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What I learned about life from my Rescue cat.

Lessons on Mindfulness from a Narla Elizabeth

By Emma WhitePublished 2 years ago 8 min read

"Way down deep, we're all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them." – Jim Davis

Meet Narla Elizabeth White; she is my beloved four-legged furry baby. Before life as a slightly chubby house cat and designated animal therapist for my clients. She was on the street AND A STRAY.

One morning close to Christmas, my work colleague and I had to go out together to check in on her Crisis housing clients she managed. Her clients' nature means she has to have someone with her when she does crisis housing inspection. We went, as we were the only two people in our little office. We got to the units the clients were living in and saw a group of these clients in the little "courtyard" backs to us with sticks, tire irons, and other things, clearly trying to kill something cornered that they were yelling at.

Naturally, we had to look into this to make sure it was not another human or something, as this behavior was pretty aggressive. We spotted this poor skinny, hurt, mangy, dirty, little teenage kitten. She was so scared. My college and I told them to stop and asked what was going on. They told us any cats around there are killed because they are covered in fleas, and they don't want fleas or cats annoying them. I got sad by this and asked them to stop. The vet is literally beside them; they could take the cats there to see they could be rehomed. Killing them was mean and lazy.

We walked over and saw this small, skinny kitten, so terrified, and stood in the corner shivering.

My heart broke for the kitten; I pushed past the people and bent down and picked her up. Luckily she didn't even try to scratch me. She just shivered in, waiting for me going to hurt her. But I was not going to, but she did not know that. Her life thus far had been one of the people hurting her.

We decided to take her to the vet, surgery next door, to see if they could adopt her out to someone.

We went inside, and we put her on the counter, under the bright white lights and clinical area; she looked so much worse. Her coat was terrible; her ears were bald with no hair due to ringworm infestation.

The receptionist said. "Well, this kitten seems to be a female, but know it is Christmas if she is not adopted, in three days, we will have to put her down because we shut over Christmas."

I looked at my college, and my heart sank. I thought

"What if she was not selected?"

So I decided that I would take her home.

"Can I take her? What do I need to do?" I asked the receptionist

She told me I could. However, I needed to think about spaying her unless I wanted kittens, and right now, I was now required to register her, microchip her, and start her needles. I would also have to start treating her ears with no hair on them due to the number of ringworms growing on her head.

At the time, I had no wallet on me, so I had no money to pay for all of the things, and my friend decided to pay for it as a Christmas present. Which was so beautiful. It would take a while to help the kitten, so I went got my wallet and went on my lunch break, and bought her a fluffy bed, toys, water dish, food dish, and fairy lights as it was Christmas.

Then I picked up some wet food and Cat biskets.

I went home and set up her room in a spare room I had and made this magical space.

I then gave my friend some money, as I was not accepting the whole experience as a gift, and went back to collect the new kitten. I had to name her. I decided to call her Narla Elizabeth; due to my love for the Lion King, and Pride and Prejudice. I had a horse, Named Mr Dracy, and now he had his Elizabeth.

I had picked up a cage to transport her home and a litter tray and kitty litter. Once we got home, I let her out, and I took her to her room. I filled up her water, set up the kitty litter, and gave her food that overflowed from her bowl. She just looked at me, and her eyes were watering; I know cats can't cry tears, but it was like they did. I think her eyes were funny from the ringworms, but at this moment, it was like she was crying because she had never been treated like this. She ate a bit and came over and licked my hand, and rested her head on my arm. I felt this overwhelming love, and I also started crying.

And so began the story of Narla Elizabeth and me.

She is a delight, chatty, cheerfully playful, and brings this significant, loveable presence to our home. Before I adopted Narla I did not need a pet, or so I thought, but you have no idea about the life lessons she has taught me. I have so often looked at the little things she does, and somehow she resonates, the teachings of my four years of study to be a life coach. I see lessons from text books, come to life in front of my eyes through this beautiful little stray, who is basically my child.

Every morning she gets up runs around the house, chasing flies, playing with her large amount of toy's. She never wakes up grumpy or moaning about her to-do list. Every day is a new gift in her eyes, and she is just content. She is not like worrying about what's on the to-do-list. She is a very loving creature and wants to be best friends with everyone. If I am on the phone, she wants to talk to the other person at the end of the call and meows until they acknowledge her.

She gets upset by thunderstorms and the vacuum, but once you cuddle her, she settles down. She does not have anxiety after it's over; she keeps going.

I feel like I could learn a lot from her attitude, as could we all. Despite her terrible past, she is happy and loved. We are all capable of being content and destined for a brighter future; it starts with us first, what's our attitude. Secondly, learning to greet each morning with delight and fun makes our own happiness. Practice being friendly and nice to everyone. Practicing not having any preconceived notions about people, no judgment that, might hinder us and stop us from making friends. Talk to everyone. Appreciating every single little moment as it comes and the fun we might find in it. Being courageous and bravely exploring new adventures. Lastly, learning and practicing to find happiness and delight in, every day and a new beginning.

I learned that the unconditional love of pets can heal your soul.

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." –Anatole France

I did not think it needed healing, but I would be lost without her now. Somehow she found fragments of my soul that were floating about somewhere. She fixed it. She is my Companion animal, and she is such a blessing in my life. She helps me through life with her empathy, sharing of friendship, and unconditional love for who I am as a person, regardless of how bad my day has been.

I highly encourage anyone seeking some friendship and needing mental health support to go out and find an animal friend. I see her heal clients just by sitting with them, making them feel loved.

She has taught me that every day is a gift to be unwrapped. To just be happy, carefree, and loving of life.

When things happen to us, just be content and know something is better around the corner.

It is almost like she tells me, " remember to make room."

I need to make room to count my blessings and my loved ones. For me, her life represents the importance of embracing the day; and focusing on all the good in life. To trust that hard seasons in life will end and new ones will begin.

It is so easy to get distracted by all the ups and downs of life. But don't lose sight of the beauty in life. Enjoy the essential things, don't worry, be grateful; life can change in a moment. Narla is proof that one day, your circumstances could be completely different. I encourage others to give second chances, just like how I gave Narla, a second chance. Give not only pets a second chance but give everyone a chance. Give yourself a chance. You never know the lessons and friendships you may discover along the way.

Written by Emma White


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