From the East Wing

Greeting to all and welcome to the EastWing

As the end of May draws near, so does the end of the blooming season. From here on for the year, it grow, grow, grow into the sunshine. Grow like life itself depends on it. ‘Cause it does. There’s a time for everything.  When come June, it’s the time to grow.

I love May. Not only because of my birthday on the 27th but because it’s the end of spring and the start of summer. For those not familiar with the EastWing calculation of seasons, it goes like this. June, July, August are Summer. September, October and November are Autumn. December, January, February are  winter and March, April and May are Spring. It works for me. If you think about it a little bit, it’ll work for you too.

It seems that no matter what, from time to time, sadness must creep into all our lives. So it was on the 9th day of this month of May a special little friend of mine passed into the waiting arms of eternity. I’m sure you’ve heard me say “all good dogs to heaven”. That also holds true for all good cats.

All my life, I’ve spent in the company of both dogs and cats. I love ‘em both, but if I had to choose just one of the two, , I’d stand with ‘em. Don’t know why, just would. It’s something about the independence of the cats that makes me forever stand with the cats.  It’s something about the devotion and  loyalty  of dog that makes me forever stand with the dogs.  Then there’s Sophia, my Calico Girl. Speaking of Sophia, did I tell you she has acquired a taste for Velveeta? Yup, Sophia likes Velveeta Cheese. That, and Nacho Cheese  Doritos.

Of my outside cats at the EastWing almost all are not tame to the point of me touching  ‘em. These cats allow me to provide food and shelter, but not necessarily companionship. They eat the food provided, they drink the water provided. They tend to reject any physical contact  I may offer. Are my outside cats standoffish? Of course they’re standoffish, they’re cats. After all that’s what cats do, being that standoffish part and all.  I’ve not devoted enough time and effort to garner the love and admiration I receive from Sophia and Spike The Man Cat or my office cats, Miss Kitty and Little Brother.

It’s right here that I gotta point out if anybody is buying into this love and admiration story for Sophia
The Republican Cat, well all I can say is, you don’t know Sophia very well. Sophia doesn’t  do love and admiration. Sophia’s position is quite simple, “I’m the EastWing Queen and you’re not”. Sophia just doesn’t do love and admiration well. Maybe it’s a calico thing. Whatever!  Damn Republican Cat. But Sophia when she smiles, it melts your heart.

A couple weeks ago, the morning feeding of the outside cats brought a new high to start my day. I touched,  for the first time two of my outside girl cats. One was a very young “teenage” cat and one was an adult.  The teenager was total black. I touched her head and named her “Miss Black Baby” the adult cat with marking of both gray and white all over her body and a gray nose, I called “The Gray Nosey”. I touched them both for the first time. They touched me back.

There’s a special bond between man and cat when they meet at the fingertips of mankind. The cat knows it, and so does the man. A special bond. As I touched Miss Black Baby for the first time, little did I realize it would also be my last. Within minutes of my first touch, Miss Black Baby’s life ended on the asphalt of 800 South. Out there by the mail box, just a few feet beyond of the flag pole in the south EastWing garden, for Miss Black Baby, it was the end of time.

In a heartbeat, one of my newest  friends had become a precious memory. Compared to some of my other outside cats, Miss Black Baby’s life  was short. Yet in her short life, she’d been touched by a hand of friendship. That being said, not every creature who has lived and died can say as much. Next to life itself, friendship may well be the second most important thing about life. When you stop and think friends, you may have many names that come to mind. But when  all is said and done, you really only need one. Yep, that’s the one you just thought of, that’s the one I’m talking about. Mine is the She. It’s been the She forever. Did I tell ya I’ve only had one girlfriend in my whole life? Yeah, the She.

When I realized I had to do a cat funeral, it dawned on me that I didn’t have the necessary equipment to inter Miss Black Baby. Such equipment had been loaned out to Son Johnny, and I would not have access until the next day. The funeral was rescheduled for the following day at 10:00 AM

When I arrived to conduct the funeral of Miss Black Baby, those in attendance, along with Mr. Bentley were two very large birds circling overhead. Forever circling and descending at the same time. Now I, much like you, have seen these massive birds of prey, fly off the dead carcass as the car rapidly approaches, and I, like you,  have watched them descend back to the business at hand as we looked into the rearview mirror while driving away.

In an instance I realized that I had never had an opportunity to see this type of bird up close, at work. It was at that point I decided to not inter Miss Black Baby.  Rather to simply preach her funeral and return her to God and allow  Nature to do things the way Nature does such things without the interference of mankind.

And so it was, that early morning in early May, while two massive black birds, with 6’ wing spans, enforced a no fly zone overhead, I preached the Gospel according to BobbyRay. I  asked God to allow Miss Black Baby to play in the company of my beloved Mustina, the Pup Baby James.

The Pup Baby always loved cats. She never had babies of her own, but she sure would always help take care of the baby kittens when they came along. It forever amazed me that the mother cats would always allow Mustina, Pup Baby James, access to the baby kittens. It seemed almost as soon as they were born. I saw Mustina carry baby kittens in her mouth before their eyes were open. Then she always took them back home. All mothers know who will and who will not harm their babies. They just know. All mothers know that sorta thing.

By the time I was back inside in the EastWing, the birds were on the ground, applying their skills handed down from unknown millions of generations past. Applying skills of doing what God intended such birds to do. I truly believe that every creature on earth has been put here for a purpose. Those of whom we don’t yet know or understand  their  purpose, we consider them to be pests. Or as in these birds I’m watching, when their purpose is considered gross and repulsive, we look away in disgust at such actions. And don’t want to talk about it.

During the next two hours I was privileged to observe one of the most primordial and yet most important aspects of life and death. Simply put, I watched Nature recycle its self. For me to have placed Miss Black Baby underground would have prevented two majestic creatures of God from doing what those birds were placed on this earth to do. I watched ‘me work.

By doing what I chose to do, I was awarded the pleasure of seeing two birds with 6’ wing spans, spread those magic wings and fly. To watch ‘em land and fly away and land and fly away, time and time and time again. The same as when we drove down the road, watched ‘em fly and saw ‘em return in our rearview mirror. Every time a car went by, I saw the birds both fly away and then go back to work. Their job and their survival are one and the same.

For the first time in my life I now realize the importance of these beautiful birds. Birds the size of dogs with an ability to ride the waves of air currents, the stuff we call the wind,  these things we call the Vultures. Now if you stop and think about it, without these birds, we’d be in a real mess, and the world would smell a lot different.  I’m not too worried about how those different smells would affect me, after all I know what Panther Piss smells like. It’s you that I’m worried about, ‘cause I don’t know if you ever smelled Billy Beer or not.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, The End of May & Growing Time, In The Company of Cats, A Short Friendship At The End Of Time,  The Gospel According To BobbyRay, Nature Recycles, Majestic Birds And God’s Own Plan. Billy Beer & Panther Piss Just Won’t Go Away

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay