The Gift of Appreciation

Rex has been hunting a lot lately.  See below.

Unretouched photo.
     Unretouched photo.

On the left is a toy ball from the toddler who lives next door.  On the right is a dog toy of Max’s, our erstwhile pet.  Every day, Rex deposits them on the cement carport floor.  Every night, I put them back in the neighbors’ yard.  They reappear every morning, as if by magic. Let’s just say it’s a good thing the neighbors are out of town all summer. Yesterday, he even brought over a larger, flattened inflatable ball with Big Hero 6 characters on it.  Not sure where that came from. My cat does tricks!  Or is he a thief?  You make the call.

Truly, I have no evidence other than he is the one who calls out when he catches something.

“MWao!  MWao!” he’ll call from the echo chamber known as the carport.

I’ll peek out the back door, then step outside.

“Good boy.  What did you bring me this time?” I’ll stoop down and scratch his round black head.  I’ll pick up the snake – if it’s still alive – or muse over the beauty of the dead bird.  I don’t pet the dead things.

Rex hears me.  I give him a hard time if he hasn’t brought us a “gift” in a long time.

“What are you doing all night?  Sleeping? Did you forget about us? C’mon, bring us a little furry trophy,” I’ll coax.

Lo and behold, the next morning, he has delivered.

I’m all for affirmation.  But I can’t see that inanimate objects pose much of a challenge.  Are these objects part of the Axis of Evil?  They seem innocent enough, yet I’m not around them all the time.

This works in the human world, too.  Sometimes, people bring us gifts we don’t particularly appreciate. We can usually find something to appreciate about the gift.  I know a gal who got a broom and tube socks from her husband on her birthday.  It took a bit of doing, but she found a way to be grateful.  Like he wanted to keep her feet warm, or something. He did go on to learn how to give better presents, I do know. Sometimes a little education is in order.

I know Rex will get back to killing rodents, birds, reptiles and crunchy insects as soon as he’s able.  I can appreciate those, too.


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