Meet our porch cat. He showed up periodically last spring lounging in our front yard. However, every time I tried to approach him, he quickly ran away. So, imagine my surprise when Micah walked in our house one day and announced, “We have a new cat on our porch. I named him Monty.” If you met this cat today, you would never guess he was once shy or skittish in the least. Healthy interactions, coupled with time, development, and unconditional acceptance have worked wonders with regard to his behavior – which brings us to this week’s lesson.
I can’t tell you how often I see one of my former “friends” in an older grade and hear from that child’s teacher, “Him? He had behavior problems? That really surprises me.” My heart smiles every time this happens – and it happens often – which reminds me that when we are in the middle of dealing with difficult behaviors we can’t accurately assess the outcome of our interventions. We just have to remain hopeful that over time, our efforts will yield positive results.
If I’m being honest, it seems we share our porch cat. I know this because he once showed up with a collar and tag. Although there was not an address or phone number, on the tag was written, “My name is Valero. I’m a wanderer. Don’t F with me.” [I apologize for the offensiveness, but I kid you not. This is an exact quote. I was just relieved it was not spelled out any clearer…literally.]
I can’t attest for how he acts with his other owners, but I know one thing. Monty Valero is the most wonderful, playful and sweet boy we could ever hope for. We don’t see an ounce of attitude or poor behavior. Yep – it’s amazing what healthy interactions, coupled with time, development, and unconditional acceptance can accomplish.