What If?

We are all a little too well-versed in self deprecation and leaning towards the negativity tides.

Let’s try focusing on the good all around, releasing the need to put ourselves down, and approach life with gratitude.  I’m willing to bet magic will unfold before our very eyes…

To Give, And To Take

Giving is not about what we receive in return, and ought to be without expectation.

That which we are blessed to receive, however, is worth cherishing.

Appreciating What We Have

This is one of those life must-haves…but in the whirlwind of daily living, it’s easy to forget to take a moment to truly appreciate all we have.

To love with every ounce of our hearts, and to respect no matter the circumstance means that we are ever conscious of the good in our lives. It sends the message to the Universe that we value the gifts and blessings.

One of the bigger lessons I learned early on was when I was told about someone’s therapy experience. Yep, not my own (in which I have learned much!)…but someone else’s…

They had been complaining about another person and the therapist said “what if they passed away?” The reaction was a staggered “what do you mean?!” He said, “what if they were no longer here? How would you feel about those ‘annoyances’ then?”

That moment was enough to change the whole tune. Literally evermore. It’s okay that we are human and feel as we do – the good, the bad, and the ugly. But it is also important for our well-being that we regularly check in with the good that we DO have – the things, the people, the animals, the circumstances…that make our lives better, happier, richer. . .more worth living.

I think about this often, but it was especially on my mind today. I’ve been thinking about my female jungle cat, who would be 13 today, and about how much gratitude had a part to play in our lives together. The bond with her and her brother was one that delved deeply, and struck me square in the heartstrings from the get go.

Part of me wants to apologize for feeling so deeply – I’m never unaware of the losses others have weathered, neither do I think anyone wants to deal with tears! Part of me wants to explain (or try to) that these were wild animals who never allowed another human “in” their circle…so it’s not quite like having a “pet” (which I’ve never really called an animal to whom I have been a guardian anyway.)

But I don’t want to have to explain, or justify. I just want to cherish that I had the fortune of my two jungle cats’ companionship, love and trust…and that while they were living I made a point to tell them “I love you” every single day.

In spite of feeling really blue, I know that I was “in the moment” so much of the time we were together. I was aware that time would run out one day, and so I always made sure to tell them what they meant to me, and to kiss them on their sweet little (big!) heads. Never mind it wasn’t in meows or mews… We spoke a language only we could understand…and it worked brilliantly.

Find Happiness In The Moment

As the wise saying goes. . .

It isn’t designed to put Life into a negative light, nor to add a sense of morbid urgency. . .but the idea is that Life – truly – is a gift.

The people we love, the blessings we have. . .most of all, our own breath, are gifts.

To recognize the temporal confines of this “go ’round” is to bring our awareness to the beauty, the good, the positive, the happy.

We have no control over how much time we are – or are not – given, nor the time given those we cherish. . .

We can, however, find joy in each present moment.  We have the choice.

If you find you cannot. . .endeavor to seek it out – fervently – lest time march past before you discover you had the power all along.

Cats In Black

I’m absolutely SHOCKED that I’d not heard of Black Cat Appreciation Day, having raised two melanistic F1 Chausies…and the current guardian of two beautiful black rescues.

All I could say was “HELL YAAAHS!!!”  😀

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It does feel somewhat unjust that these precious black bundles are the poster kittens for Halloween trickery – I never did understand the negative connotation.  For me, there simply never was one.  When I met my friend Michelle who lives in another part of the USA, however, she shared a whole other story (one she and I still can’t quite fathom.)

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Indeed in some parts, black cats are considered “bad luck.”  

*puzzled look*

Huh?!?

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I mean not to diminish other’s views, but I have a hard time, personally, wrapping my head around any generalization that rests solely on the superficial.  For me that applies to cats as much as to anything, or anyone, else.

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I’m not sure what the stereotype is for owners and lovers of melanistic felines, but I’d say I very likely fit the bill, clichéd it may be (those-of-the-dark-fur managed to conjure some interesting generalizations themselves!)

  1. October 31st is my favorite day of the year – there is nothing more intoxicating that the smell of Nature, particularly on that Night.  Yes, indeed, my favorite day, hands down.
  2. I’m always in black.  As I often remind my mother, I do own color, and plenty of it. But black is my go-to.  I’m basically a melanistic feline posing as a human being.  I incidentally made all my friends pretend to be black panthers when I was little.  I also didn’t want a pony or dolls…I wanted...a black panther.  I can’t be accused of inconsistency!
  3. I’ve been a “vamp” for as long as I can remember.  My father calls me “Witchlet,” with total respect and adoration, of course.  I take it as a compliment…because it is.
  4. I live a magical Life, and cats are magical in so many ways.
  5. Bell, Book, and Candle is an ALL-time favorite!  How could you NOT love BBC?!
  6. I’m not sure what music would be for the stereotype but I can think of several genres and…I listen to them all!

Things like that…they don’t even matter, but I have also been the subject of odd generalizations because I have only black cats.  

“Why BLACK!?!” people will ask.  “Um…I love black cats…” I’ll respond.  

*double puzzled look* 

Nothing surreptitious about it – it really is that simple.  

Curious, isn’t it?

My Sensei said I’m the “happy goth” at heart. I see the beauty in everything.  I love to smell the fresh air and see the sun as it streams through the trees.  I love to watch my “boys” run around and be silly… I see the good in E V E R Y T H I N G.

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Given that my furry black friends carry along some of their own stereotypes, I was delighted to see ASPCA site several reasons as to WHY black cats are so fabulous:

  1. Black cats go with everything—and they’ll never go out of style!
  2. You can tell your kids you adopted a miniature panther.
  3. Their fur won’t show on your little black dress.
  4. In most cultures, black cats are a sign of good luck.
  5. Black cats are just as loving, sweet and wonderful as any other cat!

I love that it says MOST cultures.  Not all…but MOST.  I always considered them good luck too, and I never really did understand where…or WHY…the “bad” part snuck in…or to whom that is suddenly a reasonable idea.  I’ve got your backs, black kitties…never you mind!

I also got a real laugh out of the panther item, #2 (given my earlier point above, also #2.)

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So I really hope whoever YOU are, that you don’t lump them into a snarling, spooky image (my female jungle cat was rather a hoot when she puffed, arched, and hopped sideways – it was meant to be snarly but…she was just too beautiful and cute!) 

I don’t know what I would do without my four – they are, truly, the loves of my Life…and they bring fortune ALL the time!

It happens that today is my parents 46th Anniversary…and to me that’s pretty darn magical in and of itself.  How fortunate it coincides with the celebration of such auspicious animals!