Crazy Cats

I have always had a pet, whether it be a cat or a bird growing up. Then it all happened again as an adult, a cat and a bird.

One cat was not enough though, as I found two were better than one. It’s true, they have each other to play, sleep and aggravate each other.

It is when two turns into eight, I about lost it, especially when my husband had to move over to take care of his mother. I was feeding eight cats morning, noon and night it felt like. Don’t get me going on the litter boxes, that’s just a load of crap.

I did this for several months, which took up a lot of my time. They knew I was home from work or it was time for bed, as they knew that meant a treat or food. Looking down and seeing all those eyes and feet was overwhelming.

Bedtime was great. They all found their little favorite place and settled in. When they are inside at night, they did not roam or cause havoc, it was a safe place for them. I was and still amazed at their obedience. Every now and then, there is one that needs attention.

These cats, that started at two, then eight, each have a story and different personalities. The six came from the previous owners that moved and left them. They would visit but when it came to complete abandonment, they adopted us. In return, we adopted them.

Taking them to the vet, I usually make a day of it, since we live close. It’s two by two, four times. The vet loves us, as the tab builds for each one.

With the responsibility falling on my shoulder, I had to make a decision of moving a couple of them to a no-kill shelter. It was hard. I felt like a failure but I had to do so. One has already been adopted out while the other still has his bully attitude and will remain in the shelter a little longer.

Now I have five. Yes, I lost another one. One of my original two. She had been sick and lost use of her back legs, which meant she had to have personal hygiene care. Knowing at the end, she and I were both miserable, I made one last trip to the vet with her, holding her until the end. No animal should suffer and be in quiet pain.

Now the five. The one original I had with the one I lost, his personality changed. Usually, he was her companion and best buddies, which is why we had them. He became like a different cat and no longer aloof but one that needed attention. Cats know and grieve, too. He is often by my side, helps me go to the bathroom, he knows my every turn. He has buddied up with the other cats, well two of them. The other two are old, cranky and set in their ways. Still, he has been a delightful cat. Most are.

My youngest, found on the side of the road as a kitten with broken pelvis was cared for and doing great. She will eat some and get a burst of energy. So funny.

No matter what they do or not do, they have their own way of stealing my heart. Sometimes I just laugh and usually say, you Crazy Cats, on a daily basis, as I wait for their beckon call to go in, out or be held. I have two that stay in, the other adopted cats have trained me to open doors.

No matter, I have learned them and they have learned me. We manage and while they bring joy and work, I love each one.

No more crazy cats though, I need a life.

Woman at the Tree

Have you ever stopped and noticed an image in wood grain of a door, in various paintings or other inanimate objects? I’m sure you have at some point in your life, you have done just that with clouds. It’s fun and is actually relaxing.

I have lived in the present house for twenty years now. It’s an older house and actually it belong to my parents so I grew up in this house, too. The yard is about an acre, not too big and not too small although as we get older, it seems to get bigger and be more than we prefer to deal with.

The back yard was full of trees and bushes when my parents moved in, back in 1964 and was thinned out. When we bought it in 1999, we took out trees also. There is this one big maple tree in the middle of our back yard. This tree after all of these years still provides shade and perfect where it is, but I have recently noticed a figure of a body in the trunk of it, a full body. As I stand at my kitchen window doing dishes or just looking out and watching the birds, I look at this tree and realized it is a body of a woman. I felt she deserved a name, which is Tree-na, of course.

Apparently, I need to get out more. Throughout this pandemic, this has been fun to view and get lost in the imagination of the tree. Why have I not seen this before?

Do you see her? Her head is tilted down, my opinion. Once the weather is cooler, my intention is to give the body an outline with paint and color to enjoy even more and it will be a definite conversation piece. Perhaps a fright to some, which makes it even more fun. 

If all of these years living here and being in this house, looking out into the back yard, from childhood basically, this woman in the tree never stood out to me. Now though it is one of those things, I cannot unsee. I wonder, how much more do I not see around me or in front of me, wherever I go. Lord, open my (our) eyes.

This year has been a year that none of us will forget as we shake our heads in disbelief of the chaos, confusion and fear. I wonder the same, how much more I do not see around me or in front of me, wherever I go. Lord, I (we) need your discernment and protection.

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from your law.” Psalm 119:18

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

https://www.buzzfeed.com/christopherhudspeth/pareidolia-quiz

Pareidolia was at one time considered a symptom of human psychosis, but it is now seen as a normal human tendency. Pareidolia is not confined to humans. Scientists have for years taught computers to use visual clues to “see” faces and other images.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/illusions-delusions-and-reality/201902/mind-controlled-motion-perception

A Clowder of Cats

93904230-7A5F-4483-BE63-F4E4BC56D453Throughout my lifetime, I have always had a cat or a bird. Animals are just nice to have and to love, they love you back.

My first cat was when I was four or five, I remember tending to her and she would listen to me. I would put clothes on her, cut her whiskers and wait for my return if I had to leave the 44F67DE4-49DF-4EAE-9DAF-035908FAC08Eroom. We called her Mama Cat. Yes, I know now that you should never cut their whiskers but at that age, I did not know and apparently those around me did not either. Plus, Mama Cat did not care what I did, she loved me and I loved her.

