Another morning, another breakfast with the interloper. After not seeing him for a few days and saddened by his hunger, I was relieved to see the little boo curled up at our door, hoping for breakfast. I opened the door and let him in. As he settled into breakfast, it started to get really cold in the kitchen. The season is changing and no longer is it just a lovely breeze that comes in through the door. I gently closed the door, figuring I would open it when he was ready to go.
Without an exit, he went ballistic, hurtling himself with ever increasing force at the door, leaping furiously onto any surface, knocking everything out of his way, jumping as high as above the window before I managed to get the door open so he could escape. All without making a sound.
I imagine I won’t see the interloper again. I doubt he’ll be at my door for breakfast any more. I feel horrible for frightening him so deeply I judge myself for making too big a move and for getting it wrong. As I pray that I haven’t destroyed his ability for cat-human trust, I notice how I make myself ltoo big a part of the equation while simultaneously leaving myself out of it.
Chances are by now, the interloper is curled up in the sun on someone else’s porch but he’ll be wary of going inside. A car, a racoon, a falling branch could scare him as much as a closed door. Neither my kindness nor my carelessness is the sum total of his human experience. I am only a part.
And yet, I am a part. I notice how little room I give myself for my own feelings of loss and sadness in the midst of this experience. I watch myself making up stories of how in relationships I need to be 100% aware of the needs of the other, to not make mistakes or get cold or I will ruin everything. And I know there are many lessons for me here, far beyond how to befriend a stray.
This beautiful black cat also reminded me of a lesson I learned while with a black horse named Lilly in Sedona. When I walked Lilly into the stables, Andrea, who runs the ranch, noticed I left the gate open and said, “Where else do you leave an escape route?” Without hesitation, I blurted, “Everywhere.”
I guess the interloper and I have that in common. We both like open doors.