Last night, we were minding our own business, watching TV. Firehose rain poured down outside.
It came from the back door.
I got up from my cozy spot on the couch to see what was the matter. Rex had a fresh kill for me to view.
I turned the carport light on and he held something furry in his mouth. Noooo! I opened the door. Rex tried to trot into the house with the dead gray whatzit in his mouth. Again.
“No, no, no, no, no…” I said. I placed my foot firmly in front of him, then eventually on top of him. No other animals – dead or alive- in the house, please and thank you. Rex struggled under my decision, his golden eyes determined. Then he dropped the rodent, outside on the step. It looked like a large mole. It measured about 6″ long with a long tail. Probably not a mole, then.
Chloe, ever interested in Rex’s doings, dashed out to investigate. She thought to sample the bounty. Rex, unwilling to be left out of his own banquet, followed. By this time I’d kicked it into the side yard, where it promptly looked like what it was: a drowned rat. Well, drowned *now*, but very dead upon arrival. It’s true, readers. Ever heard the expression “She looked like a drowned rat”? Yeah. Not a compliment. Drowned rats look awful, eyes staring straight ahead and wet fur molded to their bodies.
The dead rat was still there this morning. Forlorn and with half his tail chewed off, nobody thought him delicious enough to finish.
And so it is with us. We hold a special thing in our hearts and hands. We carry it around; we want to share it with others. “Look what I did!” But nobody wants it. In fact, when pressed, we don’t even want it. But we caught it. We killed it. It’s ours. It’s funny, sometimes, the things we thought we wanted. We dream, starry-eyed, about a glorious vision. We go full-tilt after our goal. We stalk it. Once captured, it’s somehow worthless.
I’m learning to be careful what I chase. The pursuit is important, after all. I want what I go after to be worthwhile. Us upright-standing humans aren’t so different from our feline companions. Some of our best lessons we learn while striving to reach a goal. The goal itself can feel empty once acquired, like an unnecessary dead rat. We can leave it behind, if we need to. Yet the lessons derived from experience remain.