If you've been around me the last several days, you may have noticed that I have not been myself. You might have wondered why I am quieter than usual, less jovial, a little aloof. There is a reason, and it is probably not at all what you may be thinking.
It's not PMS. It's not stress. It's not work or family or church or the economy or politics. No one has died... that I know of. I am not sick, unless you count sick with worry.
The reason is that my heart hurts. Please don't feel bad - you couldn't possibly have known because I wouldn't have allowed it. I tend to keep my pain private. Others don't always know what to do with it when you share it, and the last thing you want when you are hurting is more reasons to hurt.
Q, my eldest domestic short-haired feline, is missing. He got out on Thanksgiving day, and he hasn't returned. He is 15 years old, and he has resided with us his entire life. He has never been outside because he is terrified of outside. And for the last several days he has been alone and scared and cold and hungry and thirsty and OUTSIDE.
Q is just an ordinary cat, just like I am an ordinary woman. He's not breathtakingly handsome. He's not dazzlingly brilliant. He's not a death-defying acrobat. He's just a cat. A cat that sits on whichever part of you feels bad when you are sick. A cat that sleeps in the bends of your body at night, stealing all your body heat. A cat that has been known to fall asleep sitting on the arm of the sofa and then fall off. A cat that eats only cat food, if you can believe it.
He's a cat that tries to stow away in my suitcase when I travel and then cusses me out for several hours when I return. He's a cat that nags me to come to bed when he is ready to retire. He's also a cat that didn't leave my side for two weeks when I suffered a miscarriage. He's proof that ordinary can be special.
After searching the entire house, we spotted him in the side yard Thursday evening, and he deftly disappeared when we tried to scoop him up. We've done all of the usual things to try to get him home, and a few not so usual. Is it a sin to pray about a missing cat? Maybe. I think God will overlook my trivial nature this time.
I did not tell you about this before because every time I started to say, "My cat ran away," it sounded a bit like "the dog ate my homework" in my head. It seemed trite and dumb. And I didn't want to be laughed at. I still don't, although I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear you laughing at this very moment.
Just... be patient. I'll be fine. I'm always fine. And, please... if you can't say nothin' nice, don't say nothin' at all.