Friday, November 2, 2012

Gratitude Day 2 - Thankful for Freddie Fang

Say hello to Freddie Fang. Freddie Fang wandered into our yard about five weeks ago and never left. Mind you, we were feeding him and everyone knows if you feed a stray cat they will never leave:) 

Freddie Fang is one cool dude. He's got this long fang that hangs down out of his mouth, hence Freddie Fang or as we sometimes call him, Fang. He is super chill and friendly and has the longest meows ever. He likes pets and likes to sit in your lap. 

Shawn and I decided let's try to keep him and integrate him into our family of two other cats, Lenny Boy and Lucy Poo. We had been talking about getting a kitten but at one point I was like it would be nice to save an older kitty. And what happens an older kitty comes strolling into our backyard. 

Before we could let him in he had to be tested for viruses and parasites and we needed to find out if he was a boy or girl. Lots of fluffy fur hiding the private parts. Took him to the vet, he was all clean and we brought him in. 

Knowing that it's not a good idea to just throw cats together we put him in our bedroom with a litter box in the master bath and that's where he's been hanging out for about four weeks. Over the last four weeks we had tried integrating him with the other cats. Lots of yowling, hissing, fear and anxiety ensued. At first I thought Freddie Fang is being aggressive towards the other cats. Wanting to chase and back them into corners. On Monday, he chased Lenny Boy and got him cornered and the screaming coming out of Lenny Boy was just awful. I was like this just isn't going to work.

I was worried. Worried there would be a fight and that would set a precedent that fighting would be ok. Worried that Lenny Boy would always be scared and not be his sweet, chill self anymore. Worried that Lucy Poo would go hide somewhere and we'd rarely see her again. So over the course of the last four weeks I never fully embraced the idea of adding Freddie Fang to the mix 100%.

You see I liked the dynamic the way it was. Lenny and Lucy and their antics. I was attached to that dynamic. And remaining attached to that dynamic has been causing suffering in the form of anxiety. Yes, the lesson is coming:)

Yesterday I asked Shawn to try some integration with me not there. As in remove the true cause of anxiety that's projecting it throughout the household and see what happens. And guess what, it wasn't so bad. Yeah there was still hissing and growling but no fights. Yeah Lucy was still hiding but she and Lenny Boy both recovered fine. We did it again later when I was home and Freddie wasn't aggressive at all. It was Lenny Boy being a pussy (pun intended and sorry for the language, I absolutely couldn't resist!). Jees, did I raise my boy kitty to be a pussy and not stand up for himself? Hmmm ... I think so. Thankfully I don't have kids. God knows what kind of issues they would have!

My awakening that I seem to be causing more anxiety than the cats themselves and the fact that I have been attached to the current dynamic led to a decision. Freddie Fang is staying. The dynamic will change. It would eventually one way or another. I am releasing attachment and in doing so am also releasing anxiety. 

So today I am grateful for Freddie Fang for reminding me that attachment causes suffering and that I can change that. I am grateful to that fluffy cat for reminding me that change is gonna happen and you just gotta deal with it (you would think I would know this by now!!). 

This makes it's official ... welcome Freddie Fang Shabibi. 

1 comment:

Leslie in Adams Morgan said...

great post, mina ... and not only because it's about cats and not only because you decided to keep freddie fang, but mostly because I learned a lesson about myself through your learning a lesson. thanks for that.