YK’s 365 Release: Day 12

I have only had a pet once in my entire life. And it wasn’t even really my pet. It was a pet owned by my housemate when I was living in Durham, NC during my college years. It was a grey tabby, so feisty it was almost savage. We had to play with him using gardening gloves because his claws were so razor sharp he would literally shred our fingers, arms and legs into useless bloody masses. I eventually grew to treasure him because he had a formidable personality. He was rampantly wild, would go pounce in and out of a hole he created in the window screen as he pleased, he was aloof, but would sleep on your face. He fed and cleaned himself. He loved a challenge and unfortunately, was a keen hunter of small rodents which he used to leave as offerings to us on our doorstep.

My mother never let us have a pet while growing up. But I also seem to recall no conversation going beyond, “Can we have a pet mom?” “No.” “Okay.” We were good kids (except when I was causing trouble. See Day 4 and Day 5).

My mother is stoic and reserved. I only recall her explaining to us as adults, why we never had a pet. She had a pet when she was young, and it died. She didn’t want us to have to go through that. That was the entire explanation.

As an adult, I never procured a pet of my own, partially because it wasn’t something I was accustomed to. But also because I travel so frequently. I love freedom, I love flexibility. My work enables me to have the option of picking up and moving anywhere at any moment. Brooklyn is the longest I have lived in one place outside of my childhood. I have grown to love the community I have built here as a result of me remaining in one place for a longer period of time. I love being grounded as well.

Because of the experience with my friend’s tabby, I learned to appreciate and love pets. I still don’t have one, again, because it is never my inclination to have one out of habit. However, I do adore the various and sundry pets owned by the people around me.

I play tennis during the summer, so have a few canisters of stale tennis balls in my closet. Tennis balls need to be “fresh” for them to have maximum bounce (ah, the sound of opening a vacuum-sealed canister). The reason I’ve held onto these old tennis balls is because I feel like it’s wasteful to throw them away. No doubt a value instilled in me by my mother’s recycling-before-recycling-was-cool attitude. Additionally, I still use them to play tennis, because they still work. Just not as spritely. But if they can be used otherwise, I am happy to let them go.

The uses for old tennis balls I have seen are as floor protectors for the legs of chairs when I was young (an antidote for our roughhousing exercised by my mother), or as pet toys. These days, there are more discrete floor protectors. So, these tennis balls are going to be a dog’s favorite toy. I know just the household.

On day 12 of my 365 Release practice, I am letting go of that which can be easily replaced, to make some dogs blissfully happy.

NOTE: Quite a few people have asked me when I will giving more art away. I will not be giving more art away. As I mentioned, I have only done it a few times in my entire artistic career over 2 decades, and those times have been exceptional. My art is my livelihood, it is my craft, and my work is available for purchase. Support an artist and you’re making dreams happen. Here’s the link to my work.

[I created the 365 Release Project to practice non-attachment, letting go and change by giving away 1 thing a day for 1 year. The background, vision and guidelines to the 365 RELEASE project are here. The running list of everything I have released is here.]

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