Love sees all the different sides before dashing or digging in

by Craig on December 27, 2010

The first thing they wanted to know was. “Where’s the kitty?!”

Laska the love kitty has lived with me for a few months. He was a rescue kitty.

And, for those of  you who don’t know, he sometimes writes guest posts like this one and this one.

So,  for the first month he was on the streets, with his mom and his sister. Then he was snatched up by the authorities and moved to one of those animal shelters, the kind that keeps them for a while – then – well – disposes of them. At three months old he was granted a reprieve as an independent kitty shelter took him in – to live with 25 other cats.

He was safe from being – disposed of – but had to make weekly trips to the PetCo where he was poked and prodded, and on display. This took him to his 6 month birthday. When I saw him he was in his cage trying to sleep, but too nerve racked to close his eyes. And so began my history with Laska the love kitty. Laska, by the way, is Czech for “love”.

The girls smelled like outside and were in bright winter coats. They also were not using their inside voices. They have a dog too – and dog smells make love kitties a tad bit edgy. And they looked just like the scores of kids for whom he was dragged out of his cage, and held, and poked, and prodded, and passed around, and then smushed back behind bars. So when the two nieces come rushing in excitedly, scampering everywhere seeking the kitty, he found his most familiar place of refuge – under my bed.

I decided the nieces should be rewarded and Laska the love kitty could learn that new people didn’t mean he had to do jail time – or be examined – or leave his home. He just had to visit and learn to be social.

We lured him out with the feather toy.  It was an unfair match. The feathers hypnotize him.

Then we sat on the floor. He wanted for all the world to escape at the earliest opportunity. Two girls wanting to get oh so close and one kitty that wanted to be oh so far, far away. The girls had 67 hands. He had only 4 – but despite that, there would be no holding of this nervous kitty. The kitty has claws. Sharp claws.

I know this because the only way the kitty was staying still for this presentation was to plant said claws, deeply, and repeatedly, into my arms, and legs, and stomach. He didn’t mean for it to hurt, he was just getting ready to dash – and until he got the chance, he was also hanging on to what he was sure of.

The girls intentions were good.

But, all the stuff that they would love to have centered on them: the noise, the attention, the chatter, the “squeeeees” – only evoked terror in the love kitty. And those claw wounds? I quietly suffered them all as I held him there for them to pet.

I’m sure that Laska is still not quite sure that he gets to stay with me. Stretching boundaries, being involved, it will take some time but I’ll lovingly guide him.

I don’t know where to pin down the love in this one.

Is this love about how God who holds us, for our own good, as our claws wound him?

Is it that even good intentioned exuberance can be misinterpreted?

Is it that love knows the fine line between excitement and panic?

Is it in how we need to be open to new things, how we need to stretch. and not worry so much about change?

I think I’ll just leave this one in the land of multi-categorical love. And sum it up with

Love sees all the different sides before dashing or digging in

In God’s love.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

sara @ it's good to be queen December 27, 2010 at 2:26 pm

wow, your writing is so beautiful. you draw me in with your words. doesn’t life constantly point to our savior? i love how you took the time to hear the lesson in what was an otherwise ordinary moment. and you are teaching me… to be open to new things, stretch & not worry so much about change. i think i am the kitty right now. afraid, and digging in deep with my claws. thank you for reminding me to trust the one holding me.

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Craig December 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Thank you Sarah. I learn from you all the time. I’m always the kitty by the way. I’m stretching too. Thank you so munch for coming by. God Bless.

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Scott Wolf December 27, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Craig you have a great way with words. Thank you for this story. I love cats myself. Have one sleeping next to me as I type this.

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Craig December 27, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Laska – when he’s not tearing about – still got that kitteny energy – he sleeps right next to me as I type too. God Bless you and yours Scott. Thank you for reading.

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Anonymuss December 27, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I always love when we get to hear about Laska! Precious kitty!!!

Your questions are good…love…”Is it…?” #4: knowing both when to establish boundaries and when to allow them to be stretched. Very tough to know sometimes. Seems like I do best when my love can appreciate and grasp the view…from the other’s shoes. It seems I have to begin with finding a good pair of well-fitting shoes for myself, to be best able to interpret the view once I step into the shoes of another.

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Craig December 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Now, remembering that “shoe” logic is hard for a man to understand. In a strange way, maybe because I read so many blogs written by women – in a strange way I think I get what you said :) Actually I know I do. God Bless A. Thank you.

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Anonymuss December 27, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Craig, LOL!!! I got confused, too, when I read that! What I meant by that last sentence was that the more I am balanced and have my issues properly on a back burner (good pair of shoes for myself), the better I am able to be objective and understanding (pardon the pun) when trying to see the perspective of another. I think I was thinking about flip-flops instead of shoes because I sure wrote a flop of a sentence in my first response!!!

