This week for instance - We saw the five month anniversary of Skippy Lou going missing. The search goes on. It's so easy to get caught up in the sad parts and wonder why we haven't found her and if she's okay. But often, I get so caught up in that avenue of thinking that I forget about all of the lost and abused animals that we've been able to save - more than I can even count now.
Just this week, I reunited a lost husky with his daddy as well as a lost wedding ring with it's owner. I was also able to help get a sweet, scared little Papillon sprung from the shelter and on his way to a new, happy home. All because I was looking for Skippy Lou.
Also, a volunteer called me to give me an update on a dog that was found a month ago by a lady who thought that she'd found Skippy Lou. This sweet old lab was found wandering with her paws completely raw. She could barely walk a step further. She was taken to a no-kill shelter and treated for what turned out to be a horrible skin infection in her paws. The volunteer called to tell me that she was about to go home to a new family who would love her for the rest of her days.
And today I realized that I barely took half a breath to celebrate before moving on to more work and worry. That's three lives saved and a sentimental item back where it belongs and I'm all, "Damn...SO much to do! Why can't I get a break?" Something is sooo wrong about that, no?
This brings me to our kitty Mishka:
I love my Mishka. She is my number one snuggle buddy. And lately, she's had some major health scares. Just last month, she went under the knife and the vet feared that he'd find cancer. The Mister and I were scared to death and walked around in a stupor for days, talking about the horrible things that might be about to happen. Luckily, she was cancer free. I remember us feeling very relieved but I don't remember us taking even a smidgen of the time to celebrate that we did to worry. Can you relate at all?
Today, we were back there again. I took Mishka to the vet this morning for another surgery and due to some more health issues, the vet suspected that she might have FIV or Feline Leukemia. We'd had her tested when we rescued her from outside but sometimes, you can get false negatives on the tests. The tone of the vet's voice had me in a daze by the time that I left, passing an owner receiving the body of a euthanized pet as I left the building to await her test results.
I called the Mister and off we went again on the tangent of worry and sadness and fear. We started talking over all of the possible bad endings, both of our voices quivering on the phone. All morning, we walked around thinking and predicting the worse. Then I got the call - Mishka doesn't have either FIV or Feline Leukemia. All of her test results came back fine! Whew! <---let me tell ya. I called the Mister with the good news and then sat only for a couple of minutes before getting up to worry about something else.
And then thankfully, I caught myself. Something said "Celebrate This" and I stopped to realize that so much of our lives are spent worrying and dreading and looking back on sad events. And it's very seldom that we devote as much time to the happy things. Sure, we celebrate the big ones - weddings and birthdays and new babies. But do we stop to celebrate the everyday happy spots? And I started decorating. Because I wasn't sure how to adequately celebrate a disease free Mishka.
I know what you're thinking - Cat's can't read signs. Nor will she understand paper chains. Or the pizza party that the Mister and I will have. They're just gestures of thankfulness and joy. Mindfulness. I think of the sad face of the man who I passed this morning, watching as the vet softly placed his deceased dog in the back of his car and I know that chances are, he wishes that he could go back in time before whatever took his dog happened and just watch his pup run, and his eyes dance when he called his name or scratched behind his ear. To have the time to be mindful and to live in that moment and let his heart be glad.
I can easily look back on loved ones who were once with me but are now gone. Or times when my health was better. Or that snippet of childhood before I learned about grief. If I'd known then to appreciate every second of those times, it would be a wonderful thing. But I can't go back and change that. None of us can. But I can hold myself up to do better now that I realize.
What do you celebrate?
Until next time,
x's and o's,