This is an old picture, taken around the Fall of 1978, of dear Little One. She was a wonderful little cat. She took her job as Guard Cat of the old Mabey Homestead very seriously.
More Reflections of Little One
By Richard Mabey Jr.
My dear cat Little One, who blessed my life with her presence from 1977 to 1989, was a great outdoor cat. She was a great hunter. She was vital, she was a great runner. She had great patience in seeking out a field mouse.
In the backyard of the old Mabey Homestead, we had this dollhouse, little cabin. Little One loved to hang around this little cabin. We used to use it to store outdoor furniture. Sometimes we kept the door closed, sometimes we kept the door opened.
When you walked into the little dollhouse cabin, on the left hand side, in the far corner from the doorway, we had an old wooden box on its side. It had a flooring made up of old blankets. While Little One loved to be outdoors during the day, she would seek retreat into the little cabin from time to time during the day. This was especially the case when it was a little more colder out during the Autumn and Winter months.
During the Winter, of the end of 1978 through the beginning of 1979, I was going through a rough time. I was working in the Marketing Services Department of a toothbrush company. I really did not like the job all that much, but it was a job. Simultaneously, while working there, I went back to school, taking night classes. Also, I began an all-out campaign to find a new job.
I began taking classes in Creative Writing. I began taking classes in writing for theatrical productions. I began submitting a lot of articles and short stories to a long list of publications. It’s humbling to admit it, but I was getting back a lot of standard rejection slips. I did, however, get some poems and articles published in a few magazines.
But I learned something very important from Little One, in observing her on my days off on Saturdays and Sundays. I would go outside to shovel snow or do some work in the yard, and there would be Little One sitting there by the old dollhouse cabin. She would be stalking a mouse, or looking up at the birds in the tall maple tree, or just be soaking up the sun.
The wind would blow, a cloud would block the sun, or a chill would come into the air and then dear Little One would retreat into the little cabin, into her wooden box bed and fall asleep into cat dreamland for a while.
What I learned from Little One is this: sometimes when the wind blows harsh gusts of cold air, sometimes when the clouds block the sun, and sometimes when the going gets tough, it is okay to retreat to our safety zone for a little while.
Inevitably, I would watch Little One come out of the little cabin, after catching some z’s and be refreshed and raring to go. She took her job as Guard Cat for the old Mabey Homestead very seriously. One time she even managed to catch this very large garter snake. Little One was a brave and talented hunter.
Sometimes when the tide turns against me, I think of that precious life lesson that Little One taught me. When the winds howl or the clouds bloom and temperature drops; I simply give myself the gift of allowing myself a little time to retreat into the little cabin in the little wooden box lined with old blankets. Life isn’t always fair. Sometimes you need to retreat for a little while to recharge your batteries.
Peace and harmony,