I woke up in the wee hours of the morning and started to think of my past experiences as a cat groomer. Things that touch my heart and bring a sense of appreciation in a transcendent way make me glad that I am in this profession, which is generally a road less traveled.
When I was beginning employment in a grooming shop a few years ago, I was told that a woman was to bring in two geriatric cats for our services. She had been a repeat client there for many years. Upon looking at her records, I noticed that the names of her cats were constantly changing. I inquired from the owner of the shop why this was the case.
It was explained to me that this woman would visit the shelter every year and adopt cats that were the oldest and most infirmed of those available. She would take them into her loving home and patiently care for them, paying expensive veterinarian bills for medical and prescription needs and grooming costs, along with the necessary food and litter box expenses. She wanted to ensure these little souls knew that they were loved and valued just as they were and when the time came, comfortably pass away in the arms of someone who loved them. Some would live six months or less; others a little longer. I could hardly wait to meet this person who would embrace an abandoned animal, so forgotten and neglected, and prove to them that they mattered.
I could sense her humility as she walked in the door. When we were alone together, I told her how much I admired her kindnesses. She sweetly smiled at me, and in an effort to deflect self-approval quietly said, “Well dear, I guess I am just not into long-term relationships”. We shared a soft laugh and I realized I was standing in the presence of an angel who meekly walks among us. She is one of the many unsung heroes whose benevolence is seldom noticed.
I keep this precious memory, along with many others, locked in my heart. On those sleepless nights when negativity and worry fight to invade my mind, I’m able to calm myself with the knowledge that profound compassion is the key to unlocking unconditional love. That is the greatest good of all.