Friday, December 10, 2010

Lessons Learned from a Lost Cat

There is a lesson to be learned in every experience.  Bailey has not been found.  To say I'm devastated would be under-evaluating the situation.  It's been a week.  I am frantic, exhausted, desperate, sad, empty, tense, drained.  

I have done everything humanly possible to find the cat including- over 100 flyers to neighborhoods around me, vets, Petsmart, the grocery store, an email blast by my HOA to my neighbors, that cost me A LOT and called 525 of my neighbors with a lost cat alert, foot searching everyday (I have worked from home yesterday and today), going door to door (I broke down sobbing at this one poor lady's house), 2 visits to the animal shelter and stalking their website hourly, leaving the back door cracked in case he wanted to sneak back in, spreading his dirty litter box contents around my house to leave a trail to get back, my jacket, his litter box, his favorite hiding tunnel, and a kitty buffet set up on my patio, and the doozy- I got a web cam and have it set up taking pictures of my patio every 2 minutes in an attempt to spot him eating the food.  I also got a humane trap and caught an orange cat the first night, but I have decided to not set it again until I see Bailey eating the kitty buffet on the web cam (if that ever happens).

But as I have processed my feelings throughout this I have learned some important lessons:

1. I now have a glimpse of how God feels about His lost children.  This devastation and frustration is only a shadow of how God feels about His lost children.  Every time I call Bailey and he doesn't respond, that must be how disappointed God feels when we don't respond to His calling.  The desperation I feel for Bailey to just come home is just a small portion of how much God wants us to "come home".  The longing I have for Bailey to be here in my arms is the longing God has to have us within his loving embrace.  He knows "the outside world" is enticing and exciting but He wants you home with Him.  If you don't know God, if you feel "lost",  I am begging, pleading you...God desperately wants you to come home.  He wants to take care of you and love you.  If you want to know God I would be more than happy to introduce Him to you.  I still don't completely know God, but I am getting there.  I would love to share with you what I do know.  Most importantly, the joy I imagine I will feel if Bailey ever comes home is indescribable and would be only a whisper compared to the celebration in heaven when one of God's children "comes home".  Perhaps God is trying to prepare my heart for more missions work?

2. I don't trust God enough.  When Bailey first went missing I searched and searched, but when I didn't find him I turned to prayer.  I asked everyone I knew to pray for Bailey to come home- including the cable guy and other random strangers.  My prayers for him were almost like a constant reel running over and over throughout the day.  But by Monday when Bailey had not come home I turned frantic and felt like God didn't hear me.  I turned into a psycho mommy and bought web cams and traps and only trusted my abilities.  I gave up on God.  I do this in a lot of areas in my life and it almost always leads to heartbreak and pain.  I don't know why my faith is so weak sometimes.

3. Hope is hard and I have no patience.   People always say "don't lose hope" for all kinds of situations.  But "Hope" itself is a hard thing to have.  That longing for the day things will change.  I can imagine the hope cancer patients must have.  I witnessed the hope thousands of missing pet owners have seeing the packed bulletin boards in vets offices, petsmart and the shelters.  And the hope of ALL the animals at the shelters.  There were so many kitties there with nothing but hope.  Hope that someone will take them home and make them happy.  Hope of all the dogs barking anxiously hoping for a home with a yard to run around in and an owner that can be his best friend.  (PSA: If you are thinking about getting a dog or cat, please visit a shelter!)  Hope is one of those things that ebbs and flows.  It gets you up and keeps you going but it is  also so exhausting.   Wikipedia says of Hope "Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best"  When do you give up hope?  I can only think of one instance you should literally NEVER give up hope- Hope in the Lord.  But for these earthly experiences should you ever give up hope?  Hope is frustrating and exhausting.  But if you have ever had to have hope for a long time period over a very uncertain situation, you will know what it means.  The hope builds you up but at the same time wrecks you.

I want to bring the merriment back to Christmas.  I was going to put up my tree and go have fun at all these holiday parties, but I'm just not myself right now.  I am a distracted shadow of myself.  Last weekend I went to a little get-together and my friends could tell and they knew I was not myself.  I have another party to go to Friday.  I am scared because I am not as close to these people and if I am my quiet distracted self, they may think I am a b*tch.  But I need to get out of the house.  I feel like I am losing my mind over this.

1 comment:

AuntBT said...

I'm so sorry. I know animals are our babies. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.