Sunday is laundry and change the sheets day at our house. As I removed a load of sheets from the dryer this morning, there was an ancient purple sheet in the mix. BA is a weaver, and is currently working on rag rugs; the purple sheet was being prepared for its next incarnation.
Looking at the sheet, I recalled when it was new, and in regular use on our bed. This also reminded me of Waylon, one of the two cats who lived with our former neighbors, Jim and Kathy. Waylon was an orange tabby, quite the chatty fellow. He’d walk up our driveway, jabbering all the while, carrying on as if of course you knew what he was talking about. It was clear that he had definite opinions.
One of Waylon’s opinions was that clean sheets were for his pleasure. More than once, after changing the bed, BA or I would walk upstairs and find Waylon curled up on the pillows of the freshly made bed, his rusty orange fur a stunning contrast to the purple sheets. He only did this when the sheets were clean; we surmised he took his cue from the smell wafting from the dryer vent. When his presence was noted, he had a couple of responses, one being blinking and then going back to sleep. The other would be to get up, stretch, and trot downstairs and out the open slider door, chatting all the way. My imagining was that he was bemoaning the interruption of his nap.
Another of Waylon’s opinions was that his people should not leave town, particularly not Jim, his favorite. Upon returning from a week’s trip, Jim opened his closet and was greeted by a series of memoranda concerning Waylon’s displeasure with his absence. A number of Jim’s ties had been pulled down, one for each day gone, and centered on each tie was one of Waylon’s poops. Jim had such a mix of emotions–he wasn’t happy about the ruination of his ties, or the smell in his closet, and at the same time, all he could do was laugh in admiration at such an effective communication.
Jim and Kathy moved away more than twenty years ago, and Waylon has probably long since crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and today an old purple sheet reminded me of his contributions to my life.