As many of you know, I somehow wrangled myself into feeding some hungry kittens at my back door. Not exactly sure how that happened, but it did and though I told myself it would only be through the winter, spring is now here, the kittens are cats and still there is a little dish of food on my back stoop.
I am going to have to consider the options at some point I suppose. That’s what I was thinking about as I peeked out my kitchen window at Grey White kitty. A quick look told me something was amiss as her body language was tense and when I asked why she said, ‘He’s not supposed to be here.’ I thought ‘what is she talking about?’ as I panned over to see the back porch and there in her food bowl was a big white and orange cat. Yes, he most definitely wasn’t supposed to be there.
One cat, two cat…three cat…four?
The first were fine, but now there’s more!
How many cats will grace my door
Before I become the neighbor’s lore?
It wasn’t good, it wasn’t good at all. Orange White said he has a person (and his abundant physique left little room for argument) but the food was here so he decided to partake. I was suddenly concerned about the future as pictures speeded through my mind of all these different cats loitering about my yard. I called my sister with my concerns.
“Now I have another cat.” I exclaimed.
“Yes oh-oh! I can’t keep collecting cats! I mean, I don’t want to be ‘The Cat Lady’!”
“ NOBODY wants to be The Cat Lady, Roxi.” she agreed.
They come in tortie, orange and grey
Morning, night and even day.
Between the feedings I silent pray
‘The Cat Lady’ name will stay away.
A battle began inside my brain. I sure didn’t want to be the neighborhood cat lady, but I did want to be kind. I had a conflict of morals and the need to create a balance between the two was constantly on my mind. On the one hand, I cannot afford to care for X number of cats nor do I want them taking out the local wildlife in my yard. I have nesting birds, chipmunks and so on that were here first. And I truly enjoy that part of my outdoor living. On the other hand, I wish to be kind to those less fortunate.
Creating balance in our lives is an important part of having a peaceful life and it often requires effort, thought and difficult choices. It is achieved by making choices that resonate with us while still remaining the person we want become; to understand our boundaries, what one can achieve without compromising our inner selves. And it is usually not something that can be determined in a few hours.
Even night brings small relief
As conflict now becomes the thief.
I toss and turn in earnest grief
Of what to do with my beliefs.
To feed the gentle little souls
And set aside my other goals.
Maybe that is where the answer holds…
But that moniker in my mind still tolls!
Cat Lady! Cat Lady! I think I hear
From far away and oh so near.
It echoes through my head with fear-
I can’t decide-I need a beer!
After much thought of what action will be of benefit to all concerned, I have decided for the time being, to put out the one little bowl of cat food. White Grey stays in the garage, so food will always be available for her and her sister/brother, the tortie. I will ask any new cats to go home if they have one and also do some research on local no kill centers and feral cat communities. Grey White has no intention, at least at the present, to be a housecat. It’s just not for her- I did tell her I have no intention of being the neighborhood cat lady either, which she found amusing for some reason.
Without much work, I’ve sealed my fate
To change it now I feel too late,
And while I sit and contemplate
The number now has climbed to eight!
One Cat, two cat, three cat, four
There are now so many more,
As children point without adore
‘Cat Lady lives behind that door!’
I am currently seeking options that will fit in my own life and also the cats. Though I would like to help everyone who needs it, I also know I have limits and to go beyond them benefits no one. Work, family and even events I enjoy can become overwhelming when desire turns to obligation and one of the checks I do regularly is to ask myself if I am enjoying what I am doing. When the disgruntled list becomes longer than the ‘yes, I want to do this’ list I know it is time to make a change, if even a small one.
I have not reached a decision on what comes next, but before you too become the ‘Cat Lady’ in whatever guise it appears, ask yourself if it is adding to your life or taking away. Then you will have your answer as to how to proceed or at least be in a place to make a decision.
I am not a poet by any means, but I do hope it brought some smiles. Have a beautiful day!