Shadowlands

Buddy is a complex fellow.

His Ma said he was in a dark mood when she snapped this pic. Observe the slight tipping of his right ear . . . anyone with even the slightest amount of FEI (feline emotional intelligence) would tell you that this cat is not cool with whatever it is that y’all are doing. He’s in full on grumpy cat mode regardless of how you treat him, coddle him, ignore him. Get back, honkey cat and whatever you do, do not touch him or even think about doing so.

Interesting how a dark mood can occasionally overtake even the sunniest of souls. Like a total eclipse of the sun the lightness and brightness of our usual vibe can be momentarily overshadowed. While a little short term shadow dwelling provides us a chance to chill out, more long term shadow dwelling turns into habit, turns into lifestyle, turns into terminal curmudgeonly crankiness if not checked. That’s the power of a shadow. It has the potential to shift, over time, from visible darkness to a gloominess of mind and soul that isn’t always obvious. Others may not initially be so aware and might altogether miss that subtle, almost imperceptible, Buddy-like tipping of the ear when we’re actually telegraphing the emotion (or rather the lack of any). Dwelling in the shadowland is no bueno for anyone, cat or otherwise. Better to pass through and not to set up shop there. “Yay, though I walk t h r o u g h the valley of the shadow of death . . . Key word—through. As in keep moving.

We must walk through. To-the-other-side-of-that-valley through. C’mon buddy, step back into the light. Out of the shadows and into the light. One paw at a time until you’re back.

Just some Sunday reflections on an occasionally grumpy cat named Buddy.