5 LIFE LESSONS FROM A STRAY CAT
5 LIFE LESSONS FROM A STRAY CAT
So it happens I love felines. Cats especially I have always had an affinity with them and was lucky enough to have some wonderful cats when I was growing up.
When I came back to the UK in July, I was in a tough spot.
Having to leave my family behind at the airport again.
I was sad.
Out of the blue, this black cat with green eyes started coming over sitting in the garden.
He’d stare and meow at me. Then come over for a cuddle. He was guarded. But he gave me affection and slowly we started building a rapport. I felt better, happier.
Someone to look after and learn to love (I fell for him first day but don’t tell him that lol).
I’d come home from work and he’d be there. Didn’t take long before I started feeding him cause come on, so freaking cute.
Four months on, he comes and goes as he pleases, I named him Blake cause although not my cat (lol), he now kinda is.
Yesterday he threw a massive fit. First cuddle, then food (obviously), then when I went to stroke him (usual spot on top of his head), he hissed at me…cheeky. Then pawed me, then outright scratch me. He walked off in a huff. I let him go.
See, I know him. And he knows me, I love him nevertheless.
Got me thinking about how much he has taught me over the past four months.
1. Help and comfort comes from the most unexpected sources.
I was so sad and lonely. He was too. But he happened at the right time right place, and with a bit of time and many cuddles later, my smile certainly came back.
I strongly believe he was meant to come to me, to help me restore a bit of love in me.
Remember a kind word or gesture can mean the world to someone who needs it.
2. Trust is earned.
See, Blakey had an injury on his paw. He meowed in pain, I took care of him.
When he saw I wasn’t shunning him or trying to hurt him, and of course fed him with his own prep bowl, he slowly put his guard down. Three months later, he came indoors for the first time, slept in my activewear closet (he got some courage to do so lol), let me cuddle his belly which he wouldn’t do before. I am earning his trust, and he is earning mine. Slowly. Patiently. He even spent the night hehehehe (then woke me at 4am cause of course he wanted to go outside, after being fed…standard cat behaviour).
Trust is precious. It is earned. I give love freely, but I don’t trust as easily.
Whilst my affection may remain, once trust is gone, it is hard to rebuild.
Which brings me to lesson three…
3. You can’t force anything. Even with the best intentions.
When Blakey does not want to be touched, stay indoors, or even being fed, he will tell me (in his own way) and although I want to cuddle him to show him he can trust me, that I am not going to hurt him, he needs his space to just be. Or he will hiss and scratch lol, if he feels threatened. You can’t control every situation, even with the best of intentions. Sometimes, it will just not go your way. Let situations go, try at least to let it run its natural course. Holding on to the pain, distress or negativity will not help you move forward or progress. Let it go.
4. Freedom and choice.
As you know by now, this cat does what he pleases. And I let him. He came to me free. He will stay free because he chooses to do so.
Make a home for the people you love, be present, support them but let them be free to be themselves. Pay the same kindness to yourself. Choose to stay free to make your decisions, no matter the consequences. Choose to stay free without fearing the judgement of others (like ever) but most of all, stay free to choose for YOURSELF.
5. The little things aren’t so little.
See I am learning everyday even more so that what makes me happy are the simplest moments.
A link to a song.
A kiss on the forehead.
A walk in the woods.
A chat with a good friend.
Singing with my brother.
A stroll down the canal.
The sound of a church bell.
A pub lunch (cause Yorkshire puddings)
A good gym sesh.
Sunset over the dales.
Listening to music.
A Stray cat snuggling to you on a cold night.
These are the moments I treasure most. Simple. Learn to appreciate the little moments that make you smile, hold on to those in your not so good times. They will give you strength, they will keep you smiling & they will keep you moving forward.