In the last years before my divorce, my cats (I have two) brought joy and comfort. As a breadwinner mom it seemed that everything in my life – work, kids, husband, dogs, the marriage itself – demanded something of me. Except my independent cats. Their antics made me laugh, and their warmth and weight nearby helped me relax and get to sleep at night.
They’ve continued to be the least demanding presence in my life after divorce, but on the Friday before Christmas that changed. I arrived home from the grocery store (late night to avoid the crowds shopping for Christmas dinner). The boys immediately told me they thought my cat Curveball had broken his leg.
When I saw him sitting – very still and swollen – in the middle of the floor, I knew something wasn’t right. He wasn’t at all his usual perky, energetic self. If it had been daytime I would have called my vet immediately, but it was 10pm on a Friday night. The practical side of me wanted to avoid the emergency vet fees, and the selfish part of me didn’t want to be up all night when I had Christmas gifts to wrap.
I called the animal ER, asking about treating a broken leg. They said it would be at least an hour before they could see him, so I decided to watch and wait. Maybe we could deal with this in the morning. I unloaded my groceries and prepared to start wrapping presents.
A little worry kept nagging at me, though, and I continued to check on Curveball. I couldn’t find him in his usual hiding places but finally found him on my bed in his usual sleeping spot. Oh, good, I thought, he’s making himself comfortable for the night.
But as I walked over to him, a thought came from out of the blue: He’s dying.
My logical self fought it, but – with encouragement from my youngest son – I decided to take him to the ER. Thank goodness I trusted that intuition.
When we arrived, the vet tech checked him over. He didn’t have a broken leg—he had a blocked urinary tract, a life-threatening condition. He would have been dead by morning if I hadn’t taken him to the ER.
Of course, there’s a lot more to the story, but this week Curveball received a clean bill of health. He is once more my perky, energetic delight and the source of much joy.
In the days since these events, I’ve thought often about that little intuitive voice. Where did it come from? Why did I pay attention this time when I’ve so often let practicalities or not wanting to know dictate my actions in the past?
Here are some thoughts about why I did listen this time:
- Deciding to divorce was the first time in a long time that I’d honored my own small voice, the one that said I was dying in the marriage.
- Since the divorce, I’ve begun a regular meditation practice which I think is what helped me pay attention when I received the thought about my cat.
- And meditation is continuing to help me listen to other intuitive thoughts that seem to be coming now that I am still enough to hear.
I’m grateful to that voice every time Curveball rubs my leg, jumps in the bed, or purrs from across the room (he’s loud). He’s a tangible reminder of the benefits of learning to trust my intuition.