My mom once said to me, very long ago when I apologized for something (I may have been 17 years old), that "You need to learn to be gracious about a compliment." Someone may have said I looked nice that day, or that I was smart for getting good grades, or that I had drawn something well---some sort of teenage thing. I probably begged off saying "Oh, but, it's nothing really." And afterward Mom said that line:
"You need to learn to be gracious about a compliment."
Some people have a brain-full of quotes from their parents. I'm not so good at that. However that line is one thing that stuck with me, because I have a very hard time saying a simple "Thank you" when people say "You've done a decent thing."
Sometimes they aren't just saying "you've done good." They are sending money. This is the ultimate thanks. For me to not say "thank-you" back, just because I'm overwhelmed by the generosity of it all, is just plain wrong.
Yet I seem to have a really hard time with it. I don't know why.
I have two adopters, in particular, who are extremely generous. Have I asked either one of them if it's OK to thank them by name? I have not. However in some ways, they keep this little rescue alive. Now and then a card arrives in the mail with a check that ranges from $150-400. Seriously, do you know what it's like when someone sends you that kind of donation? Your brain goes "OMG, paythevetpayNYSEGbuycatfoodAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!" If there weren't so many ticks out here, I would roll in the grass like a happy mutt!
(More on ticks, later)
I also intermittently receive donations via PayPal. I don't push PayPal very much, maybe twice a year, because I am not a 501(c)(3) organization (more to come on that as well!). Yet now and then a donation rolls through, and I have to say, whether it is small or large, I stare at the computer screen in astonishment. I think about that person and the fact that they clicked that link to help the cats here...and it just makes me sit and think how good people are.
And you know, even people who don't have money to spare are generous and over-the-top good. There are other cat rescuers who, even when they just post information on their own blogs, I am so appreciative of. The fact that they share makes me feel like I'm--well--not alone in my craziness. They have great ideas I can use, or that I can enthuse over!
I also know all sorts of folks who don't have an extra dime to their name, but they are there working at community events, because time is gold, and time may be the only gold they have. Maybe it is the fire department. Maybe it is their community park. Maybe it is Meal On Wheels. I feel like those people are kindred spirits. They could not give a whit about cats, and I am still amazed and impressed by them.
There are also all sorts of people that I purchase things off of, who are charging far less than they should, or even just charging me "cost"--just because they are friends and neighbors.
The world is full of people who are just. plain. good. folks.
So why am I reminded of this? Because a little while ago I received a PayPal donation of $150 from Janet, in memory of Cricket and Ivan.
My eyes tear up just thinking of Cricket and Ivan. I miss them a lot. Like all of us, even when we lose a human participant in our lives, I didn't realize how special they were until they were gone. I guess what really amazes me about them is that I totally missed that Cricket was that bonded to Ivan. I wonder how much I miss about the people in my life, when I don't even see until after the fact that the lives of two cats revolve around one another, even if they aren't joined at the furry hip.
Janet's donation brought to mind the donations from Mary, and the donations from Christy and Gordon, and all other folks who have sent dollars to The Owl House (and Wildrun) over the years, not expecting to get a tax write-off--just wanting to help the cats and myself. It makes me think of my neighbors who slow down in their cars to say "Hi," or who even just go by on their daily walk and talk to the cats who stare out at them from the barn windows. Of people who come by just to visit me and the cats. It also reminds me of the spark I get anytime anyone posts a "Like" on Facebook, or even a comment here on Blogger (although I know what a pain it is to comment on Blogger--seriously, I do, so don't feel bad if you can't figure it out! I run into the same thing with blogs I follow!)
If you even just read this blog I want to say "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you". I can see your visits, because I have Google Analytics on my sites. You don't even need to give a dollar to give me a huge spiritual boost. Just reading this blog means so much to me. The fact that you are reading this NOW means you care--not just for me, but for your own neighbors, and your family, and all those people in your life who have a space in your heart.
For those of you who have given dollars, I want to let you know that they do all go for the cats. It's food, it's veterinary visits, it's electric bills for heat and cooling in the cat facility. That's it. It must be an incredible leap of faith, to throw dollars out there on the internet and expect that they get used for what you are seeing on-line. I want to let you know that it does.
Please hug your cats today. Because they love you, and you love them. And that means all of the world to me, and to anyone who rescues cats. If there were a way to channel that caring to all of us, we could all just live off it. Honestly.
Please think of the people who have helped you, too, or who give you joy in your life. Maybe you could give them a call or send them a Facebook message today.
And thank you.