Tag Archives: Cats

Peaceful Pause

So, there it was, enough of a pause in the rain and the horrendous winds to allow the sunshine to dry the grass. It finally felt like a northwestern spring day.

Yeay!

All I wanted was to throw some weeds to the hens, a flake of alfalfa to the steer, mow the lawns, add the clippings on the compost pile and toss it, feed and water Izzy’s newly potted plants and then put my feet up to enjoy the sunshine and a late morning latte.

Was that really so much to ask?

 

 

 

 

Evidently it was.

A distant neighbor’s peacock insisted upon announcing his presence from what sounded like our yard.

Every. Five. Minutes.

Peacock’s can be ornery in the spring, so dogs and I searched.

Even from high in the nearest neighbor’s tree a scant quarter-mile away,  for miles around he sounded like he was in our yard.

 

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Once we solved the mystery of the clandestine peacock, ChiuyTwo understood the need for some peace and quiet.

 

 

 

 

 

GoodGirl and SchnauzerOne however had other ideas:

Finally after cleaning their paws on my freshly washed jeans, they decided they needed to rest.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:29, 39 (NIV)

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Squeak

20161016_125642Before the move to Texas, Squeak had been my sister Roan’s pet. Preferring to avoid the more dominant cats of our lot, he now inhabits the neighbor’s yards and pastures south of my bedroom window.

Not seeing him for weeks at a time concerned me during this hard season, but occasional sightings remind me how my family thrives here.

This afternoon I noticed him basking in the sun, staring dispassionately at me as I opened my bedroom window – for the first time since the onset of winter. His blinking pale green eyes said it all,

“Can’t you see it’s still cold out here? Roo, you’ve gone nuts.”

Inarguable, but nuts are brain food. I did the math: it was 47 degrees outside with marvelous, warm sunshine. Inside the cold radiating from the concrete floor made for 52 degree rooms.  Yeah, it feels cold now, but wait, July’s coming. Though comfortable while I move about, as I sat working the cold quickly gripped me, pushing me outside into the sunshine every hour or so. As much as I enjoy the short walks, the frequent interruptions quickly wore at me.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all He has done.”*

The many distractions from deadlines I’d hoped to meet today felt too heavy. A little while after noontime I boldly opened the bedroom window and then stood still, holding my hands open before it, checking for slightly warmer air outside.

Excited, (with only a slight shiver) I also opened the western window in the living area. Again, warmer air wafted in.

Surging with new energy from this tangible promise of long-anticipated spring, I set a timer to remind me to check the windows again in an hour, and happily returned to my desk. Rejuvenated with warmer, fresh air now pushing the candle wax and wood stove smells from the rooms, I keyed madly away until the alarm sounded. The incoming air already cooler, I reluctantly closed the windows with a shudder.

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Knowing spring is coming soon, and breathing in the warmer, fresh air are profoundly different.
 
Granted, within minutes the outside air was again too cool. But I’d placed a milestone in this crazy winter.
 
 
Inside is 54 degrees already. We made it, Squeak!
 
 

“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)

*Philippians 4:6 (NLT)

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Indulgences

As Kiera advances[*] her stylish, world-class mom hat continues to adorn her entire persona. For Erin and me, Kiera’s bi-monthly (or so) visits are occasions for tea. I enjoy entertaining, take each opportunity to put on slightly more festive airs, and I continue to learn from her.

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Kiera and my mother were friends before the latter departed when I was thirteen. In her absence, Kiera and Newlyn stepped in aiding Daddy and our family whenever appropriate. For that we shall be eternally grateful.

Early after my arrival here I noticed that though any number of canine fur kids typically join their family, cats do not. Only the most stubborn, crafty feral felines dare challenge the pack of five Amstaff and Pit Bull Terriers to retain their standings in the family properties. Kiera is also allergic to cats.

Soon into Kiera’s visits here Erin will ask me for Benadryl. That would be for Kiera, who quickly becomes congested, her eyes redden and water, and soon afterward she develops headaches – much like me. I stock diphenhydramine for those occasions when elevated pollen counts disrupt my rest. I prefer to control symptoms of fur and dander allergies with more natural foods, a vigilant cleaning regime, exercise and supplements, but occasionally I too must pop a pill.

During the waterworks challenge I noticed Kiera resists our fur kids no better than I do, caving in to pet and scratch them. After asking how she does it, she explained, “Well Roo, I will leave soon and get over it. I’m just careful to not touch my face or neck after petting Coco and Lucky, brush my clothes and wash my hands – often.”

