I noticed my cat was not waiting at the door when I got home like usual. I looked around and called. I couldn’t see him or hear him in all the usual spots. I hoped he was just out exploring. He liked to be outside at night to roam.
The next morning he was not begging at the door to come in and eat. This was NOT usual. I went looking again and finally found him under the shed.
He looked unhappy and didn’t come to me. Then, he turned his head away from me which is what he does when he is hurt.
I felt my heart sink. We finally managed to get him out from under the shed and brought him in. He did not want to eat and was limping.
He couldn’t really put weight on his leg and we thought it might be broken.
We took him to the vet. The vet immediately noticed one of his pupils was dilated more than the other which could indicate head trauma.
She suspected he may have been hit. I couldn’t hold back the tears at this point, imagining a kid with a baseball bat or a car.
She found blood under his neck. She said they needed to do x-rays and tests to find out what happened.
She felt a heart murmur so decided anesthesia might not be safe. She just wanted to check it out.
Several very stressful hours later, she let us know that he had been shot with a pellet gun.
It had missed his organs and luckily barely missed his major arteries. It was not a fatal shot, but we were not in the clear.
She compassionately explained our options and let us know he could still have life threatening injuries. We would watch him and see.
She felt like he may eat if he was at home with us so we brought him home.
I knew instinctively which neighbor it was but I didn’t want to just go on instinct.
Rage filled my body. I could hardly contain it. It was intense and I let it rip through me.
I knew this was a trauma I was going to process in the moment. I screamed it out, cried it out, beat a pillow. It was like a wildfire inside burning its way through the interior.
I grabbed my Mesa (healing bundle) and breathed it out, hissed it out, moaned…anything to release the feelings of betrayal and hate.
My husband went to talk to the neighbor and the woman was in the yard.
We suspected it was her teenage son or husband. She confirmed it, saying they were out the night before with the pellet gun shooting possums.
We called the officials and they sent a deputy out. He talked to them and the husband said they were protecting their chickens.
These were the same chickens that hung out with our cat in our yard for 2 days previously.
They followed my cat around and he just let them. We thought they were cute and he didn’t mind.
He definitely wasn’t looking at them like they were dinner.
The deputy said they had a right to shoot anything in their yard to protect their livestock.
He said we should keep our cat inside or set up an enclosure with chicken wire so he could walk around in it but be outside.
At this point, I just wanted to hear them say they wouldn’t shoot my cat again.
I just wanted to feel safe. It would have been nice to hear an apology but more than that I wanted reassurance.
The deputy asked if I wanted to talk to the husband. It sounded like he just wanted to justify why they had shot my kitty.
I asked the deputy if this is what he wanted to say and he said, “yes”.
I said I didn’t need that and went inside to process some more hurt.
I eventually went to talk to the neighbor and the woman opened the door. She explained again how they were protecting the chickens.
She said she raised her boy to only shoot what he was going to eat so she didn’t raise him to just kill mercilessly.
She said the chickens were like pets to her boys so I thought she was relating. I asked her if we could feel safe letting our cat outside.
She said they wouldn’t be able to tell between a cat or another animal.
She said we better keep him inside especially at night. She said they would keep shooting animals in their yard.
I went back to my house feeling disgusted, unsafe, sad, lost, and extremely angry.
I had thoughts of revenge, but could see that this was not what my kitty needed. It would only feed their ignorance and empower hate.
This is how wars start. It was a mini battle starting inside me, but I had a choice.
I continued to feel the intense anger and hatred. I chose not to direct it at them, but my mind was putting up a huge fight.
I could see that each one of us affects the state of the world by our little choices in each scenario…in each moment. I could see this was my moment. I could easily choose blame, hate, and revenge.
I wanted to be the mama grizzly bear and rip their scalps from their skulls to make sure my baby was safe. Sorry, I believe in being honest.
My mind was all ready to come up with a brilliant plan to teach them a lesson in empathy.
Yet, I could see what this would actually be feeding. I would be contributing to the violence that hurt my sweet kitty boy.
I would be an active part of the problem. It is all nice when it is someone else but this was gut wrenching.
It was time to make a higher choice when my insides were being twisted with contempt for others.
I am having to make the choice over and over to send them love. But, what I’m really having to do is choose to love myself…forgive myself.
I’ve gotten to confront and embrace the killer, the liar, the innocent, the idiot, the closed minded, the controller, the manipulator, the mama bear/protector and ALL inside me.
I’ve had to see that my dad and grandpa taught me to shoot a gun at a very young age. I had to remember shooting a bird when I didn’t know any better.
I’ve remembered every bug I’ve stepped on and every animal I’ve hit with a car.
This pain runs deep. I love all animals so deeply and this pains me more than I can say.
Writing these words right now seems to be cracking my heart wide open for possible threats. At least that is how it feels.
At the same time, it seems to be softening and opening a part of my heart that has been dormant and closed.
At some point, there was a trauma that hurt so deeply, the heart closed down. This anger, rage, betrayal, and unforgiveness went into the shadows.
Now, because of these inconsiderate animal shooters and my sweet Py, it’s coming out for release and forgiveness.
Forgiveness for all involved including my dad, grandpa, neighbors, all hunters, animal abusers, and myself.
I do not condone animal cruelty in anyway. I am just able to see a little bit bigger perspective on the Divine flowing in all of this.
I can see that it is impossible to be ultimately kind, if this rage, anger, grief, and violence is trapped in the shadows of my heart and psyche.
It is also impossible for our world to reflect only kindness and peace, if we carry hatred, revenge, violence in the deep recesses of our own hearts.
It is ALL a reflection of us on the truest level.
Sometimes, life presents us with horrid seeming scenarios so we can release the pain we’ve carried inside.
Sometimes, those jerks next door actually give us a gift of healing. It all depends on how we handle it.
If we have deep imprints from unprocessed traumas, we can create similar scenarios in our lives, until we can release them from shadow.
Often, we may need assistance to release the original wound or trauma.
(In this case, I feel like I may have an imprint around this, because its still an emotional charge, so can do even deeper healing to release it once and for all.)
Thank you for reading.
My cat is eating and seems to be healing well. I may need to do a session on him to ease the fear and trauma.
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Misha Almira is a shamanic healer. meditation teacher, and full time blogger.