by katiclops


I feel a cold, soft pencil-eraser pushing into my face. Then a facefull of wooly-undoubtably grey-fur. More fur. Purring. Purring? Who purrs before 7am?! The fur stops moving and I start to feel a tentative, rough lick and nuzzle on my forehead, ever so faintly, every so far away, my alarm.

Griz! Good morning Griz! For what more is there really to say? Being awoken by a 7.5 pound mass of fur – especially one so positively elated at the notion of me giving her just the tiniest bit of food – is not the worst thing I could think of. Not to mention that she has also learned intuitively to respond to my alarm clock by sitting on top of it to muffle to the sound, presenting me instead with her purring pretty face.

What a sweet heart.

I stumble into the kitchen, navigating the shadow-grey mass running figure-eights around my ankles like tires at a drill camp. I run the water, top up her kibble and fish, and fix myself a glass of lemon water. Breakfast is served. It’s crazy to think that three months ago there was no Griz, no morning water: nothing but a caffeine powered tardy sprint to the office.

I stand a few feet back from her voracious slurps and drink my own jar of water, letting my eyes adjust to the light, slowly planning the next half hour and my route to work. The rain on the skylight four feet above my head echoes like run-away dried beans down the bulk-food aisle. Spring rain is inevitable, but losing an hour of sleep,  and a rainfall warning? What a way to start a Tuesday.

Griz chartreux grey cat

Griz, Killoran Gordan, Dec 2012

My ride to work is short, but often unpleasant. A little over 3km it follows a major road and then a shipping route, not to mention that a bike accident a few blocks off my route had left another cyclist in critical condition the day before. It easily could have been me. As is rote for cycling accidents, the story was quickly flooded with notes and observations about bad bikers: helmetless, reckless yahoos that were obstructing the traffic-flow of good citizens. I am often rattled after reading this type of news, but I also know that if I give into my fear I’m libel to trade in my bike for the bus permanently. I strapped on my helmet, threw on my bright yellow jacket and headed out the door.

In honour of the time change, I decided to break my coffee-less Habit and grab one en route to work. Nostalgia flooded over me as I walked in the door. The café had flown under my radar entirely the first year I lived in town. It’s only two blocks beyond Chinatown, a stone’s throw from our house. I stumbled upon it blindly attending a poetry reading, astonished to find that I had been biking by it daily for months. Stumbling in this morning was like stumbling in for the first time, discovering a little self-contained universe right under my nose.

Unassuming, it’s filled with subtle dark wood, skylights and plants. A friendly, hip-yet-unpretentious staff and noteworthy coffee. The clientele consists of a healthy mix of construction workers (as they are open earliest of all the cafés), old men (who spend hours chatting in the lounge), a steady stream of postal workers (the post-office headquarters is next door), students (free wireless) and government workers (they’re everywhere). After my initial visit, I was completely hooked, joining the regulars. Having a welcoming, quiet space turned me around academically, powering me through my last semester and prompting a “thank you” in the Acknowledgements section of my final Masters project. The name of said café? Oh-so-approrpriately: Discovery.

photo discovery coffee

Discovery Coffee on Discovery st. (Al Champagne)

Coffee strapped in bike rack, it wasn’t until I arrived at work that I realized the news of the accident had subconsciously turned me into an exemplary cyclist: alert and awake, I had worn my lights and brightest clothing, over-emphasized all my turn signals, triple checked my blind spots and stood up extra-straight while I waited to make my left-hand turn in the intersection. An improvement.

A friend once told me that getting what you want out of life is simple; it comes in two steps. The first is recognizing that you want something, and the second is recognizing it when it comes to you.

May you also find unexpected changes to some of your old habits, a silver lining to these grey days and a rinsing away into spring.

Yeah write turns 100 this week! Er, 3! And 100 posts! Go yeah,write!