Joy Comes in the Mourning

I’d like to introduce you to my little “JOYBOY”.   His name is Gus Gus.  I adopted him a year ago this month shortly after I lost my beloved Zacky who I had for 15 years.  As you might suspect, I am a cat person – in and out, through and through – period.  I could not live without a kitty in my life.  I have 2 cats – Gus Gus who is pictured here and my beloved gentle soul Oreo who is about 7 years old.  I will tell you more about him at a later date.

For this blog I would like to tell you more about Gus Gus because I feel he has a very special purpose in the journey I am going through right now.  Gus Gus looks very docile in this picture but in real life he is full of boundless energy and doubly full of mischief!  My days are forever filled with his antics and adventures.  He is so curious that nothing gets by him without a full inspection and often naughty consequence.  He digs in my flower pots, not only digs but dumps them completely out and then proceeds to madly spread the dirt all around.  He made a nest in the Christmas tree.  He takes flying leaps across my table and counters and everything goes flying in his path including an antique dish,  and numerous other breakable objects.  He tries to eat my Mom’s flowers and loves to rummage through any array of items he can find.  He even helped me paint.  I have his colourful footyprints on my black computer chair to prove it.

By now I think you get the picture of what this little guy is like.  But there is something else about this little guy that is not visible to the human eye but is only visible to my human heart.  For some uncanny reason,  Gus Gus makes me laugh.  And I don’t just mean when he is doing something funny.  He makes me laugh when he is sleeping, when he is being naughty, and even when I just think of him.  JOY inside of me just  bubbles up like my favourite Perrier water.   He douses my grieving soul with pure JOY.  It is inexplicable in human or cat terms.  I have never had a cat or any animal that has had this effect on me.  Sometimes I am telling Mom something about what he has done and I am doubled over in fits of laughter till tears run down my face.   I can be on the bus going somewhere and I think of him and  I start to chuckle.  I can be having a truly horrible day and Gus Gus will just make me start to laugh.

Even when I don’t want to laugh.  Most days I don’t feel like laughing.  I am exhausted, overwhelmed, depressed, highly anxious, full of fear, full of uncertainty and I just want release.  I love my Mom so dearly, but it is so hard.  This care taking job is so hard.

I have always related to animals better than I have related to people and I suspect that has something to do with my autism.  My cats are my LIFE.  But what has happened this past year with Gus Gus just confounds me.  It is something beyond the norm, even beyond my loving my cats.  I believe Gus Gus is a gift to me to help me through this very difficult time.  The joy he give me is a gift that lifts me above the despair I often feel as I look after Mom.  I believe that without him in my life this past year, I may not have made it.

There is a verse in the bible that says that “Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning”  Psalm 30:5.   I know we shouldn’t change God’s word but I am going to take a bit of  liberty and do a spelling change.  I am going to say, “Weeping may endure for the night but JOY comes in the MOURNING.  I believe God has given me my little Gus Gus as my JOY to help me through the mourning.  He is my JOY in the mourning and grief I feel as I look after Mom.  You can’t put God in a box.  He is a creative God who knows what each of us individually needs and He knows I love my cats.  He knows I need JOY.  And he gave me both in a very unique way.  His own special touch!  (speaking of putting God in a box – I have a card and on the front a man is talking to a cat and looking at the litter box.  He says to the cat, ” And don’t ever think outside the box!!”

Another thing about Gus Gus that makes me know he is a special gift from God has to do with hearts.   My cat Zacky who died had a beautiful heart in his fur.  I was worried after he died that I wouldn’t know how to  pick the right kitty for me.  I’m not sure you’re supposed to dictate to God your demands but I told God that if a kitty had a heart on him I would know it was the right kitty for me.  I saw Gus Gus on the Humane Society website.  I went to see him at a local pet store where he was.  I was drawn to him but as I  tried to inconspicuously  find a heart on him I could find none.  What to do??  The lady at the store kept saying to me, “Just try him out, you can bring him back.”  So with my own heart thumping in my chest, I brought him home.  Well, in the next week I found not 1 heart on him, not 2 but 5 hearts on his little furry body.  He is definitely my cat, my JOYBOY,  my heart throb, and my lifesaver.  If you could see me right now I am smiling from ear to ear at the thoughts of this little guy.

One thing I have learned.  There can definitely be JOY in the mourning.  I am experiencing it firsthand everyday through one furry little crazy cat called Gus Gus.