The Happiest Day of My Life

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I'm lying on my back underneath a chair with tears falling down my cheeks. I've been laying here for what feels like hours, but in reality are probably only a handful of minutes. I am weeping because I desperately want a kitten and my parents, or mainly my Dad, won't allow it.  I'm in the middle of demonstrating my sadness, hoping my parents will see how much I'm hurting and that it will make them change their minds. I'm 7 years old, and have already understood that standing up for your beliefs (or, just trying to get things your way) by chaining yourself to a tree, or crying underneath a chair, is one tactic of negotiating in this world.

My Greenpeace inspired strategy unfortunately didn't work and I had to wait 22 more years before getting that kitten (I did get a bunny at the age of 10 that I loved very much, and my sister got a cat while I was still living at home, but those were never really the same thing as a cat of my own).

Luna the cat entered my life at age 28, which coincidentally is my luck number, and reality has been exactly as good, if not even better, as all those childhood fantasies of having a cat as my best friend were. There's so many things in life that you can have very high expectations towards only to end up getting a bit disappointed with when they finally happen, so getting a cat has been a strong antidote for any cynicism or bitterness that might creep into life. And to be fair, with this one the risk of disappointment was pretty epic. I've basically built up my expectations since the age of 3, that's when I thought I got a kitten for my birthday, but it turned out later that it was just a hand puppet that my Mom was manipulating and making meowing sounds to. Learning to deal with shattered illusions started early for me.

The whole process of searching for a kitten, finding one, then going to visit it before it moved to our home was exciting and time consuming, but all worth it and I would absolutely do it again. The race of cat we got is called Scottish Straight and they are particularly known for being very social cats, and that they kinda think they are dogs. Luna comes running to the door when I come home wiggling her tail in excitement. We are convinced that if Luna could speak she would have a thick Scottish accent, every time I think of it it makes me smile.

I love the feeling of being needed and getting to take care of someone who always wants my affection and attention. Luna wakes up with me every morning and follows me into the kitchen. She enters the rest of the apartment as if it's the first time, she carefully smells the walls and the edges of the carpets, she scans the rooms for any changes and makes sure that her bowl with water is still in the same place as it was the evening before. It's a daily reminder to not take things for granted and live in the now. As a contemporary dancer the thing I always loved about improvising and dancing has been its ability to ground me into the present moment, and Luna is the best dancer in that sense. She is constantly guided by all her senses, taking in the world through her big round eyes, long wiggly whiskers and tiny nose.

The story of the girl who finally got her cat is maybe not a movie that would sell out at the theaters, but it's the little story of my life that keeps bringing me joy everyday.

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