Kitties and Can’ts

About two years ago, at Thanksgiving, we lost our sweet kitty, Phoebe, to a long, arduous fight with stomach cancer. It’s a delicate balance between wanting to do everything you can and doing the humane and kind thing: letting go.

Letting go sucked. It’s always hard when you lose a pet. But Phoebe was extra special. She’d play peek-a-boo behind walls and doorways. She was chatty and always ready to have a conversation. And she loved saltines and mashed potatoes. She was an odd, quirky kitty and earned the nickname “Kidget.”

To say I loved that cat would be a gross understatement.

Fast forward a little over a year, and my heart wasn’t healed but was open to another furry addition. So, we made a visit to our local animal shelter and found a cute little tortie. Oddly enough, she looked more like a lemur, with eyes so wide they shook and orange so bright they seemed to glow from the back of her kennel.

I’ll never forget filling out the adoption application and going over her aftercare with the humane society employee.

“She was just spayed yesterday afternoon. So, you’ll want to keep her quiet and resting as much as possible,” he said, writing in our home address on the required paperwork.

That’s when he stopped, dropped his pen, and threw his hand in the air, realizing how ridiculous his last statement was.

“She’s a kitten. Good luck with that,” he said with a grin.

Fast forward another year, and Ginger, that once tiny tortie, now rules the roost around her. But that day left me with a very important nugget of truth:

Temper expectations with a realistic assessment of the situation.

There was no way I could keep Ginger from jumping on all the furniture. I couldn’t stop her from tearing down the hall whenever she heard a can of cat food open. And as much as I tried, I couldn’t prevent her from climbing up my legs like a spider running from the light.

So, whatever you’re facing right now, whatever expectations you’ve got in the forefront of your mind—do yourself a favor, and check them against the situation, too. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment or frustration. Instead, recognize and accept what truly can and will likely be.

No one can squeeze water from a rock. So, don’t exhaust—or needlessly upset—yourself trying. It’s not failure. It’s accepting the truth.