In Septmember of 2016 two sweet cats showed up on our door step. Without invite just started hanging out on our front patio. For a few weeks we just ignored them and still they hung out.
I've never been a pet person and my husband (outside of the last 4 years) has always had animals. I could tell he was getting really hooked and enjoying having the cats around. So we did the responsible things: had them checked out by a vet - tried to contact their previous owners - and finally officially adopted them.
Our yellow guy is named Tabby and the calico is Comes & Goes (you got it she tends to wonder a lot). We began looking forward to seeing them in the morning and are enjoying sitting with them on our front patio. Both of the cats have a sweet demeanor and it has been fun having them around. I've been pleasantly surprised by how much love and joy they add to our home.
In late March we decided to install a pet door and started making the transition from outdoor cats to indoor / outdoor. Again, I've never been a pet person so trying to acclimate to cat hair, monitoring their scratching habits, making the time to vacuum more often was a bit of an adjustment but the joy, fun and love we were getting was well worth it.
Then came Monday night, April 24, 2017 (a day that will live in infamy). I came around the corner from our dining room into the hall way and saw - a dead little baby bird. "Rod", I yelled at my husband, "this can't be happening ... dead birds can NOT be allowed in the house". I opened the door to the garage, "Rod, dead birds can NOT be in the garage". I walked out to the patio, "Oh no, this can't be happening - there is a 3rd little dead bird". "Rod this can NOT be!!!!!!!!"
Now keep in mind Tabby and Comes and Goes are sitting in the living room completely calm and enjoying their comfortable places on the couch. My brain (whose name is George) went into over time. "What if I had stepped on the dead bird, how do we prevent this from happening, good housekeepers don't have dead birds in their houses". George kept yelling at me, "Told you animals in the house were a bad idea, see what you get for being so dumb and letting them in, you can't allow for this it's too horrific".
Quietly and patiently my husband disposed of the birds and then gently reminded me that cats share of their "treasures" with their humans. Rod reminded me that everything in life has a down side - can't have the cat love and joy without the cat hair and once in a while their kills. He reminded me that of course we could keep the cats outside but that would limit our time with them.
Two weeks ago the thought of a dead bird in my house was absolutely unacceptable so today I'm working on accepting the unacceptable. I'm noticing when George starts screaming his loud voices, I thank him for his feedback and then go about enjoying the cats in the house. Of course I will have icky feelings if I find more dead animals in the house but I'm working on tolerating the icky feelings so that their is more space to experience the love and joy that the cats offer.
George would say "THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE" because my body would feel icky feelings and stories have been built up in my head that somehow I have failed or made a mistake because we have to clean up a dead bird. George keeps trying to convince me that this event means something about me and that I lack the ability to manage the world. Somehow George is saying "you Rosemary are bad, dirty and not competent" and I'm noticing this and over and over and over just reminding myself that a dead bird in the house is just a dead bird in the house.
The more I open myself up to the unacceptable be it a dead bird, fear of public speaking, fear of looking stupid, fear of failing, the more I can accept uncomfortable feelings the more I create space to make my own decisions in life and to enjoy life's simple pleasures like the purring of a cat.