Tayo’s Lesson

He’s getting up there in age. He usually doesn’t sleep with me, as he tends to prefer staying out most of the night despite his years. He’s lazy and naps during the day while I slave away. He is soft-spoken but demanding and persistent when he wants something — which is rare, except when it comes to food.

I have an old, black cat named Tayo. He’s going on 18 and I swear he still thinks he’s a kitten some days. He has arthritis and sometimes forgets to retract his claws — occasionally funny when he’s jumping up onto or off of a fabric couch or chair, but hardly funny when he’s trying to get into my lap. Ouch.

With the drop in temperatures lately, he’s taken to sleeping on a beige blanket at the corner of my bed. Unlike most pet parents, I’m sure I’m in the minority when I say that I tend to keep my bedroom off limits to my pets. But when an arthritic bruiser who’s quickly turning into skin and bones needs a soft, warm place to rest his head, I oblige.

I passed through my bedroom this evening and could’ve sworn he’d been in there sleeping for hours, but I didn’t see him — until something stirred. Upon closer inspection, I found him up toward my pillow, his dark form blending into my dark brown comforter.

I’m not sure why his usual place on the blanket was passed up, but he wanted more. He was in need of more.

When we’re in need of more, we’re sometimes at the mercy of others — what they can give, what they can understand and how willing they are to share their worlds with us. We might hope for a helping hand, but there are times when we simply need to show others what we need and hope they fit us in. When we see a display of need, we can accommodate it, limit it or allow just a fraction of it — but, at the end of the day, it all boils down to acceptance.

Tonight I am thankful for Tayo’s reminder to look closely at one’s surroundings and to accept a need when one is obvious. During this season of giving thanks, it may be easy to be grateful for all that we have, but we can also give thanks for that which we can give to others.

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