Wouldn’t it be interesting if….

The new cat bed..with Ben inside

When we returned home from Mexico, I unpacked my small suitcase and stuck it on top of the dresser. I had planned on putting it away (but am never very fast about that kind of stuff) and the next thing I knew, Ben had found his new favorite place to sleep.

Each time I looked at it, I would think, “I need to put that suitcase away and clean off all the cat hair, dirt and assorted other unidentifiable things, before it is ruined” (since in addition to sleeping in it, this became Ben’s chosen place to “clean up” after a rough night outside roaming the hills).

The furry, dirty suitcase was not bothering Ben but it seemed like it was saying to me, “You are an unorganized and undisciplined person Mary and here is the evidence.” I know enough not to keep something in front of me that makes me feel bad, and yet the only option seemed to be to clean it up and put it away….like that was the “responsible” thing to do… after all, a suitcase is for travel and was not made for cats to sleep in. But who makes these rules, that I think I should follow, and feel bad about when I don’t?

I grabbed an old silk scarf, draped it over the suitcase and now I’m short one suitcase (which I only used, at most, once a year) and Ben has gained a permanent napping spot… and we are both delighted about it!

Trust that little voice in your head that says “Wouldn’t it be interesting if…”  And then do it.  ~Duane Michals (American Photographer)

(a funny little aside here…I always read my posts to Jack before they go out into the world, and when I read him this quote, he said, “I know Duane quite well…he visits my store almost every Sunday during the summer months!”)

Weekend Challenge (for all who choose to take it!):  Think about one area of your life that has been troubling you (that you have labeled as “wrong”) and ask your Higher Self to see it through new eyes….ask to see the good in it, that you may have missed in your rush to get it “cleaned up”.

19 thoughts on “Wouldn’t it be interesting if….

  1. Good Morning
    I have collies that are indoor dogs, so as you can imagine, there is dog hair(everywhere!) I used to let it get to me, but in time, have come to accept that is the way of it. I can now even smile as I find some dog hair on me,just pick it off and remember the last hug that Max, Miller, or Meg wanted as I left the house, and yes there smile to!
    Have a great weekend.

  2. So funny Mary – I have 2 suitcases that are the cat suitcases! Both were somehow broken and waiting to be “thrown away” and since we share a similar lack of enthusiasm for taking care of such matters, they both sat in the living room long enough to be taken over as scratching posts, beds, jumping platforms etc. When I moved 3 years ago I was quite ill and my landlord Patty was (and continues to be) very generous to help me start to get things in the house in order. She asked if she could help by getting rid of the broken suitcases and my immediate response was “oh, those are no longer suitcases, they are cat houses!”

  3. One time when I was traveling, as I was going through the TSA screening, the agent asked, “OK, so how many cats do you have?” This was not long after Sept. 11, when the TSA people were very stern and suspicious, so I gave him a worried look. He pointed to the cat hair festooning my suitcase and smiled (smiled!). I confessed. I had six cats. He had three. He knew all about furry luggage.

  4. Desperate to grab half an hour to practice my cello when my son was small, one day I set the cello case down on the floor, opened it up like a suitcase. My toddler was delighted to play in it pretending he was in his very own boat. I played, he played, – cellos and boats! There’s a song by Shinedown (a group my son recently introduced me to) called I’m Not Alright – sort of celebrating that it’s ok to not be tow the line sometimes – – here’s a link if you want to have some fun and celebrate that it’s just fine to stray from the line.

    Chorus lyrics:
    I like to stare at the sun
    And think about what I’ve done
    I lie awake in my great escape

    I like crossing the line
    And slowly losing my mind
    Are you ok
    ‘Cuz I feel fine
    Maybe it’s me
    I’m just crazy
    Maybe I like that I’m not alright
    ________________________

    “I’m not ok, and you’re not ok, and that’s ok.” – Elizabeth Kubler Ross

  5. I can’t wait to go up to the third floor and get an old suitcase (or two) for my three cats. Old tote bags also make for good fun snug places.

  6. Mary,I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE that you shared this! I share my life with two Rough Collies and ten-yes ten-Rehomed feral cats. Imagine what this place looks like! The dogs sprawl out on their backs,so a regular large-sized dog bed won’t do. I bought MANY pillows and fluffy,fleecy blankets and designed LONG beds for them. This takes up a lot of space. The cats are EVERYWHERE! They love the linen cupboard,the window sills,beds,numerous climbing trees are scattered about the house. I see the eyebrows raise when people do dare a visit. They can’t believe I put up with this. But it’s not that way at all! The joy and companionship they give me absolutely makes up for my human need for things being “just so”. I have also found that I am much more tolerant of all things in life because of my life with these awesome critters.

