I’ve had many opportunities to be compassionate this past week. First, a friend needed help moving her cats from the hotel where she’d been staying temporarily. I REALLY didn’t want to go and I even told her so. She understood but really needed the help, so I went, grumbling and a little resentful. After moving the cats, a couple days later I got a call asking if I had any spare litter. I did, so I took her the litter, some large trash bags and visited with her awhile. I never feel like time with her is wasted, though I know many who say otherwise.
Two days later I got yet another frantic call from my friend who suffers from depression, social phobia and seriously debilitating anxiety among other things. You see, this was her ninth month of homelessness. She had no money for a hotel room and had to stay in her storage unit. She’d been yelled at by the storage place’s owner for sleeping there. She had nowhere else to go but the storage unit. I was burnt out, tired and had no way of getting in touch with her. I had a few “shoulds” of my own being liberally applied by me to myself. I asked for guidance: should I go see her even though I sorely felt like staying home. Oddly, the answer was “No, this is something necessary for her to pass through.” I was expecting the exact opposite, expecting to be told I was being a waaa, get up off my judgy cookie eating bum and go see her. I felt awful. I had no way of contacting her to let her know I couldn’t come to see her.
The following day I awoke to do my pages and a thought popped very strongly into my gut. I’d say into my head but it was way stronger than that. Five months ago I’d reluctantly returned two cats I’d fostered for her. One of them died soon after from liver failure due to the Lady only knows what; the other remained with her. I’d subsequently adopted three cats to keep Pixie, who was very lonely as a solo kitty, company. Tuesday I’d stated that I had a kitty acquisition plan: no more cats for two to four years when I’d get my Maine Coon dream kitty. I’d completely dismissed the idea that I’d ever live with Fairy again. I live with four men, four cats, four dogs and a parrot. My house was full at least for awhile. Early Saturday morning changed that assumption. I opened my eyes to “Fairy’s coming back.”
I got up to do my pages and meditate as usual. I still couldn’t shake the feeling that by evening I would most likely have six cats. I tried rationalizing all through my pages about how I don’t have room for one more cat, pointedly ignoring the idea that there wouldn’t be one but TWO more cats coming to live with me. I finished my pages, made peace with my gut with a “Well then, we’ll see what comes of this”, meditated and went back to bed for a little while. I got up, turned on my ‘puter and my phone (I always turn my phone off by eleven every night) and went about the business of being awake, contemplating what to do with my Saturday.
Check in with my phone; I had a voice mail. Considering the message from the day before I figured it was probably my friend. A funny thing had happened to me as I was helping my friend: I’d quit feeling resentful. As a matter of fact, I began to feel admiration for her. She’d gone through all manner of indignities and hardships to keep her little fur family together. She’d done far more than I probably would have. Sure it seemed crazy a lot of the time, but then who hasn’t done something that seemed totally stupid to onlookers? I’ve done so many stupid and stupid-looking things I was definitely not qualified to be throwing stones. I got the message saying that she’d gone into the hospital and needed someone to rescue her cats from her storage unit where she’d left them the night before. I was the only one who knew they were there. Oh and I could have Fairy if I wanted her, but please make sure all the kitties got someplace safe. She was no longer able to take care of them.
Okay, so much for my kitty acquisition plans. Feeling compassion for her and her situation made the task of hurriedly dressing and getting to the storage unit to collect kitties an act of pleasure. It was hot, the unit is metal and concrete and I had no way of knowing if she’d enclosed the cats or left an opening for them to come and go. I was offering aid to someone who was unable to do for herself or her animals at the moment. I was able to do it with a smile and gratitude. I was helping her, not “doing her a favor” – big difference in attitude there.