Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Contemplating “Complete”

A long-lost friend has written to me with the wonderful news that she is relocating to Chicago. Her new office will be located directly across the street from my favorite haunt, the Art Institute of Chicago, where I worked as an editor in marketing and communication services for eight years. And to think that during all of those solitary years I did not have a cat to keep me company. I can’t claim even to having possessed a sixth sense for finding stray cats and bringing them home to my one-bedroom apartment.

My friend’s message coincided with my receiving a mailing from the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago. A renovation is under way there, and the mailing includes excerpts from a 1982 feature story in Architectural Record that praised the then-new building designed by architect Stanley Tigerman. The magazine writer noted that Tigerman was motivated by “metaphorical suggestiveness,” designing a building that made his message clear, which is that a house is not a home without a pet. Adopting a pet will complete someone’s life.

Twenty-eight years later, I get it, and that message resounds loud and clear at the Anti-Cruelty Society. My definition of “complete” also has a double meaning. Although I am fully loaded at “Catland” with ten felines, I am always on the hunt at the museum to finalize and complete manuscripts for art books. “Incomplete” rules the day (or should I say, causes havoc) at work, whereas “complete” reigns hourly at home. I need to find a way to migrate that fulfilling feline feeling to the office and achieve 100 percent completion of my workload. Something tells me I will never come up empty at home.

Query of the Day: How do your cats complete your life?

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