Mia’s Story, Part 2

When I finally got Mia home (and no old people were injured in the making of part one, by the way) she spent the first several weeks mostly under my bed.  Once, she darted out the side door as I was opening it and fled into the bushes behind our house.  I was devastated.   How could she so mistrust me?  After trudging back and forth through thick brush, I finally spotted her, but she kept her distance.  I kept talking to her.

She didn’t come in that night, and  I did a lot of crying and praying.  Would she survive?  What if she never came home again?  But, the next morning she was wandering around the bushline in the back, so I left an opened tin of tuna for her.  Still, she would not come in the open door.

She would get so close and then dash away in fright.  Not even placing the tuna in the entrance could lure her inside.   We were all a big bag of toys–waiting, baiting, anticipating–holding our breath, blending in with the coat hangers; flies on the wall.  Sam Fisher would be so proud.  But she’d get as close as the threshold, hovering over it until the sound of our sweat dripping into our eyes would send her skittering back into the bush.

Later that evening I walked into the kitchen and there she was, sitting on the window sill looking in.  I could not believe it.  When she saw me she fled, but I took the screen off and left the window opened wide.  Then, I waited.

Before long she’d leapt through the window, and back into the house.  We were thrilled!  And so was she.  She purred and pranced around, as though  home at long last.  After that she resorted to my bedroom only when visitors showed up, and to sleep every night.  Eventually she got used to us and the other pets, but she still escaped every now and then.

 

One time, when I opened the car port door, she dashed out from her hiding place in the closet.   I chased her around the car and into the back yard, but she stopped a safe distance away, threw up her head and meeowed loudly.  Then, she sauntered off.  She wanted me to know she was coming back–but I cried just the same.  I waited and waited–and just before nightfall, she came running in through the open door.  She was even more affectionate after that.

Every night, now, she sleeps at my feet, and when I wake up in the morning most of the time she’s curled around my head.  She talks to me often.  Tells me amazing tales of adventures in the wild yonder of our backyard bushes.  Laments that she must be an inside cat.  And wonders if we could get more tuna.  She loves it here, she really does, and she’s totally comfortable around us.

But she’s still so afraid.  If the doorbell rings; if someone is over; if there is a sudden loud noise she’s up the stairs and under the bed in mere seconds.  She has no reason to be afraid, but she is.

And when we moved a year and a half ago, I had to drug her to get her into the carrier.   She was terrified for the first little while, but thankfully, has never ventured outside.  She runs away when I open doors, but spends most of her time looking out of windows.  I wonder what she’s thinking.

I’m thinking she’s like a lot of us.  Life has made us afraid of some things and we hide under the bed when we could be taking full advantage of our surroundings.  We take flight at the slightest disturbance; even with loved ones close by.  We keep a safe distance.

But, oh!  How we long to be out there–how we want to do so much more living than we know how.

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