About 25 days ago my roommate and I decided to wrap up a 15 year partnership. We'd been together since she was the size of 2 tennis balls, though some of my people gave her refuge during a couple of years when I couldn't have her myself. Our bond had many facets, but I think the most significant thing she taught me was the possibility of unconditional wove.
I really want to be clear here: I get this magical product from a bunch of people in my life. Most everyone in my family, many of my friends, and some local politicians if their promises are to be believed. But I honestly think that it's been pretty easy to live up to that with my human connections.
True unconditional wove is seeing the rear 1/2 of a squirrel on the kitchen floor as the gift that it is.
It's taking elaborate steps to coax the live bird she brought home back out of the house, while simultaneously avoiding the crap bombs it's dropping.
Claw gouges on your back from an escape attempt, as you wash the motor oil out of her coat for the third time? That's wove of the unconditional variety.
We're talking spending a week, and your annual bonus, on a radiation treatment for a hyper thyroid, not to mention taking her poop to the hazardous waste part of the dump for the week afterward. (it didn't glow -- I checked.)
But it went both ways, I assure you. She put up with my constantly throwing away her gifts of love-carnage. She let me sing along with the music in my headphones and only occasionally used her claws to let me know she was done. She defended me and our home from so many other cats, dogs, raccoons and possums, though she always lost interest in the big, hairy spiders once she'd crippled 'em but good. She suffered vacuum cleaners, alarm clocks and window fans and still looked fabulous.
Tonight I'm finally taking her name off of our answering machine, dumping out her unused litter pan and donating her bed to the animal shelter. The battle is over and I'll consider it a win even though she's gone. Because we got to be together to the very end. But she set the bar for unconditional wove pretty damn high. I pity the fool who has to step up and jump it.
Happy wove, Thursday, folks. I'll finish the adventures of rejectioning next time.