Cat Tales, Part 2

Several months ago, I wrote about my new roommate named Petey, an older feral cat. At some point his medical needs were obvious and he was provided with the care […]

Several months ago, I wrote about my new roommate named Petey, an older feral cat. At some point his medical needs were obvious and he was provided with the care he required at the foster home before coming to live with me.

When you were first introduced to Petey, I wrote how he was teaching me patience by of his fear of humans and his reluctance to let me touch or be near him. This is an update, with another lesson he is teaching me. Petey has now been with me since early last December. He is slowly and patiently adjusting to me and to his new home. He has become quite familiar and comfortable in his new environment and adjusted extremely well to living indoors, showing no interest in returning outdoors. He prefers instead to lounge in the comfortable chair he has claimed as his own. However, he remains very leery of me and tenses up when I approach him. He prefers his time alone and shows no desire for human interaction.

Now that I have had almost a year to absorb and practice the first lesson Petey taught me (that of developing patience), it is time to pay attention to lesson #2, which is to let go of expectations.

Most of the things that upset, anger, and lead to impatience are actually unmet expectations. Being unable to control anything other than myself, I am left with two choices, remain upset about unmet expectations, or drop the expectations and just appreciate the gift of the person, circumstances, or pet.

There is no expectation that Petey will become an affectionate, cuddly kitty. He continues to be a cat with beautiful markings who remains scared but not aggressive. He faithfully uses his litter box. What’s not to love?

Petey has helped me realize that he isn’t here for me. I am here to see that he has food, shelter, and is safe. He has challenged me to ask myself why I really took him. By recognizing my expectations and letting them go, I can now honestly say that I am here for Petey, not the reverse.

As we pet lovers know, our pets are often our best teachers.

-Terri Sersch

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