Hanging By A Moment

Last week I was sitting in the living room with my mom when there was suddenly a loud crash with a lot of spitting and hissing. At first, we thought the fur babies had simply knocked something over, but since the sound continued a moment later I knew something was very wrong.

We ran into the next room to find that curiosity almost killed my cat. He had somehow wrapped himself in the cords to the curtains and blinds and was literally hanging, twisting, turning and clawing for his life to get out of it.

There was no time for concern of my safety, it was all about saving Speedy. So I reached out to scoop him up so the cords would loosen. The poor baby was frightened, of course, and not realizing he was safe continued to claw his way out. Translation: My hand and arm suffered some painful consequences for helping Speedy escape.

I’m happy to say that he is fine, though, to my dismay, still all too curious. Thankfully I live in the country because my blinds are now permanently open as the cords are tucked away from kitty paws.

Besides scaring me spitless, the incident made me think a little.

Cat scratchSometimes when we help others, we get hurt.
And sometimes when others try to help us, we hurt them.

Speedy didn’t maliciously harm me. He was scared, and probably hurting. He was in survival mode.

We all have broken places. We all have pain. We’ve probably all “clawed” a few people that tried to save us from our selves.

There are plenty of stories of people coming to the rescue of others and physically being hurt, or even killed, for their acts. But we know that pain doesn’t just come in the form of cuts, broken bones or burns. I would venture to guess that more often the pain inflicted is internal from the words shouted in anger or spoken out of fear or perhaps the deafening silence that seems to say we don’t even merit the acknowledgement.

And all of those things hurt.
And we don’t like to be hurt.

So it becomes easier to avoid. If I’m not close to people… If I’m not trying to help… If I just mind my own business… then maybe I won’t get hurt again. That only leads to a lonely and empty life.

Relationships are messy. People are confusing. And the part of me that loves rules and organization and freaks out at “freestyle” wants black and white solutions in a world where there are way more than just 50 shades of grey.

But just because we have been hurt, or might get hurt, while helping doesn’t mean that we stop helping or that we stop reaching out.

If the same situation happened again, I would do it all over again because I love my Speedy boy. It’s the same with people – when we love, we take the risks because we know they are valuable and we cannot bear to see them hurt. The intention shouldn’t be to make us feel better or look good, but out of love for truly wanting to see others be free and whole.

After mom cleaned up my bloody mess and bandaged me up, Speedy nuzzled my hand and started trying to lick my wounds. He knew he messed up, and I considered it my kitty apology, which made me cry some more.

I will say that it feels a bit easier to give grace to the cat, than to people. I’ve got my share of stories that involve humans too, but I don’t have to worry about my cat reading the blog.

Have you ever been hurt helping? What made you want to keep reaching out?

Maybe you’ve hurt someone else that tried to help you? Did you ever acknowledge it and apologize?



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