The Human Side of Jelly Bean

A lot has happened since we spoke last.  A week ago, I began my trek down south and have landed back in Virginia a week ago Sunday.  It was a good trip. We made it in 10 hours, including the slight GPS mistake on parkways.  Did you know that you couldn’t take moving trucks on parkways?

I was most worried about my cat Jelly Bean and that worry was enhanced by her behavior at the old apartment.  I locked her in the back room as the guys came to load the truck.  I opened the door to let her investigate and much to her feared surprise, there was nothing to explore. The place was empty and she didn’t know what to do. It echoed. We laughed and she freaked.  She had nowhere to hide.  That behavior made me wonder how she would do on the trip.  It was time to find out.  I gently placed Jelly in the security of her crate and we got on our way.

Turns out, she is more human than I thought. I wasn’t sure how she would travel but she did great.  She was slightly concerned in the beginning and made that known through her voice and wide eyes. However after she buried herself under the fleece I placed in her crate, she was just fine.  It’s taken Jelly Bean some time to get use to her new room but she’s doing ok.  She won’t come out of the room right now and honestly, I am not sure I want her out all together.  The people I am staying with have two dogs and Jelly hasn’t been around them before.  She will be frightened and that will make me frightened.  She is frightened by unknown noises outside of the room and hides under the dresser. (How she gets herself under that thing, I may never know.) That exchange of noise and fear happens behind closed doors so I know it will be more difficult if she were in open territory, with more places to hide and more uncharted waters to wade through.  Until then, she watches the closed door until someone she knows comes in.

Inside the room, she is almost herself.  One thing I noticed is that she is a bit more “clingy”.  If I am in the chair working on the computer, she starts patting me on the leg with her paw.  If I am on the bed, she jumps on the bed and stays until she is hungry.  I am her familiar voice, a familiar sound.   I give her a little more love, scratches, comfort and catnip toys.  What she doesn’t realize just yet is that she is home.  She is back in the state where she spent eight years of her life.  But that is the physical state.  What about her mental and emotional state?   That is going to take some more time.

How far off is my sweet kitty from being a human?

I’ve been home for a week and through this time, I realize that things have changed.  I have changed.  The physical part of me landed smoothly in the place I call home, but the emotional and mental part of me landed in pretty rough waters.  I am in a place I’ve known for 41 years, lived for 36 years, and cherished my entire life thus far.  I am with friends who I’ve known for 17 years, missed my best friends who I’ve cherished for 10-12 years, welcomed by family who I’ve loved for a life time.  What’s wrong?

I graduated from seminary five years ago and a lot has happened since then.  I went on a journey that took me places I never even imagined: called to a church in Massachusetts, served diligently for 5 years, laid off due to budget cuts, moved back to Virginia without a job.  That experience and the events that happened in-between, changed me and I am not the person I was before graduation.  I am not the person people knew before I moved away.  Those observations came into being this week when I realized it’s going to take more than a physical landing or a comforting fleece to bring a healing peace in my heart.  A lot happened while I was gone and I will never be the same.  Where did I go?  Where am I at?

I want to hide under the dresser. I don’t want to face some of the reality I saw this week, reality that I didn’t expect to take place.  It means more work. It means more work that will need to be done so I can see beyond the room and out into the world that I haven’t seen in a long time, some of a world that I haven’t met yet.  I am tired of the work. Why can’t I just lay back and let all that is flowing in my head drip out so that I can rest?

I am thinking about Jelly Bean. I am protecting her by keeping her safe in the room. I don’t like animals fighting or even making fighting noises (hisses or growls).  But in that protection, she will never be able to see all that she can do.  I don’t know.  She’s safe. I’m safe.  What’s wrong with that?

How far is my sweet kitty from being a human?

Processing and Discerning on the Journey

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