Millie doesn’t wander the property with me anymore.
She used to.
When Luna and I rambled around once
or twice a day,
Millie usually followed.
She wasn’t always happy about it.
But she was curious enough,
or jealous enough,
bored or lonely enough, to follow.
Because Luna explored,
No matter how much I coax her,
she won’t follow me when I’m alone.
She might come as far as the porch step,
the lumber pile at the back corner of the house.
Bill and I were outside airing
up the tires on a trailer.
Guess who showed up—even though it was snowing just a bit?
She came looking for us,
yowling with curiosity and petulance.
Pinkies, what are you doing out here?
Is it really
necessary to be out in this wet and cold nastiness?
After posing for her portrait, she jumped the gate
stalked down the sidewalk to the front door,
pausing after each step to shake
the water off a hind paw.
So...for Millie, no one person is worth trailing
through the snow and across the property.
(Curiosity killed the cat, right?)
C. S. Lewis wrote,
“In each of my friends there is
something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not
large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my
own to show all his facets. Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see Ronald’s reaction to [one of Charles’s jokes]. Far from having more of Ronald, having him ‘to myself’ now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald.”*
He goes on to make some points about friendship
and Heaven and God, but this quote has been on my mind the last few weeks
because of Millie and Luna.
Most of what Luna brought out in Millie, I don’t
miss: stinkeye glares, hisses, and swipes.
However, I do miss watching Luna run and sniff and
explore the property day after day . . .
and I miss being trailed by a black and white cat
who sometimes galloped across the property,
And sometimes even almost played with her.
She had fun
—in spite of herself, I think.
Her world has shrunk back to what it was before Luna came to us.
It makes me sad.
I wonder if we got another dog,
if that might bring her out again.
I suppose I’ll find out, when the time comes.
* Quote is from page 234 of The
Quotable Lewis, edited by Wayne Martindale and Jerry Root, copyright 1989,
Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL.