11 Manifesting Lessons from Elvis
What kind of foster gig was this?!
I was looking forward to puppy love! Sweet puppy breath and playful antics in the back yard …
I didn’t have time to be hauling a helpless cat from litter boxes to food and water dishes, protecting him from others dogs and cats in the house who might take advantage of his vulnerable state.
And he was unfortunately past the cute kitten stage – he was definitely approaching adulthood. (They’re so much easier to get adopted when they’re young.)
Not to mention, he was kind of hard to look at – with fleshy patches where his eyes would have been. It literally turned my stomach to look at him.
Turns out I could not have been more wrong about this guy!
Elvis (named for the rock star he is) started exploring the entire house as soon as his carrier opened – and found everything swiftly on his own. In fact, he does not love being escorted anywhere. For any reason.
No one needed to show him where the food was – just make sure the dish was full when he got there, thankyouverymuch.
And no one took advantage of his “vulnerable state” – rather, at times I had to protect 100 pound dogs from him when he would play too rough or be ready to pounce on someone’s sleeping face.
Needless to say, blind kitty Elvis quickly became my favorite in life – and one of the most handsome beings on the planet, if you ask me.
(I would never dream of having those eyes sewed shut unless the vet said there was a good medical reason for it!)
I love this guy more than words can say.
That may sound extreme, but I suspect you’d feel that way about Elvis, too, if you knew him yourself.
Let me tell you what this longhair sightless kitty has taught me about life and how to live it:
1. Trust the Universe.
I asked for foster puppies, which would have been a blast, I’m sure, but they also would have been adopted out soon. (I can’t keep any more dogs, but what’s one more cat?) The pups would have been short term joy at best.
So sometimes, when it doesn’t look exactly like you thought you wanted, be open. It might just be better than you could have ever imagined.
2. Mindset matters.
Attitude goes a long way in life, and this fearless feline walked out of his carrier ready to conquer the world. Not for a single second did he crouch in fear or hide from life.
As a result, he rules the roost here. Everyone knows Elvis is “top dog” – and you better stay out of his way unless you want a bat on the head.
3. It’s okay to fall.
Russ got in big trouble when I put him in charge of making sure Elvis stayed safe while exploring the stairs (with an oak railing that was wide enough for an unsuspecting kitty to squeeze through). Sure enough, Elvis fell once or twice. But for all my worry, he was no worse for wear. That was my lesson to chill out a little bit.
4. Choose your own pace.
Don’t let anyone push you into something you’re not ready for – you know the best time. Spring arrived and with the open door Elvis would lay right on the threshold for hours on end, content to feel the breeze on his whiskers. One day I picked him and set him down on the back patio. (I have a very secure backyard.) But he wasn’t having it!
He scrambled back inside like his life depended on it. My bad. Pushing anything isn’t a good idea – trust the right timing.
5. Live and let live.
On that last one where I took him outside before he wanted to be outside, I learned to respect that someone else knows best for themselves. What I want for him clearly wasn’t what he wanted. Live and let live. We can keep stepping over him in the doorway for as long he likes us to.
6. It’s good to receive.
Elvis has taught me all about letting others cater to you. He is a prime time receiver. He never feels unworthy, he has no problem asking others to accommodate his desires, no matter how contrary his wishes might be to your own. That guy has receiving skills like I’ve never seen. He’s an excellent mentor for learning how to put yourself first.
7. Persistence pays.
From a distance most people would never guess he can’t see, since he gets around so well. But every once in a while Elvis bumps into a planter, or a sleeping dog, or a bunch of groceries. He doesn’t miss a beat, though – he keeps moving and just tries a different direction until he finds a way through. Meaning, he doesn’t give up on getting where he wants to be.
I could take a lesson from him on that. (He even pestered the office cats to share their bed until they finally relented and let him join without making a fuss.)
8. Don’t give a rip.
Elvis never once sweated what someone else thought of him. Others’ opinions simply didn’t play into his reality. When I did the “poor blind kitty” routine – he promptly proved me wrong as he took over the entire household. When the 70 pound foster pit bull thinks cats should be nowhere near the dog food dish, Elvis doesn’t care what she thinks. He’ll eat dog food if he wants to. And so it is.
(I will add Elvis is the pro at teaching new foster dogs some respect for cats.)
9. Leverage help.
I’m not exactly sure I got this “lesson” right, but Elvis often travels further and faster when he’s chasing another cat. Somehow he becomes more fearless as he’s following them. Is it to let others break the trail? Is it to find courage in “drafting”? I don’t know exactly, but it’s hilarious to watch.
10. There are no limits.
Time and time again this cat has blown past any limits I thought he’d bump into. They simply don’t exist for him. Closed door? He’ll open it himself. Screen door? He’ll tear through. Lap full of other cats/computer/papers/dinner? He’ll make room. No one will let you out? He’ll find an open window to leap out of.
He even catches birds and grasshoppers like a skilled hunter. As a conscious creator, this “no limits living” inspires me endlessly. As a bird lover, I’m none too pleased. (I rescue the grasshoppers from his clutches when possible.)
11. Life is an adventure.
If we’re doing life right, it isn’t always going to be safe and sound and perfectly protected.
Shortly after he learned how to jump the back fence, my sweet kitty went awol. I cried virtually nonstop until he came back the next day. (I even made Russ hand out the “find Elvis” signs in the neighborhood since I couldn’t stop crying to do it myself.)
When Elvis meowed on the front porch at 4 am, just as I kept trying to imagine he would, I opened the door to find he was so tired he could hardly stand. You know what? Sometimes you have to answer the grand call to adventure. Hopefully only once, though.
Bonus lesson, and maybe the most important of all …
12. Love isn’t conditional.
And on the day that Elvis went on his big adventure in the neighborhood, I learned how conditional my happiness was. I was a wreck without him – completely unable to to feel joy in his absence, even with six other perfectly good cats and three wonderful dogs and a lot of other reasons to be happy. That showed me it’s not good to be so attached to circumstances for how I feel. And to remember that true love isn’t conditional.
So far that’s just theoretical knowledge, I guess, but I’m working on it.
For all the companion animal rescue volunteers who sometimes have trouble feeling like they’re making a difference, please know that you are. Every time you step up to do what you do, you’re putting someone’s new best friend on their right path. God bless you for that.
Thanks to Marci at Tooele Animal Outreach for rescuing that scrawny blind kitten from the shelter, even when you didn’t know what you’d do with him, and to my ex for totally getting my foster request all wrong/right. And to the whole neighborhood for helping keep an eye out for this amazing cat. And to Sandy G for inspiring this post.
Last, huge thanks to Elvis who is living proof of my alignment to dreams coming true even better than I imagined.