Sometimes happiness is that simple

There are times when just watching The Kids at play entails pure joy for me.  This video captures just such a moment.

I recorded this a day before Christmas 2003.  Derek had been in the hospital almost all year, was quite sick, and most distressing for him was how much he missed The Kids.  Related conversations increasingly became the quickest path to his heartfelt lamentations.  Nothing cut him quite as deeply as tears borne of missing them.  Jenny and I both knew how much he was upset about his failing condition and how much he missed the simple yet magnificent delights to be found with the four furry rulers of the cosmos.  More poignantly, he knew Christmas was always an over-the-top opportunity to spoil them, so the idea of missing it hurt him most.

Once it became clear he would not be home for Christmas and would have been away from The Kids for almost a full year, I decided one of his gifts from me would be a CD of photographs and videos of the feline members of our home.  I began the project during the summer of 2003.  It was a dedicated effort to capture as many digital moments as I could.  By the time I put the CD together for him, it contained dozens of videos and hundreds of pictures.  Luckily, it was ready just before Jenny and I spent December 25 at the hospital (we took with us an enormous and enjoyable Christmas meal and a plethora of gifts, wowing everyone including Derek).

Much later in time, after a brief and unsuccessful stint at home in spring of 2004, Derek lived his final months where he had spent so much of the last two years: in the hospital.  His condition worsened, a three-year expedition to identify the limits of human existence by way of pain and suffering.  Though he did see The Kids for a few weeks when he was allowed finally to leave the hospital before his health forced his return, he always looked to that CD for the emotional uplift he needed and knew The Kids could provide.  Many of the nurses who cared for him regularly would speak about the cats as though they knew them.  Ah, but they did know them; that familiarity came from Derek who spoke of them often and was always more than happy to give people the CD-of-The-Kids tour.  Not only that, but he frequently mentioned visiting my blog to see whatever new pictures and stories about our holy eminencies I might have posted since his last visit.  He likewise included returns time and again to enjoy his personal favorites.

I celebrated Christmas early in 2003: on December 24.  I wanted to record for posterity the holiday most envied by cats around the world (or, at least, by the masters of my universe).  Since we would be at the hospital for the holiday and the CD had to be included in the gifts we were taking to Derek, an early exploration of the goodies under the tree was necessary so I could include the enjoyment for the one person who most deserved to see it but would be unable to.

It starts with Loki playing with a new toy.  Despite his appearance in the video, there is no death, no destruction, no mass hysteria, no bloody battles for the souls of humankind, no end to civilization as we know it, and no levitation.  I’m sorry, but this was truly one of our simple moments.  I guess Satan chose not to inundate this historic record with his usual disregard for life and decorum.

Soon after it begins, Kazon and Kako get involved, steal the toy from Loki, and then inadvertently pass it back and forth.  He Who Should Not Be Named eventually finds a place to rest while watching the next generation act like fools.

Finally, it ends with Kazon collapsing with contentment.  It is then you see Grendel lying in a box in the background watching all the shenanigans as they unfold.  The Twins sure are silly, huh, Grendel?

This video is in Windows Media Player (WMV) format.  It’s 1:58 (one minute and fifty-eight seconds) in length and is about 5.27 MB (so be prepared for the download if you’re using dial-up).  And I’m still interested in changing all of these to MPG format; I just need to get off my duff, evaluate the software options, and buy something.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Adobe Premiere Pro the best option for this (video editing)?  Any other suggestions?

[Update] I originally concatenated three videos into a single WMV file.  I’m now including all three as separate YouTube entries below.

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