Monday, March 31, 2008

Just enjoy the pawprints in life

Perfect little pawprints.
So sweet. So delicate.
That’s what I was thinking the other day as I was taking a break from some weekend chores, and just sort of staring into space.
And then my eyes settled on the pawprints, etched into the dust by one of my many kitties.
Wait, etched into the dust?
In this, the season of spring cleaning?
Another person might have immediately sprung into action, dust cloth in hand, to wipe away the incriminating evidence — evidence that, obviously, I don’t dust nearly often enough for a person with cats in the house.
And I’m sure most people wouldn’t admit that there was enough dust in their house that would facilitate a cat leaving a pawprint signature.
But then most people probably wouldn’t allow so many cats to call their house a home.
Not being “most people,” I don’t mind sharing my abode with the furry felines, even though I swear sometimes I could create several cats out of the “dust kitties” that accumulate under my bed in a week’s time.
And I occasionally don’t feel that I quite fall into the “crazy cat lady” category when I watch some of the shows on Animal Planet that feature hoarders who have 30 or more animals in their small homes.
I also don’t plan on adding any more cats to the house — regardless of how many seem to keep showing up in the yard, but also seem content to just drop by for some food in the “outside dish.”
But back to the pawprints.
Yes, I did get around to sweeping them away later that day. But I know that sooner or later I’ll probably have a repeat performance.
Let’s face it, probably sooner than later.
But I know the dust truly isn’t going to kill me, since I was not one of those kids raised in a bubble.
Growing up on a small farm meant running outside barefoot; eating strawberries and peas right from the garden (yes, without washing them — that would have spoiled the fun); riding my pony, dragging around cats, petting the dog and hanging out in the barn around all manner of livestock, totally free of any kind of antiseptic hand cleaner.
Heck, when I was growing up they didn’t even have the stuff. Likewise,as my daughter was enjoying all these similar experiences.
Sleeping and eating in the barns next to our cows at 4-H shows, sharing our farmhouse kitchen as a kid with lambs or other critters that needed to be kept warm, eating a picnic lunch on a blanket on the ground with less than spotless hands — we never gave any of this a second thought.
And we never seemed to get sick because of any of this. I’d have to say our immune systems probably benefited from all of the germ exposure.
I feel a bit sorry for kids today, who are followed around with sanitizer, banned from petting animals and generally living in an ever more antiseptic world.
Especially when I think back on all the fun I had growing up in a “dirty” world.
As for spring cleaning? Well, I can’t promise anything as drastic as washing down all the walls, shampooing the rugs and scrubbing all the windows.
But I’ll try to not be overrun by pawprints in the dust.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nona- I have read of your love of animals for years. We share such a love. But, toooo many people are off the deep end over animals and are daily losing their love for people. God gave us "dominion" over the animals- animals should not have dominion over us to the point where animals-including cats, "rule". Toooo many people- especially women, are pro-choice and yet they would never agree to the same demise for kittens or any other animal. I guess it is all a matter of perspective- for me, I love animals less than people. Bless you and thank you for your writings. d