It’s the thought that counts, which is a sentiment used to indicate that it is the kindness behind a gift that matters and not the actual gift itself.
Christmas is the holiday when I hear that statement used most. Birthdays come a close second.
I agree wholeheartedly that the reasons behind why a gift is given can have great value. Sometimes, but not always, the sentiment can have more value than the gift’s monetary value. I, for one, enjoy knowing that someone put thought into my gift and that means more to me than how much money was spent.
There can be occasions when you really have to focus on the thought behind a gift, because the gift itself is an unwelcome one and that thought makes it very difficult to accept with a smile. That sentence makes me feel wicked, but I have received some truly unwanted – and slightly disturbing – gifts this holiday season from our cat.
Stanley, who wiggled his way into my life when he kept running away from his home and showing up at mine, has become a killer and has left the lifeless bodies of several small mice and one bird at the kitchen door.
Cats are predators. My daughter thinks that Stanley is combining his need to hunt with a desire to show his love for us by leaving the prey as gifts. Showing his love for us is a very nice thought. Kudos to my sweet child who tends to think the best of people and pets.
My newest theory is this new behavior is in relationship to Stanley’s desire to be an indoor cat. The kids bring Stanley in when it’s cold. With my allergies, there’s a pet carrier that he stays in. He loves it, obviously, because he curls up and sleeps the whole time. He meows to be taken outdoors and meows at the door when he's ready to come back in.
He’s become so accustomed to the routine that I’ve actually opened the door to the pet carrier and he’s walked to the kitchen and out the door. He’s trained!
In between the cold weather spells, we leave him outside. He has become even more persistent in his attempts to be indoors in that pet carrier. Maybe, just maybe, the gifts at the door are him attempting to sweet talk his way back into the house.
One guess is as good as another. Stanley isn’t telling. Regardless of the reason, we are now trying to figure out how to make Stanley stop. We’re leaning toward more toys to give him something to play with outside.
FYI, for Christmas I bought Bob a decorative birdhouse from Yard Envy. It was a green Hobbit House. He loves his garden and it seemed like a perfect present. He’s a difficult man to read sometimes, but I think he liked it.
Stanley could learn a little something. That birdhouse is absolutely adorable and much better than lifeless little bodies.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.