Fostering kittens for the DSPCA is always interesting but the kitten we took delivery of on last Wednesday has a particularly special story.
Last Monday (13th August), a woman left Edenderry, Co Offaly and drove (without stopping) to Dublin. On arrival and when she got out of her car she was very surprised to hear a cat’s cries seeming to come from inside the engine. She lifted the bonnet and sure enough there was a white and black, quite terrified kitten looking back at her. The kitten had hung on and survived the journey the entire way. Thankfully the driver contacted the DSPCA who took the kitten back to their HQ in Rathfarnham where they checked him out.
Miraculously the three month old kitty survived without injury. When we met him on Wednesday, he was still a bit dishevelled and grimy looking. We took him home for some rest and recuperation.
Although the DSPCA had called him Eden, he was immediately rechristened Scooter in our house and we think this name suits him perfectly. He didn’t take too long to relax and soon was relishing the comforts of a cosy blanket and a safe place to sleep. In the last few days he is regaining his looks as he grooms away the dirt and grime from his engine journey.
Scooter brings with him such a great story of survival, of the kindness of strangers and of hope in the face of the seemingly insurmountable odds. And the amazing thing is that he seems to know how lucky he is and he is so grateful for a second chance. He is the most affectionate cat you could meet.
We are due to return him to the DSPCA for rehoming on Friday! Mmmmmmm… I think this is one kitty foster we may just fail on!
Kittens and adult cats can have a dangerous habit of climbing onto car engines because they (foolishly) consider them warm and safe places to sleep. Most cats would not be as lucky as Scooter was. If you have cats in the vicinity of where your car is parked it is a good habit just to bang the bonnet with your hand before you get into the car. This should help dislodge a sleeping cat. Cats in car engines can be a particular habit of farmyard cats!
I have snapped at the children a little more than I should have, particularly when they mention stuff like new runners or money for some excursion or other. I don’t want to add to his burdens and so don’t talk about my feelings much with him. And so we begin to function on a surface level of false optimism.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am an optimist by nature and believe in the power of positive thinking but it is not always healthy to be dishonest about how you are feeling. In order to heal lower emotions (such as worry) we must first accept and validate the feeling, before releasing it.
But I digress. Back to my gloomy and lonely kitchen table and my shrinking world. After weeks of carrying this aura of worry and unexpressed concern I begin to feel as if my emotions have all become displaced. They are all now just below the surface of my being instead of deep inner recesses where they normally reside.
I have days when I know that if someone says the wrong thing to me I will dissolve into a million pieces. Alternatively if something strikes me as funny, I can become an uncontrollable laughing wreck; frightening to witness and usually ending in tears anyway.
Then last week himself got a great deal on an overnight in a hotel and as it was his birthday anyway we decide to take the opportunity of a break away. This sounds simple, but when you are in the dark place at the kitchen table it can feel frivolous and wrong. But it was his birthday….
I won’t bore you with the details but we had a lovely, quiet and relaxing time. We had time to chat and to laugh. We had a lovely meal, a lie in, huge breakfast and as today is his birthday he chose to stop, on the way back, at a little airport near the hotel where we passed another pleasant hour having coffee while watching tiny aircraft come and go. And we talked some more.
I am telling you this because I think that in the current economic climate it is too easy to forget how vital it is to look after our own mental health. As parents, we put ourselves at the bottom of the priority list. This is not good. Taking time out, not only renews your spirit and energy but it also grants us the gift of perspective. Perspective I had lost from spending too long, pondering life from my kitchen table.
And there was a bonus kicker too…. We both remembered why we fell in love in the first place and why we are married. We won’t leave taking time out for ourselves so long next time!