Day Twelve: Christmas With Júlio César

Júlio César was cleaning his paw after his last nail had been neatly trimmed and filed while his mate Jack Sparrow had just received a mid-morning snack. Júlio was lolling about when he spotted the cat who was grumpier than the Grumpy Cat that day. Júlio cocked his head up as Jack Sparrow approached him. “What are you so happy about today?” asked the irritated cat.

“What is not to be happy about?” replied Júlio. “It is Christmas time a.k.a unlimited favorite foods, someone is always around unlike other days where you spend the mornings counting crows, now you get to eat, play and have someone give you a good belly rub when you need one.”

“No one cares you stupid old dog. All that matters to them is their presents and food.” whined the cat. “Haven’t you noticed that you are out almost the entire day and you cannot sit on the couch anymore? Their couch is more important to them than your comfort.”

Hearing this, Júlio stood up and shook the dirt off his back. He then asked Jack Sparrow to follow him to the garage. As they walked towards the door the cat continued to grumble about how the holiday was a crappy time because the humans seem to pay less attention to him and shooed him away from the beautifully decorated house and to cut a long story short; they didn’t care enough. The garage door was ajar and the bulb was still left on.

Júlio shoved the cat in and followed him. Around them were boxes of decoration, gifts and food. The cat smelt a range of aromas and tried to follow his nose to the prize but the dog was quick to divert his attention. He pointed out to a box in the corner which had a big chew bone, a squeaky toy, three cat teasers and a brand new scratching post apart from treats for both Júlio César and Jack Sparrow.

The dog turned to the cat and said, “Do you see all that there? That is for you, me and maybe the shelter. Shows how much they don’t care right?” The cat was scanning the box and finally replied, “That box means nothing. So they bought some stuff for us. How does that make a difference? We have been abandoned out here while they are in there.”

“You sure know how to bring pessimism into a room; don’t you?” said the dog. The cat ignored the growl and continued, “You are a fool…..”

“Oh shut your mouth doofus” said Júlio César. “Any human who takes the trouble to make sure you have a special Christmas meal and presents under the tree on Christmas Day cares enough about you. Did you see the lady of the house cleaning your pillow and my house? Did you see her hang our stockings on the tree? And you say they don’t care enough. If only you knew better….”

How often we ignore the little things that others do for us. It may not be much but they do it anyway because they genuinely care about us. This Christmas let us make it a point to recognize these little acts that otherwise go unnoticed. We are so used to comfort that we forget how important the simple things are. I’m sure Jack Sparrow would prefer a clean pillow and a new scratching post to the old and dirty stuff, don’t you think so too?

Life Lessons With Júlio César

You know those mornings where you wish the earth swallowed you whole? It was one of them. I lay in bed two hours after breaking my alarm thinking about how futile life was. I had academic degrees and still could not find me a decent job; then again what is a decent job for me anyway? A mix of gardening, art, writing, baking and bungee jumping probably, but even that might not be enough. And so I lay there while the sun brightly shone, the trees happily swayed and a cool zephyr tickled the flowers and shrubs.

Hours later I decided to drag myself out of bed only to park myself in front of the television which added to my loathing for life. It was about four in the afternoon when the phone decided to startle me with its shrill tone. It almost never rang thanks to the invention of the cell phone and whenever it did it seemed to either put fear or irritation into my mind. Luckily, today was not one of those days.

I answered the ringing with a forced friendly “Hello!” and was greeted back with a “Where have you been? Why don’t you answer your cell phone? Will be there in fifteen, I hope you are ready.” Click! And that was the end of the conversation. It was Júlio César the boxer; and no I am not referring to the sport, I am talking about the breed of dog. We met at obedience school where I used to volunteer. We were both in our early twenties; you know like when you convert dog to human years.

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It was fun hanging out with him on breaks; that was probably the only thing he looked forward to at obedience school, Continue reading