Tuesday, April 6, 2010

She doesn't know how to do it differently

Feb 2006

Some are sweet. Some full of love. Some really skiddish. And some? Some are kinda mean.

Each cat carries his own personality. And I don't know about you, but throughout the years (while growing up) we have had our share of stray cats. Many of them wearing such pious attitudes, carrying within them a love completely concealed beneath their coats (until they've a mind to share it); and with their feelings covered in a pride that dares not let it show (because their pride rules and won't let them). But actually (though it appears as it does), it's not their pride at all that keeps their feelings from being exposed and endangered to the environment around them. It's their hidden stronghold of insecurities that doesn't dare be shown to let another see for fear of the result of what could happen with its exposing! Their vulnerabilities are guarded with spat-out hisses, and claws that strike to draw blood from the one that tries to touch it. They're often imprisoned in the very skin that they're birthed in, wanting to expose and show the very same things that they guard to conceal. But they can't. If you don't like cats (and I don't know if you do or you don't), it's because you don't know them very well.

I like cats. I think we're more like them than we'd ever imagine we'd be.

Their "pious attitudes" are just fake facades masquerading to keep their real identities hidden.


Why would they do such a thing? Why would they hide who they really are? Especially if their true hidden identities are more beautiful than any fraudulently forged masks that they impose upon themselves to wear, and then with a proud stance parade themselves round about as if they think of themselves as something other than they really are? Why would they do that? Posing to be something, that inside they are not? Why?

I don't know why. But I know that they'll do it -- even when they wish they wouldn't. They'll do it -- even when they hate the mask that they're wearing. They'll do it -- even when they abhor how they're acting. They'll do it -- because they have no idea how to do it any differently --- even at their want-to. The bars inside themselves won't let them. Crazy! But so.

We inherited a stray several years ago. I've watched her and can read her, though she thinks she can't be read. She wants someone to love her so badly, but dares not to let anyone near enough to touch her. She longs to come near, yet when anyone comes close, she turns with ears drawn back and a mean look on her face that dares them to and quickly darts to her hiding. She hides beneath the bed, but watches from beneath those covers. Longing to come out, but really having no idea in all of this world how to. The scowled look on her face as she runs (I think) is from her total disgust at herself from doing the very thing that she hates that she's doing, the very thing that she doesn't want to be doing at all. She wants to stay to be petted - but her legs run away and won't let her. It's how she grew up - she doesn't know any better.

She likes me, but likes no one else or any other thing that has breath in them. She used to hide under my bed all day, and only come out at night to lie upon my back while I seemed safe to her as I lay sleeping. She eventually felt comfortable and felt safe with me, so she began to come out in the daylight hours. Yet still, though she came to the point where she let me pet on her and she'd come lay by me as I did my things throughout the day - Still... she could only allow a limited amount of love. Close. But distant. She kept up the guard that she longed to lay down. She didn't know how to do any differently.

After we had had her for several years we dared to open our doors and allowed a dog to enter into our home and our hearts. She was furious at the dog's invasion into the comfort she'd finally found. She won't get close to me now - because he does. And she longs for the love that she keeps herself from by running. She secretly has become accustomed to the intruder, and though the naked eye might miss it, she likes him. Ah, she still hisses and throws a fit when he nears. She dares not lose face and run though. She stands with her back arched, each hair upon her back standing straight up at attention, she snarls, and slaps his face with a mighty strong arm for a cat (she's smacked me before, I know she's strong!), but she doesn't have her ears back when she does it, her face doesn't match the actions that her body displays. He asks for it - as he jumps at her in front of her face. He likes her. He just wants to play. She wants to play too, but doesn't know how to. Inside she longs for a friend. She likes him too - snarling, slapping, spitting, and hissing galore - but she likes him! It's what she's used to. It's all she knows. It's how she grew up. Her insides won't let her be something new.

Ever growled at the one you love - even while loving him? Ever spit and hissed and slapped at his face, because your heart wanted you to stay, but your insides still hurt and told you to run so your legs ran away? So your slapping and hissing and spitting was actually reactions to an inside battle turned out - when the one standing before you in truth had nothing at all to do with your throes? Ever longed to be petted by the hand that loved you [because it was also a hand that you loved!], but slapped and spit and hissed and hit at that very hand when it did? Not knowing at all at how to do it any differently - even with the want-to. Because your inside wouldn't let you?

There are a huge variety of kinds of cats in this world. Each one wearing their own kind of "coat." I love 'em all! I can often relate. Especially their love to curl up in a ball on a rainy day on the softest something and enjoy their slumber. Or their sprawling out on the dining room table (if they've a mind to!)! I love their complete thrill of showing you their "find" no matter its grossness and that it's dead, because they've played with it and taunted it - giving it a cruel and long death because they love to watch it wiggle (secretly I don't think they mean to kill it, but their bites and strikes in their play brings it to its death). I love their ears drawn back to totally flatten upon their heads in total disgust at the thing before them. I love their deep gruntled growl and their hisses. I love their tail flapping hard upon the surface beneath them to make their point with a loud thudded slap. I love their playful arm to make a thing roll and their focused play of a string - for as long as you will dangle it before them. I love that they hate to loose face and that they run to hide in their embarrassment. I love their sleepy-squinty-eyed look without even raising their chin from it's resting place. I love their backs arched (this time in friendship) as they rub against your leg to love you. I love the sound as if a motor-running inside them that shares the spurn of their heart and tells of their feelings in a vocalized hum... and that it's amazing that that hum doesn't require batteries.

If you were a cat, which kind of cat would you be?

The one that snarles and spits and hisses - that runs away at the hand that reaches out to touch you - that hides underneath the bed with its insecurities? Or the one that loves.... and loves to be loved? Mind you to remember, things are not always as the appear ---often both are the same kind of cat ------- just one is locked in her skin and doesn't know how to show it... and the other is free to show her feelings out.

No comments:

Post a Comment