A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen
Patience is not something most people would associate with me. I like things to be done, done right, and done quickly. Off the “to-do” list, and I’m on to the next item. A useful skill in the business world, but not so much when you’re working with raising a feral cat. Little feral Annie doesn’t give a damn that I want her to like me, to climb on my lap and let me pet her. It’s Annie’s way or the highway, from her perspective. For much of the last year, she has chosen to hide. The cubby above is one of her favorites. And I have waited, not terribly patiently, hoping that she will climb out of her hiding places and be more Annie in front of the world.
And the other night it happened.
This isn’t a great photo, but it is remarkable. Annie is always in or under something, never on something out in the open, but there she was the other night. On the sofa, no hiding. Amazing.
She has been experimenting lately with coming nearer to me and my husband. She’ll brush the chair I’m siting in. Every evening she comes to eat some kibble from my hand. She spends a lot of time watching me and the distance at which she watches gets closer every week. She even sniffs my hand now when I extend it, rather than running away. She knows I won’t pet her until she invites me, and she hasn’t invited me yet. She does, however, allow a pet or two when we put down her food in the morning. We’ve struck that bargain and she seems okay with it. This evening she was even chasing a catnip pillow around in the living room, entertaining herself out where everyone could watch.
And so we wait patiently for little miss Annie to manifest herself to the world. Little by little, our teacher of patience rewards us by showing more of herself.
Someday, maybe she will even climb in my lap and let me pet her like the other cats. Maybe. I’m waiting, and trying to be patient.