With apologies to Robin Williams et al. (and, apparently, someone on Facebook)…
Many years ago our family shared quarters with a cat. I’m of a mind that no one ‘owns’ a cat. They share our space – as much a courtesy on their part as anything. Anyway, said cat would from time to time show her appreciation for our largesse by bringing home the remnants from successful hunting expeditions. Some poor bird, a hapless bunny, or… a squirrel might grace the back porch – testament to her skills and perhaps a nod toward sharing the burdens of putting dinner on the table. We tried to hint that this behavior was not welcome, but as serious cat folks can appreciate, efforts came to very little success.
The trophy aspect of our now departed cat’s efforts remain in the family memory. Indeed the memories have evolved into the naming of a finished crossword puzzle deliberately left in plain view a ‘dead squirrel’. Other accomplishments, a favorable e-mail from a colleague, a completed Sudoku puzzle, etc will merit the same moniker if quietly left in a conspicuous spot for effect. And to further work the analogy one might come upon an incomplete crossword and call it a ‘bloody squirrel’… needing to be put out of its misery.
As we make our way through life we encounter many challenges. Some we actively seek out, others impose themselves and create a nuisance to be dealt with. Some of the challenges we undertake willingly may morph into more than bargained for. For these I think we rightfully feel a sense of accomplishment and the subtle sharing of a dragon slaying from time to time might be a tad cathartic. Of course those nuisance challenges which confront us – their defeat might deserve more open sharing. Once the memories of this winter’s nastiness recede from Boston’s daily life I imagine the Bostonians will move on. And pictures or stories of the mess – I’ll not count them as merely dead squirrels.