This is a blessing for my old orange cat, Buster,
On the occasion of Rosh Hodesh Elul,
Rosh Hashanah La Beheimot,
The New Year of the Domesticated Beasts.
Buster was an athlete in his youth.
He’s named for Buster Keaton because
He was always leaping and levitating
And doing triple axels on the ceiling
And he never smiled.
Buster was also kind of a jerk.
Standoffish and emotionally withholding,
He ruined two sets of venetian blinds and
Every screen in every window.
He broke all my small breakables
Sometimes I would catch him
Staring at his brother,
Sweet fuzzy cuddly Sammy,
With this look in his eyes
“I have no choice, I have to bite Sammy on his ass.”
And then he would.
Intervention only delayed the inevitable.
Have you heard of family systems theory?
When Sammy died, Buster took his place:
He got cuddly and loving and slept on my face.
And now Buster is very old,
He misses the litter box more often than not
(I spend a fortune on pee pads).
He howls very loudly when he’s hungry
And howls very loudly after he has eaten.
He falls over when he sneezes!
Sometimes Buster walks down the hallway and then stops halfway
And you can see him thinking,
What was I doing?
Sometimes he remembers and continues on,
Sometimes he doesn’t and goes back to bed.
Man, I can so so so relate to this.
Buster is an inside apartment cat,
My captive all his life.
He never got to serenade the neighborhood,
He never got to have sex,
He never got to fight for territory,
He never got to crouch in the tall grass stalking his prey.
Buster only murdered three mice, that I know of,
When the neighbors moved,
And it’s a shame because he was born to kill.
How do I dare to offer him a blessing
When I have been at best a benevolent tyrant
Thwarting his every natural desire?
For fifteen months during COVID
Buster was the only living being
I could touch.
Bless you, Buster.
I love you.
My old domesticated beast.
Please don’t die and
Happy New Year.