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Craig December 27, 2010 at 5:10 pm

That’s funny. I told you I got it!!! :)

I think it was equally wise advice in both the original and updated versions. Thank you A.

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Kim December 27, 2010 at 5:54 pm

I love hearing about animals that are rescued. What a lovely writing of this story. It took Crash – our love kitty who was rescued in a similar way, several months to come out of hiding and finally relax. He had to deal with an eleven year old lab at the time who was the centre of our world. Judge (our lab) passed away before our first son was born and Crash soaked in all of our attention for the four months before the babies took over. He’s now having to deal with toddlers and babies misunderstanding and mistreating him. We defend him every chance we get.

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Kim December 27, 2010 at 5:58 pm

I loved this story and loved the writing of it. We also have a love kitty who was rescued and gifted to us by our vet. He took a long time to feel safe and relaxed. Sadly, he’s back to wanting to hide due to toddlers and babies ruling our space. We are always defending our kitty (Crash) and look forward to a day when the boys treasure him the way we do.

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Craig December 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I have a feeling the boys will settle down and they will need a friend as they get older – someone they can tell things to. Someone they know won’t tell anyone else. Yes, on a spiritual plane it’s God, but they’ll need someone here too. And of course I bet they’ll come to you and their dad about different things. But Crash may just get it all – he’ll become that friend. God Bless you and all of yours Kim. And thank you for reading me.

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Renegades December 27, 2010 at 9:18 pm

What a wonderful story to read. You have such a way with words.

I would like to thank you for your kindness and prayers for me.

Your words on my blog mean a ton to me thank you.

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Craig December 27, 2010 at 11:46 pm

You know I’ll be praying. I’m a distance away. He is not. Thank you for your kind words.

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Joyce L Gibson December 27, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Hi Craig, I am like Laska in that I tend to hide under a bed when I feel overwhelmed. Well, not really under cover, but just retreat on the interior. Our wonderful Lord rescues me and gently holds me even as I restlessly claw at Him. Thanks for the word picture. May I be more responsive to His loving touch.

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Craig December 27, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Once again, if I get your nod of approval I know I’m doing ok. God Bless you GJ.

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Susan December 28, 2010 at 12:00 am

Craig,why am I not the least bit surprised you have a rescue baby? My last. “house”kitty passed a yr& a half ago,and I still sob for my “rugboy” (sealpoint Himmy,almost dead when I found him,rocked&begged not to die for a year,made it to 17yo, approx4yo @ “re”birth). He sang to me&looked like a flokati rug.:D Then there was MissFoof-little runt girl not supposed to make it much past 12, went in her heated nappy in her sleep-after I told her if she was tired, and it was too hard, I would rock her and she could go to God. I’d miss her but she’d be ok and so would Caesar&momma. Oh, the baggage the rescues bring-the four&two legged kind. So much we don’t know and all we can do is love them and let them be who they are-finally. A neighbor’s friend, soloist in church choir, Grampa was a preacher-commented on me spoiling the ferals with scrambled eggs mixed with cannd food, fresh water every day (hot in winter), warm “mookies” for protein, always full dry food bowl, and um…”hot sockies” in their dog aka cat house (nuked tubesox&rice)-out of the blue said “YOU are pure LOVE”. I LOL’d &he sternly said whether it was animals or people,to love those who don’t know*how*to love back are “pure love”-then he started on my rescue dogs,and helping the momma neighbor with the schizophrenic now crackhead son&never turning away. And I felt SO blessed-to be*able*to love those that can’t return it. And you all should,too-i see it in your writings&comments. PURE LOVE to all of you! -s-

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Susan December 28, 2010 at 12:13 am

PS-I love that u named kitty Laska-will have to ask daddy if it’s different or similar in Slovak. :) o, and I wheeze for an hour after heating&feeding the fuzzbutts, hence no more rugboys or runtfoofs. :( I thank Him daily I didnt get dawg allergies to go with the old-age asthma. I couldnt do it without my pitty&rotty-mixes. It’s hard enough without the kittychoir…and I told the docs no way would I get rid of housekitties,so for 15yrs didnt know what it was like to be able to breathe in the a.m.! :)

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Susan December 28, 2010 at 12:19 am

Duh,writing too late. MissFoof was 19 when I told her to let go. MissWoogie (rescue boxer/Dane) almost 16. Vet says my critters “live on love” so they beat all odds. I hope so…i will never let them suffer that’s for sure. -s-

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Debbie December 28, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I’m going to think about this love and the “is its”. It may be sometimes I’m like the girls and want to do something, but go about it the wrong way. This kind of flows with the next post, since I read it first! ha! Love takes time, doesn’t it? It takes time to figure out how to show a kitty (or person) love in a way that won’t scare them. Thank you, Craig, for getting me to think about things that I wouldn’t on my own!

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