Everyone loves kittens. Well, my dad would have argued that one – so let’s say MOST people love kittens.

Kittens are cute. They’re cuddly. They have the biggest, brightest, most innocent eyes!

But when there are five of them, along with a mama cat, screaming for three cans of cat food three times a day – and then tripping you if you don’t immediately provide it – love is not the first thing that comes to mind.

“Geeesh!” “Enough already!” and “Don’t they ever stop eating?!” is more like it.

But I’m not here to complain about the kittens. I’m here to point out that I COULD complain about the kittens. I could cry that life is unfair and I’m so overwhelmed and woe is me and why did I get picked to have a hungry mama cat with five kittens in my yard.

I’m not going to do that. Not just because you might think me an ogre for moaning about kittens, but because I can see how I contributed to this whole kitten situation.

In fact, we pave the way for many situations we find ourselves in, whether we realize it or not.

How We Create Our Own Messes

In the case of the kittens, I can look at several moves I made (or didn’t make) that led up to their existence:

  • My mom sent me a box filled with the cat statues I had collected as a kid. I promptly put the cat statues all over the yard. I’m convinced that basically set out a “call for cats” to the universe. Sigh.
  • Soon after, a little stray cat “adopted” us, and I chose not to kick it out of the yard. I fed it instead.
  • When it appeared the cat was old enough to be fixed, I chose to drag my feet about taking cat to vet. “What if it scratches me when I try to pick it up and put it in a carrier?” “We don’t have a carrier.” “It looks like a male cat anyway.”
  • After a few weeks of watching the “male cat” get really fat, the kittens appeared. I chose to help protect them and keep feeding mama all the food she could eat.
  • Now that I’m getting and up-close and personal look at how much – and how frequently – mama cat and her kids truly can eat, I’m getting weary and annoyed (which is putting it mildly).

So Now What?

The first few moves are in the past. I have no power to change them. But I do have the power to make more informed decisions going forward — like finding good homes for ALL the kitties and sticking to a dog-only household.

And I do have power over the last point, which is to transform my attitude around the six hungry mouths that are screaming for food all day long.

It hit me one day that one of my morning prayers is “To bring freedom and joy to every living thing.” Feeding six hungry screaming cats nine cans of food a day is one way to achieve exactly that.

Instead of looking at the cats as a burden, I can look at them as an opportunity to put my prayers into practice. (Yeah, another sigh goes here.)

The Bottom Line

When you’re in a situation that makes you feel like a victim of circumstance, it can be fascinating to take a look at those circumstances to determine if you somehow contributed to them.

If you find you do, don’t beat yourself up. Simply use it as a lesson moving forward. Forgive yourself for the choices you made. Accept where you are. Then do what you can to change it.

In some cases, like with the kittens, the circumstances can be vastly improved with a change of attitude. Rather than viewing myself as a slave to the kittens, I can treat my new role as a chance to bring freedom joy (“Be careful what you pray for” gets inserted here).

And one more lesson I will be sure to follow: NOT putting any more cat statues in my yard.

P.S. For those dubious about the cat statue manifestation thing, check this one out. A few weeks ago, I ran across a whole box of owl statues I had collected over the years. Yes, I put them all over my yard. Look who paid a visit last week:

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