Virgil is a very big cat. At his heart, Virgil is a lover. But something inside his brain, along the lines of autism, keeps him from getting close to most people. He wants to be friendly, but then suddenly attacks. If he gains access to cheese or butter, count on him to fiercely defend it.
As my relationship with Dione developed, I wanted to become close to this trusted friend of hers. I wanted to break through to a relationship like only she had with him.
It’s been about 13 years since Dione met Virgil as a kitten, and a few months since he moved into my house with his companion, Lucy. They immediately embraced the new environment, with plenty of new places to explore. I, meanwhile, reacted with some quick adjustments of my own.
I think Virgil knew this was my house. Shortly after we began seeing each other every day, and I poured food into his bowl every day, he started to let me get much closer to him. I started to see the softer, kinder side of Virgil. And then one day, Virgil realized what he had been missing his whole life.
Virgil, ever the stoic and sometimes downright inconsolable, stretches three feet long, with his belly exposed and his head rubbing against the carpet. His growling and hissing is replaced with what looks much more like a smile; I’ve never seen him so happy and relaxed.
All he needed was a fire.
Here’s today’s thesis: first, when I said to Dione “what should I write about?” she replied “the kitties.” Second, things will come along from time to time that are total game-changers. Things that you’ve never experienced and don’t expect, that are absolutely heavenly. My first yoga class and first triathlon come to mind as an example; other examples seem to originate with vacations or other things I went out on a limb to try. What comes to your mind?
I guess it’s wise to never stop exploring. It’s wise to never give up on someone even if they perceive the world differently than you. And it’s wise to take a break in front of the fire.
Lucy recommends enhancing your experience by the fire with a good book.