Over a year ago to cats stared coming around the house and eating the left one food from the other I was feeding. They seemed very friendly but very shy. When coaxing them to come closer, you could tell they wanted to, with tails high in the air and very quiet mewing.
The one with longer hair, whom I shall refer to as Long", was the bravest. Months passed and finally after about 8 months or so, Long would come close enough for me to scratch her head ever so, easily and briefly.
Well, after many more months of progress at a snails pace, she will finally let me pick her up and hold her in my lap. She even jumped up on her own last night. Once there she gets comfortable, sometimes bathing, sometime just enjoying the scratching. Even to the point where she resists being putting back on the ground.
Those that know me know how much I love animals. One of the first things Gretchen and I did after marrying and moving in to the new house was to adopt sibling kittens. And as per out expectations, it was one of the best things we ever did. They brought us so much happiness, laughter and unconditional love.
The month after Gretchen died in 2011, one of the cats, Tom had to be put down: liver disease. Tom was Gretchen's cat. From the beginning he gravitated to her and vice-versa. Likewise, the other cat Bob and I were best buds. Nice how God works that way, isn't it?
So then it was just me and Bob. And while I was grieving Gretchen, it was obvious that Bob was grieving Tom. His behavior changed. He became less "independent". He stuck to me more and more. And that was ok with me. There must have been a hundred times I'd sit in my chair with Bob in my lap and I would thank God aloud for that furry goof. Then a couple of years ago I had to have Bob put down. He had developed some sort of internal rupture to some organs. The doctor said that they could do surgery but it really wouldn't make much difference. So since Bob was in so much pain, I sent him ahead to be with Gretchen and Tom.
Over the years since there have been the average neighbor hood cat come around for a while to eventually disappear. And I'd feed and talk to them and that was good.
But right now it is such a blessing for Long to accept me this way. (I know this probably sounds pretty silly. And if you're laughing or scoffing at it, you can just kiss my ass and unfriend me, because apparently you are not a friend anyway.) The timing is perfect. She may come from a house in the neighborhood and just has the freedom to go where she wants, I don't know. Friends have urged me to get new cats, but I've declined. Maybe this is God timing and I should just take her in, make her an inside cat too. I don't know.
But maybe this is God showing me that patience, persistence and HIS timing pays off. Because He knows how much I want a job and how badly I continue to feel at failing at all of this. And I seriously worry about what's going to become of me.
I hope that's what He's doing. But in the meantime, He's reminding me of the little blessings and joys in the face of overwhelming circumstances and despair. Sometimes blessings have semi-long hair, a Batman mask and like to try to lick the skin right off my hands if I let her.
Stop, look. Take a magnifying glass if you have to to find the small blessings. And if you have a pet you love, give it some extra noms or whatever it is they like. Peace to you.