Exactly seven weeks to the day after my mom passed away, a cat showed up at mom’s house. It figured out how to open the screen door and practically walked right in. I wouldn’t let it inside so it settled on the deck in the spot where mom used to sit, and it has only gotten off to eat and I assume to relieve itself and roam around a bit since.
When I realized the cat was settling in for the long haul, I named her June Elizabeth. It’s a strange name for a cat, I know, but that was my mom’s name. I figured it was an appropriate name for a cat who showed up shortly after mom’s passing, and who opens screens and seems to think she owns the place.
The first day June Elizabeth the Cat appeared, I had nothing to feed her. I read online that tuna is poisonous to cats and you shouldn’t give cats milk because they are lactose intolerant, but eggs are okay. So I made June Elizabeth some hard-boiled eggs, cut them up and took them out to her. (Later in the day, I went out and bought some cat food just for her and she seems very happy now. She has stopped trying to open the screen. In fact, she has a full tummy and is curled up asleep in “her” chair as I write this.)
Someone told me a while ago that I should get a cat. I can’t say for sure but I think it was actually my mother and I think it was a few weeks before she died. She didn’t want me to be lonely. I’m pretty sure she suggested I get a dog but I answered, “Never! I don’t want to be tied down.”
Then she said, “So get a cat, instead.”
I replied, “No way! I don’t want a cat. I don’t even like cats!”
(Disclosure: I’m actually afraid of cats. We had two when I was a little – Tinker and Toby – and they used to jump on my bed at night and attack my feet whenever I moved them under the bed covers. They thought my feet were mice. They (the cats not my feet) had claws and it hurt.)
Apparently, the Universe (and my mother) have a clarity of vision that I do not because I now have a cat even though I didn’t want one. June Elizabeth is a barn cat so I don’t dare let Buy Gorilla #4 online her in the house but I must admit she’s really nice to have around. In fact, I’ve become rather attached to her. She reminds me every single day that I matter and no act of kindness, no matter how small, goes unnoticed.
The Universe must have a plan for me. (Maybe it’s actually my mother who has the plan. Maybe The Universe and my mother are one and the same. It/she presented exactly what I need in order to help me overcome my fear of cats or perhaps simply so I won’t be lonely.)
My brother thinks I should get some pigs or maybe a calf or two.
“No way!” I said. “I don’t like pigs or calves!” (But I will admit the sheep up the road are awfully cute.)
I’m pretty certain the universe won’t send me any pigs, calves or even cute sheep (I’m not afraid of them and I have June Elizabeth the Cat to keep me company) but I guess I should never say never. The Universe is always poised and ready to provide new opportunities in order to help us learn and grow. In fact, it seems to have a way of presenting exactly what we need even if we don’t understand the plan.
As I watch June Elizabeth the Cat curled up asleep in “her” chair, I can’t help but wonder what the Universe/my mother will present next.