Sunday, September 13, 2020

A Bit About the Executive Publisher - 90 Day Essay Continues

Regular readers of Tempus Fugit will likely be able to positively ID the Executive Publisher enjoying some downtime.

Back in 2017 we had lost the previous Executive Editor (Celeste) who had been with us for a very, very long time.  She was one year old when we adopted her in Helsinki, Finland in 1999 and we brought her with us when we came back to the US in 2000. It was a bit of an odd shock. On the one hand, she was (we believe) 19 years old. And she had a very full, very well-lived life. But it left a hole, and it also marked the end of a living reminder that we had of our lives spent overseas (Japan and Europe).

So back in 2017 we went to the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA and looked around. And there were all sorts of cats and kittens. Friendly, playful, happy. 

I went into a separate area and in a shrouded cage that nobody stopped at, there was a sign for a cat (Tabby / Calico mix) and unless you watched for several minutes, you would not know that there was a cat inside. Needless to say, I was curious. So I waited. Wendy finally found me as this extremely shy (and I suspect, quite untrusting and unhappy cat) slowly poked her nose out from behind some blankets, and very tentatively made her way to the front of the cage. She didn't hiss, and she didn't purr. And she looked at me, and sniffed my fingers with a slightly baffled expression.

An attendant came by and warned me to be careful, this cat was mean, and "fractious" (I had to look that one up too). It means -  1 : tending to be troublesome : unruly 2 : quarrelsome, irritable.

I stayed a little longer while Wendy checked out some of the other cats. And as none of the others particularly "jumped out" at us, we went home. But needless to say, this fractious Tabico had made an impression on me.

The next weekend Wendy asked me if I wanted to go back to see if she was still available. I don't know that we had really talked about her too much, but I guess whatever I had said, Wendy had picked up on.

So we went back. And Ginger (she had been mistaken for her sister Ginger) was still there, still cowering, still not too pleased. So I sat, I waited, I dangled toys. And Wendy and I agreed that Ginger (who we renamed Tallulah) was the cat for us. The shelter was worried that although we might think it was a great idea, that this was a difficult, angry, fractious cat. But my mind was made up. They struggled to get her into a carrier (bandages and Bactine were dispensed to the handlers), we completed the paperwork, and headed home.

We thought it would probably be months before she would let us approach her, but truthfully? Within a day or so she was approaching us, and within a week she had discovered the bed and was curling up at our feet. Within two weeks she was regularly hopping onto my lap. And now? We are inseparable. We tell people this story, and they don't quite believe it.

Looking back, it would be easy for me to say that I was right, and the shelter was wrong. But in truth? There was no way of really knowing for sure. 

I had a feeling, a belief that got stronger as time went by. And isn't so much of life like that? It's easy to be swayed by prevailing opinion, or scared off of an idea by others who might claim to know better. Well, this is a story with a happy midpoint, because in many ways this type of story never really ends. There really is no clock on it. Just a happy family.

And I would also say this about perception, and labeling. How often do you think that perhaps the initial perceptions, or labels applied are not based on a fair "sample"?  We are all quick to judge, and ready to assume. Believe me, it is very true in this business, but also in our everyday lives. And you know what? It limits us. There is so much opportunity out there if we just open our eyes.

Enjoy your watches.

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