Posted on

More than a list

“A ‘cat list’ is like a bucket list except, that instead of being a list of all those things you want to do before you die, it is a list of all those times you easily could have died but didn’t.”    —Guy Bradley

Those who are young, who believe the world is their oyster and they are bulletproof and can do anything they want to do, assume they’ll live to a ripe old age. They probably don’t have either a cat list or a bucket list. They’re just living the dream.

I’m old, but I have no bucket list of places I’ve got to get to (like New Zealand) or things I’ve got to experience (like skydive) before I die. I’m content reading and writing and occasionally seeing our grandchildren.

Everyone knows that cats have nine lives. I have a cat list of times I had a close brush with death. In my first year of marriage, I went canoeing with three other guys. In rapids, we capsized and I was thrown under a log jam. Under water, I could see no way of escape. I said to myself, “This is it.” After what seemed like minutes, but probably less than one minute, I bobbed up and out. I don’t know how or why.

When I was a teenager driving home from college, I fell asleep about 4 a.m. at the wheel. My right front tire hit gravel. Startled awake, I got control of the steering wheel and swerved a split second before I would have smashed into a bridge abutment.

Growing old is a privilege, not a right. Half the people born the year I was born are no longer with us. My half should be grateful for our good fortune. It could have been otherwise.