Willow And The Art Of Doing Nothing

It’s 10am at the cottage and as I look out into the garden I see that the frost has not yet lifted. The backyard is a mid-winter crystal wonderland, if only for another hour before the sun rises high enough to melt the ice.

Steph is making coffee in our little kitchen, getting the grinds ready and frothing the milk on the stove, and I wonder if I should venture outside on a day like this.

Though, the sky is clear and the sun is pouring over the fence. I know that if I go outside now, on the odd chance anyone asks I can say, yes, yes I did leave the house today..

I round up Willow and put my jacket over my pyjamas and open the french doors. Willow hesitates before stepping outside into the courtyard. The moss that grows between the pavers has not escaped the night’s frost, nor have the daffodils that grow by the side.

Willow jumps up the step to the lawn and walks across to the sandstone seats. The grass crunches below my feet as I follow her and I don’t dare sit down on the frozen stone.

Willow glances around the garden but pays particular attention to a bush by the old stable, crouching down and peeking inside. I wonder what it is she can see that I cannot? What she hears or smells with her cat senses that eludes me..

Although, when I spend time with Willow outside, in a way, she shares those sense with me. I learn a lot by watching how she reacts to the environment we are in as she draws my attention to things I wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.

When we first arrived at the cottage some weeks ago Willow spent many evenings staring under the furniture and kitchen cupboards.

What was there? I wondered. Though, this morning it occurred to us that we weren’t alone in the cottage.

Did you eat the last chocolate chip cookie? I asked Steph, but she had not. It was a short while later that she found the remnants of that cookie behind the microwave, voluted with tiny mouse sized bites.

We have a mouse! We both exclaimed. A fact that Willow had known since the minute she arrived.

Willow has found her routine in the cottage, though when I say that she is still a van cat I mean it so. When Steph and I leave the cottage on icy weekday mornings we do not leave Willow there. I carry her out to the van, cat in one arm, my sandwiches in the other.

Steph will have filled the hot water bottle and placed it on the blankets in the back for her and by the time I have dropped Steph off in town and driven to the cat shelter to start my day, Willow has well and truly started hers. Curled up in warmth of the blankets – the cat and the art of doing nothing.

At lunch time I will come back to the van and eat my sandwiches. Willow will emerge from the blankets and settle on my lap as I eat, and purr as I scratch her behind the ears.

After work we drive back to the cottage. Steph and I will put all the heaters on in the living room and huddle under a blanket until the room heats up. The high ceilings of 1800s cottages are no match for these cheap electric heaters, and we ponder the possibility of the landowners returning the fireplace to its former glory.

Though, there is a quaint charm found in chill hallways and hot cups of tea, of peeling paint and squeaky floorboards.

Willow will jump up onto the blankets and tuck her paws in as she rests. If we are too unsettled for her liking she will lie under the heater on a blanket we have placed there.

Outside in the Sunday morning frost we know that when we come back inside we will be warm, and it’s almost that time. Willow’s paws are cold and she stands with one leg raised so not to expose her chilly toe beans entirely.

When we come back inside Willow shakes off her paws and soon finds herself on the blanket under the warmth of the heater, curled up in the place she deems best to spend the rest of her day.

As for me, Steph hands me my coffee and I think about all the things I’m definitely not going to do today, for there is a lot to be learnt from cats and the art of doing nothing.

* * *

Profile Photo

Van Cat Meow

Please try again.
Thanks for joining us! A welcome email is on its way to you!

Come along for the ride!

Willow has captured the hearts of thousands around the world as she travels through the wilds of Australia. Join our newsletter and see for yourself.

As seen on:

Lonely Planet

The Daily Telegraph

Business Insider

People Magazine

Sunrise TV



Cart Item Removed. Undo
  • No products in the cart.