Monday, June 17, 2013

Zoe - Then and Now

When you nurture a life, whether or not it is that of a child or that of an animal, there comes a time when you sit back and look and say to yourself - Wow!  You cannot help but look back to when that life was first placed in your hands and how far they have come.  

The fact that I am an animal lover is no secret, and I have had animals in my home my entire life. From hamsters to hermit crabs, Guinna pigs, cats, rabbits, dogs, you name it!  

One of the newest members of the family is Zoe. Pictured above is when Zoe first came to my home. She was rescued from a dumpster with her kittens when she was only 7 months old. She was dirty and scared and yet so sweet.  Because of her breed - a Maine Coon - at 7 months old, she was already larger than my other cat (Diva) who was 3 years old at the time. Because of this, it was really hard to see that she was just a young thing herself. So young to have been thrown away like trash. So young to have already had kittens. 

When I look at Zoe, now 2 1/2 years old, and I look at the picture taken when she first arrived, it is clear what a tiny life she was. I remember not being able to keep the food bowl filled. I would no sooner fill the cat's food dish and she would inhale the food - to the point of making herself sick. Clearly she had spent so much time searching for food on the streets that she couldn't trust right away that nobody was going to take her food!

It broke my heart!

I look at her today and after living in her forever home now for nearly two years, she has become comfortable and confident in the fact that there is always food. There is always water. There is no need to inhale the entire bowl out of necessity and fear in not knowing where the next meal is coming from.  She knows there will be a next meal!  She knows fresh water is there waiting for her - whenever she wants it! Even with other animals in the home.

Zoe is still recouping from her trauma on the streets. She is still shy when people come over. She hides. She doesn't trust everyone - but I know that with time she will overcome that as well.

Growth takes time. For both; humans and animals. Learning to trust takes time. Trust that there will always be food. Trusting that even if someone hurt you in the past, there are people in the future who will treat you kindly.

I am so pleased with the progress Zoe has made in her time with me and I know she will continue to unfold as time moves forward. I believe that our animals are predetermined. We don't pick them - they are sent to us.  Sent because we have something they need, but also because they possess something we need.

There is no greater gift - to give - and to receive.