Sometimes we resist the most the thing that’s truly meant for us.
It’s been a while since I’ve shared a story about . . . the cat. Anyone who follows my stories closely will have noticed a slight increase in cat-themed posts.
Tino, aka “Tiny Intruder” from a previous post, has become a permanent fixture alongside my day-to-day tasks.
I keep thinking, because of her adventurous and curious nature, that she’d be much happier living life outdoors, chasing and swatting at butterflies underneath the lavender bougainvillea.
She’s content outside on the porch, but only if I’m having a coffee in the rocker outside too. She’ll swat at dry leaves, or curl up on the cushioned rocker next to me and doze.
If I’m cooking breakfast, she’ll mill below my feet, meowing up at me and pawing at kitchen drawers I’ve left open. She’s not hungry. She’s interested.
She reclines next to me while I work, sleeping away the day. A perfectly lovely, sunny, day with endless opportunities for adventures and outside curiosities alluring for just her caliber of cat.
But she doesn’t want to be outside. She wants to be with me.
My mother told me that Tino chose me.
No, she didn’t, I want to respond, but then I reflect.
Tino arrived one day as a feisty kitten when the Nicaraguan handyman suddenly showed up with her.
As the handyman worked, she climbed the rafters and snuck inside the house through left-open windows. She’d squeeze in through the slightly ajar screen door and race through the living room, avoiding capture.
I tried to send her back with the handyman, but she refused to go with him, darting away and out of reach. The handyman promised to return with a cat carrier and take her home, but he never did. That was four months ago.
In the meantime, Tino seized every moment of opportunity to sneak inside the house.
Each time I shoo-ed her away from the front door, she never shoo-ed. I made up an outside bed for the outside cat so she would stay outside. I hoped she would learn to live off the land, sleep on the porch if she must.
As the weeks passed by, her outdoor food dish was moved inside. (Ants). Dry food was replaced with wet food (the dry food was unhealthy). I found myself looking for kitten snacks at the grocery store. (Everyone likes a treat).
Instead of scolding, I began talking to her sweetly. She runs to greet my truck when I come home, regardless of whether it’s mealtime or not. She purrs when I scratch behind her ears.
And… she sleeps every night in my bed.
So. Did she choose me??
Maybe. When I tried to keep her at a friendly distance, she stuck it out anyway until I finally came around.
More and more, the “I’m not a cat person” line is becoming a fading truth.
It is actually far less stressful to just allow Tino inside to curl up and nap than is chasing her up and down the stairs and throwing her back outside.
There is more comfort in having a sleeping cat inside at night than a mewing cat outside my windows. And, if I’m honest, it’s just so pleasant to be greeted at the door with a friendly animal hello when I come home.
Two days ago, the handyman came by to fix something in the house. He told me he brought his cat carrier and would box Tino up and take her back.
I looked down at this tiny black and white thing, sitting next to my feet as she and I both considered the cat carrier in the doorway.
“No, esta bien.” I told him, “Ella puede quedarse conmigo. Ella es mi gata ahora.” It’s all good. She stays with me. She’s my cat now.
The handyman shrugged his shoulders and turned to go. I looked down at Tino, who began to lick her paws.
Whelp, I thought. Point for you, little cat. I might not be a cat person, but I suppose I could be Tino’s person.
She’s a daily reminder that sometimes, when good things come knocking, to just open the door to the thing we didn’t know we needed, and welcome it in.
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