This morning I woke up alone. Again. I felt the missing warmth on the left side of the bed that started as sadness, had now turned into rage. I screamed out loud, “Why aren’t you sleeping with me anymore Luna!?”. Luna, licked his paws and kept grooming himself. He’s a man cat with a lady name, like a boy named Sue.
He looked at me with a blank stare. His green eyes were piercing my soul. He blinked once aloofly and then meowed because he wanted to be fed. This was another trigger for me. I said, “All you want from me is food!” What about spending time and loving me like he used to? I spend all this time, energy, and money to keep Luna healthy and he doesn’t appreciate me.
“Meow.” He says. It escalates. I figure if I can withhold food for a bit longer, perhaps I can bamboozle him to jump into bed and snuggle me. Of course he’s using me to get the food, but the few minutes of warmth and soft purrs would be worth it. He doesn’t fall for my starve- out-snuggle-trap. I’m starting to feel desperate.
I pick him up and I wrap my arms around him and plead with him, “Why don’t you love me anymore?” “What did I do so wrong that made you not love me?” He let me hold him but kept looking away to a faraway place as if to numb himself from this hysterical moment that he was involved in.
His disenchantment made me let him go and he ran off to the food bowl again to remind me of the fact he still wants me to feed him. “Perhaps, I should open the door and let him run outside to the world that he wants to be in without me,” I think to myself.
This thought of completely shutting down snapped me back into reality. What kind of person would do or think that? I rally from the tears and the crazy thoughts and I decide I have committed to take care of him and love him, so I will do that.
I get his can of organic cat food and refill his crystal eliquor water as I do everyday. He skirts past my legs to the fresh food and relishes in his morning breakfast. Why can’t I be in that place of joy? Why do I feel so triggered by my fucking cat?
I settled down and went to my favorite coffee shop to start trying to write about my morning cat meltdown. On the way there my friend Alex calls me. I start telling him about the cat situation and in the calm I am immediately seeing the connection between my cat and relationships of all kinds.
In the beginning of relationships we normally give without restraint and without expectation. We would spend all our time with this person if we didn’t have to work. Riding the love-highs we are bound by nothing.. We give unconditionally until one day something shifts if we let it.
Although we still give love as we start to feel a little bit more comfortable in a relationship, we begin to keep track of how much money we have spent on that food, or how many times they haven’t washed the dishes.
Then, all of sudden you start to resent that person because they never pay and you are so sick of washing the freaking dishes! In the beginning you would have never dreamed of getting frustrated with the minutia.
On the phone with Alex I tell him that Luna used to consistently love me every morning and night. He would come up on my bed and we would snuggle for hours. Alex’s question back to me was, “have you been consistent with your love to him?” I knew immediately that my answer was no.
I try to run through the things I have been doing that have impeded my consistency. It was Austin City Limits and I had people in town. A friend needed to stay over because she was moving. I had been working, dating on my own schedule. It became so clear to me why this was such an important lesson for me and increased my joy in being a cat owner and a human in relationships.
Relationships ebb and flow and sometimes we are attracted to each other and sometimes we aren’t. Sometimes we are able to truly give with an open heart and other times we want to possess, control, or own someone in order to feel validated in that relationship.
The major theme of what I learned is that no matter if you are a cat or a human, we all go through phases of our life. Wherever we are in our life is perfect and we need our partners, friends, and animals to remind us to not take it all personally.
We also need to constantly be in the practice of giving without expectation just like the beginning of a fresh relationship! To give and receive love is what truly makes us all feel free and special. So love with an open heart! You are all good!