes, there is something special about these two girls. They love unconditionally, they ask little (though when they do they're rather loud about it), and I'm certain you feel as I do about Sami, that you would feel your life was less without Josie in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just as the household changed for the worse when Tungsten left, so it would if I lost my Chubs.

      Delete
  10. Mine is the same, utterly ordinary. Elizabeth at LCCR described her as "the bathroom cat" and little else. When we went over we couldn't find her, a few minutes later she appeared, sniffing at the crate we had brought. When we unzipped it she walked right in and sat down.

    Regretfully many of her friends were lost too long after in the fire that destroyed LCCR. I'd like to think she had a little angel on her shoulder telling her to come with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are so many cats in a rescuer's care that she can't learn about all of them as much as she'd like. But this one had you to learn all about her.

      Delete
  11. Hurrah to ordinary cats. Josie is extrodinary simply for being Josie. My Holly is pretty ordinary too. But I love her for being Holly, a little bit goofy.

    ReplyDelete