This is our cat, Josephine. She is almost two-and-a-half and was ever so slightly grumpy when the picture was taken because the curtain was on her head. Sometimes when I take her picture, her eyes glow.
I’ve loved cats since I was not even three. My mother pointed out the kitchen window and said, “That’s a cat.” And I said, “I want one.” I still remember her light, pattering, mommy laughter at my request. It is noteworthy to point out that I cared not a jot about the first dog I saw. I did, however, want to keep the day-old baby chick my brother brought home to show me when he worked at an egg hatchery one summer.
I’ve loved many a cat in my time. We (my husband, Ray, and I) lost our black shorthair, Magic, and our grey and white long hair, Kirby, in 2006. We both grieved, but, for whatever reason, I got lost in grief for a long time. I said No More Cats. Ever. Six-and-a-half years went by before I realized I was really saying No to Life. Finally, the loving Creator of the Universe decided enough was enough.
On a penetratingly cold, raining, snowing, sleeting day in March 2013, husband drove me to Hobby Lobby to buy yarn. We came home with a five month old withdrawn, feral, injured, tortoiseshell, girl kitten. I was Not Happy as we made our way back from PetSmart. Neither was she. Husband, on the other hand, was an instant Cat Daddy.
I named her Josephine (after the volatile character, Josephine March, in Little Women). What. A. Handful. It took months and months and months for her to come around, but come around she did. And, so did I. Later, when I renamed my blog, I called it Josephina Ballerina after her dancing ways.
An endearment I’ve applied to every cat I’ve ever had is Glow Eyes. A veterinary ophthalmologist named Cynthia Powell was interviewed on National Public Radio. Dr. Powell said something like: a lot of animals -especially ones that go out at night- have a light-reflecting surface right behind their retinas, called the tapetum lucidum, that helps animals see better in the dark. When light enters the eye, it’s supposed to hit a photoreceptor that transmits the information to the brain. But sometimes the light misses the photoreceptor, so the tapetum lucidum acts as a mirror to bounce it back for a second chance.
How cool is that?! So here’s to Second Chances with Light and Life. And Happy Birthday 2.5, Darling Josephine! 🙂