My mother-in-love’s kitchen table overlooks a little lake, where Christmas lights gently reflect from its surface. It would be a pretty location to write a blog post. Inspirational. Instead I am tucked into a little corner in the living room, purposely blocking myself from the view of the lake — because it blocks the cat’s view of me. I am not afraid, but I am hiding from a cat.
But still he cries. My coffee stirrings into the kitchen have made him aware of my presence, and he wants what he wants — which is to be inside the house. Gypsy is locked on the screened porch because he bothers my mother-in-love at night. Like most normal people on a Sunday morning, my mother-in-love is still sleeping. Like my normal self, I am not. But I will not let him in.
My own cats have trained me well over the years. I know their cries for food, for water, for attention, for loneliness, for wanting to get in or out. When my cat cries, I hop to it. (I may have mentioned one of my love languages is Acts of Service? I serve cats, too.) Cat cries tug at my heart almost as strongly as does a human baby’s cries.
But not this cat. Gypsy doesn’t like me. Once upon a time, I felt sorry for this poor, beautiful animal who clearly had been abused prior to adoption by my mother-in-love. When strangers arrive, he is so fearful, he hides — under the bed, under a pillow, anywhere but underfoot. I have actually been on vacation with this animal and never seen him — until I’ve had to help get him out from under the king-sized bed by using a fishing pole.
The last time I visited and awakened early, Gypsy also cried to be let in. I envisioned letting him in and being rewarded by a warm and fuzzy experience with this animal. Nope. I opened the door and was greeted by a hiss, as he raced past me to annoy my mother-in-love by crying at her bedroom door in the still dark morning hours. Not this time, cat!
I’ve heard tell that Gypsy actually likes some people; I, usually loved by all animals and people (because of my modesty, no doubt), am not one of those people. So I am following the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12) and not liking him back:
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12, NIV).
Granted, I am following the Golden Rule in reverse. He doesn’t like me, and so I won’t like him. And, apparently, I am following his lead in hiding just like him too.
Update: My mother-in-love awakened and was about to let Gypsy into the house. I tucked myself behind a wall to shoot a photo of this beautiful cat. He didn’t know I was there and ran straight at me, then freaked and hissed and turned back around, but I got this lovely shot: