I’ve learned over the years to trust my gut feelings and to go with them no matter how oddly timed they might be. There’s an inordinate amount of times that I was at a hotel with my sister Michelle and our bestie, Lora, and we were ready for bed when suddenly I needed to take a walk right now, only to find that our band friends checked in early and were arriving right then.
A couple of years ago, I’d done some Christmas photography for a client who lives about thirty miles away. By the time their holiday cards came in, I called them, and they told me I could drop them off at their parents’ house right around the corner from me. My sister and I went, but the gated community had a closed gate, and we couldn’t get in. So, I called the people, and they said they’d try to get out to pick them up during the following week.
It was still early December, and they still had plenty of time left to pick up their cards. I’d been sick and didn’t feel like moving, much less delivering cards or seeing people. I was ready for bed when suddenly the urge to get dressed and go to the post office hit me hard well after midnight. I told Michelle we had to go right then, and she urged me to wait until the following day. But I wouldn’t hear of it. I had to go that night.
When we got to the post office, their self-service kiosk was broken, so it seemed like a wasted trip. (When stuff like that happens, and I know it was a “message” urging me to get out of my house for whatever reason, I then sometimes panic that the reason I was “told” to leave was that my house was going to catch fire or something, and me being gone was supposed to save me.)
So, when we got back outside in the freezing night (it was an exceptionally cold night in Florida and a bit drizzly), we heard a tiny “mew, mew” coming from under a bush. We looked and saw a tiny, scared kitten peeking out. Next door to the post office was a construction site with a huge ditch, and next to it was a busy highway. I tried to catch the kitten, but it ran. It was nearly thirty minutes and several scratches and scrapes later before I caught it. We brought it home, and it was starving. We took it to the vet the next day, and they said it was only about four weeks old, too young to have been weaned. They also said there was no way it would have survived the entire night out in that cold.
So, we ended up keeping the cat and giving it to my son, who named him Dakota. As his personality developed, he acted more like a “Stewie,” so, while his official name is Dakota, he’s called Stewie more often than not. But without my “gut feeling” and knowing to listen to it, I would’ve never found such a sweet cat and either saved him or had him save us.
Talk to me: How often do you have gut feelings about something? How often do you listen to them, even if the timing isn’t convenient?