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Friday, April 22, 2005


running

Kip is a wild girl. She's a cat on the run. She's a frustrating mix of need and paranoia, of "touch me" and "don't you dare." As a kitten, she endured my petting, because she hadn't yet discovered she had a choice. But as soon as she hit open air, she grabbed her independence like a life line and tossed a "see ya" right over her shoulder.

She watches our house from the woods, where she blends easily into the shadows cast by ferns and blackberries. Sometimes, when curiosity draws her from her watching place, she'll leap to the top of the barbecue grill outside our back window and stare at us from behind the safety of glass. But no matter how surreptitiously we creep to the door, no matter who quietly we pull the slider open, when we slip out to greet her, she's as gone as though she never sat there.

When the itch behind her ears finally overcomes her suspicion, Kip permits me to scratch her, but even then--even when I've coaxed her into my arms and I'm speaking to her in my mother-to-baby voice--she keeps one leg poised for launching, and I can feel that every muscle in her lean black body is spring loaded and ready for flight.

I heard her purr only once, on a warm day when my touch eased up on her and the sun wrapped a lulling blanket around her distrust. But she caught herself and stopped. Purring can be intoxicating, and wild cats don't allow themselves addictions.

I saw her this morning when I stepped out the back door. And for about twenty seconds, I thought today was my day. She ran across the grass toward me as though she'd seen a friend. I squatted down and said good morning. "C'mere, little girl ... let me hold you." But just inches from my outstretched hand, she veered off at a 30 degree angle and kept running. I guess she hadn't seen a friend after all.

I wonder how often God scans the woods, hoping for a glimpse of me. And I wonder how often I watch him from the shadows, and shrink back from the tender sound of his Father-to-child voice, and close my eyes to the sight of his outstretched arms. I'm far too independent for my own good, I know that. But I don't want it to be so. There's nothing sadder in the world than a being who won't let love in.

Keep calling my name, Lord. As much as I think I need independence, Father, I need you more.

Tame your wild girl.

12 Comment:

At 4/22/2005 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

And nothing more beautiful and intoxicating than when someone does.

Mdsg

 
At 4/22/2005 5:13 PM, Blogger shannon had this to say ...

You are so right, Mdsg.

 
At 4/22/2005 5:46 PM, Blogger Darlene had this to say ...

She sounds wonderful. I didn't know they wouldn't purr like tame cats. It's like the pride of a wild child.

 
At 4/22/2005 8:11 PM, Blogger ddddddddddddddddddddd had this to say ...

Thank you for your wonderful words. Whenever I am feeling a bit sad, like tonight, a good dose of Windscraps sure makes me realize what a gifted and beautiful life I have with my children and my best friends Fred and Jill. And if I get my CD cut this May, you get a free copy because you inspired me to take that leap. Well, that and Monica entrusting her poems to my musical composition and playing and singing. God blessed me with both of you being part of my life. Thank you and thank Him.

 
At 4/22/2005 8:11 PM, Blogger ddddddddddddddddddddd had this to say ...

Thank you for your wonderful words. Whenever I am feeling a bit sad, like tonight, a good dose of Windscraps sure makes me realize what a gifted and beautiful life I have with my children and my best friends Fred and Jill. And if I get my CD cut this May, you get a free copy because you inspired me to take that leap. Well, that and Monica entrusting her poems to my musical composition and playing and singing. God blessed me with both of you being part of my life. Thank you and thank Him.

 
At 4/22/2005 8:41 PM, Blogger shannon had this to say ...

You must have really, REALLY meant that, Joe :) (Actually, it showed up three times in my mailbox, so I almost said really, really, REALLY ... but that wouldn't make sense to anybody but me.)

You are an encourager, Joe. Thank you for your kind words.

 
At 4/23/2005 9:17 AM, Blogger Holly had this to say ...

Shannon,

You're writing is so beautiful. You have that gift of intelligently writing your words in such a way that the reader feels entranced and drawn into the story as if they actually were in the story themselves.

Nice work! I am bookmarking this site.

- Holly

 
At 4/23/2005 11:46 AM, Blogger shannon had this to say ...

Holly, your picture cracks me up! Love your sense of humor.

Thanks so much for bookmarking me. Hope to talk with you again!

 
At 4/24/2005 8:47 AM, Blogger abi had this to say ...

Shannon,
You are a beautiful writer! Such talent! I wonder the same thing about the Lord, and it brings tears to my eyes as I realize how much I have in common with your dear cat. Thank you for such thoughtful posts!
...And thank you for commenting on my blog. I plan on bookmarking your blog as well!

 
At 4/25/2005 5:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

She looks ferocious! What is it with the black cat being wary of petting?

 
At 4/25/2005 5:14 AM, Blogger Amie had this to say ...

She looks ferocious! What is it with the black cat being wary of petting?

 
At 4/25/2005 9:38 AM, Blogger shannon had this to say ...

Hello Abi! Thanks for coming back. :)

Darlene, you're right. She's a perfect picture of the "wild child."

And Amie, I have no idea why she's so wary, except that she's part manx, and someone told me recently that manx cats are always a tad wild. In her case, it's more than a tad. She's really beautiful, though, and I count those times of trust as true gifts.

 

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