Was having a mini crisis the other night about 10:00 PM or so. I kept thinking that I heard something on the back porch. I kept hearing it and kept hearing it. I looked through the peep hole and could see nothing on the porch. Finally, I opened the back door, cautiously, and looked out. (Yes, it was one of those horror movie scenes when people are saying, “No! No! Don’t do it!” as the girl stays in the house and runs up the stairs instead of out the open front door to get away from the killer!)
Thankfully, it was nothing so drastic. Seems that there was a solid black cat sitting pretty inside of the greenhouse. (I have a small green house to play around in on my back deck.)
OK, before I even get started, I proclaim, “I have nothing against cats. I am just not a cat person.” There have been some cat instances causing major trust issues here. Plus, there are cat people and there are dog people….and hamster, fish, turtle, rabbit, lizard, snake, and heck, even spider people. I also know there are people that are all animal people. I’m just not that person. I don’t dislike them (except maybe that spider part) but I am not enamored with all of them. Me, I’ll claim part ownership of the dog next door, and possibly my own pooch some day when I am up to the responsibility of it, and be happy about it.
My little greenhouse is small and has a sturdy plastic cover over a tube frame. The door of the greenhouse zips to close. On this particular night, the door of the green house was zipped down tight. Oddly, the cat was just sitting there, inside, right by the zipped down door! I had no idea how it got in. But I sort of thought it might be trying to get out. When I cracked open the back door, it glared at me like, “Hey you, move on. Nothing to see here. Close the door and mind your own business.” Plus, it yawlled at me!!
This was not a cute little cuddly kitten. I do like kittens; but cats…yes, they are a different animal. Yes, I know, technically…the same animal, still … they just make me uncomfortable! From my perspective, they seem to be all “sneaking around” and “jumping out at you” at all times, and looking at you like they know something that you do not. I understand also, that is part of their charm…for cat people. We have had a couple of cats in the past and they were OK; but somehow, the trust is just not there for me, and I was not going near this strange one that was looking at me like, “It is cold outside and I am staying in here right beside this firmly closed door. So bring it on sister!”
I have seen this cat lurking and looking at me for a couple of weeks now. When I was in the building last week with the door open for a long time, it came slipping toward the door. Then it saw me and took off. It actually belongs to someone up on the hill. All I could think of the other night, as it was silently taunting me, was the Facebook video I had just seen of the woman kicking snow in a cat’s face. Well, the cat took it for a few moments and then suddenly it launched itself at her head, latched on and would not let go! (Which she totally deserved, by-the-way.) Here she is running around screaming like a mad woman and trying to pry the cat off her head, while the cat is clawing and hissing. Oh no, no cat wigs for me that night!
Of course, I would never be mean to a cat in the first place, but how do you know what they are thinking…especially when they are a stranger to you? Maybe it saw the same video and thought I would be that woman. No trust, I tell you, simply no trust.
As I stood there trying to figure out how in the world it had gotten in. It didn’t break gaze with me. Now come on, how freaky is that, for a strange animal to eyeball you – eyeball to eyeball? It was staring me down good! I finally thought that maybe it had shimmied under the door. Maybe it was a little loose there. I decided to let it spend the night if it wanted to. It was out of the weather. So I closed the door.
After a few minutes, I hear more goings on out on the porch. “What now?” I thought. So, I opened the door to check on them again. As soon as I opened the door, I see another cat standing at the greenhouse door talking to the inside cat. It sees me, tries to make a getaway, bounces off the side of the house and then the green house, all the while not taking their eyes off of me. Oh boy, I could see that cat wig coming for sure! Finally, once it got its equilibrium back, it scrambled away like lightening. The reason I opened the door that time (as it it was going on so) was because I truly thought it might want out so it could go home. What I now think though is that it was actually trying to tell the (not so smart) cat HOW to get in to the greenhouse. The black cat looked at me and hissed!! Yea, like that is going to get me to come out there and unzip the door with you sitting there looking at me like that!
