A few days ago, I learned that Kuno, my cat, is afraid of the sound of the door opening. She was on her cat tree, now located by the front door, when my husband came home. As the key turned in the latch, her eyes widened in terror, her muscles tensed, and at the next sound, she fled. We didn’t see her for the next 10 minutes or so, but I find that it’s best to let your cat manage its own emotions as much as possible. Pulling a terrified kitty out from under the furniture will only hurt you both.
I thought that the problem might have been her inability to prepare for the situation- she couldn’t tell that it was about to happen, she didn’t know who was coming in, etc. The next day, I tried to help her out a bit by opening the main door about 15 minutes early. As expected, she soon came down from the tree and moved to look out the glass door. Things were fine. She was watching the world, I was watching her, and I thought that things would be better this time.
Car arrived. Door shut. Alarm armed. Husband approached the door, and…. gone. She flew out of the room, back under the bed or into the closet. Mission failed. Well, kind of. Ultimately, she did reemerge from hiding faster on the second day, and she also examined her surroundings a bit, so I think it’s still good overall.
I would like for her to be able to face new and unknown experiences with confidence some day, though. I would like for her to not be afraid of everything that happens around her. I would like those things for myself as well. So, as I watched her peer through the glass, I thought about how much difference a small action on my part had made in her response and her potential.
I am looking for ways to do the same for myself now- ways to empower myself or to prepare myself for unpleasant situations. I’ll make it one day. Wait and see.