Beauty blooms in January

“Beauty is so quietly woven through our ordinary days that we hardly notice it. Everywhere there is tenderness, care and kindness there is beauty.”

-John O’Donohue

Perhaps it was a little crazy to take on a hospice cat over the holidays, or was it?

I was asking that potentially depressing question to a friend earlier this week since my husband passed away in hospice right after Christmas a few years ago.

On this gloomy bitter cold Sunday I’ve been watching Mr. Bojangles curl up on a cozy cat bed right beside me.

And I’ve actually been finding myself smiling.

Mr. Bojangles is holding his head up high, but not quite as high as he did when he first joined me.

Still he does so with grace.

Sure the fellow’s estimated to have only 2-5 months left at this point, but who really knows when our time is up anyway.

Three days ago Mr. Bojangles had stopped eating and didn’t seem to be drinking water. Yet by the next evening, I discovered he was back in the game.

However, it’s clear his appetite isn’t what it once was no matter the type of food given.

I’ve also noticed Mr. Bojangles is moving a bit slower, still every step he takes is deliberate. Though I no longer find him climbing the stairs to join the dogs up in the kitchen for breakfast.

Instead he prefers I join him in his private room and hold him as he tenderly takes in every flake of his tuna meals.

It seems Mr. Bojangles likes this extra one on one time.

I do know that I love providing him the extra attention he deserves along with some extra warm blankets.

Mid January can be especially cruel here in the upper midwest and this week has been no different.

Sub zero temperatures, icy roads with 20 car pile ups, and what looked like the loss of my hospice cat 3 days ago was beginning to play havoc with my soul.

Yet as I smell my beef stew now simmering in the crock pot while watching fresh snowflakes dance out the window to the sounds of that hospice cat still purring softly, I know it still is a beautiful world.

Yes, even in January.

January’s for the dogs

“What’s up, Maddie?” I asked my solemn looking corgi this morning as I joined her down on the floor next to the dog bed.

Lame, this sweet girl’s over 94 in dog years. I’m trying to keep an extra eye on her to make sure she’s cozy in these cold winter months.

“Is it a case of the post holiday blues?” I asked, hoping it wasn’t something more.

She seemed to nod, and then pointed her wet nose towards the cupboard where the dog treats are stored.

“Maybe you’re missing those red and green rawhide candy canes Santa brought Christmas Eve?”

I turned around to find Maddie adorned once again in her favorite holiday halo, looking hopeful.

Apparently I was right.

But I knew those candy canes were long gone.

I had to get creative.

“Maddie, you’re such a turkey. How about half a sandwich of the same?”

Though my girl’s a Welsh Corgi, her adopted heritage is Swedish, so I added some left over holiday ligonberries just to sweeten her mood.

Maddie gobbled it down in record speed, licking her lips.

“Was it good?” I inquired.

Maddie gave me her best ‘you betcha” smile as she drifted dreamily into another one of her long winter’s naps.

And I soon did the same.