Two years ago, I picked up a book called Homer’s Odyssey. It is a true story about a vet who was given a “sick” kitten, after his owners said they could not handle him. She found out that the only thing wrong with him was that he had a terrible eye infection and his eyes would have to be removed. He was such a likable kitten, the vet felt sure that someone with the right mix of “empathy and eccentricity” would adopt him. Being young and idealistic, she went ahead with the surgery. A more experienced vet would have put him to sleep, assuming that he wouldn’t find a home.
It proved difficult to find a home for this sweet playful young kitten, even with his winning personality. However, 1 day, a woman whose other 2 cats were already being treated by the vet, came “just to have a look” and said she couldn’t promise anything. When she picked up the blind kitty, he had a cone around his neck to prevent him from scratching his stitches. He tried to hoist his claws onto her shoulder, but without having the strength to do this he rubbed his face against hers. The result was she felt only the cone! Then the little kitty started to purr. She said, “oh for God’s sakes, wrap him up, I’m taking him home.”
Gwen had a number of sensible reasons for not taking this kitty. She had just broken up with her boyfriend which had given her financial difficulties, already had 2 kitties, and was living with a roommate. She did not want people to think of her as “the cat lady”. Why she chose Homer was so beautiful I just want to share it with you, and then if you are interested, you might want to pick up Homer’s Odyssey. Here are Gwen’s words:
What happened was that I caught a glimpse of something I desperately needed to believe in at that point in my life. I wanted to believe there could be something within you that was so essential and so courageous that nothing—no boyfriend, no employer, no trauma—could rob you of it. And if you had that kind of unbreakable core, not only would it always be yours, but even in your darkest moments others would see it in you, and help you out before the worst came to the absolute worst…
So I didn’t adopt Homer because he was cute and little and sweet…I adopted him because when you think you see something so fundamentally worthwhile in someone else, you don’t look for the reasons—like bad timing or a negative bank balance—that might keep it out of your life. You commit to being strong enough to build your life around it, no matter what. In doing so, you begin to become the thing you admire.
When I decided to bring this eyeless kitten home with me, I made my first truly adult decision about a relationship, and without realizing it, I established the standard by which I would judge all my relationships in the years to come.
May all of you open your hearts to receive every miracle and blessing meant to be in your life.