There’s an endearing story that I’d like to share with you, and why what we believe to be true may not always be the truth.
When my husband and I were dating, long distance, many years ago, I had a beautiful rescue siamese cat that my older daughter, age five at the time, named Daisy. Daisy pretty much grew up with my girls – my younger daughter would precariously carry Daisy in her chubby toddler arms – and because of it, I will always have a tender gratitude for Daisy’s sheer patience with these rambunctious girls.
As the years passed, my husband and I became engaged and planned to combine each other’s lives, families, and houses. With my house in boxes, an ordinary day otherwise would soon become extraordinary.
Daisy, who had always been too finicky to use a litter box and preferred her several-times-a-day-human-door-service, didn’t come in for dinner as usual. It was dusk; I could see my girls playing in yard. I remember turning back towards a half-filled box of books and hearing an awful sound. I leapt towards the window. My younger one had sneezed, my older daughter said. They continued playing music and running in circles.
The day eventually darkened, the kids were fed, and we geared up for bedtime stories. Still no Daisy.
I went to bed worried; but, I also had faith that this smart kitty had always stayed close on her daytime explorations, usually spending lazy afternoons on our deck.
The next morning, turning out of our neighborhood to take the girls to school, I saw the unfathomable. Quickly rushing them off and coming home again, I saw that our poor Daisy had been struck by a car on the side of the road. We lived in the country, and people often drove way too fast – it wasn’t surprising that they may have gone off the road.
My heart poured out every wail and every wish for it to not be true. I then managed the awful task of saying goodbye, and later, of gently sharing the news with my daughters.
My husband grieved with us. He promised that once we settled in our collective home, we would find a place in our hearts for another pet.
Now, my husband is severely allergic to dogs. He has lots of different allergies – and once we were a year into our combined lives, he broke the news:
I don’t think we can have a cat.
He had gone to allergy test after allergy test, and even though his allergies were nothing as dramatic as they were with dogs, cats did register on the scale. It would be a risk to adopt.
My daughters were heartbroken. I was heartbroken. We had made a promise we couldn’t keep.
Time went by, school schedules filled. Just as it seemed that our lives were full already, Oldie showed up.
A farm cat, presumably left behind as a kitten when owners of a nearby farm moved away some twenty years before, showed up at our door.
At first skittish, Oldie began to make her home on our enclosed porch. My youngest was especially fond of her. Meals outside turned to meals inside, sweet conversations between my daughter and Oldie turned into nightly cuddles on her bed.
Oldie lived with us for several good years. The amount of love that poured from my daughter’s heart towards this who-knows-how-old kitty, as Oldie, once matronly and plump, became frail and kitten-like again, is something that I will never forget. It showed me the vastness of love that we hold within us.
Oldie also showed my husband something – as he had never had an allergic reaction to her, and as he watched the exquisite care my youngest had shown this kitty’s life, he decided that it may be okay to adopt. Love might quite be worth the risk.
And so, at the beginning of last year, we welcomed Millie. My daughter’s soccer coach had fostered a rescue mama cat, who delivered 6 healthy, happy, crazy kittens. We brought one home several weeks later.
Would you guess that Millie’s favorite spot to be is on my husband’s lap?
So often, we live by stories we’ve heard while growing up. Or, we adhere to stories that we develop through our experiences in our adult years. Stories that we think are best for us – stories that will keep us safe.
However, there are stories that our family, friends, and partners have as well, and those stories can be very different from ours. Which is right? What is true?
When we question those stories; when we trust that perhaps there is truth to be found, somewhere in between; and when we open ourselves and our hearts to possibilities; there is no end to the amount of love that we can let into our lives. ♥️