This past summer, we went up to the family cottage and I met my new cousin, Dugan, a Wheaton Terrier. We became friends right from the start! He was still a puppy, so he did test my nerves a bit, but as soon as we both went into the lake and swam together, things were great! We lounged alongside the sloping grassed bank of the lake and took naps. Then, we went swimming again! Chris and Lori went swimming with us, too. Then, they took me for a canoe ride. I used to be able to sit up in the canoe and look around, but my legs were sore, so I just laid down for the ride.
The real surprise came later that summer when the side door to the house opened up and cousin Dugan’s family came inside with a crate, food, treats and toys and they LEFT cousin Dugan in his crate in the basement! Well, since I will not do those basement stairs anymore (long story…), I waited for my family to get home. Then, cousin Dugan was out of the cage and running around everywhere! What was going on?! Finally, I learned that cousin Dugan was staying over for a few days while Chris’ family visited Papa and Bobci on the St. Lawrence River at Cape Vincent. Apparently, no dogs were allowed there either!
The next morning, Lori took me for a walk and I visited with
my Syria and had some more photos taken of me. It was a beautiful
day with the autumn leaves expressing their joyous celebration of
color as they lit up the hillside with their vivid hues. The sky was a
brilliant deep blue which brought a sense of peace to my heart. Then,
we all went for a ride, but this ride was not at all like all the other
rides I have been on in the past. I just knew something was different
about this trip. When we arrived at our destination, Lori went inside
the building and came back out to say that we were to come back in
about an hour.
Guess where we went? My most favorite place – watershed!
They helped me out of the back seat of the car and we strolled along
the pathway with the little pond nearby. Several Canadian Geese
were floating on the water and flying around the shoreline. There
was a creek on the other side of the pathway which flowed across the
many rocks in its bed. The colors on the hillside were a breathtaking
backdrop to our unexpected walk. I must say that it was truly the
most wondrous day of my life!
As you may have read a few days ago, after quite a long time stranded in an oak tree, Chert Dog sent along Lori to find me. But I had to take a leap of faith from the tree to get to a lower branch so that she could climb up to get me! My stories are all about taking leaps of faith. If you read Hebrews 11:1 is says that “Faith is the substance of things hopes for, the evidence of things NOT YET SEEN.” So to visualize and believe and have conviction and declare God’s victory over your life is no small task. Believe me, I prayed, I cried out to God in my most hopeless appearing hour that I would have help. And sure enough, I did receive help, but I HAD TO TAKE THE FIRST “LEAP” for things to change in my life. I thank Chert Dog for coming into Lori’s dream and that she was open to listening to his message, otherwise I wouldn’t be here sharing my story, now would I?
Since Chert had several costumes and toys, Lori made me a stuffed tiger bow tie toy from one of his Halloween costumes. Needless to say, it is my favorite toy and “security blanket” for it is because of Chert that I am here writing to you now! I love posing for photos, and have been told that from my “ugly duckling” adolescence, I have matured into a handsome cat! But this all has to do with the LOVE that I receive. It encourages me and provides healthy self-worth and confidence as well as supports me in all of my “leaps of faith” that present themselves to me in lesson. More on that to follow!
If there is anything I can share with you about my first and most important “leap of faith” it would be that the solutions arrive at the last possible moment! I’ve tested this theory again and again with various “dark nights of the soul” and have ALWAYS arrived at the same conclusion: The challenges already come with the solution, we just have to have FAITH that we will know WHEN TO TAKE THE NEXT LEAP OF FAITH, which is ALWAYS at the very last possible conceivable moment. It’s is just how this new energy works. So, every time you take that action leap, you are supported, every single time. My first example is my being stranded in that big oak tree. I was terrified! But fell into loving arms that have never let me go ever since. First confirmation. My second example is being chased by the catbird and me chasing him! I was still a kitten, and had never seen or heard the likes of this flying bird that sounded like a cat! But eventually, we learned to become friends as he would perch atop the back deck umbrella while I would then run out to the back yard and he would dive bomb me! We actually became pretty good playmates! A third example is when Cousin Dugan came to visit! We kept our distance as I hissed and pounced towards him in the beginning, but by the end of the visit, we became slumber party buddies sharing the same bed together! So, these are just a few “leaps of faith” that I will share with you for now. They all have taught me the importance of stretching my boundaries and being open to new and unusual animals to open myself up to more expansive potentials and possibilities!
As you can see by the photo, I felt it safe to be on the piano bench, up higher than Cousin Dugan as I surveyed the situation at hand! I know that Chert and Dugan were best of friends, so he has to be pretty cool even though he is a dog! I am just not used to sharing my “space” with other animals, so this has been a lesson in loving-kindness and hospitality! See, all of the challenges do come with a solution, you just have to sit with them and meditate on them long enough and the answer will come. Just in its own time and on its own terms, most of the time. This situation was different because Cousin Dugan just “arrived” at our home to stay for a few days, so this is what you call “crash course” leaps of faith! First, I needed to know that he wasn’t going to bite me! Second, I needed to know that he was just visiting, so it was just for a few days of adjusting to things being different. And third, I needed to know that I was strong enough to handle this challenge and become a good and gracious host to Cousin Dugan because he was really put into quite a situation as well. All his family was gone and he is here with me, a cat that has 22+claws to defend myself, so he was “treading lightly” around me.
After some outdoor activity, we became to bond a bit more as Cousin Dugan is a push-over when it comes to being mild-mannered and easy going! His kind demeanor made for his visit to be an enjoyable slumber party! So my inner challenges were once again erased and turned into new and wonderful experiences learning to share my home and get along with another animal. We are placed in situations and need to ask what the message is being brought by the messenger. I learned the importance of getting along with others no matter what type of animal that they are. We are all in this together! Thanks Cousin Dugan!