Life is humbling…and my most recent lessons in humility come from an 11 year old kitty named Squeaky.
I have lost my two 17 year old kitties recently and have been deeply in grief. No way did I think I would be ready to adopt another kitty for quite some time. Then I was told about this kitty named Squeaky (I cannot say her name without smiling). Squeaky’s human recently died, and the daughter of this woman who passed away was unable to take Squeaky in. So…..what serendipity, yes? I was grieving….Squeaky was grieving…..maybe we could comfort each other…?
And so last week Squeaky came to my home. And she has been terrified, hiding up on the top shelf of my bedroom closet most of the time, crouching around,……a scared, sad, abandoned kitty ( I am only imagining that she feels abandoned ….being in a new home with a strange new person).
Her fear and sadness and my inability to quickly comfort her have brought me to tears.
And yet, here we are. She comes out for a while now (I have to help her down from the closet shelf as she seems able to get up there on her own but not down). She quickly retreats to the closet when I have to do anything else and not pay complete attention to her….I think that her previous human must have been bedbound for a while and thus always available). She is eating and uses the litter box (this last one would have been a major issue if she was unable to do that). And….last night….she jumped up and slept on the bed with me for at least part of the night. And purred.
Squeaky will take her time with this, and I must be patient as we both continue to work on this new arrangement and life together. Grief and fear and adjustment take their own time and will not be rushed. My own grief is the same, as I still feel such intense sadness about my two kitties, who have been my family for 17 plus years. So we are both grieving – sometimes separately in our own corners…sometimes able to be together briefly and connect and touch.
Each feeling takes its own time. Each grief journey takes its own time. Each life lesson will unfold in its own time. I am humbled by this. I must be patient, and let go of trying to control anything about this. I don’t know if this will work out with Squeaky and me….. it’s too soon to tell. All I know is that there is a new furry being in my home that I can do my best to be available for. Maybe I can try to remember that about each of life’s challenges and lessons….to be kind, to be patient, to do my best, and to wait and see what happens. Maybe each of us can remember to treat ourselves that way……we each have a Squeaky inside us whenever we face something new or difficult or painful and we need to be gentle with ourselves. Life can be hard. And we don’t need to add to that difficulty with any rules or timeframes for ourselves and how we handle things. Maybe we can just be kind….especially to ourselves.