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.