Life Lessons from my Cat

posted in: Relationships, Inspiration, Pets | 1

When my husband passed away suddenly in 2013 I was devastated. Friends who were worried about me being alone kept telling me I needed to get a pet. Of course, the dog lovers all suggested I get a dog and the cat lovers all suggested a cat. For me it was an obvious choice. I have always been a cat person.

Once the idea of a new cat got in my head,  I put my name on a list to be notified when new kittens came in at the local shelter.  One day I got the call and went up  to see a litter  of adorable little tabbies.

They had them all in a room together and prospective pet parents could go in and play with the kittens. There was one tiny little thing that didn’t want to  come out and associate with any humans. Being an introvert and a loner myself,  of  course she was the one I wanted. I named her Miesha because it means gift from God.

I brought her home and got her situated. My husband’s old office became “her” room. The room has two glass paned French doors that looks out on the rest of the house and a large window that looks out on the front gardens.  When I was home during the day,  Miesha had a full run of the house but at night she would sleep in her room. I just need my sleep too badly to have a kitty climbing all over me or meowing at night. So she had her own room filled with kitty cat toys.

Miesha has never been a lap cat. She doesn’t like to be picked up. Everything about her seemed to be as introverted as I was. We would sit together on the couch but if I tried to pick her up and hold her she would just run away. We got along very well that way. And like me, she has always been pretty “selective” about who she warms up to.

As the years went by, I started to develop health problems. I had chronic fatigue symptoms. I was very tired and very weak a lot of the time.  But  Miesha, being a cat, would often get the zoomies and run back-and-forth across the house.  One day I was especially weak and she was being frisky and she ran between my legs and I fell over her and tripped on the floor. Although I had never broken a bone before,  I knew right away that my wrist was broken.

I got a cast on my right arm but even my left hand wasn’t very usable. And for some reason my legs got very weak after that so I had to use a walker.

I became very cautious about letting Miesha out of her room. Even though I was walking with a walker for support, she would still get under my legs and walk in between the wheels of the walker. So I got to the point where I kept her in her room a good percentage of the time.

Less than a month after I broke my wrist, I had a TIA and a heart attack and ended up in the hospital for almost a week. At first, I had a few friends stop by the house and feed Miesha. But eventually I hired a pet sitter that was recommended by a friend. It was a little weird having a complete stranger coming to my house when I wasn’t here, but I needed to make sure that Miesha was taken care of. When the sitter came over,  I could see and hear  her on my video doorbell display on my phone from the hospital bed and she would start  talking to Miesha even before she walked in the house. It made me smile to know that Miesha was in such good hands.

Once I was discharged from the hospital, I was still exhausted and weak on my feet. So I kept the pet sitter coming twice a day and I got to see her in action. The woman who was taking care of my cat was named Mary.

Mary not only fed her but played with her, brushed her,  kept her room clean and brought her new toys. Miesha was just in heaven. Mary even trained Miesha to lie down on a special mat when she wanted Mary to brush her. Of course, Miesha missed having a full run of the house. But I couldn’t really let her out unless I was just sitting in one place.

At times, I would look in Miesha’s room and almost be jealous of how well she and Mary were getting along. But how can you really be jealous of someone who is giving your fur baby so much love? I had thought that Miesha was so much like me and didn’t really need or want a lot of attention. But now I saw a whole new side to her.

Seeing this major change in my “introverted” cat had an effect on me, too. Since I had started to look forward to our twice daily visits from Mary,  I realized maybe I wasn’t as much of a loner or introvert as I had always thought. Mary started bringing her granddaughter Abby with her some days.  Since I don’t have children or grandchildren of my own Abby added a whole new level of joy to my days.

Our pets teach us lessons in different ways. I’ve always called myself a  loner. I never needed a lot of people around me. I was kind of like little Miesha before I adopted her,  hiding away from the rest of the humans not really thinking I needed that kind of interaction. But watching how Miesha changed when she was around Mary made me realize that maybe I really did need more connections in my life. Not just anybody, of course. But maybe it was worth making the effort to meet some people that I DID want to let into my little world.

I still don’t like crowds or a LOT of people, but I’m happy to say that I have made some changes and developed new friendships that have become a huge part of my life. I’ve learned that just because I’m a loner, doesn’t mean I have to be alone. And Miesha seems to like these new friends as much as I do!

Introvert? Extrovert? Maybe I’m just a selectivert. 

  1. Virginia Boshears

    Love this. Our connections are so important, both human and fur-kid. I’d say you and Miesha are fortunate to have found each other…and then to have found Mary. ?

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