Updated: Jul 13
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Some Show Notes
Let’s stop here for a moment. If you have a cat who is an indoor/outdoor connoisseur and you are a bit concerned around the edges…become aware of how you verbalize your concern. Are you coming from fear? “I hope you stay safe- I am worried about you!”
Or, are you empowering your cat? “You know how much I love you and that I want to see you again. Have a good time.”
The first sentence feels like a contraction in my body: everything around my heart squeezes together. The second sentence feels kinda like my chest puffs up. Not only am I giving Flitzer props, "hey, I see you and know who you are," but I also feel better by not holding all of this energy by myself. He is empowered to be responsible.
And, Flitzer chimes in right now to explain, “The key is to say I believe you know how important you are to me, because that's the energy that we will always want to come back to.”
Well, all that went great until one night, a few years back. It was summer, the slider to the bedroom was open, and the fly screen was closed. Flitzer, despite the cat door, had made it a habit to scratch the screen in the middle of the night when he wanted to take a short cut into the house. I had gone with his program for a few nights, getting up and letting him in, but I was tired of the nightly interruption.
On that particular night I was not going to get up. I heard the scratchy-scratch on the screen but didn’t move. Flitzer started meowing, and I said, “Go to your cat door!”
After a few moments, Flitzer scratched and meowed some more. Knowing his tenacious/patient self, I knew that I had two options. Get up and let him in, or spook him away from the door so he would take the easier (for me) road via the cat door.
I picked the latter.
I grabbed a spray-bottle filled with water that I happened to have on the night stand, pointed it to the sliding door and pulled the trigger (while making a big phishing noise). I heard little paws scrambling down the wooden stairs of the deck … and peace and quiet returned. I put my head back on my pillow and exhaled. Another breath into peace and quiet and I heard a noise … Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you? Right from a tree outside the bedroom.
Shit, you've got to be kidding me, AN OWL?
I had just shooed my cat’s nervous system into high alert and down the steps. Flitzer’s little energy self was probably totally discombobulated and he was out of body. Which is of course is the WORST possible way to feel when you need to camouflage or save yourself from being another predator’s dinner.
I jumped out of bed, ran barefoot down the stairs and started calling Flitzer. “Flitzi, where are you? Come here, let’s get you into the house." I began walking counter clockwise around the house, looking into the black night trying to find a dark shape, or at least green eyes telling me that Flitzer was ok. Once I walked all the way around the house without any sighting of the boy, I got worried. Of course I did, right? If he was in trouble it was most likely because I spooked his nervous system into over drive. Once the nervous system is fired up, we only act on instinct and we do not use our logical brain much. And, staying out of the fangs of a predator (this time an owl) requires smarts and savvy which are located in the
left/logical side of the brain.
Realizing this conundrum, I began to feel terrible. More specifically: short-tempered AND terrible. And those feelings led me to the idea to apologize to Flitzer.
“Flitzi, sorry I spooked the heck out of you,” I started.
“It was honestly a bad move on my part to freak you out like this.” I continued.
I repeated, “I am so sorry,” and was just about to say, “please show yourself,” when the little black panther casually came into sight, wandering out from under the deck where we stacked firewood.
Classic cat, isn’t it? What a mirror.
I ate a big piece of humble pie that night.
As you can imagine, the cat has me trained, and I will get out of bed when needed to let him in.
But, the story doesn’t end here. For more listen here.