Everything that needed to be said about the doctor and her husbands choice had been said, and the cat had resigned himself to what was going to come since he didn’t have any other choice. It had been decided that she would be staying in the home in Mondrago for the time being, while they took care of her affairs in New Babbage…
He had been torn about it, after all he was supposed to be by her side, but she had made her own decisions. Someone had to watch the patients since their rooms had been demolished and one of them especially was a flight risk, and supervising the construction was important to make sure no one ‘fixed’ the designs again. Also someone had to keep an eye on their employer, and most importantly of all, she had stressed, was that she wanted him to spend more time with his new red-headed friend.
That was why she was sitting in her new rocking chair swaying back and forth, while Arnold got his own chair ready. Mondrago was worse than the airship had been for feeling exposed…but at least no one was around for the moment. He struggled to get comfortable in the chair, but it was worse than the first time he’d used the couch. Just when he had finally gotten almost comfortable they heard the sound of steps ascending the ladder to the bar, and the illusion of comfort and security that he needed to talk freely was shattered.
Exasperated, the cat got out of the chair and looked up at Dr. Maddox, “This isn’t going to work.”
“You’re right,” she agreed as she rested her head against the back of her chair. “Next time we can talk in the airship…for now…I’m feeling too tired to make the trip.”
Arnold nodded solemnly and crouched nearby, “So this isn’t happening tonight?”
The doctor smiled softly, “Well, I do have some things I’ve been meaning to tell you that I don’t think you would mind speaking about in public. I was just going to wait till you were done with your story.”
“At the rate we’re going that might not be till sometime in June.”
The doctor nodded and then closed her notebook, “I’ve been meaning to ask you to forgive Mr. Harvey.”
The cat raised a brow at the request, “I already told you that we’d had a talk.”
“Yes…you told him that you didn’t forgive him, but could live with him,” the therapist reminded him wryly. “I want you to try to forgive him.”
“Oh,” Arnold understood what she meant now, and crossed his arms stubbornly. “That’s not going to happen.”
“Can you tell me when was the last time you forgave someone, and not just decided to live with what they had done?” Arnold thought about it for a moment, and he couldn’t name a single moment in time when that had happened. “Not even yourself?” That question forced Arnold to see where she was going with this and he uncrossed his arms and facepawed.
“You live with what someone’s done and hold it against them, passive-aggressively, for the rest of your lives. You have trouble forgiving, and that includes yourself.” She tried to stand up, and without thinking he was there to help her. After she was level she continued, “I want you to work on forgiving him, so you can eventually work on learning how to forgive yourself.”
Arnold grimaced, he could still remember the night that the hospital had flooded and nearly killed both him and Mr. Harvey. But he knew what she was talking about…she often told him that he held things against himself that other people had long forgotten or forgiven him over. Forgiveness didn’t come naturally to him, or any cat he’d ever met, but he had to admit that if he didn’t even try then these sessions were just a waste of both of their time. He shook his head, “Don’t expect a miracle overnight.”
She smiled victoriously all the same as he assisted her.