As soon as 5pm rolls around we begin the call for the Wild, that is we start calling for our kitty, Pablo to get his butt inside. Our home sits atop a hillside of vacant open space dotted with live oaks, bay laurels and sagebrush. Pablo loves to pretend he's the neighborhood lion roaming this wild land. Between sleeping in the sun on our deck and stalking amongst the high grasses, it's his own feline shangri la. On any given day we'll see deer, hawks, owls, an occasional fox and coyotes. The latter is why we make sure that Pablo is in before the real wildlife comes to prey. So when he's not milling around the back door by evening, I start my search.
My beau likes to call me the over-protective mother, and I suppose he's right. Pablo is my baby. I rescued him from a kill-shelter in San Jose four years ago when he was just 5months old and we've been connected ever since. We play hide and seek together, whenever I'm working outside he's darting in and out of the bushes and trees, he even tries to follow me on my hikes. Our best time together is when he jumps up on my head at 4am and splays his entire body against my head and shoulder, purring me back to sleep.
Yesterday my beau and I went out for a date night dinner. Before we left we called for Pablo to come in and he was nowhere to be found. Not unusual due to the fact the daylight is changing. He often hears us, but decides to come in his own time. We figured he was still on the prowl. So after about 20 minutes of calling we went out, knowing he'd probably be by the front door, starving for dinner when we came home.
Arriving back later that evening, he wasn't by the front door. He wasn't by the back door. I called, I didn't hear the bell jingling on his collar. Again, this scenario has played out many times before..me calling and calling and him sauntering home an hour later. So I tried to be calm, the way a parent does when their teenager is out past curfew. I sat on the sofa, read for about 10 minutes, looked at the clock..looked at how dark it had become outside. I put a jacket on, grabbed the flashlight and began my trek. I walked around our property calling him, walked up the hill through the neighborhood, calling him. As I reached the top of the hill and shined the flashlight around the hillside, there was still no sign of him. At this point I decided to call for the backup of my guides. I looked up into the night sky and felt my feet on the street, grounding myself instead of spinning into a panic, as over-protective mothers are wont to do. I just sent a request up into the ether, "Guides, please show me where he is." I'm not sure if they're my spirit guides or the earth spirits who help me with this issue, but they often guide me in the right direction when I'm unable to find him by myself. They pointed me in the direction down the foot of the hill about two acres in back of our house. It's a place where he never ventures, but this is what they were showing me.
I'd love to say the guidance I received was delivered in a grand flash lighting my way, towards a giant red arrow marking the spot of his precise coordinates, the message heralded by archangels with trumpets and hoohah. But it wasn't. It never is. The guidance we receive comes more as a whisper, a murmur, a suggestion in the way of an image flashing through the mind's eye, a subtle download of information, a brief moment of clarity, or simply goosebumps signifying a sensation of something amiss. It's the guidance we receive in our quiet moments. When we allow the rational overthinking take a back seat and let our intuitive mind to have more of a playing field. The guidance we receive often comes in metaphors or fragments forcing us to open the periphery of our mind's eye rather than navigating with tunnel vision.
I walked down our winding road through the neighborhood, continuing to call him on the off chance he was just hiding in the bushes intent on a field mouse, but no luck. I finally reached the base of the hill and walked through the flats, calling him, shining the flashlight, no sign of him anywhere. And then I heard it...a very loud MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!. It was him, but I couldn't see him anywhere. My heart sank, thinking he was stuck in some hole, but then as I got closer, I heard him again, he was calling from someplace above me. I shined the flashlight overhead and there he was, 20 feet high, stuck in the yoke of an oak tree. I could tell he was happy to see me. All I could see was his little face meowing to "Get me outta here!" While he's an agile little climber, his descension skills aren't on the same par.
The tree was a straight shot up with no branches to climb and access him. So I ran back home to get my beau and a ladder. Luckily he grabbed his 16 foot ladder which he just bought last week. Rode down the hill and put it against the tree. Climbing up the ladder was precarious. It was shaky, uneven ground, and while the tree was tall, it was narrow, only about 14 inches across. I held it firmly as he climbed up as high as he could to rescue Pablo, he still couldn't reach him. I wondered if the fire department really came to help cats in trees. He wondered, "How the heck did he get up there?" We figured something chased him up that tree in order for him to climb that high. He must have been there for hours. I told my beau to go home and get a phone to call the fire department or Animal Control..someone more equipped to bring this cat out of a 20 foot high hiding spot. Thinking he was coming right back with a phone, I sat there and waited while Pablo still wondered why we weren't getting him down.
After about five minutes I got more guidance.."You can climb this ladder and get him down." I already saw how shaky a climb it was for my beau. To top it off I'm deathly afraid of heights...even 16 feet. But as Pablo wailed, the super powers of the over-protective mother kicked in. I climbed the ladder by myself, praying that it would be steady. I climbed up to the very top rung, knowing this was going to be a nasty fall if this didn't play out. But I reached him. I reached his soft belly draped over the yoke of the tree. He maneuvered himself around so I could grab him. Talking to him gently, telling him I had him. He let me grab him with both hands...no hands on the ladder. I took my jacket off and somehow got him out of that yoke and wrapped him in my jacket and brought him down. It was like someone was holding the ladder steady for me the entire time. We were protected.
As I walked up the hill with him wrapped in my jacket, he purred loudly and happily without squirming to get down. I thought about how I would have never thought to look down in that area. How we would have normally waited for him to just come home. I wondered how long he had been stuck in that tree and how long he would have remained if I hadn't received guidance to look for him there. I walked into the house with Pablo in my arms and my beau still on hold with Animal Control. His jaw dropped, "How did you get him down??" "I just climbed up and got him." I replied, not really believing it myself.
What I did believe and will always continue to believe is that we are always being guided and supported when we simply pause and listen.
Have you had an incident when you just paused and let your guidance tell you what to do? Tell me about in the comments below!