Monday, March 7, 2011
Did I mention that Mary and Percy are the proud parents of a big, handsome, charismatic fellow named Lemon the Cat? The Shelleys adopted the Amazing Aquacat from VOKRA about six months ago. He has grown much bigger and far better co-ordinated than when we saw him last, but he is still the happy, good-natured, easy-going laddie that we remember.
Like most house parties, this one was supposed to be held in the living room, but like all of them, it spilled over into the kitchen, where friends reconvened, and strangers introduced themselves to each other. A few of us even discovered good friends that we've never met before.
We talked about the things we do, the things we've done, the things we want to try; we discussed our shared interests, our common experiences. We talked about the differences in our lives that make us stand apart, but somehow bring us closer.
Some of the guests have always lived in this city, some have travelled here for the first time, some have been a'wand'ring, and have just returned home. Some came from far away - some of us only ever journey vicariously. Some came here to teach, and some had come to learn new and wonderful things.
While Mary was being held hostage in the kitchen, Percy played the roving host with flair and grace. No glass was left unfilled, no plate or bowl remained empty, and no guest was neglected, although some did disappear for a time.
The Remarkable Lemon had taken refuge under the living room couch. Don't get me wrong, he likes people well enough. I think that he just prefers us in more manageable numbers than he found us on Saturday night. Every now and again, his handsome, smiling face would peer out from under the skirt of the couch and would study his party guests upsidedown. Occasionally, a soft, white paw would venture out to touch an unsuspecting someone's ankle, and would dart back to the sound of her surprised shriek. I'm sure I heard a satisfied chuckle from the shadows under the sofa every time.
Lemon was having his own little party under the couch. We were welcome to come under and join him, but not all at once. It was a little like having Elvis himself invite you into the Jungle Room, a great honour and a matter of careful confidentiality at the same time. When Percy came to seek his missing guests, that was where he found us.
I don't think that I've ever left a party emptyhanded. When the Tall Lady and I said goodnight to our three hosts, we left with a (nearly new) scratching post, a copy of Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking and our new friend, Heather. There was no question of being able to abduct Lemon - Mary and Percy were watching all of us too closely for that. Anyway - Lemon is far too happy where he lives now.
Thank you, Mary, Percy and Lemon for the invitation, the warm welcome, and the gracious hospitality. Thanks to your other guests for their camaraderie and their kindness - especially the nice muslim lady who excused the horrible faux pas of the handshake. I really should know better at my age.
We meet the nicest people by chance. We get to keep them by choice. The two of you are keepers. Be well.