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While Erin is away the fur kids become pitifully anxious. Before long at all, empathy drives me to distract them if only to silence Lucky’s mrowling and hopfully dissuade them both from joining me in my room/office space. Over the months we’ve developed a routine of cooing, brushing, chasing a laser beam, and finally spreading dried catnip on the carpet – in the living room. Their antics with the catnip is entertaining for me too since vacuuming is a daily task no matter what other chores await Erin’s return.

I will continue to be congested, head achy, marvel over occasional, colorful rashes and my nose continually feels like it is lined with cracking concrete. No. Matter. What. I know, TMI. The point is, I afford it for my dear old friend and the beauty of the Western Slope.

At least misery continues to love company. I can always walk it off – every hour.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life [or sinuses] for one’s friends.” John 15:13 (NLT)

[*] While she’s clearly finished child rearing but enjoying great-grand parenting, Kiera isn’t aging mentally whatsoever. In her middle eighties she is advancing.

Himmie image courtesy Cattime.com, Tabby image courtesy Google Free Images Public Domain

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Heat

In my new home on the Western Slope the Dog Days of Summer took on new meaning over the past couple of weeks. In this older, lathe and plaster house we experienced some Sirius heat (forgive the pun).

Though I Googled the region extensively before moving, I wasn’t sure what to expect from summer in my new climate. This is the first (and for me unexpected) seasonal change. Still, even with the sudden heat I wouldn’t have guessed how perfect, how close to heaven as I can imagine this environment is for me – now that the evaporating cooler is up and running.

The transition wasn’t so smooth for the two elderly, long-haired cats we live with. The temps jumping from the mid-seventies to the nineties in less than a week, the poor pusses suffered for days.

We now walk to errands and shopping first thing daily rather than leisurely going whenever we see fit. During the second day of heat, we returned home to find the poor, old pusses flat on their backs on the floor where obviously they willed the cooler to start blowing relief. They’ve lived in the house all their lives, so they know the drill and had adjusted to Erin’s pace. Still, it was hot…

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Matty cooling it

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Miss Chill & Erin’s Crock

I was ready to crank the cooler up when temps were still in the 80’s at 23:00 hours. Even with dual fans in the windows and ceiling fans running for a few days, sleep did not come to me until the wee hours of the morning. Unless easy-going Erin is busy upstairs she is oblivious to the still mild heat. So I sleeplessly commiserated with mes mews those few days. …Until I noticed inside the house was hotter than outside in the early afternoon. Then we got serious.

During the first week of heat, Erin and I made several trips to the hardware store replacing weather ravaged parts on the cooler. I hate considering I may not be as mechanically adept as I used to be, but brother Edmund dropped by and fixed what I couldn’t figure out for days. So, we had relief on the sixth day. It’s all good; we had to adjust our routine to watering the flower bed and garden earlier with old school sprinklers anyway.

Although we were quick to prepare the cooler, we soon learned another new adventure lay ahead – for me anyway. Matted fur. So there we were on the floor with electric clippers, brushes and combs, and the rubbery oven mitt, cutting away the amazingly hard wads of fur and hair from poor, old Matty, the older, grey tabby.

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Have I mentioned I’m allergic to cats – dander and fur? Or that they’re both long haired cats? True, I lived with my sweet Lucy Retardo for the eighteen years she reigned over our homes. And I cleaned, dusted and vacuumed daily. Every. Single. Day. Then there’s the barrage of immune support I now take (again), to lessen the affects. Living with Lucy taught me how natural foods work just as well as the prescription allergy medication and two other OTC remedies without all the almost comical side effects. Raw unfiltered local honey is truly a blessing – just sayin’  Though I walk even more to burn the additional calories, it works for me. Even without the dreadful humidity of North Texas, in the hot weather that’s love, people.

Granted, domesticated animals require a lot more work than the hummingbirds who nested for the second year on our front porch. But we learned they keep summer homes. Mostly to avoid being dive-bombed by the nesting family we simply use the side door. Still, the fur kids have already grown on me and we’ve established a routine that is helping us all live together more comfortably – I’ll spare you the details, but allergy sufferers can write me privately for additional helpful tips.

Caring for the earth and all life forms thereon is high on my priority list. Sure, with my almost obsessive vigilance to housekeeping I prefer to enjoy the Wild Kingdom and domestic animals in the great outdoors. Still, I adjust. It’s all about the love. Cats seem to fit a house with two old broads.

Today, in the quiet (with the cooler turned off), I often think of the many people I also love. Yet walking as gentle rain kisses the Western Slope I feel more content than ever before. Life isn’t quite perfect, but the lyrics come to me “…with two cats in the yard. Life used to be so hard…*”

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Palm 8:3-8 (NLT)

From Our House, From the 1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash &  Young album Déjà Vu

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