Where Did You Find Your Treasure?

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf published week of January 13, 2015 in the Albert Lea Tribune and Courier Sentinel

I like treasure hunts. Almost every day I seem to be on a treasure hunt in my home. The treasure I am usually hunting is my sweet shyster Natasha.natasha

I have two shysters, but Natasha, who is part Siamese and part something else, gets into more trouble than my 14-pound Boris. Maybe when we named her we were asking for trouble because she does act a little like her namesake Natasha, from the “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” cartoons.

This week while working on the edits for my new book that will be titled “Something About Nothing” after this column, I was reminded by Boris and Natasha, who were helping me edit, that they do not get enough page time from me.

I was reading my columns about Sambo, my beloved pooch who no longer resides in our household. Natasha and Boris took the time to point out by their scratches and their meows that they are often absent from my writing. My granddaughter reminded me that it was time to introduce the shysters into my children’s books where Sam already has a starring role. Who would have thought the shysters would be jealous?

Though they don’t bury birdbaths, hang their fur on my floor giving me new carpeting as Sam did, they provide hours of entertainment and trouble. I decided to relent, and thus begins my story of my everyday treasure hunt.

Natasha along with Boris is my treasure. At some point during every day either my husband will ask, “Have you seen Natasha?” or I will.

Laidback Boris usually doesn’t care where Natasha is if he is trying to sleep.

The hunt begins. We check under the beds, under the covers, all chairs and after we have exhausted all boxes, we begin opening doors. We open closet doors, cupboard doors and the basement door. There are a lot of doors to open. We know a disappearance by Natasha is trouble.

Most people would not be concerned if they haven’t seen their cat in their house for hours. It isn’t unusual for cats to be shy and find somewhere quiet to sleep. Our shysters are anything but shy and usually are out in eyesight helping us with every step of our household duties.

If they are sleeping they like to be near us. Other cats hide; ours like to play hide and seek. Natasha hides and we seek.

Natasha is sneaky and quick. We know this, but she is quicker than the average eye, and can sneak into a closet and through the basement door quick as a wink without us seeing her. She is always in stealth mode.

You would think she would give us a small hint as to where she is by a meow or a scratch but no — she is content to wait for us to find her no matter how long it takes.

Before we leave the house we always have to make sure our treasure is safe and that means in plain sight.

One day when we left the house I forgot to secure my treasure. I was gone all day. On arriving back at my house I put my packages on the counter in the kitchen only to look over to the bathroom to see Boris sitting by the bathroom closet door. He wouldn’t move. There was no noise.

I thought it was strange so I decided to open the bathroom closet to see if he was waiting for a beetle or ladybug to pop out. He was waiting for Natasha to pop out. She had been left in the closet all day. Apparently she didn’t mind because there were no accidents and she calmly crawled out and kissed Boris.

The other part about Natasha is the fact that even if we did not open the door for her to sneak in, she can open doors herself. She has taught Boris how to open the door under the sink to get treats. We had to put a childproof lock on the door.

Natasha can open the bi-fold door on my closet and jump in. It is not unusual for me to hear a prowler during the night opening my closet door. Some nights she climbs in and closes it.

Natasha takes an interest in helping me with my writing. She likes to take the paper out of the printer when it is printing. Yesterday she climbed on to the top of my printer, stood up to a shelf on her hind legs and opened my plastic drawers where I keep my pens and pencils and tried to toss me a pen.

Yes, life with our two shysters is interesting and some wonder why we put up with their antics. Boris and Natasha are two of our treasures. They are two of the treasures that we seek that we always find. They are easy treasures to find. Other treasures in life may be hidden.

Treasure is defined in the dictionary as wealth or riches stored or accumulated; any thing or person valued highly. In our world today when treasure is mentioned the first definition of wealth or riches is what is sought and what comes to mind.

We get excited when the word treasure is mentioned. We buy lottery tickets; we search for the magic fountain of youth in bottles or the knife. We search for fame so it will bring us fortune. Our treasures might be the next super sale at a big box store

My treasure hunt reminds me of the book, “The Alchemist,” by Paul Coelho. Santiago, the shepherd boy travels from his homeland, which is Spain, to the Egyptian Desert to find a treasure buried in the pyramids. We don’t know what the treasure is. There are obstacles in the way of finding the treasure.

Santiago found his true treasure, but where and what he found might surprise you, just as your search for your treasure might end in a surprising place, right where you started, at home with those you love.

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