At the end of December, Michelle and I hiked through the snow across the ridge to the road. She took a turn at breaking trail, and as I hiked along, staring at her back, I began to think about the coat she wore.
We found the coat hanging in the cabin when we bought the place. It transferred to us, by agreement, along with everything else the previous owners decided not to haul out. However long the previous owners had it, they apparently decided it was no longer of use use to them.
It occurred to me that she had used the coat for about 11 years. I say “about,” because when we first owned it, I used it. At some point, she took it over, and it became her work coat. She uses it like a barn coat, wearing it whenever she has a particularly dirty job to tackle.
I mentioned this to Michelle as we trudged along. She pointed out that when she first started wearing it, she found a thrift store tag on it. Apparently, it had served a third person before being donated.
The idea of the coat living former lives amused us, because in the last year or so, it has taken on new meaning in our home.
Our cat, Spice, lives indoors. Occasionally, Michelle packs her up in her soft sided cat carrier, and takes her out to the garden or elsewhere around the homestead. Spice enjoys these outings, appreciating the new sights and smells they offer, and the chance for a supervised prowl around the greenhouse or outhouse.
When Michelle first started doing this, I warned her that if the cat liked going out with her, she’d begin crying for it.
Sure enough, Spice often jumps into the carrier and yells at Michelle from there, an obvious hint that it’s time to take her on an outdoor excursion. Whenever Spice sees Michelle put on the secondhand coat, she gets excited, lobbying loudly to be taken outside. We’ve started calling the garment the “cat coat” as a result.
It appears that the cat coat is currently living its third life so far. We assume it will have six more.