Spring is in full force now that I’ve trekked from the desert back across the continental divide. I’ve watched trees go from buds to fresh green leaf, plants from bulbs and shoots to full flower and animals grow amorous to the point of being somewhat careless with life and limb. With the exception of the suicidal animal tendencies, it is difficult NOT to feel inspired to do something of the same thing. Love is definitely in the air, and if you are a fellow allergy sufferer, it is also in your sinuses. It is the time of year that makes me grateful for the hairlessness of my cats.
Yes, cats, plural. We have a new addition here in the Silver Twinkie, and he is a very, very gregarious red-headed Libra with a Sagittarius Ascendant. We’ve named him Cesare.
He’s into absolutely everything, with all of his senses, and wants to get up close and personal with all things new, be they people, food or other sundry items found in the Airstream. He’ll make a toy out of anything at hand and never gives up trying to play with our resident Virgo, our dear, sweet Brundlefly.
To her credit, Brundlefly has been reasonably tolerant of the new addition to the family, not biting hard enough to leave marks and only hissing twice or three times per day. Her Scorpio Ascendant has puffed her up with jealousy, so I’m careful to give her all the loving to which she’s become accustomed, and then some. She’s so very much the embodiment of her sign right now that one feels very privileged when she comes and sits in one’s lap, even moreso if she then begins to purr.
Cesare is, of course, oblivious. He’s very, very busy figuring things out and just really doesn’t wish to be bothered until he’s done with whatever he’s investigating, playing with or sniffing to within an inch of its life. His new life is an endless series of amusing items to be befriended and won over and this includes Brundlefly, who, aside from us, is the center of his Universe. He loves her, wants to play with her, snuggles up to her when chilly or sleepy or simply feeling amorous in his neutered-male sort of way.
She, for her part, is quite clear that all of this activity this will take place on her terms and on her terms only. As I write this, the negotiations are ongoing.
The contrast in personalities is making me painfully aware of my own tendencies for a short temper and overly critical point of view. I watch Brundlefly growl and hiss and generally expend an enormous amount of energy on accentuating the negative points of the new addition. It makes the times she accepts his snuggling, or seeks him out for a snuggle during a mid-afternoon catnap marathon seem positively effortless and carefree. In turn, I examine my own habitual routines of doing just that, ignoring the beauty of the paradise about me, wherever we may happen to be, and instead concentrating on the one semi-annoying piece of news received in that week’s mail drop. More damaging still, I watch Best Beloved wilt with resignation as this ongoing cycle generates more negativity and less joy in the moments we share out here on the road.
It’s enough to make me come to this month’s column with a great big Mea Culpa and an apology for Best Beloved that I know won’t make up for anything in the long run. But Cesare, who is worming him way beneath my arm and shoulder at this very moment, has a lesson for me in all of this: Persistence in Positivity. No matter how many times I place him on the floor, he is back up on my keypad, purring, ready to engage and play. No matter how many times Brundlefly swats him away, he finds a different vantage point from which to stalk and pounce in an attempt to begin games anew. No matter how cold it gets at night he snuggles contentedly beside us both, a low rumble always in his chest. No matter how harshly we call his name to chide him for playing with the garbage r some other such nonsense, he responds with a raised tail, wide trusting eyes and a loud, steady purr.
In short, he is all joy, all the time. And I could do with his reminder to stick with my initial thoughts and impressions of the spring season, to follow his example of striving to find the positive in every moment, even if it is fleeting and rare, and greet my days and my Best Beloved with persistent affirmations of joy in the moment and with the company.
It is on this note, dear readers, that I give you a very simple and delicious recipe for a springtime cocktail that I have affectionately named the Cat Toy. Enjoy with someone you love who loves you back with an unconditional joy that reminds you to savor every moment of every beautiful day.
1 part Triple Sec or Orange Cointreau
Splash of vanilla vodka
2 parts pineapple juice
1 part sour mix* (Make your own! MUCH better than purchased!)
1 part orange juice
I garnish this with a piece of fruit, an umbrella and a gummi worm, the combination of which truly resembles a moderately expensive cat toy.
*SOUR MIX: a mixture of 50% simple syrup (equal parts sugar/water) and 50% fresh squeezed clear citrus (lemon or lime)
Charon Henning is one of a handful of female sword swallowers in the world today. She’s performed on carnival midways and at wine tastings, on theater stages and grassy lots.
Charon also reads tea leaves professionally, a skill she inherited from her grandmother on her mother’s side of the family. Tea-leaf reading is a wonderful and elegant form of entertainment, suitable for many time periods and venues.