I'm really not a morning person, but I'm a little more excited to get out of bed these days as I now have a morning visitor. A beautiful black and white cat comes to my back door every morning to eat. I believe he belongs to one of my neighbors, you know - the house with the great big dog and seven kids and a drive full of cars? I seem to remember when they first got him two or three years back. He would wander over into our yard on a regular basis and I wasn't sure I liked him hanging around the bird feeders, but one day I walked out to the garden shed to get a shovel and startled him out of a sound sleep. He ran for the back of our yard and despite all of my apologies, would not come back to his napping spot. The same thing happened the next day, except I took food with me and started calling to him long before I got to the shed. I stopped as soon as I saw him - you know, just to let him know I meant him no harm. He still ran away, but did come back later to accept my peace offering.
It was back in the fall when he and I began this dance and every day, I would take food to him out in the barn and every day, he would watch and wait for me to leave to come and eat. I fed him through the winter and when it got cold, I began leaving the garage door open and leaving food for him there. I made a bed for him inside a box and even put a heating pad in it. Every morning when I opened the door from the house to the garage to take him breakfast, he would dart out the door and wait for me to put down his food and go back inside before coming in to eat.
I've really grown fond of this boy despite the fact that I still can't touch him after almost a year of feeding him. These days find me feeding him on the patio behind the garage. We've done away with the bed in the garage since it's not so cold any more. The bigger reason for his ban from the garage are his 'presents'. My darling husband has had to remove more than one tiny lifeless body from our garage floor and he does not like it. Mark loves the wildlife in and around our home and does not like the idea of Pablo, that's what I call him, Pablo, coming in and killing the little mice and chipmunks who take cover in our garage. I really can't say that I blame him as it would tear me up to be the one to find the tiny creatures. So, Pablo now eats behind the garage and naps in a box near the back door.
I went out several nights ago when it was raining and left the garage door open for him. Ban or no ban, I couldn't bear the idea of him being locked out of his own house with no place to go to get out of the rain. I knew he might bring something in ... and in that moment, I realized that he's not coming in to kill the vermin, he's bringing them in. These are his gifts! I laughed to myself - and at Pablo and said out loud, Really, Pablo, there's no need to thank me. Your presence and your enjoyment of the food is plenty thanks for me.
As I moved throughout my day, I thought about what I'd said and I wondered about my gifts to God and Goddess. I thought about the fierce sincerity of Pablo's offerings and how it's the sentiment I appreciate, while the gift itself brings me no joy - how his mere presence and enjoyment of the food I give him is really all the thanks I need. I wondered in that moment if Goddess ever looks at my offerings and says, Really, there's no need to thank me. Your presence and enjoyment of all I provide is plenty thanks for me.