My car is a dirt magnet. I know, I know…your car is a dirt magnet, too. However, this one is an unusually high-powered dirt magnet. For some reason, the entire universe does not want my car to be clean.
For instance, a few months ago as I would back my dirt-powdered car into the driveway every evening, Leroy the cat (whose name has been changed…just because…) greeted me with his beady little stare from across the street. Leroy sat as motionless as the Sphinx while his tail swept an occasional twitch across the cement ground.
He was always too still and he always stared too intently. Something went on in his mind. Maybe he was thinking: Yes…you keep that car nice and dirty. The moment you clean it….whammmo! I’m gonna get you!
This went on for weeks as dirt continued to collect on my car. Then one day, I drove to the car wash to get it cleaned. Then I drove home.
Arriving home, I backed my shiny vehicle into the driveway and I turned off the ignition. I looked up to see Leroy staring at me. His normally narrowed eyes seemed widened in surprise, just for a moment, then it seemed to narrow in a sinister kind of way. His tail seemed to whip in irritated dismay across the cement driveway.
As I got out of my car, I continued to assess Leroy’s body language. Probably realizing his previous loss of composure, his face seemed changed back to a look of poker-faced-innocence. I had a feeling that something was up. I went into my house and I forgot all about it.
The next morning I headed out the door, excited to drive my shiny car. As I walked to the driver’s door, I fumbled through my keys. Then I looked up. My eyes widened and my jaw dropped.
Starting from the trunk, a path of Leroy-sized paw prints headed up the rear window, circled once across the top, then down the front window and straight down the hood. Mud was everywhere.
I took a deep breath, then slowly exhaled. Then I looked up to see the sinister culprit across the street.
There sat Leroy…still as the Sphinx with a mildly twitching tail. His poker face obviously hid his guilt.
As I blankly stared at him, questions ran through my mind:
Leroy, how could you have gotten so much mud onto my car? Did you go partway then you ran out of mud, then you jumped off to get more mud, then jumped back on to finish you work of art? And why, when my car had been perfectly dirty for weeks, did you choose to paw print it only on the day after it was washed? Why, Leroy? Why????
Leroy didn’t answer.
As he stared back, his telepathic face seemed to say: What happened? Who could have done such a thing? Oh, poor you!
Leroy couldn’t fool me. I knew better than that.
You see, in his mind he was really saying: See? (Meow, meow…) You shouldn’t have washed that car. I can’t stand it when you have a clean car. There…I took care of it for you. (Meow, meow,)
I didn’t wash the car again for a very long time.
Here are a few lessons that I’ve learned from this experience:
1. No matter what, it’s alright: While I felt a sense of bewilderment that morning, it really wasn’t a big deal. I mean, just because Leroy paw-printed my car, the mountains didn’t fall. The world didn’t come to an end, either.
What about things in life? Are there times when an incident may be magnified into a big deal when, in reality, it really isn’t? Keeping a great perspective on life is an important skill.
Which leads us to…
2. Cats can’t read minds: At least I think they can’t. While I stood there asking Leroy-directed questions in my mind, did I really think he would answer? Sheeeesh. I should have known better.
What about life? Are there times when we think others know exactly what we are thinking, but they really don’t? Once, I asked a friend to meet me at the mall. In my mind, I thought we would meet in front of the exact store that we met at several weeks before. In her mind, she thought we were meeting in front of another store. It took a bit of time for us to find each other. All of this,
simply because I did not explain it well enough to her. This is where great communication skills come in handy….even when you’re communicating with a cat.
Which leads us to…
3. Even if cats could read minds, they can’t answer in the human language: Leroy probably could have answered with a meow or two. Beyond that, I don’t think he could say much more.
And the lesson in that? Are there times when it’s difficult to understand what someone else is communicating to us? This is where our own listening and questioning skills come into play. I know some people who say very little. Most communication from them come in one or two word phrases. It doesn’t mean that they’re not thinking anything. As a matter of fact, I’m sure they think a lot. However, most people around need to ask specific questions in order to understand their point of view.
Which leads us to…
4. Don’t waste your time washing your car: The hazy, powdered look is quite stylish: If women powder their noses to reduce shine, the film of dirt on a car could be considered makeup for an automobile.
And, how does this apply to life? I’m still figuring it out…
Which leads us to…
5. Cats have a sense of humor: At least I like to think so. I mean, Leroy surely must have been laughing inside when he saw my dismay. Honestly? While it wasn’t funny at the time, in retrospect, I’m laughing with Leroy, too.
What about us? Do we have the ability to laugh things off? A good dose of humor certainly does wonders for our souls. Laugh more…you’ll be glad you did.
So, my Sweet Friend, that is the story of Leroy.
As you go throughout the week, remember…
Have an extraordinary day!
The Happy Balance Girl
Copyright 2011-2012 by Stacey Shimabukuro-Lui. All rights reserved.