There was a cat-astrophe at our home a couple of days ago.  

To tell this story properly, you must know the back story behind “The Mirror”.  


My Mom brought this mirror home in the early 1970s.  She’d found it at a sale of old hotel stuff.  The entire family thought she was a bit nuts at the time.  It didn’t go with anything in the house.  It was huge.  It was heavy.  It was way over the top!  But my mom loved it and so my Dad worked out a system to hang it by adding a wooden cleat to the back that would hang from a matching wooden cleat on the wall.  They hung it in their bedroom above the dresser.  It stayed there until they moved to a new house in 2009.  I wish I had a photo of it in their bedroom as it really was the focal point! And truthfully, it grew on us and we all came to love that mirror! 


When they moved to new house after nearly 45 years in the same house, the mirror went with them and hung in the dining room. 


When my parents passed away, there was no question that I was keeping the mirror.  It hung on my dining room wall for several years.


I really loved how it went with the room. 


When I moved to my current small home, I hung it in the guest room.  Oddly enough, it fit really well despite the rooms tiny size!  It was a perfect complement to the black and floral trays on the wall and the black and gold floral rug. I loved it!


As noted in my last post, I have switched rooms around in order to create a storage area in my home.  The mirror no longer worked in my new office space where it had been hanging.  So, I made plans to move it to the end of the hallway, hoping it would bring light and still allow me to enjoy it.  Ironically, this photo, which I took as I was trying to decide if it would look ok there is the best photo I have of the mirror.


After a busy day of moving stuff, rearranging, installing shelving and new undershelf lighting, I didn’t have the energy to get the mirror hung that evening.  I marked the wall and had everything ready to go so I could do it first thing in the morning.  The mirror was propped up carefully and seemed quite sturdy and safe.  And since we were preparing for bed and the cat sleeps with me with the door closed, I thought all was well.

Suddenly, MuShu got the zoomies.  He went tearing into my bedroom on the opposite end of the house.  Then he rocketed out.  Towards the other end of the house.  And the hallway, and the mirror!

I could see it all happening and was powerless to change it.  I had no opportunity to stop him, nor could I reach the hallway in time to save the mirror.  


He rocketed down the hallway, hit the mirror like a missile hitting a target, bounced off of it even as it began to fall and managed to fly back down the hallway without getting crushed or impaled.  I think the glass actually began to break in that moment he hit the mirror, he hit it with such impact. 


The noise was astounding.  The mirror hit the floor with enough force that the heavy carved top broke off the rest of the mirror in two pieces, one of which ended up several feet away.  


I grabbed the cat, who was as spooked as I’ve ever seen him. (as he should have been!)  Right to the kitty carrier with him and locked him in as soon as I was sure he wasn’t injured.   


Then I took stock of the situation.  I put my shoes on as there was glass everywhere.  Crunch, crunch, crunch with every step, I gingerly lifted the frame.  Oh my.  What a pile of heavy broken glass was under the frame.  The glass mirror was ¼” thick and there were huge sharp shards and flakes of glass and glass dust everywhere.  I found glass not only in the hallway, but the office, the sewing room, the bathroom, and the kitchen and living room.  Also pieces of the wood frame.  It simply exploded when it hit the floor.  


The floor didn’t fare so well either.  It is peppered with little gouges from the shards of glass and there are several good-sized abrasions/dents from where the frame hit the floor as it fell.  


I knew those big shards would make mincemeat of a trash bag, so I found a box I could put them in and started cleaning up.  I swept.  I vacuumed.  I vacuumed again.  I swept again.  At that point, I called it a night.  It was now two hours later and after midnight.


The gratitude I wrote in my journal that night?  

Neither the mirror, nor I, killed the cat.  

I guess I don’t have to worry about downsizing the mirror at some point. 


Mushu was contrite after, and he slept like a baby, cuddling with his mouse.  I on the other hand couldn’t fall asleep for a long time.  


Next morning, I had to vacuum once again as I could see glass glittering across the floor in the kitchen.  I thought perhaps I could salvage the mirror frame and put new glass in it.  But upon inspection, I realized that it wasn’t possible.  There was little structural integrity in what remained.  It was trash day, so I got the box of shards and the lower frame in the trash and it is now gone.  I did save the upper carved pieces in hopes that perhaps I can reconnect them to use as a piece of decorative /architectural accent.  For now, the pieces are going into the shed to wait for warmer weather to work on them. 


So, the tale of my Mom’s mirror comes to an end.  My daughter won’t inherit it as she had hoped to.  We loved it while it was part of our lives, but it is gone now, and I have one less piece of “stuff” to take care of. 


I must say though that despite being in the middle of downsizing a lot of stuff, I’d prefer to do it on my own terms rather than have it forced on me involuntarily.  So I am definitely a bit frustrated.  I lost two cats and most of my belongings in a house fire 21 years ago.  It was not fun.  But I also lost my attachment to “things” as a result. While I will miss having the mirror, I recognize that it’s just another piece of stuff.  Neither the cat nor I were injured as we both could have been, and I am grateful for that.  It happened; I can’t change it; life goes on.  My burden of stuff is a little less.  It’s all good. 


After thought: If it’s bad luck for 7 years if a person breaks a mirror, what is it for a cat?  I’m certain he lost yet another of his “9 Lives”! 

p.s.  MuShu has his own instagram account where you can follow his antics.  @themushuchronicles


Shirlee Fassell said…
So glad you are both ok! It was a gorgeous mirror I would definitely try to save the top piece!
Shame about the beautiful mirror, but so glad that nobody (2 or 4 legged!) was hurt. I think if those two pieces were glued back together and the little bit of curved 'stuff' was removed from the bottom left it would look amazing hanging on the wall.
Momma Bear said…
Oh no! Tragedy! Good news with the right glue and clamps the wood parts are indeed salvageable. Floors are sand-able and refinish-able. Too bad about the mirror though, those thick old silver back mirrors are hard to find I have one that was my grandmothers, It only has one corner left and it weighs a crap-ton. Poor Mu-shu! sabotaged by his own funrun.
Be careful for the next few days, there is still glass everywhere and you will be finding it in random corners for the next 5 years, at least.
My DDH and I broke a shower door 8 years ago. It exploded in our hands and we still find pieces here and there. Its amazing how much glass is in a 3'x 6' shower door.
I'm glad you are ok too. that you didn't get cut is a small miracle.
Your so right, stuff is just stuff. it's the our people and critters that are important.
Fina Martinez said…
It was a beautifull mirror but the most important is that you and your cat are both save!!!
You can restaure the top of the mirror. It´s not dificult and it will be a nice souvenir.
Take care.
Best regards from Andorra
Robin said…
Such a great is all just stuff. Thankfully you and the cat are ok.....but still sad to loose a family piece with the history.

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