Monday, September 10, 2012


I haven’t told anyone what’s bothering me, but today I decided to lay it all out in the sand. And then when it’s spread smoothly and exposed, I’ll cover it up. It will be gone - my secret that I have been holding in. I’ve told no one, not even Judy.
I’m afraid to tell, especially her. What if she doesn’t understand? What if she gets mad? What if she throws me out, or even worse, what if she finds me a new home? I'd rather live on the streets, like I did when I was a kitten than pretend to love someone else.
Judy has expectations of me that, up until now I have been happy, no, honored and proud to fulfill. Posing as the receptionist at the grooming shop wasn’t even a job. I reveled in making the customers smile, the golden retriever in the cage bark in excitement, and soothing Judy’s harried nerves when her schedule became hectic. The business has been my life. Summer mornings meant a leisurely ride to work in the golf cart, watching cars roar by as I sniffed the cool California air. And evenings at home we fell asleep together in the chair, exhausted from the day’s work. Judy would say, “Another day another dog,” then we would pad off to bed. I would curl up on the covers at the foot, on top in summer, under in winter.
So my secret? What am I hiding? Life has changed. I have changed. I want more. If Judy isn’t grooming, she is always at her desk. I lie nearby watching the mouse, wishing there was more, - wishing for the desert flora of Arizona, Mississippi mud to roll in, and mice in Maine in the spring.
This is my friend, Snowball, who lives with an author. The author,like most, has a day job too.Snowball warned me that this is what will become of me if I don't confront Judy and insist she slow down the pace and take a long, extended vacation. After seeing my friend, I am worried.

Judy is stressed by the fast pace of our lives. If she isn’t writing her next chapter, she is blogging about her next book signing, planning a new seminar, or researching for her next book. She spends little time in her recliner and less time in bed.
Yes my life has changed. I have itchy paws. Judy calls  it“itchy wheels” – the urge to travel. Before life became complicated with books and publishing and marketing, I eagerly filled Judy’s expectations of me as navigator on our trips across the country. Packed with adventure, my role challenged my cat tendencies to sleep all day. I became the big Tom, who roamed farther than any of my ancestors ever conceived. The part I played satisfied and nurtured my wild side.

I’m telling her my secret desire tomorrow. I want a vacation. No dog grooming. No book writing. Just the two of us. We need those special moments, listening to the crickets chirp and the woodpecker’s tap-tap. We need to hear the Rio Grande’s gurgle and see the full moon’s reflection on its waters. I want to meet the cats that hang out on the pier in Nova Scotia and prowl the Everglades.

I want a permanent vacation.

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