One Day Under the Bed
I fully believe that God uses children to teach parents lessons, lessons about life and our relationship with Him. And He doesn’t stop there. For those of us not called to parenthood ~or most pointedly directed away from it~ our animal companions are also effective agents. I have previously discussed how I learned that a mistake isn’t the end of the world and sometimes expectations must be amended. Now there is clearly a lesson on my drawing board, but I’ve yet to decipher just what it is.
Last weekend we took a little family holiday to the Dolomites ~ the man, Kiwi, and myself. Sunday morning while he was off on a rigorous bike ride, Kiwi was shouting to go out on the balcony. Standard. So, I put her in her snazzy red plaid harness and out we went. And something -I didn’t hear or couldn’t see- flipped her out. No NO NONONONONO! Inside! Let’s go inside!! In IN IN ininininin! Back inside we went, with me wondering whence came this ‘fraidy cat and what had she done with my fearless Dragon Empress Kiwi Pu? She bounced around for a few minutes, then dove under the bed. And stayed there. All. Day.
Now, I understand getting spooked and running for cover, waiting for the coast to clear, as it were. But she was camped out. Or rather, under. The bed had baseboards which made disassembling the whole arrangement necessary in order to find her, which I did several times. She seemed content, purred when I scritched her belly, but not the least bit interested in quitting her royal hide-out.
Just needing to spend a day under the bed: haven’t we all been there, at least metaphorically? Sometimes life just throws too much at us all at once, too much input, too much responsibility, too much drama, too much pain. A secure place, where no one can reach us, where demands have no power, where it is perfectly quiet: sounds pretty good some days.
Is that my lesson, that it’s okay to unplug, dig in, hide out every now and then? I don’t think so. I’m reasonably in touch with my inner hermit.
By evening, Kiwi was well behind schedule for the processing of solids and liquids. In the back of my head, I heard my mother’s voice, “Oh, enough of this foolishness.” Right. So the man and I peeled apart the bed and I grabbed her quick. She didn’t seem to mind too terrible much (Little Peg is still in my head, a bit of vernacular there). Then I closed her in the bathroom with her litter box. Very soon, it was dig dig dig. Then she ate and, after a bit of cuddling, went to sleep on the couch. No biggie. It’s cool.
So what was all that about? Do cats have pride? Stupid question. Have you ever seen a Persian after a lion-cut when her beauty hasn’t been sufficiently praised? I think Kiwi went under the bed but stayed too long, then felt like she’d made such a statement she was ashamed to recant and just come out. But once I made the decision for her, it was all over. Have you ever taken a position, then become so attached to it or mired in it that you couldn’t see how to back out? or move forward? or swallow your pride and admit you were wrong somewhere along the way? Whether or not all that was going on in the little cat’s head or she was simply too lazy to bother squirming over the baseboards, it put the idea into my head.
It is never too late: No matter how entrenched into an idea we get ourselves, how thick that wall of pride grows, how trapped we feel in our situation, our heavenly Father can reach down and pluck us right out of it and set us on solid ground again… if we let Him. I’ve been through it and perhaps this is just a reminder. I hope it isn’t preparation for something just around the corner. Maybe it’s for someone else, someone reading here: It’s okay to hide under the bed and it’s okay to need help getting out, a time for every season under heaven. Yes.