I have always thought of myself as a “dog person” until meeting Sweetie, the kitty who stole my heart in India.
Other than the cats and dogs at my grandparent’s farm, I have never had a cat or dog to call my own. But, I always thought of Skippy, who lived on the farm and was the most perfect dog that God ever created, as my dog. And, because of my relationship with him I thought dogs were superior to cats. Unlike the cats on the farm, he was loyal and would follow me wherever I went. He would hide with me behind the couch when I snatched the sugar bowl to eat raw rhubarb, get lost with me in the cornfields, and he let me dress him as a baby and push him in a buggy. The cats were not as friendly or tolerable as Skippy.
My assumptions about cats quickly changed once meeting Sweetie while in India at the Marinist Novitiate at Nirmal Deep. She was the sweetest (hence the name) little creature who would wait for me outside my bedroom door each morning, walk with me while I prayed my Rosary, and play with me while I enjoyed the Indian sunshine. She would also sit on my lap and take her afternoon nap while I watched the Novices play sports. Ahh! She was a true companion!
Missing Sweetie has me thinking about cats and dogs and how other assumptions fill my mind. I am sure there are many things that I hold as truth that may not be as “Gospel” as I think. I don’t think I am alone in accepting a thing as true or certain without proof. My assumption about cats and dogs is trivial in the scope of things but assumptions of other types can lead to trouble.
It is easy to make assumptions about people or situations. All you need is incomplete information, an unwillingness to ask questions and search further, and to fill-in the blanks with your own ideas. Assumptions can get us into trouble by stopping us from authentically engaging with another person or circumstance. They can keep us stuck in old thinking and inhibit us from taking responsibility. We all know that assumptions more times than not end up being far from true and prevent us from knowing, enjoying, and experiencing the full truth.
I am sure glad I did not let my assumptions about cats and dogs hold me back from becoming a “dog person who likes cats!”