AFFINITY WITH CATS
Kitties are the cutest animals we all wanted to play with. It’s like caressing living dolls. And to think that cats unlike their canine counterpart, the dogs, although puppies convey the same adorable disposition, are not as emotional and demonstrative. Cats are never excited like dogs whenever their masters arrive. The cat act more like the master himself. But of course, cats are more nimble, silent and more serious although playful when prodded. They demand little attention unlike other pets.
They can live, well depending on breed, up to a full age of 20. You can expect an exciting period of entertainment in their company for 15 years. Beyond that, you would seldom see your pet hanging around anymore. It is somewhere looking for a place to fade away.
Once upon a time, on hindsight, I was the delight of the family, like a new kitten in the household. I was some kind of a plaything, a toy of sorts, delightful and cuddly. And as I grew up and earned spurs in school, I easily entered the world of employment. In less than what is normal, I was recognized and given one plum position after another. The world of accomplishment was virtually my own personal world. I was basking from one achievement after another. For a while, I was also enjoying the status of a celebrity not only in the academe but also in tri-media. I look more of a Belgian tiger than a full grown cat. I was that prominent.
Discipline and hard work made me an Alpha earlier on. I was for a while the toast of the town. I was virtually on top of the food chain.
Then the twilight years for the Homo sapiens come lurking by. Man becomes a senior citizen at the age of 60. That has been defined by law also. And so right after I reached the senior age, I immediately tendered my retirement. I felt like a graying pterodactyl in a world conscious of and awed by colorful bird plumage. I was no longer sprightly as a cat but sluggish as a sloth. While my skin before could stand the high noon sun, it could easily catch fire once I forget to walk into a shade!
Time has come.
I am 62, frail and beginning to be a bit more forgetful. In other words, I am old, pathetic and unemployed. I am no longer a tiger in its prime. I am virtually a scrap which has lost its luster and merely allowed to function as wiper. Like an old cat hanging around the dark corners of the garage.
If we have a story where a young, athletic and skilled person would ask a senile, weak and jobless man for assistance, the plot would either be a comedy or horror! Normally, it is the young, athletic and skilled person who will save the sloppy oldie from the clutches of hardship.
What we have here is that people never realize that some guys have grown old, have become weak and have vowed out from work. They still believe that time froze, that anyone can be youthful, strong and wealthy forever.
In my case, I have reserves which could sustain me for a decade, assuming that I would last that long. If I will spend my savings by helping others—and I tell you there are a lot of them who I wish and intend to support from my barkada to former classmates, from kababata to colleagues—I will be bankrupt in a couple of years! I will be a beggar by then. I doubt if my kids would be able to help me through when the time comes.
However, I will not even allow myself to be that dependent anyway. I will just fade somewhere happy with the thought that I have sent my kids to school until they have completed their studies. That is what a parent ought to have done in the first place. I have fulfilled the mandate and I am up for grabs already. I feel contented offering my strength and resources to a certain extent in my heydays to those who needed it. That is satisfaction in capital letters which I would lay my head on as a soft pillow during my slumber.
And of course, unlike ordinary mortals who walked the earth for some time and bid goodbye in a simple manner, I did more. I have published five books. My recent book is very personal and for the eyes of those I will leave behind. I was figure of importance in the organization where I shone for a while. I have inspired people, assisted a number in their career, saved lives and shown loyalty to friends to last a lifetime. I am an active denizen in cyberspace and my thoughts are expected to navigate longer than my virtual lifespan. I have art works, not much of a quality but it may qualify as relic assuming that I will not be forgotten historically, which I doubt because I have known people who tried to be heroic only to be overlooked. Like a big cat, getting old is natural, but my fur and remains are still precious commodities.
That is right. I have advanced the only luxury I could share and it is in the possession of my loved ones already— their school diploma. From there, they could eke out whatever future they may prefer. If they studied well, then prosperity follows. If they merely coasted along, then they would just float where reality intends them to be. If they studied hard and more, then fortune will stalk them! It is a choice which my kids must have to reckon on their own. I could only watch them accomplish the task.
Well, somehow somewhere I could catch myself poised elegantly like a cat but this time projected only as a shadow during the night. Poised like praying for his loved ones to have a secured future. I had my time, now, it’s theirs.
You see, old cats too come and go and move on ordinarily like an elderly.