Have you ever felt alone? Loneliness is something we all experience from time to time during our life’s journey. Where it stems from can vary- maybe you are becoming an empty nester for the first time, or moving away (new kid on the block syndrome) or have suffered the loss of a companion. Maybe you have even been hurt or abandoned. Maybe you long for good friends to share life with. Whatever the circumstance, feeling lonely is a pretty common thing (I guess you could say we are not really alone, as others experience it too ;)).
I have experienced that lonely feeling several times in the past year. One such time that comes to mind is after my dog died in late July of 2012. Actually the story of Kassie’s sudden death and then the miracle of births to follow was my very first blog post and part of the inspiration in starting this blog. If you want to read the 2 part story to my first blog posts, click HERE.
If you are an animal lover, you will understand what a companion our pets can be. People come and go, more often than not people are too busy to be there for us like a pet is. Our pets are our 24/7 companions. Kassie was always a comfort to have in the home. She loved to be near her family. She loved to lay in the kitchen and watch me cook. She loved to sun bathe with me in the summer and eat popcicles (I always brought one out for her too and she would LICK hers and not chew it :)). And she loved to take walks. She especially loved to take walks with me in the snow! It was kind of a tradition for her and I to go out (especially around the holidays) and trudge through the silent streets of our neighborhood together in that magical fluffy white stuff we both loved.
With Kassie I never had to walk alone. I enjoyed having a walking companion- especially when it was dark out. She made me feel safe and she also just made walks more fun with her enthusiasm (she was an Australian Shepherd). After Kassie died, I wasn’t looking forward to starting the new routine of going it alone. However, God in His grace (and with a sense of humor too) took care of that for me. :)
Just 2 months before Kassie passed, a cat colony had seemingly appeared out of nowhere in our neighborhood. If you have been with me for awhile now, you are familiar with my cat stories (if not, just look up the cat colony tab on my site, or watch cat colony videos on my YouTube channel). There were all of these homeless (mostly feral) cats running around (some were kittens). While these cats were scared because they were not used to human contact, it became evident after awhile that some of them were lonely too. They longed for companionship. I feel that God knew exactly what he was doing when he allowed this endearing little colony of kitties in to my life. He knows the future , and was preparing me for the loss of both my dog, and my favorite cat 2 months after that. I didn’t know what was going to happen down the road, but He did-and He did not leave me all alone.
By the time Kassie had passed I had been working with the colony at least 2 months, and several of the cats had started to trust me and bond with me. When Kassie was buried, guess who sat right by my side in the back yard as I mourned? The colony cats.
As for those walks- I wasn’t alone there either. In fact this is where the story gets funny :D. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I took off on my walk I was not alone after all. It turns out I had a parade of kitties following me! HA! I found out when a neighbor lady started waving and called me over to chat. When I stopped to chat she asked me if I often take my cats for walks. I looked behind me, and there waiting patiently for me at the curb and in the street (we live on a dead end road so there isn’t much traffic), were 4 cats. They didn’t trust the neighbor lady, so they kept their distance, but they were lying/sitting behind me like a loyal dog would. I smiled and told the lady they weren’t my cats, really. They were part of this feral colony. I must have chatted with the lady for 20 min. and those cats stayed there until I walked across the street to my own yard (in which they followed me home).
That was the start of me, an apparent pied piper of sorts, and a little parade (or entourage if you will) of kitties that would follow (and STILL follow) me wherever I walk outside. The only issue with that is that I get concerned for their safety, so I have to be careful where I walk. I suppose they would follow me anywhere! At one time (when the colony was larger last Spring/Summer) I would have as many as 8-9 cats walking with me (usually single file behind me!). Since then about 4 have been adopted and 2 left one day and never came back. The number has been reduced to 3 now. In any case, I have these devoted little friends that accompany me now on not just walks, but outdoor meals, book readings, campfires, etc.
“When you walk through a storm keep your chin up high, and don’t be afraid of the dark. At the end of the storm is a golden sky, and the sweet silver sound of a lark. Walk on through the wind, Walk on through the rain , Tho’ your dreams be tossed & blown. Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone. You’ll never walk alone.”
(those are the lyrics to the song You’ll Never Walk Alone)
If you care to see a 19 sec. video clip that someone caught of the cats walking with me, click HERE or watch below for the YouTube video. There were only 4 following me this day and they weren’t single file, but at least you will get an idea The cats walking with me here are Tangerine (who is now an adopted indoor cat), Apollo, Pumpkin, and Chance. You can hear the nature sounds of birds and crickets in the video too.
You are never really alone my friends. Stay inspired~Rebekah