Maddie is a cat. We met her when my son moved into a rental house one day. She was very curious and came to check out the new tenant….a.k.a…my son. Any time I would come to visit, she would come to greet me and say hello. One day the guy next door came over and said he was moving and asked my son if he wanted the cat. My son said that unfortunately he was moving too, and couldn’t have pets in his new place. So, one day, the guy just moved away and left her behind. I’m sure she was confused, hurt, and lonely, but she continued to be her cheerful little self to the rest of the neighbors. She was so sweet and so loving to people, it just plain broke my heart to think that he just left her. We told her how much we loved her and took her home with us.
We took her to the vet and decided to keep her until we could find a new home for her….a forever home. We didn’t know her name so we named her Madeline or Maddie for short. She seemed to like it. We tried to assimilate her with our cat, but it didn’t work. Fighting balls of fur ensued. Not good. So we created two separate living spaces for these felines. Not easy. Finding a home for her proved much harder than we imagined. Most people just don’t want a stray cat. And then it occurred to me, this happens to people too. That broke my heart all over again, the fact of not being wanted by anyone.
Maddie is a Tree Star. She is a metaphor for all of the unloved and unwanted among all of God’s creatures. She reminds me that behind lots of sweet faces is perhaps the pain of people walking away and being left behind, literally or emotionally. She reminds me to look out for that and find ways to show love in ways that I am able. Maddie is a Blessing. She shows me with her nuzzling and laying her little head against my heart that the love I have given away comes back to me. It has not been misplaced. Maddie is an opportunity. She reminds me how important it is to reach out and give my time and effort to show love even when it is inconvenient to do so. As I am about to begin another year, this is a good reminder. Thank you Maddie, I needed that!
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat. ~ Mother Teresa