This morning I went out to feed the now not so stray cats. Itty Bitty has been with us for months now but was still keeping her distance. She would watch as the half grown kittens would come close and allow me to pet and love on them, but stay back out of reach. Now even the last hold out kitten has come to trust me and not only allows but approaches me for attention.
One of my concerns is that I haven’t seen the kitten’s mom Fuzzy in a few days. I’m not going to worry yet, but I know the reality of life in the country. When this cat adventure began I had four strays show up on my back steps. Which went to three. One of the three became very friendly and very vocal in announcing when they were hungry and wanted attention. Then that one disappeared. Fuzzy and Itty Bitty both had kittens. Fuzzy had three and Itty had four. Fuzzy brought her babies down from the attic space a couple weeks before Itty brought hers out from under the house. Several days after Itty brought her babies out, they all disappeared. That left Fuzzy’z three and they were very cautions about being around people.
Over the course of weeks, the kittens one by one have learned to trust us. They even have begun to be curious about inside the house. *Side note, our official cat does not approve. I now make sure she is not on the enclosed back porch when I go out to feed the not so strays. Itty Bitty has been known to pick arguments through the door with Cricket so I know they need to be kept apart.
I have noticed over the past few days that Itty Bitty has been getting braver. She would move closer to the steps when I was outside and wouldn’t run as quickly or as far should I suddenly appear. She had even jumped up onto the steps a couple of times while I was there only to quickly jump away. This morning though, was different. We have had a breakthrough. Not only did Itty Bitty come onto the steps when I brought food out, she allowed me to stroke her back for a few seconds before running. She had been watching for a while, she saw I wasn’t harming the others, so she took that small step of faith.
It works that way for people as well.
A child who has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. A child left with one relative after another before finding permanence will have trust issues and will take a while to trust.
Individuals who have been burned in relationships, may take a while to learn to trust.
Students who have been bullied, and had to endure do to no one taking action, may take a while to trust administration.
Employees who deal with bad bosses.
Citizens of a country that has done them wrong in what ever manner or form, may take a while to trust a new administration.
Individuals who have watched people of religion twist and distort the Word. Something that has gone on from the beginning and will continue to the end. Individuals who struggle with believing the truth because of all the lies. Individuals who watch those who call themselves Christian who act in very non Christlike manner, have difficulty in trust. The sad thing is that bad news travels and is believed much quicker than good. It is also true, that one’s actions and words quickly show what is in their heart.
A bad experience does stick with people long after the experience.
So it does take patience, a lot of patience. A calm attitude. A feeding of the good things over time. Food for the hungry. A place to rest for the weary. A gentle touch for the hurting. A showing that while caution is not bad, there is no need to fear.