Perhaps this is it. Just this. IT being the purpose, the meaning, the point of it all. ALL being life, existence, Dasein, Being-in-the-World.
Feeding this cat; cleaning the litter box, trimming her nails. It’s not a lot she asks, except that I rise before my time
to fetch breakfast. Six thirty, six fifteen, six.... She subtly hints by stomping about like an elephant, knocking stuff off the table: keys, papers, eyeglasses. Just in case I died in my sleep and have thus forgotten.
I don’t always love her; sometimes I don’t even like her—mostly at six in the morning. But for all anyone knows
she is a holy soul. In fact, I’m quite convinced of it; and also that this is my mission: to feed, to clean, to trim. And provide cardboard boxes and paper bags to dive in.
It’s little enough. Maybe her whole life is little: naps on the radiator, a basket on top of the fridge, a mad dash through the house at 3 am; staring contests with the dog, a paw into the face of a human sleeping.
Yet there is much depth to her being, an unfathomable wisdom, a sweetness, a love. She’s an ordinary cat, Mietz is, a cat’s cat, No performer of tricks, no rare breed, just a barncat’s runt daughter.
So perhaps this is it, my meaning, my job: To care for this cat. Nothing grand or important, no invention to save lives, no heroic deeds, no breathtaking art. All those require humility. And even the thought that my sleep is more important than her breakfast ....well, there you have it, so much humility still to be learned.