Gumption paraded around the house announcing her presence like the trilling of a trumpet grandstanding for a monarch. She couldn’t remember the last time her belly was so full. Since Virtute had moved an incredible miracle had happened. If she took a break from eating her kibble, the food wouldn’t disappear. At first she thought it might have been divine intervention, certainly we all remember the two years worth of Gumption crying to the heavens asking if it was dinner time yet! Then she wondered if she had gained some sort of magic power. For the moment, this seemed to be the logical answer. She puffed up her already puffed up chest and marched into my hamper of clean laundry to take her seat upon the throne.
In a loud and clear voice she proclaimed, “I am Gumption of House Dublin, mother of socks, khaleesi to the little foam bouncy balls, queen of the seven kingdoms of Westoronto! I have come to liberate kibble from the clutches of greedy kitties!” I smiled as I watched this scene develop. Gumption, more quiet than Virtute, spent most of her afternoons daydreaming. Without the constant chatter between Virtute and I, Gumption finally had the space to let her imagination out into the world.
Within an afternoon, she had uncovered secret treasures (a pom pom that fell off of one of Jenny’s old sweaters), battled the evil laser pointer gnats, knocked over two bowls of water chasing a couple of imaginary air buffaloes, and sorted through my garbage in search of some really textured and crinkly paper. But as she sat upon her throne, perched high above the ground, she squinted to identify all of her loyal stuffed animal and pillow subjects.
Her mood abruptly changed. “This is the moment, when Virtute would come to steal my throne. He would say to me, ‘I am Virtute, of House Goblin, by right of the 6ix God, I seek to reclaim my rightful place as heir to the throne!’ And then we would tussle and tussle and tussle.” She slunk down into her pile of socks. I walked over to her and put my hand on her head and shouted, “I am Craigy, of House of Gourmet.” She smiled and clutched my hand within her claws and started to nibble on my skin. I wiggled her around and told her that while I may not be around all the time like Virtute, I also love to imagine and play…
And so went the afternoon. Each of us volleying new ideas and magical fantasy onto the other. We resolved to commit to creative time together, to prioritize play, to ensure that each moment we spent together was intentional and valuable. And so began, Chronicles of Gumption the Cat.