As I have mentioned before in some earlier blogs, I have always loved siamese cats. Samantha, Sammy for short, was my first siamese, which I got when I was nineteen years old, and I immediately fell in love with the siamese personality. Most of the time, siamese find one particular person to love and ignore all the rest, which was fine with me because it meant she loved me best. It worked out well, though she learned that if she cried at my window at five in the morning I would let her in to cuddle with me. I did not welcome the early morning waking, but her pawing at my hair and purring contently near my ear always made up for the rude sleep interruption. Sadly, I had to leave Sammy at my parent's house when I moved away to get married, but she adopted my sister as her new favorite person. I believe she does remember who I am and I always get a quick little snuggle with her when I go visit.
You may be wondering what Sammy has to do with the title of this blog, but if it was not for Sammy, I would not have learned a valuable lesson from a sweet little bird named Bartlebea. Some purple finches decided to build a nest on our porch, close by the door, which was close to the area where I would tie Sammy up on a leash to go outside. That is another story in itself, but that particular evening, my dad told me to move her leash farther away from the spot where the nest was. I said I would, but somehow forgot and got busy with other things, only to find out later that Sammy had indeed climbed the post, pulled down the nest and killed a couple of the baby birds. One little one made it and my dad, with a very serious look on his face, handed it to me and informed me it was now my responsibility. I took the ugly, naked baby bird, still in its nest, and put it in a box under a light to keep it warm. I found out what I needed to feed it and every couple of hours I fed that thing some wet cat food, mixed with egg yolk. Using a piece of hay, I stuffed the mush down its throat and watched as he happily ate his meal. Something began to happen as I watched the bird, which I named Bartleby, thinking he was a male bird. His dark eyes would stare at me in trust and his beak would open in anticipation of his tasty meal that sustained his life. Looking into the very soul of the little creature, I began to love him for who he was, ignoring the ugly, wrinkly, naked body that was on the outside. I was all the world to him and if it was not for me, he would starve to death, without anyone else thinking of his well being.
I watched as his feathers grew in and one day I realized he was not a Bartleby, but a Bartlebea. I kept her in my room in a cage and in the mornings when we both awoke and Sammy was not around, I would take her out of the cage and she would actually cuddle with me on the bed, snuggled into my neck with a towel under her. It was those sweetest moments that I will forever cherish.
I ended up bringing her to a bird sanctuary so she could be taught how to fend for herself out in the wild, but those few weeks with the precious bird taught me more than I ever thought possible. First, always listen to your father when he tells you to do something or else something bad will happen. Fathers always know best. Second, she taught that no matter how ugly something or someone may be, they still have a heart that wants to love, trust, and be accepted by those around them. Just as God looks on the heart, we must look at the heart of people and see them as God sees them.