I was having breakfast with some friends at the Magdalena Café last week when Marshal Cearley stopped by the table with a story about his cat. Now the Marshal has been a New Mexico lawman for well over three decades and is as tough as they come, so there’s not much he hasn’t seen before, but when it comes to that darn cat, well…
It has nothing in common with the 1965 Disney movie That Darn Cat starring Hayley Mills in which the cat of the title is instrumental in capturing a kidnapper, but rather a cat that hitchhiked a trip to the big city. Well, not really hitchhiked in as much as cats have no thumbs, but I digress.
It seems that Mrs. Cearley had driven to Albuquerque, making several stops once there for various errands here and there, and on the way back made a stop in Veguita. When she turned off the engine and got out she was greeted by their cat. Sneaking out from under the car. And was presumably very warm.
You’ve no doubt heard stories of a cat getting up into the innards of a vehicle and surviving – save for being a little shook up – and escaping at the first opportunity, but this darn cat chose to stay tucked somewhere in there until they were back in Socorro County. Like it was thinking, “There’s no way I’m getting out in Albuquerque!”
OK, I admit that’s not the best cat story you’ve ever heard, but we all had a good laugh about it at the café. But I can relate. Not only about the Albuquerque joke but also about cats in general, like when I’m ready to sit in my favorite chair and I’m greeted with one of our three felines giving me a steely eyed gaze that would make Marshal Cearley proud.
What’s more it’s just the first of March and already the cat is bringing in dead lizards for us to admire. Sheesh.
But it’s all good. March means spring is heading our way. Besides being the month of Caesar’s Ides, St. Patrick’s Day and Spring Breaks for all, there’s also something called March Madness, a basketball thing, when even people who don’t follow the sport very closely will try to win money by filling out brackets in an office pool or something. But that’s not for me, no. If I want some free money I just go down to John Brooks and get me a Roadrunner ticket. Funny thing, though, that big sack of money seems to evaporate after matching only one number.
One more thing. My birthdate happens to be in the month March and under the astrological sign of Aries. Aries was named after Ares, the Greek god of war and the son of Zeus and Hera. Zeus became god of all the gods by a random drawing with his brothers – not unlike holding the winning lottery ticket. And Hera was something called the Queen of the Gods on Mt. Olympus and, as fate would have it, she was also the sister of her husband Zeus. Sound familiar?
I’m getting the feeling that all TV soap operas sprang from Greek mythology.
Where was I? Oh yes, when it comes to celebrating birthdays, after age 39 I frankly started losing track of the “how old are you” thing. Age, the way I look at it, is just a social construct, or as Mark Twain once said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. So, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
This reminds me of something I saw while on the internet last week about adopting new categories for age groups. I’m not sure who came up with them, but try this on for size: Youth goes to age 65. Middle age is 65-75. Old age is 75 and over.
Sounds reasonable to me, although it must be noted that maturity was not even mentioned in that article. As Mae West says, “You are never too old to become younger!”
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as chip clip for aging (as opposed to age), so I’m thinking the three stages of life should be:
• Pretty good
• Not bad
• Can’t complain
And you can decide when you’ve moved on to the next.
When you get down to it, your chronological age is kind of irrelevant depending on your priorities, but I will admit that it’s been many years since I’ve been told to tuck my shirt in, stand up straight, pick up my feet, turn down that record player, or do my homework. Or having to wait until Saturday morning to watch cartoons.
Now I’m all grown up and know stuff.
But honestly, I can’t remember how I reheated coffee before microwaves.