So there’s this cat…
I agreed to help a friend a few weeks ago in the form of becoming a cat-sitter. He was in need of a home for his cat for 3-4 weeks, and although hesitant (as I already have two cats and a dog of my own), I obliged. I have learned that so much of successful addiction recovery is linked to my ability to selflessly help others. So, a few weeks back, my friend dropped off ‘Little Lightening’, a.k.a. ‘LL Kool Kitty’, and what ensued was terrifying…but also a hidden gift of enlightenment.
LL seemed to be quite calm and accepting of her new home-away-from-home when we first opened up the luggage she arrived in. UNTIL…my two cats (Olly and Pepsi) were introduced to our feline guest! OMG! It was HORRIBLE! My daughter Caroline and I had NEVER heard the noises that came out of all three of the cat’s mouths! It sounded like a combination of children screaming and a siren stuck in the ‘on’ position! Caroline and I froze! Then screamed ourselves! Everyone was screaming and frozen on the stairs. It’s hilarious looking back now…but at that moment we were all pretty much ready to call the visit quits.
The traumatic cat-introduction caused poor little LL to run into Caroline’s room and hide in the corner. She then proceeded to crap on the floor, dresser, bed and …well everywhere! Olly and Pepsi needed to be kept in a separate room down the hall because they were hissing at Caroline’s door so loudly I was sure their vocal cords would dislodge and land on the floor in front of them!
We didn’t know what to do. Caroline and I stared at each other with our jaws on the ground while we let what we had just experienced sink in. Then we recruited some help!
LL choose to finally hide IN Caroline’s box-spring. She was scared and ready to scratch anyone who came near her (totally understandable). So the following attempts to get LL out from the box-spring went a little like this:
- ATTEMPT: With oven mitt on, Jorden tries to scoop LL out of the box-spring. RESULT: LL quickly takes the oven mitt. Jorden retreats.
- ATTEMPT: With cat treats in hand, Jackson and I try to lure LL out. RESULT: LL starts to BARK at us. Jackson and I retreat.
- ATTEMPT: With laundry baskets and myself in full riot gear (snow pants and uniform jacket on, and shin pads on my arms), Trevor and I attempt to coax LL into the laundry basket. RESULT: Trevor catches LL and sustains some claw injuries, while I scream uselessly with sweat dripping down my ridiculous Arctic attire. LL, SNUGGLES Trevor immediately!
The poor thing. LL, was just scared and lost, and looking to be comforted. But isn’t that the case with ALL beings?
Over the next 3 weeks, while LL occupied my son Adam’s room, she transformed from a hide-in-the-corner, hissing kitty, to a loving, affectionate and sweet cat. Patience, love and hope is what she needed in order to start trusting again. What started out as a scary set of circumstances, turned into an example of how over time, post-traumatic growth can occur.
We really miss LL, but witnessing the reunion of her with her dad (owner) was PRICELESS!
Healing from any trauma takes time, and just like LL, we all need patience, love and hope along the way in order to do so. Lucky for LL and I, we have no shortage of these things in our lives. <3