My cat has been hunting a mouse recently. She does this with one mindedness, determination, sitting in front of the fridge with eyes on high beam, still, patient. She caught it the other evening. I heard the calculated pounce. My reflexes are never quicker than in reaction to the sound of a pounce (and of a cat about to vomit). Thus, I launched myself to the rescue of the sweet little beast in her mouth. She dropped it in the midst of my yelling and flailing. The tiny thing ran and hid.
The next day the same scene played out over again, except this time Wallis ran outside with the helpless body in her mouth. Again, in the face of my yelling, frightened, she dropped it. Again, it ran, hid … but this time it was outdoors, free.
Why am I telling you this?
Because life, I’ve found, is one big fat metaphor. And God knows I love a metaphor. Paying attention to them is like having the Powers that Be read us a fable-filled story. Like those we read in childhood, life stories are also rich with lessons.
Those two days might well have been the most traumatic that mouse lived. And it might not have known something bigger than itself was on its side (that’s me!) but nevertheless there was. Life always places us where we need to be, there’s always obstacles, challenges (perfect for knowing the strength of our bones). And if we don’t learn the first time we get the same learnings, same challenges, proffered like an unwanted present re-gifted. But at the end there’s freedom.
I can’t be certain of what that mouse learned, but I sure took on the timely reminders in the story for myself. Wallis, not so much. She’s still sitting by the fridge waiting for the same opportunity to come by again in the same place. She’s not cottoned onto the fact (not yet) that we can stay in the same place hoping for a different result but it just leaves us sitting in the same place waiting.
She’ll get there. That mouse did. We all will.