May 27, 2013
So the story begins thusly:
Maybe fifteen years ago, I stumbled upon a very large and unusually shaped rock on the beach where I lived in Malibu. A grey, oblong chunk, it sports bullnose edges, and a curved hook at one end that tells a silent tale of sea-worn ventures. It had come to rest vertically in the sand, looking very much like a prairie dog. I wish I had a photo of it proudly standing guard over the other, lesser, stones, shells and driftwood. Of all the rocks I’ve collected in my life, I’d never seen one poised like it.
Depending on the viewing angle, it looks either like a whale, or a sea lion.
Immediately, I loved this rock.
I lugged it a mile down the shoreline back to my house.
It was heavy.
Totally worth the sore arms the next day.
Wherever I’ve lived, that rock has found a place in my living room. Sometimes off to the side on a shelf. More often than not, as a coffee table sculpture.
Trust me, the photo doesn’t do it justice.
You’ll just have to visit me and pet this rock.
So, fast forward to now.
This natural artwork has graced my table for quite some time.
Along comes Bella.
A bit skittish her first weeks here, Bella quickly determined that second only to under the bed (a geo-setting apparently programmed into all cats’ DNA), among the safest places in the house is the top of the coffee table. I can’t argue with her; it seems like a fine spot to settle in, strategically located in the middle of everything for excellent territorial scanning, and far enough off the floor to keep her enormous, fuzzy tail beyond the reach of anyone’s accidental stomp.
Besides: this cat is absolutely gorgeous. Neither Tiffany nor Saks Fifth Avenue could create a more fetching centerpiece. Event planners, take note.
So, along with adopting me and my coffee table, Bella has adopted my rock.
Maybe she was Chinese in an earlier life. Ancient Asians used hard, beautifully lacquered wooden pillow boxes as head rests, to store their valuables safely while they slumbered. I have a nice example of one of those next to my bed, and tried it out on my head once.
No go. Give me huge, soft fluffy pillows, please.
If ever necessary, I’ll stow my treasures in the polyester pillowcase zip-lining. Just like I did when I was an eight-year-old at sleepaway camp and hid contraband candy in there, until the day that all us girls in the bunk learned the cause-and-effect connection between sugar and weird bugs.
Maybe my rock stores Bella’s kitty dreams. It’s her pillow,
…her chaise lounge,
…her fainting couch,
…her butt protector,
…her nighttime exotic visitor viewing station (ok, the iguana is plastic, but I used to have a real one that was much much larger. Big bad Bella isn’t impressed, anyway),
…and her safe place.
Every girl should have her own fortress. Rock on, Bella.