I like the stray cats on campus. Just watching them roaming around, hanging out, observing…waiting.
Waiting on what?
A scrap of food, a scratch on the head, a kind word?
Waiting to be noticed?
Waiting to be wanted?
Waiting to be loved?
I relate to them. I always have. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always been drawn to strays. They used to call me the underground railroad for strays. I was always coming home with some poor furry soul that needed a home.
I think I’m a stray. Can there be stray people? I feel like I’m just like these stray cats on campus.
Alone and for the most part invisible. Just silently observing the world pass me by. Waiting for someone to notice me, want me, take me home and love me.
Perhaps I’m waiting for my turn to wear the shiny collar that says I belong somewhere, I’m a real person, I’m special to someone and I’m loved.
When you think about it an engagement/wedding ring is like a collar. A symbol that tells the world you have a place, you have a home in someone’s heart and there is someone that loves you enough to look for you and find you if you happen to lose your way.
I’m just like a stray with no collar. The men in my life are like these people on campus.
They notice me for a minute, a temporary display of affection and wanting.
But in the end they all leave, they all go back to their lives.
“What a beautiful and awesome cat.” he will say. “I love spending time petting her, but I can’t take her home. I can’t keep her cause there’s just no room in my life for the commitment of having a pet. So I’ll pet her when I see her and tell her she’s great and that I’m sorry I can’t be more than a tourist in her life. And I’ll walk away hoping she’s not too sad – believing she’s so great someone will surely take her home someday, cause she deserves better than this.”
And he’ll leave. It’s no loss to him, his life will go on undisturbed. But oh how the heart of that cat will ache. For that cat, every scratch on the head heralds in the question…”Is he just going to pet me and leave or is this the one that’s going to love me enough to take me with him?”
Ever noticed a stray that wants to come and take what you’re offering, but they stand back and hesitate, not sure what they should do? Wanting so much for this to be it, but remembering all the times that it’s gone wrong.
It takes a lot of risk for a stray to go out on the limb and let someone get close. I’m sure it takes all she has to cast away the fear of rejection, and open up.
So when he leaves, another little piece of her will wither and wilt. Eventually she’ll become one of those cats that’s content to observe but will run and hide the minute someone new reaches down to touch her.
I’m a stray in life wondering around just trying to find a place in someone’s heart to belong.