Finding Gratitude in Every Situation...Like in Cat Bites

Last night I found myself the unpleasant recipient of a rather significant cat bite at the base of my right pinky finger (2 deep punctures that look like little vampire fang marks) and several cat scratches on my right leg (especially impressive considering that I was wearing jeans). While taking my cat, Peter, outside for a short adventure on his leash and harness (the only way he gets to go outside), a neighbor cat took exception to Peter's existence and attacked him -- and me. Thus the scratches (from the neighbor cat climbing my leg to try to disembowel Peter), and the bite (from Peter expressing his displeasure at the entire situation). Because cat bites and scratches are a playground for infections, my husband sped me to the emergency room to hopefully acquire a tetanus shot and some antibiotics.

In no way could this be considered anything other than a sucky situation, but I was pleased at the ways in which I was able to find gratitude in a less-than-desirable circumstance. Here are some of the ways I was able to find gratitude:
  • I maintained a relatively Zen outlook and kept my sense of humor (after the initial cursing and shouting).
  • Peter didn't receive any wounds from the encounter, so we didn't have to make 2 trips to 2 ERs.
  • Friends were near to help right after the incident and one stayed awake until we came back from the ER (at 12:30 am) to check on me.
  • Although the wait at the ER was really long (the place was packed), the hospital staff were all very kind, friendly, helpful and as efficient as they could be under the circumstances.
  • At the ER I was able to witness so many acts of kindness and of families and friends helping each other.
  • The guardian of the other kitty freely offered to pay my medical bills and came to check on me first thing the next morning.
  • While the pain certainly makes itself known, it doesn't hurt as badly as it could.
  • While I can't use my right hand for many tasks for the next several days, I am able to do some typing, so that I can continue to work.
  • A friend and neighbor offered to help me with whatever tasks I might need help with today (such as picking up our puppy from doggy daycare).
  • My husband was there to help me triage the wounds, take me to the ER, sit with me for 3 hours, comfort me when I was feeling worried, take me home, put me to bed, stay home from work for a couple hours the next morning to take care of my prescriptions and a couple of errands I couldn't do, make my lunch so I wouldn't have to, etc. (My husband rocks, by the way.)
I could continue the list, but you get the idea. I could have been angry and wallowed in my pain and been impatient at the long ER wait and mad at my neighbor (and at the cats), and upset about the expense, and frustrated at the lack of use of my hand, etc., but I was -- and am -- none of those. There are just too many things to be grateful for during this experience (although I'll happily never repeat it, if I can help it!).

I'm often not nearly as grateful as the situation deserves, but being able to find so much to be grateful for after getting my butt kicked by two cats has given me hope that my ability to find gratitude in every situation is increasing.

~ Marsha

(The image is our 16 year-old cat, Peter, with his patent-pending glare at the entire universe.)

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