Mr. Isbell has been out of town, and yesterday night I dreamed that instead of adopting Toby, I took him back to the shelter, realized my mistake, and went to get him again only to find out that he had been “donated” to the “University Cat Research Center”. (It was a dream, but it was very ominous.)

Of course I was so relieved to wake up and see Toby sitting on my chest, but I had to think of my friend Sean: When I told him I wanted to get a cat, he said, “That will just open up whole new ways for you to be miserable!”

I understand his point. While the dream was just a dream, there are so many ways to be afraid for something you love. People can “die young, fail at love, fail of their ambitions,” cats can get lost or sick–but you have to just accept that risk, because the happiness you get tempers the fear. (Sean disagrees, of course, but he also doesn’t care for pets.)

(Title and quotes from one of my favorite Robert Hass poems.)