Off and on, a bird would be part of the family, usually a mean parakeet, we just tolerated them and enjoyed its singing.

36C35A63-654B-45B2-9FC0-04F622F8B76CI brought a cat home when I still lived with my parents after graduation, which did not go over well. In time, that cat won them over and was spoiled rotten by them and kept them busy and happy. This old cat was named Tom. He kept to himself and would lay at my mom’s feet when she was alive.

Before her passing, there was an old dark, gray stray cat that showed up as did others and mom would tend to them all in the garage, definitely the cat lady. Mom would 689E0040-1D3D-431C-B23F-9AF83BC3F8A0have boxes stacked with bedding for each one, it was quite a sight. I think every cat in our small town knew my mom, as she would feed them and provided warmth. As family and friends would visit, each just shook their head in disbelief while observing the garage of cat condo units but knowing, too, she was happy to do this for them, all of them.

Years later, my father was nearing death while my sister and I cared for him at home. The old Tom cat was still alive at the age of twenty two, He was a little slow but he stayed around for my dad, I feel. The night before my dad passed away, the old Tom cat went downstairs, usually he did not do that. At his age and an ailing leg, he ran up Animal (dog, cat) paw printsthose steps like he saw a ghost. Somebody mentioned that he saw my mom as she was there for dad.  Interesting to consider because it was definitely odd. Then, the old gray stray cat that we called Mama would show her face now and then but had been missing for weeks, if not longer. As you can tell, we do not go crazy with pet names, we use either Tom or Mama. It just works!

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Anyway, Mama came in the house that beautiful Saturday morning and she went under my dad’s hospital bed, sitting at the foot of it. Tom was also under his bed, sitting toward the head of the bed. I woke my sister up and told her it was time. How I knew that, I am not for sure except the Lord making me aware, as I was his main caregiver. My sister and I were on each side of the bed with our dad, as he passed. The stray cat, Mama, howled loudly and then left the house, we never saw her again. Tom died just a month or so after my dad. Animals are so in tune with us more than we know.

A8397AA3-BE3C-4F46-BA48-D37195F36D55Now nineteen years later, this past May, we lost our sixteen year old, beautiful Golden Chow dog. We have two indoor cats and they also are getting up in age. In our neighborhood, and for years, there has been a stray cat that looks just my parent’s cat, which was a male and orange in color, so we named it what else, Tom. How could I not care for it? Now realizing I am becoming my mother, the cat lady.

Also, there was a beautiful white stray cat with very little color on her body but her tail is black and brown and she has the softest fur.  We always called her Mama, of course, as she had liter after liter and would come to our door on the deck for food. The neighbors that owned her did not care for her properly or the many liters of kittens. Sad. They moved and just left her this past spring, so my husband and I claimed her. Thankfully.7059C756-3216-4DDD-8108-4A8E6215AD0F

Although, in April she had a liter but we did not know where. I would talk to her and ask where her babies were. Animals listen and understand us, I believe.  Still she would eat and leave. On May 5th, we had our sweet dog put down due to Cancer returning with a vengeance. Our hearts were A34EF6F5-0BA5-4720-85F8-9E47CD1A1137broken with this decision. While trying to capture more photos of her, I took some ‘last’ photos the morning of this dreaded task. I swear she looked at me with those brown eyes as in saying, No More! I told her no more, I promise.  I had never had a dog before but this one was the best and we sure miss her.

So, on a lighter note, four days after our dog passed, we came home from work and here Mama cat and her three babies were in our garage, she brought them through the doggy door. It was perfect timing, to help us through the grief and to keep us busy with the three, four-week old kittens, which was new, unfamiliar to us. 624D3A57-320D-4B68-8915-0614E74FE6C0

Crazy enough, that same day at work, a sweet lady who was just diagnosed with breast cancer, knowing the kittens were born but location unknown, talked with me. I was reminded that she wanted a black cat. Now the Mama cat was mostly white and the odds were slim I told her. Believe it or not, one of the three kittens was a black one. Amazing! Talk about being thrilled is an understatement, not only of the black cat for my co-worker but that Mama cat knew I/we needed them after the passing of our dog, which helped us both immensely in the grieving.8C71D5B3-664E-407B-9C66-7A7172C5F9FE

Now, eight months later, these cats are all fixed and think they own our home. Just no more kittens! After years of Mama having so many liters, she was able to care for her kittens and it was a delight to watch how she interacted with them and protected them, still. Of course, my co-worker has the black cat and has helped her, too, while going through cancer treatments. Isn’t it interesting, that these animals had a part in helping each one of us through the years?

I looked at one the other night while I was in the kitchen and said, I cannot believe I/we have all of these cats. Yikes! I had never had over two cats at a time but now six, four of which are inside/outside cats. What is odd, too, is that they come in at bedtime and they all sleep through the night, we have had no issues of them knocking things over, jumping, etc., and then they go out for the day in the morning. So far, so good.

191A4DE0-308F-4BC0-9A03-91AE098EF1CBAnimals love us when nobody else does, calms our anxious mind and brings joy when there is none. They are worth every penny, the time invested and care so I guess we are stuck with them. Just NO MORE!

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DID YOU KNOW?                                                https://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/07/a-group-of-cats-is-called-a-clowder/