I had a friend who claimed she was clairvoyant. Let’s just say for the sake of this post that she was, because I’m on my way to making a point and you don’t have to have an ability to see the future to know that.
And I’d say from my experience that my friend had a gift of extraordinary perception. She saw things differently than most others, and it was always interesting to hear her take on things. It often led to insight because she was looking at life from a different angle.
But my friend also adopted nine cats in a serial fashion, not at the same time, for her kids. Why did she need nine cats? Because they couldn’t keep them alive. I have a niggling memory that maybe only eight died and one got sent to a farm to live. And I mean like legitimately a farm, not a euphemism for the farm in the sky. It’s possible that there were a couple that were with her when she moved to the city. So, giving her the benefit of the doubt, perhaps six died over ten years.
The cats died for various reasons. Some because they lived next to a greenbelt and didn’t keep the cats indoors so sooner or later a predator of some sort would disappear them. Others because when they weren’t at home, they sometimes took the cats on their boat, which exposed the cats to all sorts of environmental challenges and dangers. In one big eagle’s nest near the British Columbian waterways where they’d adventure, the game warden found 30 collars for small animals. My friend’s husband remarked “Do you know how many cats don’t wear collars?”
In another funny story, one of their cats tried to jump off the boat when they were docked, and aimed for a metal piling. The cat reached the piling, but without the ability to sink her claws into the metal, started slowly sliding down towards the water. Thankfully, that poor cat was rescued by my friend’s husband a foot or two before it hit the water.
Safe to say, my friend was a well-intended person but their family lifestyle wasn’t conducive to keeping the cats they loved alive. At one point, the local pet adoption agency banned them from getting any more cats. So, the next one she got was named Friday. Named for the day my friend found the pet mobile adoption van out and about, and was able to adopt a cat since the van wasn’t connected to the agency records.
All this leads me to my question. How can you be clairvoyant and also serially adopt six or more cats all destined to doom?
Here’s the answer I’ve landed on after pondering this question. We all enter this world with gifts and weaknesses. The weaknesses often show up as inclinations we need to temper. If we don’t temper our inclinations, they will overshadow our gifts.
I’ve posted a companion piece to this one on my personal blog about the elements that make up a story: Telling a Good Story. I also post on Mondays at the Heart of the Matter blog. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @wynneleon
(featured photo at Pexels)