So what is new? I'm frustrated. If you care enough to ask why, I could say it is the state of the economy. Or, perhaps I could complain about bank failures, bailouts, unemployment, auto makers going bankrupt, loss of American jobs being shipped overseas, the wars and a decline of the middle class. I'm sad to see gloom in my favorite country and wonder how long it will be before China, India and Brazil replace us as the primary nation.
Actually, what makes me frustrated today is none of those important topics. No, it is something so simple that few would care or offer sympathy.
I'm trying to figure out why my old friend, stray cat Mr. Gray, disappeared before Christmas and then suddenly reappeared for five minutes last weekend. I thought his absence for half a year indicated he had lived out his nine lives. Why was he gone so long and why did he stay only five minutes before returning again to the wild? What happened to his sense of loyalty or did he ever have any? This is what is baffling me.
You would think that even a wild animal who has been treated with tender, loving care would be slightly faithful and return where food, water and shelter were easily available.
I speculated as to Mr. Gray's absence. Maybe the coyote or a fox cut him off from returning to his once favorite porch. Perhaps he found a mate. Could he have found better gourmet fare instead of the plain dry cat food we provided?
For many years he has been a regular here. He has successfully fought the elements, disease, natural enemies, to return to stand below the kitchen window looking in for his handout.
What has transpired and his long absence is naturally something causing confusion, concern and curiosity.
Mr. Gray's rough appearance, cough and lack of appetite indicated he may have suffered some hard times and ridden on a rough sea. Our crisis is global. His is personal. Only time will tell if his problems and ours can be resolved in a satisfactory manner.
Man and animal face some more perilous times. We are each determined to survive. Mr. Gray has never heard of Winston Churchill, who reminded us that we should seek victory at all costs and in spite of all terror. He told us that without victory there is no survival.
So we have to fight on, find solutions to our problems and return to good times. If Mr. Gray wishes to join us, he needs to exercise his survival skills and prove once again that he deserves a place among the fittest
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Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author, and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday.