What’s Up with the Cat?

Chris M. Sprague Focus on What is Important, Beat Fear, Experience Authentic Empathy, Knowledge Sharing, Unity, WACASHWI, WCSW

What’s Up with the Cat?

I’m happy you asked. This amazing guy’s name is Merlin. Before he passed, he was with me through thick and thin for almost 20 years. In that time, he taught me many things about life, love, and forgiveness.

His backstory…

When I originally got him from a pet store, he was just a baby. In fact, the vet said he was even younger than the store let on. (As a side-note, this is just one of the reasons I now recommend shelters when looking to adopt animals). The oddest part of his age was that, if you moved his birthday to when the vet thought he was born, he and I had the same birthday. Weird – right?

What he taught me about life…

At one point, I had a second cat. She and Merlin had a love/hate relationship. Invariably, there would come a time when they would want to play. She would run around the house as Merlin trotted after her. He realized that she couldn’t get far and all he had to do was be patient and trot along and he would eventually catch her. To me, he was showing me that, if you pursue your goals, have faith and patience, you will get what you want.

What he taught me about love…

Any time I left the house, when I returned home, Merlin was there to greet me. He would follow me around the house, meowing and trying to have a conversation with me. When I would get to a couch or chair, he would either be next to me or on my lap. To me, he was showing me unrequited love. He didn’t care how long I was out of the house. He was simply happy to have me home.

What he taught me about forgiveness…

At one point, I had to move from my house to another place. I spent all night loading the moving truck and, when morning came, I put the last items in the truck along with Merlin, his brother and sister. Each of them was in their own carrier with food and water. I figured I would let them out of their carriers at the new place within a few hours. A few hours turned into 8, then 10, then 12. Because of how cluttered the new place was and knowing I was not going to stay the night, I did not feel comfortable letting him and his siblings out of their carriers no matter how guilty I felt. (Looking back, I should have let them out in the back of the truck with their litter pan.) Eventually, I made my way back to my old house to spend one last night. When I arrived at the house, I took his carrier inside. The minute I put it on the floor, before I could even get the door opened, Merlin decided to urinate profusely in his carrier. The minute I opened the carrier door, he ran across the room, found the bed I was going to use for the night and proceeded to plop his wet behind right where my head would have gone and just stared at me as if to say, “Take that.” However, the following day, he was back to his lovable self and was ready to go to the new place. To me, that showed forgiveness and understanding that I didn’t do anything the previous day on purpose and that I was sorry for what I did.

While Merlin is now playing in the fields by the rainbow bridge, I know my life was better because he was in it. That’s why he’s my mascot, my icon and my constant reminder of the good that still exists in this crazy world.

If you are a cat lover and want to check out an organization doing great things in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, click here to check out the Stray Cat Relief Fund. While I have no affiliation with them, I have seen firsthand the results of their work and am extremely impressed.

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