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Lessons From Hank

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

About 8 years ago, my then-teenage daughter, Lily, came home from a barn party. She and her friends were secretive and giggly. They went downstairs immediately upon their arrival home.

A few minutes later, I went down to say hello and goodnight to the group. Tucked behind one of the girls was a box on the floor. As I was chatting with Lily and her friends, the box began to meow.

Ugh…it’s midnight on a Saturday night and I have a meowing box in my basement. I went over and opened it up. Inside was the tiniest little barn kitten. Lily then introduced me to Hank -her new friend that she recently named on the car ride home from this party. Lily felt that this litter of kittens they had discovered had been abandoned and she was doing her part to rescue one of them.

This little critter couldn’t have been more than two weeks old and was very, very sick. You could tell Hank was having breathing issues in addition to a massive eye infection.

We had Hank seen at the vet first thing the next morning. The veterinarian told us a few things. 1. Hank was actually a female. 2. She wasn’t sure if Hank had an eye and if she did, she'd most likely be blind in that eye. 3. She had a pretty serious respiratory infection and would be surprised if Hank made it through the night. (Little did our vet know about the will of our team of nurse maids waiting at home).

We were sent away with a very compassionate “Good Luck” from our sweet vet and a list of round the clock care instructions. Along with her medications, Hankie had to be fed from a dropper every 2 hours, just like a baby.

Between myself, my three daughters, and my hubby, Joe, Hank was never left alone. When we needed to go out, Hank went with us. My girls wore hoodie sweatshirts, turned around backward. Hank either sat in their hood or when it was necessary to be more discreet, she traveled in their front pouch. Hank went to soccer games, the grocery store, movies, and even church.

Needless to say, Hank made it through the first night and then the first week. Within two weeks, Hank began to thrive. Her infections were clearing up and we began to see a new side of her emerging.

Another fun fact about Hank is that she has an amber ring around her little body. About the time she was born, there was an astrological event called the “Ring Of Fire”. Hankie is our ring of fire. She is a feisty, intensely independent, Calico cat that runs the house. Everything Hank does is on her terms often leaving you to feel like she is tolerating your presence. If she wants to hide, you will never, ever find her.

As a kitten, Hank found joy in ambushing unsuspecting family members who made the mistake of crossing her path in the dark. Lily happened to be her favorite victim. When Lily emerged from her bedroom, Hank would pounce and create a ring of terror around Lily’s ankles. When Lily slept, Hank patiently awaited a hand or foot popping out from under the covers. We all lived with an underlying fear of a Hank attack.

As Hank grew up, she became less feisty and more mysterious. We find it to be an auspicious event to have a “Hankie sighting” during the day. House sitter’s often don’t believe we even have a Hank.

As Lily grew up and left for college, Hank and I developed a very sweet bond. Just as she once waited for Lily each morning to savagely attack, she now waits for me to go into meditation. Not to attack, but to curl up on my feet and just be.

I cannot tell you how much I have fallen in love with this critter. She often acts like she is tolerating my presence, but I know better:) She loves me too…in her own way…in her own time…and on her own terms. I cannot force her to be any other way. In order to receive from Hank, I have to allow her to be who she is. By releasing the expectation of “how and when”, Hank shows up and expresses herself in the most endearing way.

I am sharing the story of Hank because today as I was sitting down to meditate, I began to journal first. Part of my journal passage said,

I am sending up an intention for guidance on my path. Bring it right to my feet.”

Just after I wrote this Hank came and sat on my feet. As I went into meditation, I received a message that said,

“Don’t miss this analogy that Hank "Brought to your feet". Allow your path to come forward and present itself in its own time. And…trust that it will come to you in the perfect way. Release the "How" and the "When". This is something that will find you and not the other way around.”

Who knew this feisty barn cat would be the keeper of such wisdom. Oh…beautiful, mysterious, one-eyed Hank. I love you. I love you. I love you cause I do.

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