Thursday, September 5, 2013

I Just Crossed an Item Off of My Bucket List

Calvin the cat
My so-called bucket list is not very exciting.  Some day I would like to see Springsteen outside of the United States.  (I almost pulled it off this summer).  It would be nice to say that I attended the Olympic Games.  I would love to see a football game at Michigan Stadium-- "The Big House."  (I walked on the field, but have never seen a game there).  And I am sure I can think of a few others.  Overall, I try to be content with what I have and be thankful for opportunities when they arise.

But for the past eleven years my next-door neighbor's cat has been making me very discontent.  Calvin is a very wise and savvy cat.  He prowls our neighborhood like he owns it.  I am not a cat person, but I like Calvin because he keeps the mice, chipmunks, snakes, and squirrels out of our back yard.  My dog is scared to death of him.

Calvin, however, does not like me.  He will not let me get near him.  Since we moved into our house in 2002 I have never even touched Calvin.  Every time I try to pet him he runs away.

So I recently announced that I had put "petting and holding Calvin" on my proverbial bucket list.  It has become a running joke in my neighborhood.  Calvin's owner gets a kick out of watching my failed attempts to sneak up behind him and touch him.

Well, I am happy to report that I had a breakthrough the other day.  I was returning from a walk with my daughter and we saw Calvin on the neighbor's driveway.  His owner was out of town and another neighbor was stopping by daily to feed him. I thought he might be lonely.  Could I use his desire for human companionship to lure him into my clutches?


When Calvin began to warm up to my daughter's gentle calls, I knew I had to seize the opportunity.  I creeped up behind her and managed to pet Calvin's back.  I was shocked he did not scamper when I touched him.  I pet him a few more times and then, despite my daughter's pleas to leave him alone, I scooped him up and started triumphantly walking through the neighborhood.  This was huge!  My daughter quickly snapped a picture with her phone.  I am not sure I will ever  be able to pull this off again.

Ah, the little things in life....

My success with Calvin leads me to believe that a trip to the Olympics, a Springsteen show in Rome, and a Michigan-Ohio State game in the Big House may not be out of the question.

Thanks for indulging me, ye faithful readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home.