My name is Carley and I am a Crazy Cat Lady.
I never fully understood the negative stereotypes associated with Cats. To me, cats have been an emotional comfort in times of stress or pain and entertainment the rest of the time with their hilarious antics.
As I have gotten older, I have embraced the “crazy cat lady” label as can be seen in about every other picture on my Instagram account. My one defense is that the reason we have more than one cat is that my husband works outdoors and has brought a charming, all-trouble, young boy-cat, named Chewy into our home.
Whatever. I won’t apologize for loving them.
My first adopted cat is named Belle. As my favorite Disney movie sings in her theme song: “She’s a beauty, but a funny girl.” She is petite and pretty, with all-grey fur and green eyes. She is dainty, sophisticated and likes things on her own terms. Belle is a rescue from a local shelter and as far as I know, has had a pretty difficult life.
Belle is my scaredy-cat.
She does not like strangers or sudden movements or being picked up and held. Belle loves me, my husband, my brother, who lived with me for a while, and my mother. She tolerates the other cat who she begrudgingly mothers even though he quickly grew to be bigger than her. If anyone else enters the house, she will run and hide underneath our guest bed.
She does, however, have a vocal, uncharacteristically deep growl. Our neighbor’s cats will peek into our windows from the outside. Belle has some kind of territorial mindset as I will hear her growl at the window, facing off with a cat outside.
Belle will make her tail big and stand up on her back legs. She will growl and bat at the window aggressively. What amuses me so is that she is such a scaredy-cat in the rest of her life, but in this instance, she acts all big and tough, from the safety of behind the glass.
I see similarities in life.
Like Belle, my scaredy-cat, we act all tough and like we have our lives together. But it is really glass protection. In some exterior layer of ourselves, we feel safe because we have wealth and insurance policies and believe the lie that nothing bad will ever happen to us or those we love.
In a deeper layer of our being, if we are honest, we admit we are terrified. We only act a certain way when we feel absolutely safe enough to do so.
But what if we really told fear off, and embraced bravery as our own? What might we accomplish then?