Why are we afraid?

I didn’t sleep too well last night. I had a kitten in the bedroom with me.  A kitten in a live trap.  And it didn’t like where it was, so it meowed until it got too tired, rested and meowed again off and on all night. It had a towel in the cage, water and food, so that wasn’t its problem.  It was scared.  Its mother had just gotten killed.  We caught the other three kittens in the live trap and took them to the Humane Society, hoping against hope that they would be able to tame these almost-ferrel kittens to the point where they could be adopted out.  The shelter wouldn’t promise anything, and we sadly left.

Once home, I lured the last kitten into our house and thought maybe it would be tamed that way.  But it hid and meowed until my husband and I were beside ourselves.  I had the grand idea of forcing interaction faster by catching it in the live trap.  It almost went berserk trying to get out.  Leaving it to get adjusted to its new environment for a few hours, I started coming close and speaking softly to it.  When I went away it acted like it wanted me to come back.  That’s when I transferred it to my bedroom for the night.

By this morning, the kitten had calmed down.  I continued speaking softly to it, and eventually ventured to stick my finger through the mesh into the cage where it was.  Not feeling very brave, I was ready to retreat quickly (get my finger the heck out of there!).  To my surprise, the kitten nuzzled me, turned her head to be scratched behind the ears, and (greater surprise!) turned over on its back for caressing.  Well, go figure…

It wasn’t afraid of me.  It was afraid of the distance between freedom as it knew it and submission to a greater power.  I thought about this for a few minutes.  How often do we hide on the peripheral edges of life afraid to come closer, yet intrigued by the love we sense in being close to the creator?  Sometimes we need to be locked up, figuratively of even literally, until we loose our fear and accept the love and true freedom.