Aug 7, 2011

A lesson and a few cats' lives!

To those of you with perfect children, I have a confession.  Mine is not perfect.  She negotiates everything.  She doesn't want to do her chores. She is perplexed by the subtleties of friendships and can be a force to reckon with.  She has many talents and lots of potential and has yet to find that thing that grabs her so passionately that she is driven to understand nuances and give more than surface effort to it. She rarely listens the first time she is told something and frequently will go ahead and do what she's been asked not to just for the experience of it all.  It is the last that brings us to 'the lesson'.

On Friday, she had the notion to tie a skipping rope around her cat.  Not sure why but I am guessing that she wanted to walk the cat.  This was not her first attempt at tying a rope to the cat.  She has been caught many times before and warned not to do this.  She has probably been hearing this rule for at least 4 years.  What can I say?  I give her bonus points for perseverance and determination...

Back to Friday.  Cat with skipping rope tied around it's middle.  Cat escapes and heads for the hills, presumably fearing for it's life.  A sweep of the neighbourhood turns up nothing.  

Saturday morning came, but the cat did not.  Avery doesn't mention the cat, yet seems off all day.  Edgy, clingy, unfocused.  A full day ensues, adventures happen, but not a word from her.  After supper I went out and searched farther afield for the cat, scouring the nearby golf course and adjoining streets with no luck.  Bedtime came and although she was obviously tired she had trouble settling down and getting to sleep.  After a series of requested cuddles and other delay tactics, she finally fell asleep- for about an hour.  She woke up confused, crying, and certain that she had not fallen asleep and that she wouldn't ever sleep again. We sat her down and asked what was going on.  She finally sobbed, "I guess I am feeling guilty."  We comforted her and then made a plan for what we could do to find the cat in the morning.  She went off to bed, this time to a better sleep.

By this time, I was really starting to worry about the cat, hoping that she had freed herself from the rope and was sulking somewhere near.  But more than that, I was worried for Avery.  While I was glad to see her dealing with her mistake honestly and truly working to make things right I was afraid that the lesson would go too far.  I didn't want a serious injury or even Nina's death on her conscience either.  Although we've explained all the reasons tying up a cat is a bad idea, her limited life experience prevents her from truly understanding the consequences. My heart hurt.

Sunday morning Avery started on a poster as soon as she got out of bed.  Before posting them around the neighbourhood, we planned to do some more walking around looking for Nina and hoping to find an abandoned skipping rope.  We walked for a couple of hours along the far side of the golf course where there is less development and more mice.  No luck.  Returned home for water and to regroup, more worried than ever.  After a rest, we headed back out to search the area I covered the night before.  Maybe this time...

We got to the end of our street when we heard a frightened yowl and quickly located the source as a large, dense pine tree.  There we found Nina! The rope was wrapped around the lower branches and she was trapped.  We unraveled her and brought her home.  She promptly fell asleep- a deep intense sleep even for a cat.  She was exhausted!!  I don't know if she was trapped in the tree for all this time, but we walked past it several times and she said nothing.  If she hadn't spoken up, we would never have spotted her there, the branches were so thick.

After several hours of sleep, Nina stirred and moved all the way to my lap.  She purred her love and gratitude for an hour and I dared not budge, sitting there in a quiet and rapidly darkening room.  When Avery went to bed, Nina joined her, laying across her legs and purring her forgiveness.  Avery beamed, quivering under the sheets.  "I am shivering with delight!", said she. Nina spent the whole night curled up by Avery's side.  When she woke, she ate and drank and is now perched in a window sill, peacefully surveying the yard.

So.  A lesson learned.  A few lives removed from Nina's collection.  Heartache and celebration.   As my clever and astute friend Kathy put it, "If we could, every one of us would spare our children from all pain. And we would have kids with no compassion, no caring, and no understanding."

My child is a work in progress... and perfect to me.

1 comment:

  1. A taste of heaven indeed, nice to see you using the TS sketch, and love your other LOs too.


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