Tabby’s Place staff and volunteers are very familiar with paralysis, especially partial paralysis. We currently have several paraplegic residents, and we’ve had many others in the past.
There will be more.
We are confronted with literal paralysis on a regular basis. It is familiar.
Paralysis doesn’t stop caregivers from caring or giving. Paralysis does not stop the cats. Cotton is a speed demon. June and Dani climb cat trees. Anka is ferociously alive. And Olive. Regal Olive permits us all to serve her every need, every day. Olive has even come to tolerate me, because I provide treat puzzles and paper bags for her amusement.
We witness daily how physical paralysis can be overcome. But what about metaphorical paralysis? What about those moments when we are frozen in our tracks, paralyzed by fear, worry, sorrow? My greatest hope is that none of you knows what I’m talking about. A false hope, I’m sure.
So, how do we apply what we’ve learned from our feline instructors? How do we start moving again? Slowly, my friends.
We are (hopefully and advisedly) staying at home. That’s good. But, we aren’t trapped inside. Afraid to go out? Open the window. Open the door. Step on the deck. Incrementally, carefully, move.
Spring is here. It isn’t a good time to go to a garden shop. But gardens can be groomed. Certain plants can be spread. Rutgers has a master gardener program with lots of information.
Not a gardener? Try fishing. Trout season is open (several days early! Get a license here). Find a good, socially distant spot, and remember to release your catch (at least during the extension).
Don’t like fishing? Go for a short walk, then a longer one.
Still can’t move? Imagine yourself in your favorite place. Remember why it is your favorite place. Think of how you feel when you are there. Hold on to that feeling. Take a small step forward. Now, take one step back. Repeat. Repeat again.
Hey, look, you’re dancing! Jazz hands!