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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 6 comments

This past Monday my husband and I got a new cat. New to us, anyway. 

My brother-in-law has a friend who moved and needed to find a new home for his cat. She's indoor/outdoor, about a year old, fixed and a great hunter. Just what we needed, what with being overrun with mice since Christmas. Which, incidentally, is about the last time we saw our previous cat... 

Just last year, which for me was the perfect storm of health issues, I was diagnosed with allergies to dust - not that there's any of that around here - and pets. So when our cat didn't come back I thought that solved the dilemma of what to do with a pet I was allergic to. Unfortunately for me, I forgot a hard lesson learned back when I first married my husband: living in the woods, you either have a cat or you have mice.

So since December there have been mice under my kitchen sink and in the basement chewing into the extra groceries in my pantry. Having a cat, which is much safer around my grandsons than rat poison, sounds like a stress-reliever, doesn't it?

One would think...

My brother-in-law and his friend brought Striper over Monday, and the first thing she did was run under the table in a corner of the room. Eventually she warmed up and actually walked over and let me pet her. That's a good sign, wouldn't you say?

One would think...

After they left, Striper wandered downstairs to explore, which is fine since that's where the mice are. My sister stopped by and when we went downstairs we found her hiding behind the water heater, at least until she took off...

There was no sign of her for the rest of the day Monday. 

Or Tuesday. 

I can't say I was too thrilled to have a (relatively) strange cat on the loose somewhere in my house. And I definitely didn't want her to curl up and die, whereabouts unknown, like whatever I've been smelling in the wall upstairs for the last couple months. Ugh! I can tell you, they don't make air fresheners strong enough!

Wednesday my brother-in-law was back to try to coax Striper out of seclusion. 

No such luck.

Thursday morning we had a sighting! She was hiding in the corner of the closet of my husband's work room - coincidentally the only room we haven't gone through during our recent clean sweep of the basement. And she ate some of the food I put out for her the night before. Whew! No dead cat; just one that refuses to come out unless under the cloak of darkness. {sigh}

I've really been fighting to keep myself on an even keel lately, and I can't say this stealth cat is helping matters. We've been back from Kenya for almost a month, and unfortunately I'm still trying to reacclimate. These trips cost me big time when it comes to my health. It's not easy to manage here - it only takes my jaw being off a fraction of a millimeter to send me into a tail spin - so imagine what 30+ hours of travel will do, not to mention a 7-hour time adjustment! My TMJ doctor told me it would take some time for me to recover, and that was when he thought I was on a pleasure trip - before I told him about the jostling I took over the worst roads imaginable, stumbling into holes during hour-long hikes, running into things in the dark while living without electricity and slinging mud to build houses!

It's going to take a while to put Humpty back together again.

Have you ever felt like this?
Not only am I trying to adapt; not only do I have an unfamiliar cat roaming around my house; but I'm also back to watching my grandsons, which is anything but routine. Their dad is in the hospital 2 hours away, waiting for a heart transplant and my daughter is trying to balance that with returning to teaching this week. And I wonder why I'm having a hard time holding it together these days...

I began asking God what he had to teach me through this scaredy-cat I have holed up in my house and this morning He revealed it to me: 

I am the cat!

Neither of us travels well and honestly, curling up in a corner and hiding doesn't sound all that bad to me right now. As a result of this recent revelation, I've decided to do for myself what I've done for the cat and cut myself a little slack! I'm giving myself the month off to get reacclimated, and if that's not enough I'll give myself more time. 

So if I can string a few sentences together - like today - I'll have a post. If I can't - like the past week - I won't.

I'll do what I can and not beat myself up about what I can't.

I'll keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and when life gets overwhelming, I'll pull in even closer. You see, it's Him that I work for.

I couldn't ask for a better boss!

Where do you need to cut yourself some slack?


6 Responses so far.

  1. Beckey says:

    OH MY!! I KNOW God led me straight to this post today!! I so needed to read this! I have had a lot tossed on my plate and have been questioning myself. Whether the path I am on - which I was sure was God's plan - is right. Are the challenges I am facing the enemy trying to distract me, or God correcting some mis-steps? This spoke straight to my soul telling me I need to cut myself some slack and keep my eyes on Jesus.

  2. I do hope your scared cat will join the family soon. Take your time to rest and relax, even with all that you need to do with grandchildren. Trust your son-in-law will soon receive his new heart.

  3. Unknown says:

    Wow! You have a lot going on. Between your health and your daughter's family, that would definitely bring stress. I hope you are feeling better soon. We have a cat who likes to hide also :). We rarely see him. He came to live with us when we were in the country to get rid of mice as well. You are so right! You must have a cat when living in the county. He moved with us to the suburbs where we added 2 dogs and now he likes to hide and be on his own as much as possible.

  4. Oh my, what a stressful time! :O I certainly could use some slack for myself in several areas…mainly mothering. But somedays I feel like I’ve cut too much. ;) I appreciate your words and you linking up today. Blessings!

  5. You brought back memories from me when describing the maybe not a 'mouser' cat. I have a cat I ended up loving that wasn't a 'mouser'. We bought her as a 'barn cat'. Which was pretty dumb considering she was a long hair cat. Which usually means 'prissy'. But I learned to love her even though I am not a 'cat person'. I am with you on that! I read a few other posts. I enjoyed visiting and I am following. I hope you get the chance to recharge and relax and 'figure it all out'! You have a sweet and beautiful heart. I know you'll work it out. God is in control! Have a wonderful Weekend. BTW I came by from Sweet Saturday.

  6. Lisa, I love animal stories even a frightened cat story.

    May I share a simple exercise that my chiropractor had me do for my TMJ? Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth and hold for a few seconds. repeat several times. This strengthens your jaw also.

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