I closed the door and called my brother! As I was waiting on him, I got the broom and cracked the door enough to reach over and poke the greenhouse door. Yep, securely fastened. How did it get in there? I had just checked the greenhouse out the other day after the strong winds last week to make sure it was still OK. I even put the fake poinsettias from Christmas in so it would look like Frosty the Snowman’s greenhouse. There were no holes then. Yes, this was a mystery.
So my brother came over smacked on the side of the greenhouse. The cat jumped out and he discovered the hole. It had scratched a hole to get in the greenhouse. There is a hole on the back just below the top rail. So now the greenhouse has a hole in it, which defeats the purpose of the crazy cat wanting to be in there in the first place; because all the heat will go out. What was even funnier, was before my brother got here, I was standing there eyeing the cat and seriously thinking that it had used evil powers to get IN the greenhouse!
Two things here….
1) The cat was sneaky enough to make the hole in the back where I could not see it. and
2) The hole is up high enough so that it will not be easy for a lot of other animals to access…
Deliberate? I think so! Sneaky, cantankerous cat!!!! I would say it needs to develop some smarter friends though.
So the next day, I peeked around the side that I thought my brother was talking about. Yep, there was a v-shaped hold there, just big enough for a cat body to bolt through. I figured that I would just leave the hole so they could go back in, as we were expecting snow that afternoon. I did go get the clear tape to reinforce it so that maybe it would not get any bigger. After I grabbed the tape, I went out on the deck and unzipped the door. As I stepped into the greenhouse I was amazed. There was a section on the back side, by the door, that was busted out. With all the winds we have had the day before, that section being busted out had caused the plastic to tear all the way to the top. I had just looked at it over the weekend and it was perfectly alright. I was feeling pretty heated, blaming them at this point. Still though, I felt really bad for the cat, in case it really did not have anywhere else to go, because it was going to snow and get cold and the greenhouse has seemed to stay fairly temperate even in the coldest temps we have had so far.
So I went back in and found a roll of clear plastic. Using the clear tape, I managed to mend the greenhouse enough so that the snow would not come in and it was fairly sealed against the wind again. I thought about leaving the door a open a little bit so it could squirm under, but I thought, they figured out how to get in before, they already know the way. So I left it. Just as I was finishing up, the wind started howling and the snow started flying!
I watched this whole week to see if the cat came back. It has been five days now and no sign of it. Oh well, at least I tried; and it is fixed in case it needs it before the winter is over.
I’m thinking that I could have ignored the initial “back porch” sounds and blamed it on the wind. I have done that in the past, blaming it on the trees or just the wind in general. Even at that, I could have just left it alone and let it do the best it could. I could have kept my little self inside and not taken the surprise visitor’s needs into account. But, I did stick my face out there and became aware of the situation. Although, I do have a small fear of cats, I truly did not want it to be harmed. So I took the steps to try and make things better and did one little thing to try and keep them from harm.
How many times do we do that on other levels? How many times do we leave a person’s side and never give them any indication that we belong to the family of God? How many are those time that we probably should have stuck our face out there and became involved? How many times do we allow our self-centered selves to just walk away without showing any Christian kindness to someone who could use it? It is simple really. It is not always something big. There are actually not a lot of people called to “big.” You have to have the character for “big.” You don’t have to quote the core principles of the Bible to show someone the love of Christ. Sometimes it is as simple as saying, “Have a nice day,” with a smile…and meaning it! I remember once, I was checking out at Lowe’s. This young lady was a very conscientious cashier, but you could look at her and tell that she was having a hard day. As I was leaving, I simple said, “God bless you.” She looked at me and cried and said, “Thank you. You do not know how badly I needed that today.” She then blessed me in return.
It is not the big things that make up most of our lives. It is definitely the small things. It is the small, minute-by-minute, hour-b- hour, day-by-day actions that make the most difference in our worlds. Look around and see where you can make a difference today!
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:1-4)