Lessons from Zooey

Yin Yang paws

Sometimes you just have to pour yourself a cup of coffee, slip into your pajamas, and not succumb to personal hiccups that arise.  After all, you can’t take a decent cat nap in knotted knickers.

This fur's too swag to snag.
This fur’s too swag to snag.

We have two cats; sisters from the same litter. Most of the time, though, Zooey is the only one I see hanging out in the yard.  They’ve owned us for six years {is anyone ever silly enough to think they own their cats?}. During those years, we’ve seen them genuinely show one another affection, eat side-by-side, and sleep together curled like the yin / yang symbol. We’ve also witnessed them hiss, swat and raise fur at one another.

Boo Kitty

Zooey is a ball of energy; Boo is a homebody. Yet, in the aftermath of a cat fight, it’s Zooey who chooses to stay close to the homefront, quiet and meditative. Boo disappears — for days. We suspect that she goes calling on other cats in the neighborhood to caterwauler. If she had opposing thumbs, we’re sure that she would be sharing bumper-sticker sayings on Facebook, or blogging about it. What she doesn’t seem to do, is stick around and work through issues with Zooey.

Cat by window

I’m learning a lot from Zooey. These past few months have been wicked crazy with solidifying a loan modification, car troubles, working solo at the office {due to a coworker being out on maternity leave}, and the unexpected death of my father-in-law. Heap on a few holidays and upcoming First Holy Communion celebrations for grandchildren, and you can imagine how easy it would be to totally unhinge when you find yourself at the receiving end of a hissy fit. So I’m honing up on lessons steeped in wisdom and grace from Zooey. Backing off, embracing the quiet, and lying low.  I imagine that Zooey is keeping her energy in reserves at such moments out of love, because she knows that one day Boo may really need her — imperfections and all — when holding on becomes too difficult and the only option is to let go.

Cat paw hanging

“I think this is when most people give up on their stories…they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought. They can’t see the distant shore anymore, and they wonder if their paddling is moving them forward. None of the trees behind them are getting smaller and none of the trees ahead are getting bigger. They take it out on their [family or friends], and they go looking for an easier story.” ~ Donald Miller, A Million Miles In A Thousand Years

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