Saturday, November 14, 2009

Zen Truism: Poop Happens

Oh, the memories that spring forth unsummoned! And this isn't even a personal memory but an indirect one. I will not mention a name because the person this happened to is a Gentle Reader of this blog and I do not wish to embarrass or offend. I was revisited by this memory after visiting her blog and felt compelled to share it with my vast following.

This Gentle Reader is also a very dear friend of long standing. We have traveled a great distance together down life's shifting panoramic pathways. She is an immensely gifted and talented artist. Hers is a natural gift that was merely fine-tuned by higher education. She is gainfully employed putting those talents and skills to good use. I will not say that she is a perfectionist but rather she has an exacting keen eye for detail and her follow-through is next to none. Being a person abundantly blessed with creative ability as well as an energetic work ethic, it is true to say she doesn't suffer ineptitude or slackers very well. This will inevitably lead to frustration and stress.

When she graduated from college about seven years ago her mom hosted a party to which I and other of our friends were invited. Among the cards and gifts she received was a table-top rendition of a Zen garden. It came complete with sand, stones, and a teeny little rake as well as a few other odds and ends. She thanked the giver and the party went on. It sat unopened for a couple of days in her apartment. She is not given to 'New Age' flights of fancy or to fall victim to the latest fad in self-enlightenment. At some point she decided to set it up. As I said earlier she has a keen eye for detail and she laboured on her little garden getting the look just right and all the accessories placed just so. I have no doubt she poured herself into it and when it was completed she felt satisfied--because that's the way she is.

Somewhere over the next day or so and in her absence, her handsome tiger cat happened upon the Zen garden. But instead of seeing a well-executed exercise in serenity he saw an uptown single-serve litter box. He contributed to the project. I have no doubt he poured himself into it and when it was completed he felt satisfied--because that's the way he is.

What does it say about one's search for spiritual oneness when your cat craps in the middle of your tranquility garden? I suppose there are a myriad of inferences one can make but for the life of me I can never get past the laughter. It is the one memory I call forth whenever I'm having a particularly difficult day. And it always cheers me up. Perhaps that's the real lesson in all this: Don't take yourself so bloody seriously; poop happens--get over it.


  1. I happen to know that "handsome tiger cat" enjoyed his single serving experience so much that he has a much larger one of his very own that he labors over every day and his co-habitors get the pleasure of redressing it for him once a week. They are so...lucky.

  2. Your household breeds over-achievers. Lucky over-achievers.

  3. We're ambitious but often take the easy way out. As for Sasha, he's just making more work for me because he's spoiled like that. Over-achiever? Maybe. OCD poop factory? Likely.

  4. Everyone needs a hobby. Sasha just does it to maintain his control over your servitude.

  5. He does it to stink up the house, the little furry 'turd generator'. That and he lacks 'opposible thumbs' to work the flush (thank gawd)

  6. Ah, but if he had opposable thumbs he could work the flip-top cans or the can-opener. He could also work the vacuum cleaner. But, then, his power over you would be diminished. Cats ain't stupid, little fur-demons