My cat spent the night out and she’s still not home. This hasn’t happened in a long time and I’m worried.

Boo is an indoor and an outdoor cat, but she’s been mostly indoors since we moved to this new house 6 months ago.

I was the one that let her out last evening. I purposefully left the side door open and then didn’t wait up for her to come back in before going to bed. I called her once or twice, but that was it. I thought: “She’s been wanting to go out. She’s been waking me up every night vandalizing furniture in frustration. She’s capable and I’m tired.”

So I went to bed. And now it’s 5:15 a.m. and she’s nowhere to be found.

This is my struggle lately. I try to control things and arrange life so my people/animals/things are successful. They, in turn, have an entirely different vision of success, say “no thank you” and walk out the side door into a dark, scary, not-controlled-by-me world. The result can be debilitating for me as I wrestle with the anger/guilt/responsibility for their actions or inactions.

I know I have to LET. IT. GO. Let go of the anger, guilt, responsibility for things not in my control. But I am so afraid. Afraid of what will happen if I’m not working all the angles, all the time. This fear is powerful stuff and my mind is consumed with images of carnage and disaster and failure – all of which could be prevented if I could just control things.

I recognize that this ranting is folly and sound and fury. In my deepest, darkest heart I know that I am not IN CHARGE and that even if I could control MY things, I could never ensure the desired outcome, which is happiness and fulfillment.

I see this with Boo, my cat, because I could, of course, never leave the side door open and declaw her and lock that bitch down. I could control the fuck out of my cat. But she would be miserable and handicapped and diminished. And the things I love about her – her disdain, her attitude, her brashness – would be completely gone.

So really, what would that control get me? I would have my cat, but she would be empty of life.


She’s home! It’s now 6:00 and Boo just sauntered in. She seems just fine, thank you. In fact, she seems quite satisfied with herself. She’s lying here on the rug next to my bed, having rolled onto her back, and is looking up at me as if to say, “What’s all the fuss? Relax. You need to LET. IT. GO.”


8 thoughts on “Boo

  1. Hi Lucy! Yes, cats are great teachers. Of course, if they knew we were learning anything from them they would SHUT IT DOWN, because it’s not in their nature to give things away for free. I heart cats.

  2. There is a quote that says “worrying is praying for what we don’t want.”
    I think of it, and the serenity prayer, often as I learn to let go of my want to control life.
    I’m happy boo is back!

    • Hey Anne. I was thinking of you earlier tonight. I went to an AA meeting and I spent the first 40 minutes of the meeting agitated and wanting to leave. The main reason i didn’t leave was thinking of your advice, back in december, when you encouraged me to just listen at meetings and maybe i would learn something. and so i was thinking of you as i sat there and listened to others talk about the importance of helping others – just as you have helped me. Thank you.

  3. I too have a compulsion to make things right for everyone. I always have had, to an obsessive level. I believe that this contributed to my drinking; it gave me temporary relief from the endless treadmill of trying to control everything. A task that is both exhausting and obviously impossible. It’s not easy is it? But acknowledging it as a problem is a good start. Finding other ways to cope with my compulsive behaviour has been difficult but hopefully I’m getting there and you sound as though you are too

    • It really is a “compulsion” isn’t it? And because of how exhausting it is, it can easily lead to drinking. I am trying, baby steps, in Letting It Go. Good luck to you!

      • I do feel at the 100+ day mark my mindset is slowly changing a little bit. Good luck to you too. Obsessive compulsive thinking (and acting) is horrible. I don’t think those who don’t suffer could begin to understand as it is so crazy even to us!

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