"There is no greater sorrow than to be mindful of the happy time in misery."
- Dante, Purgatorio, Canto 5
My pensive Blue Cat seemed sad today. There he sits, in his shady home, guarding the sole surviving strawberry plant, adjacent to the pink pelargonium that highlights his coloring so well. I would have thought he’d be happy there. Yet he seems to be brooding, perhaps over his long gone happy days on the covered patio, undisturbed by sprinklers and wandering wild beasts in the night. Now at night he witnesses skunks, European rats and the occasional coyote, as well as the feral cat that seems to live in the backyard, easily evading the old dog who couldn’t catch a cold in a snow storm. The night creatures cross the bridge where Blue Cat is stationed, ignoring his silent stare.
Perhaps Blue Cat confused – yet again – by the mysteries of the Monday trash schedule, and particularly how Monday holidays disrupt the predictable comings and goings of recycle trucks and garbage trucks. Our house is in the zip code but not in the incorporated limits of our suburban town. Sometimes, a Monday holiday is ignored and trash is whisked away with the usual efficiency on Monday. Other holidays, the pickup is delayed until Tuesday. Sometimes in weeks with a Monday holiday, the recycle people come on different days than the garbage people. Like the cat, I too, am mystified by the complexities of postmodern trash removal. Somewhere, a bureaucrat understands it all, but for the rest of us, it’s just another sign that we’re entering an Age of Endarkenment – where nobody understands anything and we’ll all wear Blue Cat’s perpetual puzzled stare.
Perhaps his ceramic thoughts chase sluggishly around inside his mostly hollow head, and he simply dreams of the day when he will purr like a real cat, emitting the soft hum in the frequency that can sooth even the most troubled mind.
Perhaps Blue Cat is just dizzy with the world’s spin, wondering why the people in China don’t fall off, while we bump along longing for a new day when men will once again believe in each other, and Monday trash day will always be on Mondays. Or at least on the Tuesday following a Monday holiday.