I had stopped into Pet Supplies last night to pick up some cat litter for my house kitties. Walked over to the aisle and began reading the many prices and sales that were displayed for cat litter. As I was shopping, trying to make a decision, a young woman (employee) walked up to me and asked me if I was finding everything ok. I sighed. Groaned. Finally my words rolled off my tongue. “I am just trying to make a decision”. She said, “Can I help you with that?”. At first, I was thinking, yes you can help, by just going away and leave me to get this done. Then I stopped, and my thoughts shifted.
My week and day had been yet another challenging one and over filled with too much activity. It was the last day of the week, I was on call at my driving job, and I was running weary.
I got up from my crouched position near the floor, and said, “Yes, you can help!” “Where are all the litter bags or boxes that are on sale?” “Do you have any of those in stock?”
“We don’t”, she said. “Some lady came in and bought them all up”. It was about 5 shelves of different litter, all gone, all on sale. “Bought them all up?”, In curious question, I asked her. A young man at the end of the aisle way was stocking and said something to the young woman (which I didn’t hear) that was helping me . She repeated it to me. “She had 8 cats”, another woman who also worked there, was joining the conversation. “8 cats, that’s allot of cats!”, I said. “Probably a rescue”, I said. The two women nodded their heads. The other woman disappeared into the back room, and the young courteous woman stood near, determined to help me come to a decision.
“8 cats, ok, well, I have 4 cats, so I guess I can’t say too much about her having 8 cats!”, as I chuckled at my on awareness. Chattering on,…..“2 house cats, 2 barn cats,”, I said, “Course I didn’t want those barn cats. “They just show up at my barn”, I said.
Starving to talk to someone and enjoying this young woman and how helpful and kind she was, I began to tell her the story of Kichi and then Mr. Mustache.
I just got a new cat, that I did not want, I told her. He showed up at the barn one day, and I did not feed him for 2 days. I was hoping he would go find another barn. He was very friendly but was very skinny. It was hard to tell how skinny he was under all that fur, but when I laid my hand on his body, I could clearly feel every detail of his rib and his spine.
I am single, I don’t need or want another mouth to feed. I’m struggling as it is! I need someone to rescue me, not rescue yet another cat! I laughed at my predicament. She laughed along with me.
Then I said to her, “Find a man and get married!”. “And make sure he has money!” And if you love him too, then great!” “But find someone who has money, you DO NOT want to be single!” I laughed, and then my face became stern and solemn. I looked directly at her. “I am serious”, I said. She said, “Oh I know, my dad tells me the same thing”. “Really!”, I said. “Well listen to your dad!”. We laughed it off and then I went on to tell my story of Mr. Mustache.
2 days passed, in my hopes he would go to another farm. Then my whole body slumped, and softened in demeanor. “But I couldn’t do it”. “I couldn’t turn him away and he became mine”.
But, it didn’t stop there, I told her. For he was a male and needed to be neutered. I told her that is the first thing I plan for, as I had done with my other barn kitty. I get them neutered or spayed. “No more kittens”, I bellowed at her. She smiled and agreed with me. Listening intently with her body moving to each language my own body spoke. From the emotional expressions of weary, to the frustrated, to the kind hearted. She just had this great energy about her, I couldn’t resist.
I continued on to tell her he needed to be neutered, and I really didn’t have the money for another cat. But, there he was, I had taken him on, and he was just irresistibly cute. I said, “they choose us, these cats that come from who knows where”. My other barn cat was probably dumped, and I believe she was a housecat, before she was a barn cat. She too just showed up one day in the barn. She wasn’t as starving as Mr. Mustache was, and she had no issues, plus when I took her in to be spayed, she had already been spayed. Her heart sank, as I told her how they had probably been dumped. I told her, that most farms take on cats that just show up one day. They choose the people and the farm, whether feral or friendly. The young woman’s face lit up with delight, as she heard of the stories of my barn cats and the lives on a farm.
I began to wrap up the story, as I felt I had taken up enough of her time and I had to move onto the next duty of the night. “Do you want to hear the best part of the story?”, I said. I told the story of Mr. Mustache on my FBook page, and the struggles I had taking care of yet another cat. I just did not have the money to do it all. And I had to have him neutered, soon! So, two people from my FBook page donated the money so that I could get him neutered. “Isn’t that awesome!”, I said, “They did!”, she said. “That is so wonderful” “You don’t know how much that means to me!” “It restores my faith in humanity”. “I know”, I said. She put her hand to her chest, and she almost shed a tear of joy, by the story of Mr. Mustache. “That means so much to me”, she said. “You don’t know how much that meant to me”, she said. “Especially today and how the world is today”. I said, “I know”. “I am so glad the story of Mr. Mustache helped you!”. Now you can tell others on your FBook page all about a woman who came into the store and told you of the story of her barn cat, Mr. Mustache. She smiled and offered to carry my cat litter I just purchased, to my car.
The impact of one cat, Mr. Mustache upon my world, my Fbook world and the world of this young woman.
But, in the moments following this simple exchange of conversation with this young woman, and the story of Mr. Mustache, I realized, it is not the # of followers I have, or how many people I know in the society of life, it is the impact I make in the world around me. It is just being myself that I make that impact. And with no expectations of what I should or should not be doing, as I ran a simple errand, I was able to be myself, and tell the story of being myself. All from a cat that chose me, simply because I am who I am. And in this story of Mr. Mustache I realized that is when life is at it’s best. When I am just being me, doing what I do, with no expectations of the moments. Living life, as I live it, being me.
By Diana Wanamaker
Copyright Feb. 24, 2018
All Rights Reserved