Last Thursday I was sitting in the sun in Amalfi and enjoying lunch outdoors overlooking the Marina Grande beach. There were a few brave souls making their way slowly out into the cold water and returning soon enough to lay in the warmth of the sun. Spring is just about to burst open here on the Amalfi Coast, and everything from trees to tourism is coming back to life.
The next morning my cat, Puffy, showed up in the garden in terrible pain. We rushed him to the vet’s office in Maiori to find that he had a urinary block. Tests were done and there has been no significant damage to his kidneys, so thankfully he hadn’t been blocked for very long. We remembered that he seemed quite normal Thursday evening. With a catheter, the IV attachment in his front arm and a cone around his head, the following few days (and nights) were very long. As I sat for hours next to him in the bathroom to keep him calm, I had a lot of time to focus on certain ideas that have been in my mind for months now.
One of the words that kept coming back to me was gratefulness. As Puffy purred away while I sat next to him—even when he was in pain—I realized that was his way of telling me how grateful he was for me being there beside him. I thought about how grateful I am, in turn, for all the happiness he has brought us, and how insignificant and easy it is to give him this time and a few nights of sleep. I am grateful that he is recovering now and for this time helping him along that road. It was time that I needed to spend away from my busy schedule.
It’s easy to be grateful for the good days when the sun is shining and life seems easy. But what about the other days when you’re exhausted, frustrated or worried? I realized I don’t want to miss those days. I want to be grateful not only for the good days, but also for the challenging days, the long days, the stressful days. There is something in each of those days to be grateful for – if only the purring of an animal that is grateful for your love and care.