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What My Cat’s Quest for a Pink Football Taught Me About Perseverance

photo: Brett Jordan on flickr

Have you ever wanted something that seemed out of reach?

What did you do about it? Did you:

A) Shrivel into a ball of doubt and fear, telling yourself you didn’t want it anyway?

B) Make a few half-hearted attempts to achieve your goal, followed by a collapse into a lifeless pile of defeat?

C) Charge after your object of desire like a Goofball in a candy shop?

(And if you’ve ever seen a Goofball in a candy shop, you can attest to the unbridled power and potential of option C.)

photo: Eliazar Parra Cardenas on flickr

When I was younger, faced with the possibility of pursuing my dreams, I would choose option A or B. Yes, I was frustrated. Yes, I would have preferred to unleash the candy-charging-Goofball within. But I didn’t feel capable of full-out pursuit.

That is, until I started on the path of spiritual growth.

I have had many teachers in my life, wise souls who have helped me actualize my potential. Some of them you may have heard of – Louise Hay, Ram Dass, Ernest Holmes, Abraham Hicks.

Today I would like to introduce you to another one of my teachers, one who has been hiding out in obscurity, content to rest in her vast knowledge and chase an occasional catnip mouse.

That’s right, Goofballs. I’m talking about my cat, Lucy.

Lucy is a bad ass. And I mean that in the best sense of the word.

Whatever Lucy wants, she goes after. True, mostly what she wants to do is sleep.

And then sleep some more.

But sometimes, her pursuits take a more active form.

Check it out:

I live in a condo complex, and my house is located right next to the recreation center, a center which includes a pool.

Because of my proximity to the pool, I see an occasional water-toy get tossed over the side of the fence and onto the lawn between the pool and my house. Usually, I throw the toys back into the pool area and go about my business.

But one day, I came home from work to find this:

It had been dropped at the end of the bed in my upstairs bedroom.

WTF?

I lived alone at the time. There were no fellow humans living in the house with me. The only other resident of the house was Lucy. But the pink football was twice as big as her head. How on earth did she get it into the house?

I suspected that the origin of the football was the pool. After all, it has the words “water fun” emblazened on its side.

But how did Lucy get it from the pool into the house?

In order to get from the pool area to my bedroom, she would have had to go across this lawn

down this sidewalk

jump this fence

climb over these rooftops

scoot through the cat door

and climb these set of stairs.

All the while carrying the football in her mouth.

I have to say, in my life as a cat mom, I had never been more proud.

I couldn’t help but marvel at the determination she must have had to complete her quest. I could just hear all the other cats, scoffing at her:

What are you, crazy? You can’t get that thing back to your house! It’s too big! How are you going to jump the fences with that monstrosity? That’s so not cool. You’re going to look like an idiot. You’re a cat, for God’s sake. Have some self-respect!!

But Lucy didn’t care. She ignored the taunts and nay-sayers, and she marched back to the house with that pink football in her mouth.

I know, I should have taken it back to the pool. But I was just too proud.

To this day, it’s her favorite toy. Every afternoon, I take the football and place it on top of this scratching post in the downstairs living room.

And every morning, when I wake up, the football is in our upstairs bedroom, at the end of the bed.

It’s like she’s reenacting her quest, again and again. Basking in the glory of obtaining the unobtainable.

So, whenever there’s something in my life that seems impossible, something that others might doubt or question, I think of Lucy and her pink football. And I say:

This one’s for you, Lucy. You did it, and I can too!

When have you obtained the unobtainable? What are the pink footballs in your life?

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18 Responses to What My Cat’s Quest for a Pink Football Taught Me About Perseverance

  1. Michael McElroy March 13, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    I love cats and some years ago I had two that were sisters. When I got home from a short vacation I found a baseball in the bath tub. I was a Little League coach so the origin of the ball was no mystery but how she gripped that ball and got it over the side of the tub is. I knew which cat it was because only one of them like to put her toys in the tub. Every once in a while I would find the ball in the tub but she never let me see her do it. I did see her put other toys in the tub though. A downstairs neighbor told me she sometimes heard a strange noise like something rolling around in the bathroom. She liked to get it rolling around as fast as she could.
    Loved the story and the message was great!

    • Z Egloff March 13, 2012 at 10:11 am #

      Hi Michael,

      That’s an awesome story. I love that you never saw your cat put the baseball in the tub. Lucy is the same way with the pink football – I never actually see her move it around. It’s like magic. Maybe both your cat and Lucy had special levitating skills, but they didn’t want us to know about it. 😉

      XOZ

  2. Squirrel March 13, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    i love this story. mostly cuz there’s a cat involved. lucy is so awesome. xoe does the same thing, but with mice and rats. but that’s a different story altogether.

    my pink football is the song i’m presenting at the concert. it’s a huge demonstration for me. i certainly didn’t know what exactly it would look like and i’ve wanted to do it for a long time. now it’s here. and it’s amazing. i jumped each hurdle one at a time. one fence at a time, one roof at a time, one stair at a time. i’m proud of my group of vocalists and the fact that i co-created it with spirit showing up as singers, an amazing arranger ;), and support from a phenomenal choir director.

    have an amazing tuesday, z!

