In July of 2014 a friend of mine started to feed an orange tabby that had become a skittish visitor in her back yard. He was a skinny raga-muffin cat who kept his distance. He definitely didn’t want anyone near him – you could see the mistrust in his eyes and his behavior.

Originally she wasn’t going to feed him, but felt a strong tug to do so.

At first as she fed him he ignored her, but he gobbled up the food. It was obvious that his visits were motivated primarily by food.

Every afternoon she would come out and put his food on her patio. Days became weeks, weeks became months, months became years. They both knew the drill. She would put the food down and once she went back inside he would cautiously move to it and eat it with one eye and one ear cocked to warn him of anything that might bring him harm.

At some point they started calling him Charlie to no effect, cold shoulder. All conversation came from them. As well as food and a soft bed to lie in, or not!!

They would wet the dirt in summer so that it was cool for him and enclosed the patio in plastic in the winter, with an exit of course, so that he would have a warm place at night.

They could sense a thawing in his attitude toward them, but they still couldn’t get close. No touching was allowed.

This summer they installed an additional fan on a timer to keep him cool.

A few months ago, he began jumping on the windowsill and walked back and forth rubbing affectionately on the glass. My friend would rub the glass, petting him from the inside. Sometimes he would go into overload and fall off.

And then it happened! She was sitting outside and Charlie came by. He let her touch him. He was wary, but didn’t run away. She stroked and petted him; he got so drunk with affection that he fell over. What a break through.

Since that day, he follows her everywhere. She pets and loves on him continually. She has also started to brush him. Two days ago, he rolled over and gave her his tummy to be rubbed.

What a great example of the power of love given generously!

Is there someone or something in your life that needs generous love?

Some thoughts:
Don’t be put off by their skittishness or even prickliness.
Be patient.
Love them via their felt need (food, shelter, patience, affirmation,
time) and you will reach their heart.

We are always on the lookout for stories about generous living. Contact us if you have one!

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