Our cats went to the veterinarian today; it was not a fun way to start the day. Here you see Buschi who absolutely hates being in a travel crate. It took me four tries to get him into the car, then another two to get him into the crate in the car. He howled and yelled in the car, scratched at the crate, then howled some more in the waiting area. Once he was in the examining room he hid in the corner and was almost impossible for the Technician to pick up to weigh let alone examine. Once she had him in her arms he calmed down and everything went smoothly. A couple shots later and he was done.
On the drive home, when he was quiet and worn out from fighting us all, it hit me. He dreaded being in the car so much that his actions made the trip much worse than it actually needed to be. His attitude and tantrums made the whole experience into a reality show drama that it just didn’t need to be for any of us. So I asked myself, when in my own life have I behaved that exact same way? I built things up in my attitude and actions that blew it all out of proportion, and when the situation really hit it was a big fat nothing. My cat reminded me today that getting upset about something that hasn’t happened yet serves no value AND wastes a lot of energy to accomplish nothing.
There are things in our life that we all dread. Tax season, medical appointments, balancing our finances, cleaning out the refrigerator, moving, looking for a job, and so many more. When faced with the unknown we tend to go to our comfort areas which can mean fear, dread, panic, control issues, micromanaging, isolation or any combination of these reastions. When facing the unknown we fill the void with what we know and the behavior that soothes. It usually won’t make the unknown anymore known but we pretend it makes things better.
Tonight Buschi is back to his congenial self and all seems right with the world. It is as if this morning never happened…at least in his attitude. The rest of us now have an experience we won’t forget, until it happens again next year. We will dread it because we know what happened today, and for us it will take a long time to want to go there again. When we build things up and react badly it impacts those around us. Next time you feel that strain and panic of the unknown coming upon you, take a deep breath and calm down. The situations and the people around you will appreciate a calm you instead of a panicky you. No need to act like a caged cat.