This I Believe

Judi - Westchester, California
Entered on September 10, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

THIS I BELIEVE

I believe in the power in forgiveness. It has been said that not forgiving is truly like taking poison and expecting someone else to die. Many of us carry grudges and permit anger to linger as a way of punishing our offenders when in fact; those emotions cripple us by impeding our joy and peace. .

For a long time I’ve known about the power of forgiveness but it wasn’t until my cat Bob, weighing all of twelve pounds, demonstrated the real act of forgiveness did I realize how unforgiving most of us are.

I had Polio as a child that affected my right leg and arm. For years after Polio I walked with the help of a long leg brace and a crutch but was able to shed those devices by the time I reached Junior High School. Two years ago I broke my “Polio leg” femur and was forced to use and electric scooter and wheelchair for safer mobility. My cat Bob loves the scooter not to ride but for playing and sleeping. Every morning I read the Bible, pray and meditate for about 45 minutes before I start my day and Bob instinctively comes in my study and jumps on the scooter knowing full well that I am on the couch and he can catch a wink or two before I make him get down.

If I work at my computer, he sits on the scooter and when I go to bed he sleeps on the scooter next to the bed. At night when I watch television, he comes in from outside because he knows I’ll be on the couch and he can have the scooter.

One night the phone rang and Bob had been patiently waiting to sit on the scooter while I was talking. Not paying attention, I accidentally ran over his tail and he screamed and scratched me. It all happened so fast and I tried to pick him up and comfort him but he ran out his cat door. I felt terrible and prayed that his tail was not hurt. He never came home that night, the scooter just sat there. The next morning I when I saw him outside, he gave me a very mean look and ran across the street.

I had no idea that cats could be so angry and I really felt bad. I prayed for him all day at work and when I drove in the driveway there was Bob across the street staring at me with that angry look on his face. That night watching television wasn’t the same.

Finally, in the middle of the night I heard a meow and there was Bob, back on the scooter and I knew that he had forgiven me. Forgiveness made us both feel better and I learned a great lesson from Bob. Forgiving is not forgetting or condoning the wrong, it merely release the anger and helps us move on.

That day, Bob made me realize how often I sit across the street and stare at the people who have made me angry, and really, all I have to do to forgive, is cross that street.

A lesson in the power of forgiveness from a long haired grey and white 8 year old cat named Bob.