Meekness is underrated these days.
In a culture of everything from Turbo Tartar-Terminating Toothpaste to Mortal Kombat CLXVI: Finish Him Again, it’s good to hear about the triumph of the mild.
In addition to inheriting the earth, the meek have a head start on scoring forever homes. Fabulous forever homes. You might even say that these forever homes are of the Extreme Turbo Radically Awesome Butt-Kicking variety, if we weren’t rhapsodizing about meekness.
Besides, there’s something squiffy about referring to sweet, devoted senior citizens as butt-kicking. And that’s just the kind of adopter Melanie has landed.
Yes, that Melanie: hide-in-the-cubby, no-spring-chicken, too-meek-to-squeak Melanie.
Like Goldie, JenAnn, Paulette, Monica, Impy, Prissy and Jeannette (more on her in a moment), Melanie came when her purehearted poppa, who we’ve referred to as Brother George, passed away last fall. Like the majority of her siblings, Mel was torn-apart and terrified. (Unlike Jennifer Ann, she was not inclined to practice her Mortal Kombat skills on the humans. But I digress.)
A certain sadness haunted Melanie, but her sweetness was evident from the start. She meant no harm and even seemed to send us flashes of sweetness from behind her tired eyes. The lovely not-so-young calico asked nothing special - just the quiet life, a hidey-hole she could call her own, and the common grace of being loved as she was.
Even as she was transforming.
It’s one thing to love someone - feline, human, or three-toed sloth - as she is for a snapshot moment in time. But we’re all in progress, and real love - inherit-the-earth kinda love - resolves to love through all the ages and stages.
The cats keep teaching us to love. We loved Melanie in her terror. We loved her when she started to permit head-scratches. We loved her when she took two steps backwards for no known reason, suddenly shy and coy and concerned again.
But someone came along and loved her with a you’re-the-one, you’re-my-one love.
Melanie made no special strut or out-of-character kerfuffle the day her adopter visited. The senior lady (and here I mean the human) saw Melanie exactly as she is at this moment: quiet, retiring, gentle, meek. There was no marketing campaign from Melanie & Company, LLC. No fanfare, no self-promotion, no limited-edition Captain America cup. Mel didn’t even emerge from her cubby, but a connection was made. Mel’s new momma knew. And a funny thing happened on the way to the forever home: in the days between her adopter’s arrival and homecoming day, Melanie started ambling around. Still no strutting, and nothing like a sashay here…but love led her out into a world suddenly worth considering again.
In the next cubby over in Melanie’s former suite, the meek were inheriting the mirth. First it seemed like just a funny moment, a fluke out of character, when Jeannette sprang from her own hidey-hole to play with a pom-pom, kitten-like, in the middle of the room. But again - and again, and again, and again - we’d spot this fellow female of a certain age “rewinding” to her youth, leaping about.
Still, Jeannette waxed meek in the face of human handling. Always a little more social than Melanie, she was, to use a popular Jonathan phrase, “not exactly a ball of fire.”
No sooner had we started worrying that Jeannette might miss Melanie, than Jeanette’s own adopter arrived. The meant-to-be factor couldn’t have been clearer if MamaJ sported a forehead tattoo reading In search of one late-middle-aged meek feline in cow colors.
The meek made good.
Both cats are so beloved in their forever homes, it makes us all want to be just a little more meek and mild. No need for bombast or self-promotion; no twisting one’s essence into a demented pretzel. Just…be. When you is what you is, you’ll attract the ones who make much of your muchness.
And kick butt - or at least inherit earth-sized adoration - with your radical meekness.
Photo credits: top thumbnail of Jeannette by Denise; all others by volunteer Jessica. Thanks, you amazingly talented people, you.