I play this game mentally in my head each morning as I lay in bed waiting for that moment my feet actually want to hit the ground and my day begins. The struggle, the questions always remain the same. On one end, is my family and their voices that cast doubt on my so-called life. Why do I not have a career like I used to? Why don’t I earn a paycheck and help take the pressure off of me? How can I live with so many cats and where is the strength coming from to get me through all the heartache, drama and sorrow that rescue can bring. I can still hear my dad’s voice in the very last phone call we had before the angels came and took him away from us. Although he is the one who started me on this path early-on, I think even he was surprised that I stayed with it. I know that they consider me the black sheep of the family. Mike jokes and tells me that “It’s to BAAA..d they don’t really understand you.” I constantly worry about the cats, how will I find them all homes? How will I adequately vet them and provide for them without always having the vet debt looming over us.
It is usually about 4:00 a.m. when this game plays out. Then it is up to me to get up- gather the canned food for the outside kitties and go outside and start my day. Dry Kibble in all the trays, canned food to the seniors, fresh water in all the bowls. Pats and pets all around, scoop out the litter pans- refill and clean as necessary and all before 6:00 a.m. Then it is back inside to see to the house/sanctuary cats needs and also to take care of Mike and Quincy.
I was presented recently with an unproofed copy of a book by Joann Chittister called Two Dogs and a Parrot. I set it aside for a few days. I’ve read a lot of books that are a collection of animal tales over the years. My life was a bit hectic for reading at the moment. But last week, while waiting at yet another doctor’s office for Mike. I took the book out and began to read it. The author, not only writes about the impact animals had on her while growing up, but she also nailed beautifully and accurately how they teach life lesson’s along the way.
Several passages resonated to me -this one in particular spoke volumes:
“Lao-tuz wrote: ‘Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them, that only causes sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.’ It is at the times of acceptance that our souls come to peace with the world. Acceptance becomes the sacrament of the present moment, the point at which our struggles become useless and the unknown becomes the next step in life. If we learn to accept life as it is, as it must be, despite our best efforts to change it-we can keep on growing, even when we least want to.”
I step into the unknown every day. What I do know is my phone will ring and someone on the other end will be needing our help. What I don’t know is what or if I can help this person but that I know I want to help the cat. Where the money comes from for that help is also an unknown- but somehow- in some mysterious fashion it all comes together in the end.
If you have ever stepped out of your comfort zone and helped a critter in need- I encourage you to read this book. It is inspirational, it is uplifting and just like a jigsaw puzzle sitting unfinished on my coffee table, it helped me put the pieces of my unconventional life together giving what I do meaning and depth. Very rarely does a book touch me on every cylinder but this book touches and uplifts me. It was no accident that this book was sent to me. I believe God had his divine hand in this delivery.