My cat leaped into the windows anxiously, some months ago, so I went to see what she was looking at. A soggy kitten, out in the rain. Over the next couple of weeks the wet kitten stayed near the window, silent. It ate the food I put out, but wouldn't let me close. "You sure picked an ugly friend," I told my cat, because the kitten was scrawny, its color haphazardly blotched, and it was always wet. It rained and rained all month, but the soggy kitten would never let me pick him up.
Then one day, he jumped up on the ledge outside the window, and stared in. He stayed up there for a few days, sleeping on the ledge, peering in the rest of the time. A clear message, I thought, "I'm ready to become part of the family." So I went outside, opened the screen door, and the little guy zoomed inside. I let him zoom back out a few times, and zoom back in, so he would know this choice was completely his. In, or out--it was up to him.
Now, months have passed, he's an indoor cat, and oh my gosh, he's gorgeous. After months of good organic food, and good vet care, he's got sparkling eyes, and beautiful fur, and a big mane around his neck. He's deep black with brown spots, and when I come in the door, he runs to me, stands on his back feet, and puts up his front paws, so I will pick him up and hug him. If he wants to be petted, he rolls onto his back and exposes his sweet little belly. I named him Henderson, The Rain King, after a Saul Bellow novel.
Every day when I look at this handsome, hefty cat, I'm reminded that all living things can make big changes, given the chance. He was strong enough in spirit to stay alive out there; and then to find someone who would feed him; to accept the food, and then to peer inside, longing for a home, and finally, to overcome his fear and enter a house. Now, he offers love to his new family. He's a little miracle.
I believe we can all make changes this big. In the small, daily ways that he did. Even if we start out feeling dumpy and soggy.
Now there's another Life Change candidate outside, in the same spot Henderson chose, accepting food, but not able to let me close. A giant, ratty looking, orange female. What will her future bring? In much part, I realize, it will depend upon her choices.