Come Out of Hiding

At the start of my blogging journey I wrote on New Beginnings, as I’d recently moved into a transitional arrangement while waiting for my new apartment to become available. Alas the time has come and gone. Moving weekend was this past weekend, and boy what an exhausting endeavor.  I pushed my limited body to limits I may not have experienced since my 20’s. 

After about four hours of moving on Friday, and nine grueling hours on Saturday, I packed up the kitties in their respective crates and took them and the litter boxes last.  This time Toby was the quiet one on the ride over and Timba meowed that deeper sorrowful-sounding meow that only car rides can evoke.

They both were somewhat prepared due to the hustle and bustle that occured over the weekend.  Cats always notice when something in their home is new or out of order, and there was a lot of shifting of items on the weekend.  On Saturday they both hid under the kitchen cabinets as more and more things disappeared, maybe knowing that they somehow would also disappear.

Hardly able to bend anymore after moving, I stooped to get Timba and crated him without trouble. However, I didn’t realize how big he’d gotten since he was last in the crate. Actually it’s a pink bag – perhaps an affront to male kitties, but better for me than the leopard one or the expensive one.  With Timba looking like Shaq stuffed into a Prius, a la Paris Hilton, I turned to stoop for Toby. I had to use his tail to help gather him because he’d lodged himself in the farthest corner of the shelf possible.

He made nary a sound as I stood up  holding him. I had to laugh at his fear-induced submissive posture. Not only was his tail tucked completely under, but his entire body had curled in such a way that no matter how long I held him there he stayed firmly in the shape of a large grey “C”.  Poor poor Tobias.  My scared little guy, fearful of change.

I must remark that he has adapted better to this move than the temporary move a month ago. He actually came out of my bedroom Saturday evening and a little on Sunday. However, Sunday was a bit of a push on my part, as I closed all the doors so he would have to remain in the living room. That may have been premature, because he has since then been in hiding, last seen darting under the couch.

Toby didn’t sleep with me last night even though I kept my bedroom door open. This morning he was nowhere to be found, so I tried coaxing him out with a cheerful “treat, treat!” but to no avail. I was, and still am worried. My darker side and imagination have given me a case of the “what ifs”. Did he run out when no one was looking? Is he sick and unable to move? Will I assume for a few days that he’s under the couch, only to have my heart sink perilously at death’s first odor?

How I wish Toby weren’t hiding again. I was so happy to see him acting normal Saturday night, being himself. My heart delighted in each trip to my bedroom, for there was Toby eager to greet me, jumping on the bed, belting meows, beseeching me for affection. Yet how sad I am since he’s been in hiding. I love my Toby Bear, I miss his precious being, who and how he is. And here is where I began to think and feel deeper, about the topic of hiddenness.

I was once in hiding, on the inside. After 32 years of life and gradual coming out of myself, I exited hiddenness fully when I opened my heart to God. How delighted he was that I was out in the open, out of the dark cabinets, corners and couches of my inner world. He who loves my being – who and how I am – was happy to see me in the open being who I am. Not hiding, but shining, sharing, blooming, and becoming.

I know that I’ve hidden off and on since that experience, and I also know that God cheerfully calls me out just as I called “treat, treat!” for Toby. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t. Isolation and self-inversion are fear-based, protective behaviors. But when we overcome hiddenness, not only do we experience being known, loved, and enjoyed, but we get to make others happy simply by being who we are.

So if you know what I’m talking about, if you’re maybe in a season of isolation, may I say to you “come out of hiding”. Be who you are out in the open, because you make life better, you are missed by someone who really enjoys the pleasure of your company.

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6 thoughts on “Come Out of Hiding

  1. I totally get what you’re talking about. I have to fight the temptation to be solitary even though I love being solitary. Isolation has real life deadly consequences not only emotionally and spirituality but even physically. Being connected is so important, it’s life giving. I love your analogies with your cats.

    Regarding Toby, my Ramese did that when we first brought him home. At first he seemed fine but then he disappeared. I prayed to St. Anthony, the finder of lost things, and St. Francis of Assisi, a true friend to animals and later in the day I found him in that fetal position behind the washing machine! It truly was a miracle. I settled him in my son’s old room in the finished part of the basement where he stayed for 3 weeks. We slowly got to know and trust each other until one day he decided it was time to go upstairs. Once up there he would not stop chattering! He was so excited at all the new and fun things in the house including the other cat, Jenny. 🙂

    I will ask St. Anthony and St. Francis to intercede for Toby. They are very faithful. Good luck!

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    • I am not Catholic, but Francis of Assisi is one of the more noted names? Isn’t there several books or autobiographies he’s written? I will definitely have to research. I wonder, I went to an Episcopal prayer/blessing time over animals once and thought it was the coolest thing. I didn’t have pets at the time, but I thought, wow, what a ministry. God loves the little creatures and the people who love them. Do you know if Assisi has any part in things like that being in existence?

      Thanks so very much for your feedback. It’s good to know how others make it through the same types of things, and then to learn or hope from that. 🙂

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      • The blessing of animals definitely comes from St. Francis of Assisi. Often you see statues of him surrounded by animals and people put his statue in their gardens. There’s a famous canticle by him called Brother Moon Sister Sun – here’s the link: http://www.catholic.org/clife/prayers/prayer.php?p=183
        There’s a movie about him by the same name.

        I had a ginger cat I raised from kittenhood named Milo. He was the first cat to love me best and I loved him fiercely. He developed that urinary tract thing that males tend to get where they can’t go. He’d get attacks and I’d have to take him to the emergency room at Tufts Veterinary School which is right down the street from our house. I leaned on St. Francis heavily for Milo and many times I believe he interceded for Milo. Eventually the disorder made it necessary to put him down but I believe he lived a longer and happier life because of the intercession of St. Francis. I had never prayed for an animal before, but all creatures (not just people) are precious to God.

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  2. I think we all experience both of what you describe to a certain extent. you are by no means, alone, anyone that is being honest could say that becoming more open is a scary thing. The true happiness comes from knowing this and moving forward anyway, either in leaps and bounds, or by taking baby steps. The confidence that comes from feeling the fear and doing it anyway builds character on a mass scale. I myself have been challenged with this very thing, knowing i have a lot to offer but being scared shitless be in the public eye, whether it be speaking or on video, i find more comfort behind the keyboard. my thoughts seem to come through more clear when the intimidation of personal interaction is removed. i am by no means a hermit, but introversion stalks me all the time. So, you are definitely not unlike the rest of us………

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  3. thanks so much for your feedback meister60. i don’t know what it is about it, but solace strangely is found in numbers. there definitely is more comfort behind the keyboard, but it’s not just that. some of us were born to communicate via writing. our brains seem wired to connect thought to paper much better and fuller than thought to lips. it’s a gift, but yes, it is tempting to spend an unbalanced amount of time using that gift and staying too much out of human interaction.

    and i recall you looking for tips on wordpress. if you happen to have a kindle or kindle app and have an Amazon Prime account, a book called WordPress Revealed is available to borrow for free. heck, even the libraries may have an electronic version. i definitely have alot to learn about the technical aspects of blogging, and every other part of it too:)

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