Today was a reminder to both Chris and myself that, sometimes, things come into your life unexpectedly, and it is best to embrace the change and offer unconditional love.
Of course, I’m speaking of the little kitty that we found today. My mom would never openly admit to having an open door pet policy, in fact, usually we were explicitly told “Do not bring any more pets home!” Yet, somehow, when a cute furry little animal would find us, my mom was always the first to take them in and love them. Earlier, I wanted to offer that same amount of love to the stray kitten we found.
In junior high, my sister and I really wanted a cat. We at one point had 40 rabbits, a dog, a desert tortoise, and a roaming outdoor cat and were overly delighted naming them, loving them, and “helping” my mom feed and take care of them. Each time a new animal would appear there was a 7 step process to how they would be introduced into the house.
Step 1: Hide said animal in our closet.
Step 2: Animal escapes and goes directly to mom and dad’s room.
Step 3: Animal finds my dad’s shoe and hides in it.
Step 4: Mom finds animal.
Step 5: Mom yells at us.
Step 6: Animal prefers mom over us.
Step 7: Mom bonds with animal, loves it, and we keep it.
It never failed. However, then we were left with animals who we desperately wanted to love us, and they really just preferred to follow mom around. I think it was that same calming and loving energy that made us feel so comforted all the time. It really isn’t an exaggeration to say animals sought her constantly and followed her.
So, back to junior high, we found a cute orange and white kitten and brought her (though we later realized she was a him yet continued to refer to him as her) home and hid her in our closet. Our process was abruptly halted, though, because we did not anticipate our kitten making so much noise. A few meows later, my mom was banging on the bedroom door. “Girls! I hear a cat in there. I remember telling to specifically, NO CATS. NO more animals! How many times do I have to tell you?” We froze. Sometimes if you stop moving, dinosaurs and parents can’t see you. Right? “Girls, come out here right now or ELSE.” Ah, or else? We were extremely afraid of the “or else.” We had never gotten to what happened after the “or else” but were pretty sure we didn’t want to find out, so we exited the room immediately. As to be expected, the next stops of the process after yelling worked out still according to plan. Kitty ran to mom, kitty loved mom, mom was endeared by kitty’s love, mom named kitty Mischka and kitty became a member of the family. For the next few years, Mischka quickly became mom’s best friend. My mom somehow taught her to be very dog-like. She’d growl at neighbors and sit on command (only when my mom said it, though.) I, on the other hand, became Mischka’s arch nemesis. I would come home from school to find Mischka hiding around the corner ready to pounce on me and scare the living daylights out of me. My mom was always close by laughing hysterically. She probably taught Mischka to high-five her afterward. My mom had so much love for anyone and everything. She somehow could tame the most anti-social creatures. Adults, pets and babies a like.
So today, when Chris told me he saw a poor little cat running across the street, I knew what needed to happen next. Right now, Monty, as we’re calling her, has been very warm and sweet with me. She hasn’t quite gotten used to Chris yet. I’m smiling as I type this and thinking a little part of my mom is with me right now, helping me to calm and comfort this sweet kitty today.
Lesson 8: Love generously.
Life is too short and too beautiful to do anything less.