“I Won’t Give Up On Loving You”
A little over a year and a half ago, I adopted a three month old black and white kitten, a beautiful little boy. Driving home with him, I wondered what to name him. At that moment, a beautiful brand new Maxima automobile drove past us. I knew that his name was to be Max, and that surely the white car was a sign that he was a spiritual blessing. He is, but not in the way I imagined at the time.
It wasn’t long before the tests began. I soon realized I had brought home a very energetic, destructive, willful animal. My older female cat hated him, and screamed whenever he came near her. I promised the rescue agency I wouldn’t declaw him, and he presently began to shred a leather chair, an upholstered one, a leather bench and drapes. It wasn’t long until his curiosity had him poking at a mirror in the middle of the night which caused it to fall and crash though the glass top table below it, breaking the mirror, table top, and lamp. The loud noise frightened him, but not enough to prevent his breaking a standing lamp a few weeks later, then a tall red vase.
He also loves to jump onto the stove top, kitchen counters, and to open cabinets and climb inside. Nothing breaks, but not very sanitary. Every morning I began the day stressed and unhappy, and felt I must call the rescue group and return him. But I told my friends, “If I give him up, someone else is sure to kill him!”
Max also loves time in the litter box. All former cats have done their business, neatly covered it, and gracefully stepped out. Not Max. He digs and digs like a child in a sand box, throwing litter every where, about two to three cups with each use, then proceeds to track it over the rest of the house. I constantly sweep and clean. I never know what I will find when I come home from work in the evening. Yet, I just couldn’t bring myself to call and plead for him to be removed from my home. I knew I had this contract with him, and I was determined to find a way to see it through.
A few months ago, I had reached my limit. Something was going to change, or he would have to go. I picked him up, held him in a tight embrace close to me. He looked up with that beautiful face, and I firmly said to him, “I will not give up on loving you.” I began to understand that I was the one who would have to change and accept him, love him, and give up the reaction to his behaviors.
After that I began to gently correct him, removing him from counters, etc., and gently scolding and removing him from my other cat, Bella, when he aggressively approached her. I enticed him with toys, balls, and treats. His behavior is gradually changing. He is still an energetic, willful animal. But I have grown to love and admire his uniqueness, and I am more patient with him. Now when he jumps in my lap at the end of the day and snuggles, readying himself to take a nap, and he looks up at me, I say with all sincerity, “I love you. I love you.”
Max brought a lesson I already knew, but was tested on: it is always love that brings any true change and healing.
This experience with Max reminded me that we humans, as we grow and move through our life experience, also consciously or unconsciously do harm to our self and others. And there is usually someone quietly in the background, silently saying, “I won’t give up on loving you.” Maybe that person is a parent, a close friend, someone who knows and loves the true and real part of our self. It is also that Divine presence, spiritual guide, guardian angel, or however you might think of the eternal first cause that created us. It doesn’t give up on loving us until we awaken enough to know that we are loved, no matter what. That presence silently whispers to us, “You are made of stardust, and music and light and love. I will never give up on loving you.” When we finally hear that inner voice, that eternal message, we then have learned the purpose and gift of life: To learn to receive this love and give it back to life. To never give up on loving, even when it’s hard.