This was a pretty exciting week. My adorable Godson was christened yesterday, surrounded by loving family and friends. He took this all very calmly. Actually, he slept through the entire event, unphased by even the cold water.
As was his due, he spent the remainder of the afternoon being admired. He was perfectly calm as he was passed around his party. He is (if I say so myself) adorable and a perfect gentleman. And amazingly tranquil. He takes it all in through those big baby eyes, but he keeps his opinion to himself. He doesn’t cause a minute’s trouble to anyone and quietly makes his needs known as they arise. He’s just a sweetheart.
It’s easy to love someone adorable and undemanding.
It’s not so easy to love the adorable and demanding.
My brother and sister-in-law recently decided to do something about a family of feral cats that Â pass through their yard on a regular basis. They got the traps from a local rescue group and were prepared to take Mom and her brood to be altered before being returned to the wild. As most feral cats don’t transition well to family life, this is the recommended plan.
It just doesn’t always work out quite that way. Mama and a truly adorable calico kitten were captured successfully. But my brother didn’t like the pint-sized cage the kitten was in. So he proceeded to build more deluxe accommodations out of spare lumber and chicken wire Â and was able to transfer kitty. Apparently, though, his carpentry skills are less than perfect, because kitty escaped.
My sister-in-law arrived as the pursuit of kitty began. She’s a determined and resourceful woman and after a few tries pinned kitty down and was about to lift her up when, equally resourceful, kitty clawed her way free. Well, did I mention that Jen is determined and resourceful? For attempt number two, she’s going to grab kitty by the nape of the neck and have my brother at the ready with a cat carrier (more secure than the cage).
Round 2 – it’s a draw. Jen grabs kitty, kitty turns whirlwind and gets two good thumb bites in but ends up in the carrier. Jen washes off the blood and goes off to the gym.
By the end of the evening, after a trip to a local doc-in-the-box and a massive shot of antibiotics, animal control enters the picture. “You have been bitten by a wild animal, ” they say. “You must keep the wild beast for ten days to see if it dies.” (They also say that if kitty is going to die this should happen in five days. Presumably, if this happens, treatment for rabies will be necessary.)
So kitty is going to reside in the climate-controlled garage for ten days. She can’t go in the house, because Ginger and Kato can’t be exposed to possible strange kitty diseases.
A few days later, I see a picture of Catie on Facebook. I call and find out that she not only has a name, but has a split-level cage, complete with hanging toys, free-range toys, food, water and litter. My brother is spending his spare time sitting with her and talking to her. By the end of the week, she’s allowing him to pet her and he’s got her purring.
I predict that my brother was wrong when he told me that two was the perfect number of cats.
It’s easy to love a new baby – especially one who is cute and cuddly and easy-going. And when you can hand him back to Mama if he’s in any way inconvenient. It’s not so easy to love a wild thing that doesn’t necessarily want your love.
I certainly am not suggesting that loving and nurturing a feral cat is better than loving and nurturing a sweet baby, but there’s something to be learned here. I’ll bet that Sweet Godson will have his bad days along the way. And we’ll love him through them. We’ll sit with him through temper storms and illnesses and all the good and not-so-good parts of normal development. Just like my brother sits with Catie and coaxes her into civilization. We remember to do this with litttle ones.
Who else needs a little unconditional love? Do you have friends and relatives who are very busy pushing you away? Maybe it’s time to hug them a bit or just sit next to them and coax them into civilization. We’ll all be better for it.