Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Riley and the One-Eyed Cat

Late yesterday afternoon when the kids were playing outside, a cat wandered into the yard. It was a pretty grey striped cat with white feet. The thing that was different about it was that it only had one eye. We couldn't tell if it had lost it in a fight or if it had been born that way, but it was definitely a one-eyed cat.

Riley, Meredith and their friend Matthew watched the cat and called to it from its spot under the truck. They came in, fixed a bowl of water, and put it on the front porch. The cat then took to meowing loudly at my front door. We dug around and found some cat food and Riley presented it to his new friend who he'd started calling Patch. Patch proceeded to gobble up the food and trot off on his way.

I don't know if there's some animal soup kitchen hotline, but let me just mention this is the second animal that's done this to us. Last week it was the biggest bassett hound I'd ever seen. So when this fella did the same eat-and-run routine, I wasn't too surprised. My sweet son, however, was utterly heartbroken.

He came in the house just sobbing, with tears streaming down. It took me a minute to figure out what had happened. (I was still blanching carrots.) I didn't understand why it had upset him so much because he's more of a dog person. My other son Jack is the one who loves cats. But Riley was heartbroken because he had wanted to love and keep the one-eyed cat, because of the fact that he had one eye. He said, "Mama, I just wanted to love him and take care of him because nobody else is gonna want him with that one eye. They'll run away from him and not feed him. I don't want him to be alone."

We talked about how maybe he'd be back since we'd showed him kindness, about how maybe we were only supposed to help him on his way. But I was very touched by his tenderness. It was a reminder to me to take time to show kindness, to love what is unlovely, to look for opportunities to share comfort. You too. There may be no one-eyed cats in your future, but I guarantee there will be some rather unattractive personalities that cross your path. Take time to share a little love with them too, because nobody else is gonna want to.

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