Drew T. Noll © 2022, all rights reserved

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

HOME ZOO

Fur growing up upon my floors, I sweep and vacuum it but it keeps building up … little doggies and kitties gather in corners where life in our house won’t disturb, and gathering can continue as days move together to form months, even years. Our white dog, Bongo, once brought into our home, has since vanished to other realms. He left looking into my eyes as I cradled his head in my lap, petting his fur, all the time knowing that it would never mix again with the black fur back home, to end gray and unseen, and then gathering in corners until our time was at an end. The black fur is Dude’s, and always has been, at least during our stay here in what we refer to as the middle of the east on our planet. Dude was our first dog in the Holy Land. Then Fat, born inside a dumpster, showed up looking for food and a night well spent. Pizza followed soon thereafter, as a cat that would be indoors, but in the end … just … wasn’t. 

After Bongo replaced us with thought-clouds of wonder, we found Putzky the dog wannabe on a beach. She was born to a local Arab family down the street, but we colonialized her outright with smiles, cash, and the real potential of a healthy long life, and being. Her mutant features were of no concern. Then, a few years later, Loonie was handed to us via our young son, who God-willing will betroth quite soon. The zoo we live in has grown, mostly, from year to year, and with the blessing of Hashem may one day unfold again. That growth has extended to the wonder we feel looking around us from time to time, realizing our fortune, understanding our place and the responsibility it holds, and its sting. A gift we were given is obvious, as is written, but the awareness of such is something that can shine far beyond our understanding. 

Training new members as they join our pod is a complex endeavor. We have more than one human, but each member strives to be together. The only known ending for each and every story is that the animals within are the ones that know truth. The humans in our pod have a sense of where it will end, but it’s the animals that determine where the energy will grow and descend. Like lightning rods pulling down the love that we need, the animals in our life teach us to breathe. They teach us to love, not only them, but each other … indeed. There is a love with conflict between male and female in our realm, the dogs here sense it and can make sense of prophets from beyond. The animals in our life can tell us the things we don’t know. The dogs ‘begging what we can’t know’ give us a window to see each other and to then grow. 

Ahhh… enough with the rhyme, enough with this twaddle and mow! The grass is not greener just because we seem to think so. I started a new project drawing my thoughts as they sewed humor, unfolding with … obvious ebb and a flow. Once we received a new cat, cute as could be, she displayed behaviors unknown and never (by me) seen. MMeeOWww… on and on. Her tail was a pointer poking down, rubbing fur raw as she plowed down into it all. Crying up to the heavens, Loonie echoed way down below. Our new cat was in heat and we just didn’t know. Pizza the boy winked at us all, he knew how to call, but we did not know... Up into the attic she crawled, Pizza in tow, around the house, all willy-nill, she drew him out and the rest of us saw. It wasn’t until we understood that the cat we had been gifted was not spayed as we thought, the owners from before saving money as their unwanted cat flew out their door. 

Shabbat evening was coming, a time to shut down, and we acted once we knew. The new cat needed fixing to blend in with our zoo. The animals around us all knew, but we humans had to stew for a spell, thinking it over and processing all things new. Then with the clock ticking before the sun went down, we raced to repair the damage to our own family realm. There was time before our day of rest was protected; there was time to fire up the engine of things built in the world. In the town that I live there’s a road that wanders down, ending abruptly at the edge of the sea and the end of what’s known. The sun settled down there as I sped home before lighting, and it wallowed for an instant, the sun, with Loonie meowing softly, begging a ride back home. The sea roiled as I watched from afar, red-orange spray sizzling and sputtering out, as the sun wept for the day’s last time. Loonie yawned, like nothing had happened, but then as I descended down the Conqueror’s Road, I wondered if I had time to get home. I turned on the Wheat Road … then followed the plan down to below. I made it, we made it, and our zoo was complete once again, without chaos in tow — a brand new Shabbat Shalom. 

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