Yesterday, Jeff and I took our cat Oliver to the vet. Now, before Oliver, I had a cat for 10 years. Sophie. She hated the vet. She hated the carrier, she hated the car, she hated people, she hated everything. Oliver is different kine of cat. He loves people. He loves attention. He loves food and his toys and he even loves water! But, just like Sophie, he hates the car. And he hates his carrier. Getting him in that thing is like torture. For all parties involved.
Aww, look at how cute little Ollie is. Except, he did not look like that yesterday morning. Oliver isn’t an aggressive cat, so thankfully there was no clawing or biting…but there was a LOT of resistance. This poor little guy did not want to go into his carrier. I can’t handle his sad, distressed meows, so shoving him into the carrier falls on Jeff.
It takes about five minutes (which, yeah, I guess doesn’t seem like that long but you just try counting to five minutes right now and see how much time it truly is) until he finally gets our defeated kitty into the carrier. He meows. And meows. And meows. Forever. In the car. At the vets. On the way home. He never. gives. up.
The whole time I’m just like, “Ollie! Relax! Meowing isn’t going to fix anything. You’re not going to get out of the carrier. Just enjoy the ride.”
And then I realize that I’m talking to my cat like one of those crazy cat people, except I’m already married so I’m not sure where that puts me on the spectrum.
What I actually realized is that I am exactly like Oliver. I am the cat. Jeff is like life, pushing me against my will into the carrier, a.k.a. things I don’t want to do or feel like I can’t handle. And just like Oliver, I push back against it – to no avail. Just like Oliver’s meowing didn’t get him anywhere, my complaints and anxiety and whining doesn’t get me anywhere. Now, I do want to say that I know my anxiety is not my fault. It’s a disorder, and I can’t always control it. But sometimes I can control how I choose to handle situations – and I often choose poorly.
Instead of fighting against the cage and trying to push my way out when life throws something unpleasant my way, I can choose to accept it and go with it. That doesn’t mean I have to necessarily be like, “OH YAY! THIS DAMAGE TO MY CAR WILL COST ME $2000.00?! REJOICE!”
But I can choose to accept that sometimes we have to spend money when we don’t want to, and sometimes, we have to make compromises with our partner when we don’t necessarily want to, and sometimes we have to work jobs we don’t particularly like…but meowing until our little voice gets raspy won’t help a thing.
So, I’m trying to accept the things I can’t change in life and instead just work with it. Pray about it. Ask God to give me peace and yeah, rejoice in every situation. Every. Situation. Even when I feel like I’ve been pushed into a tiny, smelly cage by life itself. And yes, I know, this is nothing you haven’t heard before. But I guess when I watched my struggling cat yesterday morning, I realized I’m tired of struggling.
I don’t want to be a cat in a cage.