My Grandpa Eddie brought home a stray cat for me when I was 12 years old. The little grey and white stripped kitten jumped in his truck when he was at the dump getting rid of some stuff from our garage. I named her Callie and she was my very first pet. Well, first pet that was just mine anyway.
My Grandma thought it was a bad idea and I remember locking my door at night to make sure no one bothered Callie or took her away, not that my Grandma would have done it anyway. I knew I didn’t want to let her go. She seemed like the most important thing in the world. None the less, Grandma didn’t care for the cat or so she claimed.
I remember hearing my Grandma one day in the living room talking to someone. When I went into the hallway, I realized it was the cat. She was telling the cat how pretty it was and how much she loved it, the whole time she was petting it while Callie purred in he lap. I pounced (Get it?) on the opportunity to catch my Grandma treating the cat nicely and when I jumped out of the hallway, she immediately stopped playing with the cat and pushed it to the floor.
For years, I just thought that was funny but all day today I was thinking about it and I actually was pretty curious as to why she didn’t want to acknowledge she liked the cat in front of people. I came up with a lot of ideas but most of it was probably pretty far off base. So definitely no reason to list them here.
Then I started thinking about some recent things that have been going on in my life and I think I have the cat thing figured out. At least, as to why I held onto that particular memory for so long. I think I thought my Grandma was afraid to love it. How does that even make sense? Well, it’s scary to think about loving someone that you know won’t be in your life forever and pets don’t live that long.
This made me sad because it made me think that there isn’t a time I could remember that my Grandma ever seemed to take a chance. She seemed about as safe as one person could be. I just don’t think that could have been very fulfilling for her.
Then I realized that I was being blind to my Grandma’s life and how many chances she took everyday. She took a chance on bringing four girls into her home after she had raised one of her own. She took a chance on letting me keep my cat. She took a chance on me everyday of my life. She did so much for us that seemed to go unnoticed and I hope she knows how much I appreciate her because I’m sure I didn’t say it enough.
I know that it’s hard for me to truly care about something, especially if it’s a risk. I know how scary it is to take chances. But I learned that I don’t like regrets and I don’t like wondering what could have happened if I would have just done one thing a bit differently. Everything that has happened to me, good or bad, has happened for a reason and has gotten me to where I am today. Regrets are a waste of time.
I take a lot of things for granted and I slip into this mundane existence that is becoming quite boring. I think I just need to start taking more chances, even if they are small ones like petting a cat when I think no one is looking.