I can almost hear Athena channeling Gollum from Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings books. It haunts her, this precious item; she desires it greatly.
It’s a hair tie...an elastic hair band. The coated kind. Thick. A garden-variety, 10 for 99 cents, put-your-hair-up-in-a-ponytail stretchy circle.
And it’s very, Very Important to Athena.
She stands guard outside my bedroom and bolts into the room when I open the door, making a beeline for my grandmother’s antique dressing table. She jumps up and peers into a cobalt blue vase, looking for The Precious.
Sometimes, I will have put it in the vase ahead of time. More often, the vase is empty. Then Athena will wait patiently--in case somehow The Precious will magically appear. She’s very good at waiting, Miss Athena is. Patient. Waiting.
Patiently waiting.Ever so so patient.
If she’s Really Very Patient, I will open the Drawer of Magical Items and quickly pull out The Precious and drop it into the vase.
Athena will stare into the vase to confirm that The Precious is, indeed, within and then, delicately reaching her paw inside, she’ll pull it up toward her, usually snagging it with one claw. When she gets it high enough, Athena transfers the Hair Band of Joy to her mouth--and then has to stop and think about next steps.
First she surveys the area. Dawn, Jasper or Lilah might be around. They. Might. Steal. The. Precious. And that would be A Very Bad Thing.
If the coast is clear, Athena hops off the dressing table. And the real fun begins.
This is what you do with The Precious. First, you hold in in your mouth, then you toss it back and forth between your paws.
Then you put it in Mom’s shoe. That’s real important. Because two seconds later, you take it out of Mom’s shoe. And then place it back in again.
You can also consider bringing The Precious with you on to the blanket chest. Then you hockey puck it around the slippery wood surface.
Sometimes you try to hide it under the magazines. Hiding The Precious under the magazines is good, but not as good as depositing it in Mom’s shoe. But it’s still considered to be among the appropriate activities to do with The Precious.
You might also bring it downstairs and play with it under the kitchen table. Or on the dining room rug. But you have to be careful because there are foul elements afoot who will try to take The Precious from you.
Oh, and if Lilah gets hold of The Precious, it is a very sad course of events indeed. Lilah excels at Shredding. No item is too small to escape the Lilahnator: a bit of fluff, a leaf, a tiny plastic end from a price tag on a pair of pants. A hair band.
Oh the felinity!
Until next time, when Athena takes up her position on Grandma’s dressing table and waits ever so patiently yet again for The Return of the Precious.