    • Z Egloff March 13, 2012 at 10:06 am #

      Hi Squirrel,

      Does Xoe bring home pink mice and rats? Actually, that sounds kinda gross. Nevermind. 😉

      I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing the unveiling of your Pink Football on Saturday night. Go you!! Congratulations on following your vision and bringing it into reality – on stage, no less. That takes courage and faith and perseverance and all that good stuff. Which you obviously have in spades. And footballs.

      Happy Tooosday too!

      XOZ

      • Squirrel March 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

        i’m pretty juiced about it, too. :)

  3. Thea Hartman March 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Great story! All of my cat’s toys disappear regularly, I assume to her hiding place under the bed, then one morning I wake up to find them all over the house! None of them are large and pink, though. I am inspired by your cat’s pink football. Mine is becoming a published writer. I will keep slogging and blogging until I get there!

    • Z Egloff March 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

      Hi Thea,

      That’s the spirit! Just keep on truckin, like Lucy and her football.

      I tried to check out your site, but the link was an email, not a url. Look forward to seeing it in the future!

      XOZ

  4. Jill Shinn March 13, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    Well, Z, you have certainly been my “Lucy” a time or two, So I say, “This comment’s for you—in gratitude and sistertude, dude”

    • Z Egloff March 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

      Dude. I think it’s good that we can keep trading the pink footballs for each other, eh? And being each other’s wingman/woman. Lucy, on the other hand, seems to need no help whatsoever. I guess she’s in a different league. 😉

  5. Jo Lauer March 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Lucy looks like a short-haired sister to my former cat Sushi! It was uncanny. My own pink football is pulling some words and notes out of the universe, adding a few chords, and having the AUDACITY to hand this thing called “music” to some real musicians, sit back, and listen to them bring life to it in our upcoming concert. I mean, how amazing is that? Like Lucy, I’d love to do that over and over again, just for the sheer joy of the experience. Unlike Lucy, I don’t leave music on the end of anyone’s bed.

    • Z Egloff March 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

      Hi Jo,

      What a wonderful gift to share with the world – music and words, shaped into something fabulous. Your song was totally rockin’, by the way. Lucy could never pull something off like that. Not unless there was a LOT of catnip involved. 😉

      XOZ

  6. Wy March 14, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    Hi Z!

    Lucy is dope! My pink football is graduating from SSU. Now I know a lot of people graduate from college, but for me this one is the pink football. I put it off for over 25 years, but after reading “Excuses Begone” by one of my favorite teachers, Wayne Dyer, I went back to school. On May 12 I will have finally dropped that pink football at the foot of the bed! Yeah, baby, lets do the happy dance! BTW I’m having a killer party and all my choir peeps are invited! Let’s party!!! Thanks for another awesome post! You rock! XO Wy,

    • Z Egloff March 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

      Hi Wy!

      Congratulations!! Graduating from SSU is a huge pink football. And unlike Lucy, you get a diploma and everything. Looking forward to celebrating with you!

      XOZ

  7. LLL May 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Okay, I’m officially in love with Lucy. Totally digging the pics, and would love more Lucy stories. (Did you ever read John Carroll? He wrote columns about his cat, Bucket, from time to time.)

    I’ve really been enjoying your blog, and this one is my current favorite. (Okay, whichever one I’m currently reading is my favorite of that moment…) The first picture really spoke to me, because my pink football is like Wy’s. Keeping going was hard, but I am finally a collij gradjit! I have my Master of Science in Occupational Therapy after five and a half years as a full-time student (and anybody who comments on how it must have flown by is just delusional).

    Now I’m studying for the national board exam, and anticipating allowing humiliation in the form of groups of kids, like the column I read just before this one. It’s so good to be reminded that days like that are part of the process just as much as the really stellar days are.

    Thanks for writing this superb blog.

    Muchos huggos,
    LLL

    • Z Egloff May 23, 2012 at 11:07 am #

      Hello LLL!!

      Great to “see” you here! Congratulations on completing your degree in Occupational Therapy!! I remember when you were just starting out. Five and a half years is a long time – kudos to you for sticking with it. And as nice as a pink football is, a degree is even better! 😉

      I’m so glad that you’re enjoying the blog – I’m having lots of fun with it. I’m sure that there will be more posts about Lulu – she is quite the character, after all.

      Stop by again any time!!

      XOZ

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