My day started off with a faint scratching. It was cat claws on something, a milder version of the cringe-worthy nails-on-a-chalkboard sound.
“Catty, what are you doing?”
I sip my coffee and begin to deal with notifications: Facebook, Twitter, heaps of crap email.
That sound again.
“Catty, what ARE YOU DOING?”
I look around and no cat creating chaos. I looked in on the cat box. No cat creating a mess. I looked around the living room where the cat sometimes rebels and poos anyway. No mess. I sit back down on the couch.
Nails-on-chalkboard sound. CRINGE.
A faint mew.
I look around, doing a 360. No cat in his usual spots.
A faint mew.
I open the linen cabinet. Mercury, sitting atop a pile of towels, stares at me. Somehow, when I was putting the towels away late last night, I had failed to notice he had gotten in there, and apparently spent the night there. I had serious cat mom guilt. I’ve spent most of the day hugging and petting this little guy.
I won’t be able to ascertain how long Mercury wanted to actually spend in the linen cabinet versus how much time he was actually trapped in there. However, I’ve come to appreciate something very important. Sometimes cries for help are faint. It was that soft mew that led me to him. If our furry friends have this issue, then certainly our human friends do too. We have to be better listeners and curious listeners, not just listening for the sake of hearing, but listening for the sake of learning and hopefully, helping.
Everyone has their own linen cabinet. For some it’s depression and for some, a rarely-spoken-of trauma. Some spend a lot of time in the dark, just waiting for a door to open. If you haven’t heard from someone in a while, are you listening closely enough? Are you giving them space to be heard?