Better to Give than to Receive!

My husband Michael had surgery on his hand and Callie is doing her best to help him heal. It is important to her that she stay in his lap and keep him warm and dry and offer him comfort if he is in pain. What a cat!  She never ceases to amaze me at how far she has come. Even after Michael came home from the Surgical Center yesterday late afternoon, and I had gone to bed that evening, she has stayed by his side. I believe that the patience and kindnes that I have shown Callie, now that I have seen the light, has helped her to mature into a well adjusted and very affectionate adult cat. She was not always this way and was actually very neurotic when I first adopted her, and I wasn’t always as patient and kind to her. Our friendship has blossomed over the years.

I wrote in a much earlier post that Callie needed frozen kibble and that I had to get up several times in the night to stir her food. I also wrote about her choosing to sleep on the roof of her adorable house shaped bed instead of sleeping inside of it. So much has changed in the past 4 months that I thought to myself that I just have to share our latest stories. For one thing I have placed her bowl of food on the floor by my side of the bed, and when Callie informs me that she would like a midnight snack, all I have to do is reassure her that it is ok to eat, and then deposit her by her bowl. I no longer have to serve it frozen, which is her way of compromising, and I don’t even have to get out of bed anymore.  She loudly crunches on about 6 nuggets and when satisfied, hops back up on the bed to cuddle and sleep. I have no idea why she needs permission to eat because I don’t know anything about her formative days as a kitten, but she insists on asking me if it is ok to eat, and I have agreed to participate in this little dance of give and take. I use to be so much stricter with her, and was actually mean at times, but she has shown me the joy of, “in giving you shall receive,” approach to life and we are both much happier for it. She also abandoned her house shaped  bed about a month ago when the weather became cooler. She hasn’t figured out how to wrap herself up in a blanket without my assistance and has decided that sleeping right next to hot, little old me, is a fabulous solution. Five years ago I would not have allowed it. Now I wouldn’t feel right about kicking her out of bed, and would be overwhelmed with guilt if I did. She has taught me the art of sharing my bed and pillow with her and I feel better for being generous and kind hearted. She is so appreciative and affectionate that once you get over the feeling that you are being manipulated, the idea of sleeping with a cat isn’t so bad after all. Why was I so adamant about her sleeping in her own bed? What harm is there in letting her sleep with me?  In return for the favor, she has agreed to eat her midnight snacks without making me get up and walk across the room to stir her food. Dropping her off on the side of the bed in front of her bowl is far more convienient than having to get up. So, allowing Callie to sleep with me has turned into a win-win situation for both of us. I get to stay in bed and Callie has permission to sleep with me and have her meals provided with minimal effort on my part.  I am being somewhat tongue and cheek about all of this, but really, when you stop to think about it, isn’t it better to give than to receive?

And it isn’t all receive on Callie’s part and give on my part. She is taking her job of comforting Michael very seriously and in that regard, she is giving back to both of us. Michael is comforted by her warm little body next to his injured arm and I am provided with stories in which to write about. I personally feel that having Callie come into my life has been one of the best things that has every happened to me. And in these very troubled times, just having someone and anything to love and be loved, is a comfort and joy.  There is way to much suffering in the world. So on that note, may there be peace and joy on earth and love and kindness shown to all of you! Happy New Year 2017.

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