Meet Cowboy. Many mornings when I open our front door, there he is, just lying on our welcome mat. He immediately sits up and peers in at me. Looks pitiful, and dare I say ... hopeful?
Matter of fact, he spends a good bit of time lying or sitting on our front porch. Looking in. Looking pitiful. Or in our back yard, following us around or gazing into the house from out there. He could be running around the neighborhood, doing whatever it is outside cats are supposed do all day, but instead, he bides his time ... wastes his time ... looking in our windows. Wishing he were inside. Hoping his luck will change.
If wishes were horses, all beggars would ride; it wishes were fishes, we'd all have some fried.
He isn't our cat. Cowboy belongs to a neighbor, but I guess you could say he's our collateral pet, just like the other critters who come to our place for a handout. We don't mind him hanging around, but there's something heart-breaking about the sight of him looking in our window so often.
Somehow, his expression looks ... familiar ...
I'm pretty sure I know how he feels. I've been excluded a time or two.
And I've seen people with that same wistful expression, people who bide their time ... waste their time ... pining to be someone or somewhere they aren't. Essentially, they're wasting their lives on wishes for fishes instead of eating what they have right in front of them, or reaching for the doggone fishing rod.
Does Cowboy tug at your heartstrings, too?
|Sometimes Cowboy and Dot look at each other through the window.|
|Sometimes he and Dash watch each other.|
Cowboy wants to come inside so badly. We can see it in his face when he stares in the front door. We can see it in his face when he stares in our back sliding glass doors. We can see it when he tries to slip inside when we open the door, and when he rolls on the ground in front of us, doing his tricks and trying to please.
He wants to be part of the in crowd.
I suspect wanting to belong is a fairly universal feeling. There are at least two songs entitled On the Outside Looking In, and that's also the title of Michael Reagan's book. Then there's the book and movie The Outsiders. And let's not forget the 1962 song by the Sensations called Let Me In. Don't remember that one? Here, take a listen:
And so it seems,
when we're on the OUTSIDE, we want IN.
And when we're on the INSIDE, we want OUT.
Is happiness always just on the other side of that closed door? Is there someone guarding that door, keeping you on the outside, like in Fats Domino's 1961 song, I Hear You Knocking (But You Can't Come In)?
When we're different from everybody else, we wanta be the same, and when we're too much like everybody else, we yearn to be different. Ya know what? Inside yourself or outside, you never have to change what you see, only the way you see it. [Thaddeus Golas] We yam what we yam. And we yam pretty damned good.
Okay, so maybe you never felt like part of the in crowd.
So what? Be a standout.
|Outside may very well be the new in place. There's lots of us out here.|
I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time. [Anna Freud]
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.