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March 6, 2011

Peace of Frankie

I woke this morning just after 5:00 am, my mind restless from the previous day’s dealings, and dreading events developing overnight. Knowing there may be e-mails needing immediate attention, I turned on the computer and begin reading various e-mails from multiple souls deep in a power struggle over a small organization but evidently important enough to create a rash of dueling words.

Mustering wit and knowledge, I write e-mail after e-mail attempting to negotiate parties to an agreement without slashing personal feelings to bits. By 7:00 am, my mind was ruptured and overwrought. The usually fun computer looked fiendishly mean and I’m desperate to find somewhere peaceful. With cup of coffee in hand, I headed down stairs to the gecko room.

The geckos have a joyful influence on me, but I am seeking out the peaceful effect that Frankie has no matter how chaotic the world seems.

Frankie, tucked snug under his Kliban Cat Beach towel, has an immediate serene effect on my even though he is a mere bowl shape under a cat towel deep in his beauty sleep. I don't disturb Frankie but instead face my chair toward his snoozing shell and appreciate the magical spell he has on me.

I have a cat, Newt, whose job is to lower my blood pressure, but being a new addition to the family and have the antics of a two year old cat, she would rather be chased around the living room or play catch & kill with one of a dozen mouse toys that squeak at the slightest ouch, rather be a therapeutic cat who will sit on my lap and purr me into oblivion

At the moment, Frankie is a better destination than the cat.

After ten minutes of my arrival and silent vigil before Frankie, he stirs in reaction me. Although completely covered under the cat towel, he senses my presence and scoots around from head-in-wall sleeping position to head-toward-human-in-room position. I pull his cat beach towel back.

“Yep,” Frankie silently acknowledges me, “It's her.”

Yep, it's me and my intention is just to sit and watch Frankie do his important morning routine which is nothing.

Frankie does a Big Frankie Yawn and dozes on and off as I sit and sip coffee. Occasionally he closes his eyes, but his face never moves away from my direction. He contemplates me as one listen to music: there is not much to watch, but something toward which to face and pay attention.

Frankie is in no hurry. His morning post-wake-up routine is a two hours of doing nothing. Outdoors waits for Frankie but he is patient to let the day warm up before he makes demands to go outside. He has morning poops to complete before venturing outside and those too have plenty of time to make an appearance (as they always do).

In the morning, this potential destroyer of rooms, mover of furniture, digger of tunnels, walker of miles, and feaster of lawns, is a picture of peace, serenity, and nothingness demonstrating one of the greatest qualities of a sulcata tortoise: The joy of absolutely nothing.

“Are you done yet, Frankie?”

“Nope. Still have lots of nothing to do.” Frankie is extremely good at this.

Yep, in a while I will have to be back upstairs armed with words, a spell checker and endless edits. I will be negotiating the insane, calming the Norse God of wind, and soothing bruised egos ready to burst like a pimple: all good people in a crazy situation.

The laptop in my hands has no internet connection. I write about Frankie. I can just sit with him until it's time to go outside. I'll choose to escort him to his outdoor paradise where he will find the perfect basking spot. I think I'll take a chair outside and sit with him for a while.

Cats may be warm, cuddly, and full of purrs but Frankie has so much more to offer. When he isn't taking down the furniture, he has darn right a peaceful influence on my life.

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