Metropolitan Homesick Blues

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Archive for September 2009

Molly the Mouser

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Molly is a cat that couldn’t care less. She is content to sleep most of her life away. All she wants are her treats, some catnip and of course your undivided attention when she demands it. Don’t expect anything more from her. She will only come to you for scratching and stroking when she feels like it. When she’s had enough, she will leave. Try to make her do what you want and she will scream at you incessantly until you let her be. Molly deals with you on her terms. Don’t expect anything more.

She was six years old when we took her in. We’re not sure what breed she is. We think she’s a Maine Coon. That’s not important, though. Whatever she may be, Molly is a beautiful longhaired tabby.

N. rescued her from a house already populated with a dog and three cats. When she first saw her, Molly was sitting, Buddha-like, high atop a hutch, as far away as possible from the surrounding confusion. Her attitude hasn’t changed much.

Now and then there are sparks of aggression. She will sit with me in the evening and allow me to pet her. Then after a ten or so minutes her ears go up and her tail flicks in agitation. Suddenly she bats my hand with her paws and bites. Now this cat has no claws front or back. But her teeth are needle sharp. She’ll fight with me for a minute or two, and then leave.

Molly isn’t much of a stalker either. Birds, chipmunks and squirrels ignore her. It is as if they know she isn’t much of a threat to their lives. I’ve seen her on our deck slinking towards finches and chipmunks. But nothing ever comes of it.  This cat is no hunter.

Or so we thought.

The other night, in the family room, a tiny mouse ran from under the chesterfield, along the baseboard and behind the TV. Molly saw it and to our surprise reacted like a real cat. But before she could pounce, the mouse, terrified by this creature no doubt, made it safely back under the sofa. Molly followed. Nothing happened. We went to bed. Normally she races us to the bedroom. But not tonight, tonight she stayed…watching.

We didn’t feel her presence on our duvet until about four AM. She was more rambunctious than usual and for some reason, tried to wake us up.

Later that morning we found the mouse. When I lifted the blanket off the sofa the poor thing fell to the floor. It lay on the carpet on its back, legs flailing, unable to right itself, unable to run and hide. It was injured and helpless. Our blasé cat was elsewhere…sleeping.

Obviously Molly the Mouser spent the night toying with the poor creature. After she tired of annoying her quarry she must have tucked it between the cushion and blanket and retired for the night.

We never, ever thought she had the killer instinct in her. It was latent, deep in the blood, I guess…

Molly is still sleeping. And after a night of mousing she probably believes she needs the rest. Molly has debunked her own self-created myth…she is a real cat after all.

Mollie




Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

September 27, 2009 at 9:13 PM

DRUM CORPS

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You give up everything to test your limits. And when you’re done you discover you don’t have any.

Drum Corps do that to you.

You abandon your individuality for the collective good of the Corps. You sacrifice your youth for that one elusive prize.

Drive, sweat, execution, endless repetition, exhausting rehearsals, impatient instructors, long bus trips, little sleep, the relief of that last note, the anxiety of the retreat, all that and more are gladly tolerated, no, welcomed if it leads to victory. Perseverance, determination and resistance in the face of defeat; overcoming disappointment, moving on and moving up when you’re constantly finishing second, third or worse…that’s what makes you strong.

It comes from sharing a singular goal with dozens of like-minded friends. Every one of them has the same purpose…excellence…perfection. And throughout the entire process, the intensity of it all bores into your brain and you don’t even feel the pain.

I relived it all last weekend. Everything flashed in front of my eyes in delirious déjà vu at the DCA National Championships.

The talented musicians on the field were head and shoulders above anything we did back in the day. The maneuvering was more intricate and demanding. The sidestepping drum lines were brilliant, aggressive and loaded with attitude. Having once been on that field, I felt their excitement, their concentration, and their exhaustion. I knew them all, but I was glad I wasn’t one of them.

This was my life many years ago. A life I reluctantly let go because the real world was waiting for me. Still I brought the life lessons of the Corps with me as I stepped boldly into career, family and the competition of  the business world.

Drum Corps taught me how to work with others – how to win – how to be humble in victory. It gave me a taste of success…a taste I could never forget.

Yes…Drum Corps demand everything you’ve got. And, at the end of it all, you emerge, like a butterfly from a chrysalis, someone different…a champion, and better yet…a better person because you know what it is to struggle for what you believe in.

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

September 13, 2009 at 5:19 PM