It is a blustery, strange day. There have been sudden snow streamers off the lake, wet snow, hail, then sunshine that melted the pavements. But during rush hour this morning, black ice, lots of accidents, road closures. A good day to be retired, to be home, curled up like this wonderful cat.
But Tolkien’s cat reminds me, too, that while I enjoy my creature comforts, I might think of other challenges and possibilities. A “successful” woman in a secure and prosperous country, I have been incredibly fortunate. I have had an education, a good marriage, two wonderful sons, an interesting career, a comfortable home. My father finished his service in the RCAF in WWII uninjured, and neither my husband nor my sons have had to go to war. We have been spared plague, famine, and natural disaster. Now I have the gift of leisure, of time to pursue my interests, of time to be mindful and grateful.
International Women’s Day is a sobering reminder that, while my story is not unique, nor is it the norm, around the world to-day, or back through history. Sometimes I wear my great-grandmother and grandmother’s wedding rings… my daughter in law, Tara, chose my mother’s as her engagement ring. It is good to feel connected.
There are other connections, too. The day of Tara’s eighteenth birthday twenty-eight female engineering students were shot and fourteen killed during a massacre in a Quebec university, merely because they were women. What a staggering loss!
“But fat cat on the mat kept as a pet, he does not forget.” Nor should we. Ever.
Give yourself a present… stretch yourself, arch your back, then read this poem aloud and let the syllables pur! And the next time you see a beautiful cat, remember the witches, the crones, the grandmothers and mothers and daughters, the gifted girls who died in that classroom, and the women who have suffered and still suffer everywhere.