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Life Lessons from a Stray Cat

Thoughts on embracing abundance.

I’ve lived in my current neighborhood for five years. It’s the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere in my entire adult life. I started in a house on one side of the street when the landlord I was renting from allowed it to foreclose without telling me. That’s a typical story for many renters during the great housing bubble burst in Southwest Florida. But just as I was about to freak out, a beautiful townhome directly across the street became available.

So, I moved, but just across the street. The new place was larger and nicer and came complete with a huge kitchen, a gorgeous backyard, and a stray cat. I’m no stranger to stray cats. They all have my card and pass it around at will. In my head, they sound like this.

“Pssst, hey cat. (Stray cats sound like mobsters from the Sopranos, in case you didn’t know.) You should wanna a nice hot meal? I know a gal. She lives over there.  Now, fuggedaboutit, and go meow under her window, and she will run to get your food.”

So, he does. I call him Remy. I’ve fed this cat for over two years now. He’s a scary-looking cat. He looks like something out of a Stephen King novel. His coat is a dull solid gray color highlighted with bright yellow eyes. I’ve thought he was a goner on more than one occasion. It’s not easy living in our “hood.” It comes complete with alligators, bobcats, and panthers. But Remy is somehow still standing.

I’ve never once been able to touch him. He’s just wild. But that’s okay. So am I. When he shows up under my window in the morning, and I make my way downstairs to feed him, he cautiously watches as I set the bowl of food before him. First, he skittishly acts like he’s going to bolt at any moment if I pull out a gun. Then he hisses at me for good measure to let me know he’ll eat my damn food, but he’s NOT GONNA LIKE IT! 

It’s just what we do. Remy acts like I’m going to murder him, and I feed him, day after day after day.

One day, I sat quietly on my sofa reading, and he didn’t notice that I was there. I had the back door open so my regular two goofballs, ginger cats, could go outside. Remy sneaked into the house and took part in the all-you-can-eat cat buffet in my kitchen. Then he proceeded to eat the piece of cheesecake leftover from the night before that was still sitting on the counter.

Doesn’t he know what that will do to his thighs? I thought.

But after all this time, I realized something. Remy could have a home if he wanted. He could sleep in a bed. He could be warm in the winter, which it’s Florida, so maybe outside is better. But Remy limits himself.

Aren’t we all a little like that? We assume all we want is not for us to have. Maybe we don’t think we deserve it. Perhaps we just don’t want to ask for it. God has an immense amount of abundance for our lives. It’s there for the taking. But we don’t take it. Instead, we resolve ourselves to sneaking around scraping for the bare necessities. My friend, the life coach, calls it “scarcity thinking.”

I think that when we start believing we are worthy of abundance is when we receive it. Oh, sure, it’s easy to say, but why is it so damned hard to do? We plug into the ultimate source but expect the well to run dry at every moment. It applies to more than just finances and cat chow. I think it’s true in relationships. We hang on to something we may love, but it’s just not enough of what we genuinely desire, not what we truly need. So we take what we can get because we assume there will be nothing else for us if we let go.

See, scarcity.

Expect the best. Walk into the house like you own it. Have some Filet Mignon. Go to the big bed and curl up in the sunshine coming through the window. The best is reserved for you. And there’s plenty of it. Someone else isn’t taking yours from you. Too many people think that way, especially those in my business. They can’t be nice and help you because they assume it means less for them. That’s not true. It sows even more abundance.

There’s no need to stay outside in the semi-cold any longer. You don’t have to keep your walls up and continue hissing at the world.

Abundance, not to mention lots of cat chow and purring, awaits.

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