The ideal of calm exists in a sitting cat.

– Jules Renard

Maybe the next time I’m in a controversial meeting or a heated discussion I can practice sitting like a cat. I could stay attentive but aloof, serene but on-the-ready.

Because, the truth is, cats see a flicker of movement and their killer instincts spark to life. They are aware to a razor’s edge, even if their demeanor belies their internal machinations.

I practiced earlier today with a stickler of a conversation. I breathed through my nose and listened but reminded myself not to take anything too seriously.

After all, there’s little in this life that requires my fight-or-flight response. I don’t know if my calm was ideal, but I was calm-like nonetheless.

And later, once I arrived home, I had the joy of practicing with my cats, Stormy and Anna. Were they calmly sitting? No, not at all.

The Christmas tree wasn’t either, now that it laid in a heap on the floor, broken ornaments haloing its still-glowing trunk.

Needless to say, any calm I’d gained prior to this event left me. I stomped and shooed, trying to keep the pesky cats from destroying what remained while I salvaged what I could.

And what did my dog do?

She was probably the calmest of us all, sitting on the sidelines quietly watching. Maybe she felt vindicated for a past slight the cats had done her.

Sometimes she gives me that pleading look, “Mama, it wasn’t me, really it wasn’t. It was those damn cats!”

Sometimes justice is meted out.

And now? I’m calm enough to remember my fresh brewed ginger and turmeric tea on the stove. Maybe a good warming will do, and I can sit like a cat and knit. Cats do love yarn, you know.

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