Phyllis and the Aliens (Renatta and Rosalie Pettibone) are all kittens adopted from the Humane Society of Pierce County via the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee. Phyllis was born on October 27, 2007, while the Aliens were born on May 16, 2008.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Adventures in Cat Sitting or I've Grown Accustomed to your Fur

At the beginning of my foray into blogging I let you know that I cared little for felines. In point of fact I never wanted cats at all. As I mentioned though I agreed to help a friend in need by minding a cat while she found more feline friendly living arrangements. That's when I met Tumbleweeds. She was dropped off with more luggage than I would take on a weeks vacation and a poop box. Her owner was at the point of tears and I was thinking "Oh, for the love of Pete! It's just a cat!" That was most likely the moment that my father and St. Francis chuckled softly, shook their heads and decided I needed to be taught a lesson.

You see I had deep wounds left over from the turmoil of my childhood. Only I had yet to see it that way. Most people around me did though. It wasn't hard. I was quick tempered and confrontational. I refused to reform my drinking and fist-fighting because it seemed to be who I was. My identity was at stake and after all I had survived by fighting. I just couldn't stop. At the slightest irritation my temper would flare and then the yelling would start.

The first afternoon with Tumbleweeds was going along great. She explored and acclimated and I went about my business. This is great I was thinking. She does her thing and I do mine. Then it happened. A friend was with me and we were at odds over something. I yelled at the top of my lungs. That cat immediately ran for cover and did not come out for a long time. No amount of coaxing would bring her out and it was obvious she was terrified. Something broke deep down inside me. I knew how she felt. I had been that scared and been forced to hide. Not only was I sorry for what I had done but I also felt deep sorrow for being blind to the effects my behavior was having on others. I knew then that a change had to happen in me.

I apologized to Tumbleweeds and stopped trying to coax her out. She needed time to regain her sense of safety and I respected that. I asked St. Francis for guidance and forgiveness. Eventually Tumbleweeds made her way out and I never raised my voice in her presence again.