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Honey & Wholeness

May 12, 2013

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Much of my life-learning comes from cats, since I don’t like children.  It is amazing how God will use what is closest to our hearts to teach us how to be our best selves.

There are many cats who become famous on the interwebs ~ for loving boxes too much, for allowing stuff to be stacked upon themselves, for having a certain look which drives the public crazy (not unlike human celebrities in all these ways)~ and I do enjoy their entertainment.  But some garner a following for overcoming hardship, disability, and abuse.  They inspire us in the same way humans do for the same reasons; if this creature can so obviously love life and trust people after what he’s been through, anything I believed was holding me back should just fade away.

I’ve written before about Little Bear who was born with radial agenesis (the radius bone in his forelegs never developed).  He is a strong, active little cat with a devoted human and a large dog for a best friend.  If he continues to go about on his elbows, the abnormal biomechanics will most likely impinge on his internal organs and shorten his life.  There is a surgery available which would fuse some of his bones to allow him an upright stance.  His person has chosen to take him through it.  In fact, he had the second operation two days ago.  Everything looks good.  It will take him time to learn to walk with straight legs, but the quality and length of his life is sure to be improved.  What a marvelous thing for a deformed kitten.  I fully support that family’s path.

There is another cat, Honey, who was born with radial agenesis.  Her person was also considering the surgery.  But their circumstances are different.  And Honey has a severe heart murmur.  The surgery could kill her.  She is also a happy, active little cat with a devoted human and animal friends.  Her family has decided to let her live as she is, for as long as she has, and love her through it all.  At first I was dismayed that Honey would have to spend her life hobbling around on her elbows, pitiful little paws flopping.  It seemed a tragedy that she wasn’t going to get that chance to be “whole.”

Many people don’t.

For lack of medical technology, financial resources, or a thousand other reasons, many humans must and do live out their lives without the chance to be “whole.”  And it becomes an individual choice what those lives will be.

But what is “whole?”

If one looks beyond the physical, to our emotional, psychological, intellectual persons, can any of us be certain we are whole?  Honestly, I suspect we all have scars, deficiencies, and pitiful bits that could be debilitating if we let them.  None of us is “whole.”  But we stand up anyway, however we may; the wise ones ask for help and take it; we carry on.

Thank you, Honey, for exposing my hubris.  I looked at you and thought, “Oh, the poor thing.  She lacks something crucial.”  But you don’t seem to feel sorry for yourself.  You are as whole as you need to be.  Who am I to judge?

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