How Do You Find Shelter?

Sunday will be the first Mother’s Day I spend with my cat Trixie, so she offered to write my newsletter for me this week. I hope you’ll find her “purr-spective” of interest:

Hello, my name is Trixie, but I didn’t know that when this story began.

The details of my birth and early months are sketchy. I have memories of being in something called “a shelter.” They tell me I had been there several months, but who knows? I cannot verify the timeframe as no one thought to give us calendars.

Then one day this particular human walked in.

I remember the moment well. I was stretched out comfortably in a cabinet above a desk. This was my preferred location as I liked to keep an eye on things. From there I could see that this particular human seemed scared.

Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps unnerved is the better descriptor.

Basically, she had that hint of “Internet search” on her face where she was trying to match what she was seeing in the room with what she had seen online. But this world was looking different in what you might call “the real space.”

The weekend before, we’d had a big downsizing, and many of my cat colleagues had been reassigned to positions outside the shelter. At the time, I felt fortunate to have missed the exodus for an uncertain future with additional responsibilities. By weekend’s end, I was pleased to remain in the cabinet above the desk — my true north.

Yet here we were on a Tuesday, and I watched this particular human walk around the room in her uneasy, uncertain state — so clearly lost and confused. When she turned toward my cabinet location, we locked eyes. My initial instinct was to stare at her as hard as I could and, in doing so, force her to look the other way.

My plan was flawed.

The human whispered some words to our staff worker, then nodded helplessly in my direction. As the worker reached toward me, my body went entirely limp as I feigned cooperation without actually cooperating. Then the worker did the lift — the mysterious lift. She swirled me toward that particular human who took a seat in a chair, and I was placed in her lap.

I couldn’t help but notice the fit was a good one, and after a brief interview, I purrfully accepted the new position. Soon, I signed off on the paperwork, packed a bag of complimentary vittles, and left the shelter in a secure carrier on a journey to parts unknown.

When I arrived at my new location, the carrier gate opened, and I stepped cautiously into the domicile. I kept my posture low and crouched so as to remain unobserved as I evaluated these surroundings. From time to time, however, I would look up at the particular human and take note that she was observing my evaluation. She seemed especially eager for me to see … let’s call it the lavatory … where I could take care of my private business. I noted its sufficiency.

After I completed my inspection of the space, I returned to the human, looked to her with great curiosity, and simply asked, “Meow? Meow?”

“I do hope you’ll find this relocation satisfactory,” the human said as she delivered an intriguing summary to this new-resident orientation. “I must tell you, though, you’ll see better houses and bigger ones anywhere you look. There’s nothing special about these walls or these floors or these furnishings. But what is special is you — because I picked you when you were sitting in a cabinet, and I brought you here.”

With that, the human knelt down and put her cute little hand on my neck and stroked in a pleasing way. “My name is Minnie,” she said. “And you are Trixie. You are my cat.”

So there it was. I looked into her lost face, her confused eyes, then I took her in and gave her shelter.

THE HUMAN TAKEAWAY:

Trixie’s story reminds me that finding shelter is not always about roofs or walls. It’s also about discovering welcoming hearts and relaxing in the sense of trust that develops.

For some people, this has been a natural, expected and lifelong experience. For others, not so much. It’s hard to erase the memory of an untrustworthy framework and the default settings that get put in place.

Yet scripture reminds us, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1) Wherever you are, you can trust that this is your shelter too.

Enjoy your magnificent journey.

– Minnie Lamberth
The Magnificent Journey
Vol. 2, Issue 17