How My Familiar Keeps Me Hanging On

Right.  So things are bad.  But even when things are bad, even when things are super bad, there is always some sort of light to find, some little squeak of happiness to grab onto.  Maybe it only makes one minute of an entire day worth living but there is one thing I know for sure and that’s that every scrap of happy counts.  And sometimes you really have to manually count the happy in your life.  Pippa is my happy.  I love all my animals.  But Pippa is my familiar.  She follows me around all day.  She pats me on the leg and squeaks when she wants me to throw a string around for her or make room in my lap for her.

When she’s not in my lap or following me up and down the stairs all day she’s napping.  She naps on piles of clothes that threaten to toss her to the floor.  (She enjoys the challenge)

She hangs out in in-boxes on shelves.  (Please forgive the flashtastic quality of this photo.  Forgive the quality of ALL these photos.  It is extremely difficult to good pics of Pippa in hiding.)

She really loves my lap.  But only in fall, winter, and part of spring.

When I’m sorting through breakdown-inducing health insurance papers from the state and I feel like I’m going to cry I smell a lemon and I watch Pippa napping on crumpled newspaper.

A more recent napping spot is in the linen closet.  On our clean towels.  You can also just spot the very bottom shelf full of crap?  There is only 1/4 (if that) of that crap left in there.  (Spring cleaning is well under way!)

Her love for boxes is well known.  She isn’t as funny as Maru is in boxes but we don’t care.  We love Pippa.  If I was a witch Pippa would be my familiar.  She calls for me when she isn’t napping to find out where I am.  She is always close by.  I talk to her all day long.  I listen to her snoring.  When I think I can’t take another stupid day of useless paperwork I pick that bundle of fur up and I smell her weirdly powdery baby smell and I know I can make it one more day.  The sound of her purring is like a defibrillator for a heart stopping panic attack.  There’s just something about Pippa.


  1. angelina says:

    I know this is a rough day for you! If you don’t have a Pippa – maybe you can grab a little bit of happiness with a grandbaby or maybe a little quilting to get your mind off the tough stuff? I’m sending good thoughts your way!

  2. Grace says:

    I know just how you feel–Leo was like that for me. His presence just made things OK, at least for a moment, no matter how bad they were. I still miss him every day.

    Lately, Atticus, my tabby cat, is moving into that position in my life. He’s become an oddly empathetic creature and seems to know when he is needed (though, to be fair, he’s around quite a lot when he’s not needed, too). Aren’t they amazing?

  3. angelina says:

    They really are! I can’t imagine life without cats. I’m sorry you don’t have Leo anymore. I dread the day we have to say goodbye to Pippa. Max will be devastated. At least I can genuinely say that not a day goes by without us appreciating all our animals. I love the name Atticus! Cats are such funny creatures. Our first cat, Ozark, was a cantankerous bastard who only liked me and Philip. He would attack anyone else who tried to pick him up and sometimes even when they just tried petting him without an explicit invitation. We were a little worried when Max was born that Ozark would be difficult. He never was. He regarded the baby with deep suspicion but no matter how Max tried mauling him he never hurt Max. His last two years of life, when we first moved up here to Oregon, he chose Max as his primary person. Max still misses him and I think we talk about Ozark every single week. I think Ozark is largely responsible for Max becoming a lover of all animals. How can a mean old orange tabby have such magical powers?

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