Papercut and colored pencil art by Sheryl Aronson X 5

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Quiet Place of Your Own

Last week, I took my new kitten to the vet.  I did not know if she had gotten any vaccines yet, so we needed to start at  the beginning.  That meant first testing for feline leukemia, which, thank God, was negative. She got poked in one leg to draw some blood to be tested, then a little later, got poked in the other leg for the vaccine.

When we got home, Camille went straight to her food, which she tends to visit frequently throughout the day.  She lay down next to me on the couch, then she jumped down and disappeared.  I found her in our walk-in closet, under my husband's dresser, behind some shoes.  There she stayed until the afternoon of the next day.  She wouldn't eat anything, even her favorite tuna flavored cat treats.  She adopted my husband's plush slippers to lie on.  No meows, no purring, just stared back at us when ever we went to check on her.  She did come out to use her litter box in the morning, but went right back under the dresser.

After my lunch the day after the vet visit, I tried giving her the treats that were still sitting on the floor where I left them.  Camille slowly took one, then the other, and ever so slowly emerged from under the dresser.   I carried her to her food, where she ate a little, then lay down on the couch to sleep.  By evening, she was her usual playful self. meowing, purring, and climbing all over us.  

Camille wasn't feeling well after her ordeal, and went to find a quiet, secluded place, where she could rest until she felt better.  Cats instinctively do that, people do not.  We often just keep doing what we are doing, ignoring the signals our body is sending us.  Everyone needs time out sometimes.  Our lives are busy, we are constantly bombarded by the demands of others, as well as the demands of our own bodies.  Having a place to escape to can give us a chance to recover and refresh.  Even if the problem or the pain is still there, it may be easier to handle after a break.

Look around your home.  Where can you escape to?  Do you have a favorite room or a certain chair. where you are most comfortable?  The ideal place would be away from the flow of traffic in your home, where you can have some quiet time to yourself.  Maybe you can have your favorite chair moved to a more secluded spot, or, if you are lucky, maybe your family is understanding enough that you can ask them to leave the area for awhile, or at least be quiet and leave you alone.  Designate a place of your own where others will let you be.

There are many things we can learn from animals. They are so much more sensible than we humans.  Imitate a kitten.  Give yourself a time out in a quiet place.

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