Getting back what we never had

I like to pump my arms when I am happy, it’s a natural reaction. Last Friday, I was pumping-a lot.

A few weeks ago, I wrote that Telly had left us. Telly is a stray cat who sheltered at our place this winter, then left this spring. Lisa and I were both disappointed when Telly left but we tried to stay hopeful. That hope was fulfilled on Friday-when Telly came back.

Now Telly was never really ours to lose. We’ve never even petted the cat so the only love we’ve shown him is food and housing. The connection that occurs with a little affection never occurred, so it was kind of a surprise when Telly came back to us.

Cats don’t really belong to anyone; they are independent but leave nice nooks and crannies for humans to occupy. Cats are like real quiet people who observe others for long periods of time before being allowed into their lives. Cats most often make friends with someone who isn’t trying too hard. They don’t prize gregariousness; they prize someone who can quietly occupy space with them. If you’ve ever made friends with a stray cat, you will also know that they prize food, water and a nice place to sleep.

So, what does it mean when a cat comes back? Lisa thinks Telly has made a final decision to stay with us. Honestly, you need to have a pretty tough heart to share space with a cat. I mean, every time you let them out the door, it’s like saying good-bye. I would say we have a 99 out of 100 chance of our cats coming back into the house after a little walkabout but you just never know. Cats are ramblers and whenever I hear Roger Miller sing “King of the Road,” I think of a cat’ life.

I like to look for the lesson in all of life’s events. I mean, if all we are doing is bouncing off one wall to another, it seems like a waste.   What is the lesson that Telly brings to our door?  Is Telly learning something too?

I think we are all looking at the same mountain, just from different perspectives. Telly has discovered that this is somewhere safe. He might even learn to trust us. For Lisa and me, the lesson is sincerity. Earning Telly’s trust has been a long process and not one we would want to break. Our efforts at getting to know him have been more about putting ourselves out and hoping he would notice and accept us. Even when we thought all was lost, the sincere investment of time and treasure is something that Telly noticed and has grown to trust. He has made a very simplified offer of friendship to us by accepting what we offered. Perhaps friendship is that way with people too, at least the ones for which it is worth the effort.

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