Last week I did some cat-sitting for a friend. I didn’t stay at her place, but I did drive down to her house every other day (as agreed upon) to replenish the food and water, clean out the litter box, and take her mail and any packages in the house. I have done that a couple other times this year, and always enjoy doing it for her. She gives me money for gas and my time.
Last Sunday, the first day, both Duke and Duchess put in an appearance. Duke sat on the living room rug watching me; Duchess saw me and promptly hid. The cats don’t know me because I haven’t spent a lot of time around them, so that reaction was expected. It would have been nice if they’d been more sociable, but knowing cats, I decided it would be better to let them alone, than try to force the issue. (How many readers know “forcing” a cat to do anything doesn’t work?) It wasn’t really my job to convince them to be sociable, anyway. It was my job to make sure they had enough food, clean water, and a clean litter box.
Any time I cat-sit for my friend, I gain these insights:
- I practice the mental discipline of simply doing the job I’m there to do. It’s not my job to criticize the cat food or the litter she buys, or to judge anything at all. Somehow in that time and space, it’s easier to see that fact, and to realize there’s other areas in my life I can apply that discipline to. It’s all too easy for me to say, “That person should do this” or, “Well, if that were me, I’d do that.” People don’t need me to be the judge and jury of their lives.
- My friend says it’s a blessing to know someone who she can trust in her house who likes cats. It is a blessing for me to be trusted. To be able to go in and out of another person’s house and know that person trusts you is freedom in a way. It’s also responsibility. But then, freedom and responsibility have a way of going hand in hand.