Unlikely Sucess

Today, Jack alerts me to a beautiful bird in the Weeping Cherry.

He talks to the bird with that strange broken meowing sound, moving his jaw rapidly.  I’ve wondered for years why cats make this sound when they look at birds. 

My husband tells me that cats imagine eating the bird and therefore make munching sounds with their mouths.

Jack’s on the hunt, imagining success.  Would a cat ever capture a bird like this?  Unlikely.  Would a cat with one eye, indoors, catch a bird like this?  Never.

Still, the cat munches.  Still, he visualizes success.

Maybe one day.  The confidence of my One-Eyed Cat inspires me.  The bird flies from the tree, uncaught, and Jack, undaunted, settles under the lights of the Christmas tree.  Maybe, in his mind, he simply let the bird go. 

Oh, Jack, you crazy cat, living with flair, in lights for all to see.  You don’t give up.  We won’t either.      
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Happy Saturday!  Are you inspired to persevere today? 

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Fame Often Comes When We No Longer Need It

My one-eyed cat, Jack, knows he’s a blog celebrity.  He tolerates us.  By now, he can pick the perfect lighting and the perfect tilt of the head whenever I have my camera near him.  He endures it all for the sake of others who need encouragement.  You can read his whole journey here. 

Jack’s Photo Shoot 

He stays still and waits for the click of the lens.  He extends a paw for a creative shot and displays some claw to remind us of his power. 

Claws

Then, he lounges and signifies his photo shoot is over.   

He lets me know he’s had enough.  I now have to fit into his schedule. 

This cat’s journey reminds me that we move from wounded and abandoned to rescued and redeemed.  We stop begging for attention and clamoring for love.  It’s because we already have all we need–in abundance–so much so that when somebody blogs about us, it’s not important anymore.  We gain fame at the exact moment when we want it the least.

Jack just does his thing.  He loves his healed cat life.

Living with flair means we just do our thing–healed, rescued, and redeemed.  We don’t seek fame or even need it.  If it comes, we’ll tolerate it, but we’re finally free from needing it.

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Journal:  Have you struggled with the desire for fame?

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Do You Get Territorial?

My One-Eyed cat, Jack, taught me something else last night.  You can read his whole journey of healing here: Jack’s Story

Are you ready to see something strange and wonderful about these little cats?  Well, they each choose a child to “protect” in the night.  Louie curls up by the oldest daughter, and Jack guards the youngest.  Every night at bedtime, they assume their posts in each respective bedroom.  It’s been this way all year. 

Last night, the girls want to have a sleepover in the oldest daughter’s bed.  Jack innocently follows the youngest wherever she happens to be sleeping.  But Louie is the alpha male cat, and this is his territory.  Normally, he’ll hiss and claw at Jack if he even dares to approach the bed.

Jack has an assignment, though.  He’s on a mission to guard the youngest, so he dutifully curls up at her feet right next to where Louie guards the oldest.

A staring contest ensues.  Jack’s one eye doesn’t even blink. 

Finally, Louie recognizes Jack’s purpose here.  No fighting, no clawing.

As I tuck the girls in for the night, I realize that Jack has a specific role now that everyone acknowledges and supports.  And in the midst of this service, enemies are brought together.

There’s something more important than our need to control or our need to be territorial. Jack knows this.  He risked the danger to do what he was supposed to do.  And Louie let him, risking his own position and power. 

And in case you’re wondering where Snowflake serves in the midst of all this, well, she’s recovering from a Bridal Shower where she sat peacefully on the couch in a bridal veil.

And then she came to sleep at my feet. 

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Journal:  Am I afraid to do certain things because it’s someone’s “territory?”  Do I need to let others serve even if I think they are in my “territory?”

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Sneaking Up on Jack, I Caught Him Doing This:

Jack Basks in the Sun

He was basking

My One-Eyed Cat, Jack, continues to teach me how to live with flair.  First he learned how to purr and taught me something about finding yourself again, even when you’ve been wounded.  Then, he let out his first meow, and I learned something about rediscovering my voice.  Then, despite those wounds, he began caring for other cats, and that showed me the power of serving others. 

Then he started becoming fully alive, doing all the things that normal kitties do.  Next, he learned courage, standing up for himself and proclaiming what he loved and needed. 

But then his scar started leaking, and it felt like were were starting over.  But Jack got better, and today, I find him basking in the sun.

That cat won’t leave the warm spot in the window.  He gazes up in the bright sunlight and lets himself become toasty warm.  As I watch Jack basking, I suddenly want to join him on the window ledge.  To bask means to receive great pleasure from something.

Did I bask today?    I want to bask in the love of God.  Did God design us to derive great pleasure from knowing Him and enjoying creation?  Oh, the great pleasure of sleeping in a sun ray, eating fresh pineapple, teaching a boy to jump rope, finding a perfect verb, or listening to a cat purr.  What things exist in my life today that God places there from which I am to derive great pleasure

Jack wants to know as well.

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Journal:  What things did I derive great pleasure from today? 

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When Your Scars Leak (Warning: Graphic Image of a Cat’s Infected, Although Missing, Eye)

Yesterday, my daughter cries out that Jack’s scar is leaking

Remember Jack?  Our one-eyed cat, over this past year, seemed fully recovered from the day we rescued him:  he learned to purr again; he discovered his lost meow; he started caring for other cats; then he learned to stand up for himself against the other cats; and finally, he learned how to knead the bed like normal kitties do.

He was fully alive, fully cat

We hardly notice the scar anymore.  It’s only when other folks come over and comment that we remember.

Infected Eye Wound

But the wound where his eye once was becomes infected.  The vet says the infection is so great, so deep, that it has to burst out of the scar. 

We hold Jack all evening.  We care for the infection, treat it with medicine, and give special attention to him. 

I remember that sometimes wounds leak.  Even after a year of healing, the old scar can ooze.  Just because we don’t notice the wound, one day, it bursts back into our lives and threatens us with that discouraging reminder.

But we aren’t discouraged.  We go back to the basics.  We hold him, love him, and treat him.  We aren’t shocked or repulsed.  It’s part of his journey, and we’re right here with him. 

Living with flair means I’m in this with you.  Even when the old wounds leak out, we go back to the basics, take care of one another, and let the healing begin again. 

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Journey:  When old wounds leak, how can I keep from being discouraged?

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