Monday, June 13, 2011

The Spirit is Willing, but the Flesh is Weak

I've written a lot about one of our cats, Bingo, but I rarely mention the other. Her name is Penelope, and it is the name she came with when we adopted her from a rescue organization. For the first couple of years of her life, she was a feral cat-- born wild and living as nobody's pet. The vet said she has had at least one litter of kittens, too. Her first three months in our home were spent in the guest room, under the bed. She was terrified of everything and everyone. We were okay with giving her as much space and time as she needed, though, because really? What's the rush?

Over the last seven years, she has come a long way-- much further than simply out from under the bed. Oh, she's still very skittish; in fact she still runs away from me any time we meet on the stairs, but she warms to visitors much more quickly, and there is something about her manner which clearly communicates her desire to please us.

Desire and willingness are not always the same, however, and so she occasionally bites and flees, not to mention puts up a hell of a fight whenever the cat carrier makes an appearance. Still, I admire her spirit, though her flesh may be a bit weak. It all reminds me of one of Aesop's fables:

A scorpion and a frog met on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asked the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asked, "How do I know you won't sting me?" 

The scorpion said, "Because if I do, I will die too." The frog was satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stung the frog. 

As they both began to sink, the frog had just enough time to ask "Why?" 

And the scorpion replied: "Because it is my nature."

70-30: Penelope would have made it across.

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