My housemate is a large, aged, tabby cat called Mr Trouble. He came with that name as a rescue from the RSPCA in 1998.
It has taken Mr Trouble almost 10 years to settle, to trust and to reach out for affection. Prior to where we are today, he was fratchy, snarly, very independent and aloof.
Mr Trouble is a hunter and I know that when he sleeps he dreams of rabbits, mice and starlings even though he has a bowl of fresh chicken or salmon waiting for him when he awakes.
Despite always having access to the very best of food he puts himself in impossible situations, driven by his hunting instinct. Example? This morning.
Some house-martins are fixing up a nest which was built under the eaves of the house last year. All day long they fly backwards and forwards, calling to each other and entertaining spectators with their daring dives and love of life. Mr Trouble is determined to spoil the party. He has no appreciation for the beauty and elegance of the house-martins, all he can see is dinner. He prowls from one room to the next desperate to find an open first floor window to give him better access to the roof. But, it is far too cold to have windows open anything other than the smallest crack.
It has gotten to the point of madness this morning. His food lies untouched as he obsesses over his vision – house-martin supper.
It’s an interesting metaphor for my own life I think. Certainly in the last year I have fretted over a particular situation to the point of obsession. I’ve had a vision, hope or dream which has consumed me. Worse still, this vision was not (I see now) the best thing for me.
In my single minded pursuit of my own ‘house-martin’ I have lost sight of everything else I value and love. Friends have been abandoned, domestic routines have been attended to in a spasmodic fashion, work has suffered more than I dare to face right now.
As we start the new year I have read so much about goals, visions, dreams, aspirations and I appreciate the necessity of these but I also want to temper them with a reminder to not lose sight of what you already have and are – ‘cos that’s still important.