I’ve always had a strong love for our furry (and non furry) animal friends. I’m constantly impressed with the tricks and things that we can teach our pets to do, how polite they can be, and how caring and compassionate their bond with us is. What I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that animals teach me a lot more than I could ever teach them. They teach us all how to open our hearts and love unconditionally, how to show our true self (without fear of judgement or dislike, because animals don’t mind if you haven’t brushed your teeth or hair), they teach us how to care for another life and put someone’s needs equal or above your own, and most importantly they teach us patience.
I’ve written about my little Peanut several times, because he’s made a great impact on my life. He came into my life at a time when I felt alone, depressed, and wasn’t feeling very good about myself. I instantly fell in love with this sweet little puppy who was so tiny and such a little pacifist that he couldn’t even be with the other puppies, he had to sleep in the little kitten crate instead. All cuddle up as a little brown lump among fuzzy white faces. He licked my nose and fit in the palm of my hand, and had my heart instantly. I’ve always had pets, I would bring them home, beg for them at pet stores, pick up strays…. even baby birds and injured birds, though I’m allergic to them. Sometimes it’s easier to love an animal, because it’s safe. They’ll never disappoint you, hurt you, betray your trust, they’ll always love you the most.
Some animals even teach us loyalty. Whales will often beach in masses because they don’t leave each other. If you haven’t seen Big Miracle, I highly recommend it. It will touch your soul and make you want to learn from the amount of love and compassion they show each other. If only humans loved to that full capacity. Can you imagine the kind of world that would be? A far better one than the one we live in now. There are countless movies that show how animals “stick together”, breed for life, protect their young with their lives. So, why, you may be asking, am I thinking about all of this today? Well, I’ve always believed that people AND animals come into our lives for some reason. Whether it’s to learn something from them, for us to help them, for them to help us. Some purpose is behind this meeting of two souls. Recently I’ve been having a little furry guest who comes and goes as she pleases, sleeps in my husbands work shed, and comes out to stare at me curiously and eat her kitty cereal that I have been placing on my stone walk way two times a day. She doesn’t come close to me, and doesn’t come when I call, but she makes eye contact and checks me out… getting a bit closer, day by day. I’ve always loved cats – I wouldn’t say I’m a cat person, because I love dogs just as much. So, I suppose I’m an animal person (minus snakes, live and let live, but live far away from me please!). I have a sweet little cat, Jingles, who I’ve also written about and shown pictures of several times. I got her from a shelter, a few months after my cat Smokey passed away. I wasn’t looking for a cat, but my husband suggested we just go look at the ones in the shelter to cheer me up, as I had been missing my sweet Smokey cat. I walked past her little cage, trying not to make eye contact with any of them because I didn’t think I was ready to open my heart up to another animal, she wasn’t having it. Though she was sick with a nasty respiratory issue, she gathered her strength and pressed herself against the front of the cage and stuck her paw through it and grabbed my shirt. I laughed and looked at her and she cocked her head to the side as if to say “Hey, where are you going? Don’t you want to visit me?” I asked to hold her, and she instantly purred like a loud motorboat (due to her respiratory problems, her purr has always been very loud, though when she was very small it seemed impressive) and rubbed her fact against mine and kneaded my shoulder. I melted and adopted her that day. She’s my little shadow now, and even as I write this she’s curled up on top of my desk – not disturbing anything, just wishing to be next to me.
Now, back to my new friend… Jingles is easy excited. She is curious (as a cat!) and always looks outside with great interest. My husband has been traveling, and while she is my cat – I do think she misses the 4 a.m. treats that hubs usually passes out before heading to work in the morning. So she’s been spending a little more time looking out back than usual, when I notice she’s watching something very closely… I look outside and see this tiny little Calico blur dash past. We get strays in the back yard frequently, and they usually stay for a feeding and carry on. Nomadic little kitty travelers, just passing through. The next day, there was the little kitty again – so I went inside and got the usual. A little dish of food, and a little dish of water. The same has been going on for a week plus now, and though she still doesn’t want to be friends – I think she at least knows that my back yard is safe, and comes with food and water. I think our paths have crossed for a reason. On her side it’s simple, I’m going to teach her trust and love, and what it feels like to have warmth, comfort, and a fully belly. On my side, she’s teaching me patience. Sitting still for an hour and watching her eat carefully, trying my best to put out “I’m safe, I won’t hurt you” vibes and not scare her. I sit and watch her and wiggle my fingers and talk to her. She looks at me curiously, but won’t come any closer, until finally she finishes eating and struts away a safe distance to clean her paws and face and watch me carefully. I hope that she stays and that I can help her find a home, maybe with me, if she likes. I’ve dealt with strays before and know how much patience it takes to earn that trust, and I’m willing to help her as long as she’ll let me. In the meantime, I’m just happy to have my quiet new friend strut through my days and open my heart a little more. Oh, I suppose I should introduce you to my new friend, hm? This is my little Clover.
Here she is hiding under a shelf outside, the first day I met and fed her.
Here she is, a few days later, still not making eye contact but quite enjoying the kitty cereal.
Here she is from today, curiously watching butterflies fly around the backyard, pretending I’m not there.
And again today, making eye contact, still deciding if I’m safe or not.
Isn’t she precious? I do hope she decides to let us love her, or finds another family who will. In honor of my new friend, won’t you please do something kind for your pets or the animal kingdom today? Donate a bag of food to a shelter, take your sweet pup for an extra long walk with a pocket full of treats. Hug your cat and rub it’s belly a little longer than normal. It’s good for YOU as much as it is for them! Keep your hearts open and love will always come to you.