A New World Is Born . . . a World of Surprises

Life is full of surprises.  All sorts of surprises happen every single day. I went down to the laundry room this morning and was surprised to see cat kibble spread all over the floor.  The cat was inventive throughout the night and discovered for the very first time in her 14 years of life that repeated clawing at a tough plastic-fiber cat food bag will spell e-u-r-e-k-a!  Needless to say, when she began her morning yowling for “More food!  More food!” it was her turn to be surprised that she wasn’t being fed on demand — her rotundness being particularly pronounced after her Midnight Kibble Party.

Then it occurred to me that the cat must have been incredibly surprised to discover that my sense of feline-nutritional guilt had kicked into gear when ordering her cat food this last time: I had just switched to a different brand to be delivered — a much healthier option over the cheap, grocery-store brand that I traditionally buy.  And then it was my turn to be surprised to discover that she actually liked the more healthful version over the super-cheap version.

All of these surprises.  Anais Nin wrote: “Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”

And as Tony Robbins says, “Good surprises we like . . . but bad surprises we call problems.  Good point.  Surprises, like friends, represent “a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” I believe that how I embrace or deny surprises in my life defines my life in some small measure.  Am I open to an unexpected moment?  Or am I hunkered down, waiting for the storm to pass until the sky is predominately blue?

If I were to view surprises as friends that add depth and meaning and flavor to my days, then I would welcome them with open arms.  All surprises . . . the good and the bad.

There was one final surprise regarding the Magic Cat-Food-Bag-Turned-Feeder.  I had been surprised and a bit alarmed to see how much food had been consumed by my dear old cat while I was unaware that there had been a breach in security . . . only to discover that my 8-pound dog had been partying with the 17-pound cat — inhaling kibble with the best of felines.

Important EncountersThe moral to the story?  Do not leave temptation in the presence of an ever-hungry cat and a fairly-smart dog.  The other moral?  Be open to surprises.  What I perceive to be a less-than-stellar surprise (aka “problem”) could morph into an amazing journey that leads to “a new world [being] born.”  One never knows when one might be daydreaming or waiting in traffic or lending a hand to someone or doodling in a journal or taking that risk or enrolling in classes or standing in line . . . and encounter a world of incredibly wonderful surprises.  toaster oven

 

One New Thing: allowing the cat to stalk me

My One New Thing today: I allowed the cat to go on a walk with us — my dog and me.

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No, this is not my cat. It is my dog, Valentino.

Normally, I contain the cat to the house when I take the dog for a walk on the trails behind my house.  The thing about this cat is she was raised with a pack of dogs.  In the time she has been living with me, she has had 6 different canine roommates.  She has been observing dog-clan behavior her entire kitten life.  As a result she loves going on walks with whichever dog companion is living with me at the time.

Being on the trails while she is hunting us from behind is disturbing.  I never know when an unleashed dog is going to come bounding up the trail and she will go skittering into the woods.  How would she find her way home?  Is she smart enough to turn back around and march home?  Has she channeled enough of my old rough collie’s Zen in order to pull a Lassie-Come-Home moment?

But today Jane really wanted to join us (Valentino and me) — as evidenced by her running to the door when I picked up the leash.  I thought, What the heck?  We can stay in the neighborhood and she can play tiger-in-the-tall-cool-grass this morning as Val sniffs at every post, tree, blade of grass.

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This is my cat, Jane Eyre.

Well, it is a beautiful day in the neighborhood today, and many neighbors were out tending to their yard work.  As Val and I walked and Jane stalked,  every neighbor commented on how we had a cat lurking behind us.  They all asked, “Is that cat yours?” I guess I never thought of this as being an odd cat behavior, but apparently it isn’t entirely common either.  The things you learn when you take time to reflect on your daily bubble.

As a result of this One New Thing (taking the risk to allow Jane some stalking freedom), I talked to three of my neighbors to whom I rarely ever speak.  It was a nice bonding moment over Jane’s Peculiar Cat Trick.  By being open to changing my routine with my pooch, Jane got to do her wild cat thing and I re-connected with some neighbors.

So, all’s good in the hood!  We all came home and — it being a weekend — we all  had a leisurely breakfast.  As I continue to add One New Thing to the mix, I continue to be surprised at the simple yet sweet consequences.  Who would have thought?