My, how the years have gone by. I remember the days of toddlers and baby gates keeping little feet and hands confined to safe zones. I remember the day that my daughter, two years old and unimpressed, destroyed one that we had recently purchased, much like Godzilla on a stroll through Tokyo. Much older, any many garage sales later, I am back to employing a baby gate. No I haven’t violated my two hands two kids rule. Initially the gate was purchased to keep my son and daughter-in-laws puppy from eating from our cats litter box. These days it is being used to keep that senile old cat from relieving herself in inappropriate places. She has gone through 8 lives already and this is me being benevolent and not relieving her of her last one.
This is a recent development. I guess these things become “developments” even for old people. Fortunately for humans, they make diapers in all sizes. Not so for cats. Several weeks ago, totally unannounced, she began to use our curtains and carpet for her restroom stop. It may be that the curtains were green and the carpet brown and that she’s confused it for the great outdoors. I’m not sure. I thought I had the plan solved as a byproduct of tearing up the carpet and refinishing our floors. They are gorgeous. They glisten like glass. Apparently she has always wanted to pee on glass, because that’s just where we found her visiting last night. Exit life number 8… This began a series of events that led to “the gate”. She used the curtains….again, so we took them down…again, to wash them…again. This time was different though. The curtains came down revealing a very large spider who had taken up residence on the outside of the window pane. I really admire spiders, and it getting closer to Halloween and all, it could have provided some cheap ambience. It really was a big one though. My wife didn’t share in my admiration of God’s creative abilities. I decided that it wouldn’t be worth it as she feels that every spider outside is really a spider looking to get inside, and frankly, if this was the case with this one, we didn’t have enough room for him in here. Although, I could have traded him for the cat as long as he didn’t pee on floors.
Anyway…not wanting my gorgeous wife to lose sleep while this spider plotted his way in, translating into my losing sleep, I decided to eliminate him. Well…it sounded like a good idea at the time. His window pane was out of reach, but the broom was plenty long enough to reach. In the end, I had one big dead spider, one broken window pane, and one cat behind the gate….just before the police arrived, even though that was for a different matter. I was just glad that I wasn’t going to be featured on COPS.
So now life is different for us. We have a gate. We have a cat and she is not allowed to go, unaccompanied by us, beyond the gate. A small part, a very small part of me empathizes with her. Now I look at her life and I think of the gates that are set up in my own life. Sometimes they’re open and sometimes closed. Wisdom keeps me from opening closed ones. There is probably a reason for them being closed, sometimes temporarily, sometimes forever. There is someone greater than I who knows that I’ll probably behave inappropriately if I go through the closed ones. He also knows that there is good for me when I’m brave enough to go through the open ones. I always have the option, much like my daughter, of busting one down, but that’s probably not going to be in my benefit. There is a reason that it’s closed. She doesn’t know it now, but I really do have the best intentions for my cat. She may not appreciate the gate, but it’s the only thing keeping her last hope alive.