Lessons from a Feral Cat

 

It was a brutal winter, 16 degrees,

wind chills in the 40’s,

& a hungry, growth stunted, feral cat

had found shelter under our camper.

And there she stayed,

frightened and alone.

Desperately wanting help,

but afraid to accept it.

MARIANNE STRAIT

A passionate believer in the power of “jump starts”, Marianne helps clients obliterate self-doubts, blast through limiting beliefs, and gain clarity to discover their passion and drive.

“My relationships with my cats has saved me from a deadly, pervasive ignorance.”

WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS

I built an “insulated box” to fit under the camper, which provided her with a little extra warmth and safety.   Several times a day my son and I trekked out to feed her – until the day I fell on the ice. It was that day that I decided that, if she wanted food, she had to come get it,  I put bowl just outside our front door.  I knew it would be a challenge for her, having to come to our doorstep to eat, but hunger quickly won over.

Little did I know, she was going to give me a huge gift.

Spring came and she made the front stoop her home. She only left it when humans came near.

Then came that first spring thunderstorm – it was going to be nasty – and poor little “outdoor kitty” (as we called her) was in for a rough afternoon. While we had tried, unsuccessfully, for weeks to get her to step in to the house, I thought that maybe the storm would be the catalyst.   (She, as we have discovered, is very frightened of rain and water)

To my surprise she came to the threshold – her eyes searching inside, outside, then at me. Her eyes were filled with hope a. She longed for safety and this longing filled her eyes as they darted back and forth. But, in the end, she was too afraid to accept my offer. Thunder clapped and she bolted for shelter under the camper and into the box I built all those months ago.

Then it hit me. In fact I felt like I was hit by lightning!  (The realization was THAT strong!) You see…

I realized at that moment that she was just like me… (and possibly you too!)

She wanted something so much, yet when it came time to let it in, she was skittish, doubting, scared, unsure.

She couldn’t “trust” in this “too good to be true” proposition.  I was offering her everything she wanted, and she was too afraid to take that step in. She retreated to the comfort that came with the misery of “what is”.

And that’s how most of us live our lives – me too at times. You see “the universe” is here ready and eager to give us everything we ask for. Yet when the manifestation comes, we often lack the TRUST to take that step into the life we want.

Like “outdoor kitty” we convince ourselves that what we want is dangerous and scary. Out of fear we tell ourselves that what we have, well, it’s “good enough”.  All the while we ache for more, and we create excuses and “reasons” not to trust that we can have it. The fear overtakes us and we “settle” for  less than ideal life.

Now an Indoor Kitty, she snuggles up to her new friend

The Key:

This little feral cat had given me a great gift – the insight that what we ask for – what we dream about for our lives – it’s there waiting for us to “allow in”.  We alone decide whether or not to accept it. We alone decide whether to trust the process and create our life the way we want it to be, or if we walk away and continue wanting (but never having) the life we want – for the rest of our lives.

What about “outdoor kitty”? I have great news! We continued working with her and soon we were able to pet her, and she did, in fact, come in to the house!

She simply needed someone to help her through her doubts and fears, someone who believed in her and her ability to change, someone who encouraged her even as she had a strong desire to bolt away.  Sometimes love, support, and a guiding hand is all you need!

You will notice that “Outdoor Kitty” aka “Indoor Kitty”  has a small piece of her ear missing.

“Why?” you ask?

There is an amazing Nationwide program that provides neutering services for feral and stray cats. They have a “Trap, Neuter, and Release” program.  The notched ear signifies that this Feral or Stray has been fixed.

It’s a great service for the community, and it helps reduce the Stray/Feral population.

If this inspires you, can I recommend that you make a contribution or volunteer to help.  Locally, it’s the CNY Cat Coalition an all volunteer group.

 

Support your local “Trap, Neuter & Release” program

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