    Oh,and I have an excellent vacuum!

  7. Mary – Seeing Ben in your suitcase brought back a lovely picture in my mind from many, many years ago. My first cat, Julius, (who happened to be orange:)), squeezed into a very small suitcase one day and filled every inch. Oh, how he loved that spot. Today I would leave the suitcase out much longer than I did at that point in my life!

    Your weekend challenge is perfect for me today. I awoke thinking about something that’s been troubling me, wondered how I could look at it differently, and voila, here’s your post. Thank you!

  8. Happy Hot Friday from Cambridge, Upstate, NY. I love the cat in the suitcase. My cats do the same thing. Thanks for the E.K. Ross “not o.k.” quote, Susan A. And Mary I thought of something right away for the weekend challenge, but I also know that it is “o.k.” for now…even if it feels “not o.k.”, I don’t have to rush to “clean it up” and I will accept the challenge to ask my “Higher Self” for wise eyes. See you around town.

  9. Okay, so as an Animal Communicator, I look at the world from the perspective of “What might the animal in this situation be teaching us?”. I think Ben’s ultimate message about lightening up and going ahead with the inevitable re-purposing of the suitcase into his bed is adorable. But then, most cats would have us re-make just about any yummy spot (where they can nap /on something of ours) into their snooze zone. It really is quite endearing if you think about it. The suitcase can still be a suitcase, but during it’s down-time can morph into Ben’s favorite place to dream. What places that suitcase will now travel!

  10. The last time I thought, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if…,” and then followed through on it, I ended up in a gypsy fortune-teller’s living room, being told that I had a curse on my life that only she could remove, and would be happy to do so for $250. When I told her I didn’t have that kind of money, she replied (in a heavy accent), “How much eees not too much to take theeees curse from your head?”

    So forgive me if I might elect to sit this one out. I am finding life interesting enough, right now.

    Happy weekend, y’all!

  11. Ah, beautiful Ben! I can never remember all six of your cats’ names. I manage five and Ben always gets left out. Now I have this lovely picture and story to put him on my radar. He looks supremely happy!
    Cats certainly have a charming way of claiming what they want for their own, and we love them for that.
    Thank you Mary for the lovely picture, heart-warming story, and a thoughtful assignment for our weekend.

    Love from Fran

  12. “You are an unorganized and undisciplined person Mary and here is the evidence.”

    Mary did you ever stop to consider that you are just being creative in providing a nice cat bed instead of being negligent in putting your suitcase away? It’s all a matter of how you look at something,right?? And if you want to feel better, I’ll send you a picture of my studio. I’m hitting critical mass at the moment and can hardly walk around in it.
    SandyP in Canada

  13. Clearly, I need to get a kitty. I have a couple of overnight size suitcases in the closet that could serve as decent trundle beds to something other than spiders and dust bunnies!!

    And, Mary, you nailed my ‘terminally organized and compulsively rules abiding’ self squarely on the head. OUCH! This will be a challenging assignment—but my husband will sing your praises if I can learn to lighten up on that stuff; and so will I, truth be told. Someone once told me that when you grow up in dysfunctional chaos, control issues become paramount in adulthood. I certainly see it in myself and would love to ‘allow’ myself the luxury of letting it go.
    Okay, I’ll start right after I clear the table, put the newspapers away, pick up the laundry that missed the basket, wipe the counters off….geesh.
    Oh, Higher Self, can you hear me now? I’m calling you! :>)

  14. Yayyy Mary! I’m so happy for Ben! He’s claiming your suitcase so you can’t go away again! How could anyone take that spot away from that sweet kitty?! Have a great weekend, Cindy

  15. Amazing, I too wondered how I could look at a situation
    differently this week and low and behold … Ben arrived in
    his cute mobile home… and gives me pause (paws) for thought….
    thank you Mary and Ben… kissing June a sweet au revoir…

  16. This happened to me with a picnic basket. It now lives on top of my bedroom bureau. It is padded and Syeed naps in it. He is really too large, but loves folding himself up and tucking in. Nothing like walking into the room seeing his big gray ears sticking out of the top.

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