Love My Little Man

It never ceases to amaze me how much we miss the animals we’ve bonded with in life, no matter the time that passes… I was blessed to have this (big) little guy’s trust and love and I will forever be thankful.

Fitting that he transitioned on the Autumn Equinox – he brought a double rainbow and a fiery sky to let me know he was okay. . .

The Best Revenge

We’d all be lying if we said we didn’t plot revenge at some point in our lives (internally, in our minds, of course!) It seems to be human nature (and I daresay ONLY human-kind’s nature) to want to “get back” at someone for what we perceive as injustice. Doesn’t matter what it is, or frankly WHO it is…the tantalizing prospect of nudging the Universe from its perch and taking our own karmic control of the situation has a way of rearing its head in distress.

Remarkably, animals don’t appear to have the hangup…though they also fail to drudge around much of the human baggage our brains insist we do. Complex creatures, indeed! We can, as much in this case as countless others, learn from animals about how to best manage an anger-provoking scenario…

Ever notice how animals just carry on? I raised two jungle cats and inevitably there’d be several stand-offs a week with my female. Oh yes, she’d test the boundaries with a fierce and unrelenting gaze in effort to see if she could assert full dominance in our argument-du-moment (for example, removing her giant self from atop my computer cupboard so I could work without any distractions (e.g.: a flying and sharp paw.))

Well, I had to stare HER down to ensure she knew who (momma!) was in charge. And after the showdown when she submissively averted her eyes? Life went on – right back to normal. She didn’t hold a grudge for my stern assertion of I’m-the-bossness – she loved me just as much as before (and in fact, likely had more respect.)

While this is a substantial departure from a person-to-person tango (at work, at home, with a close friend etc), it does offer us another example of fine behavior. There’s no stewing or festering. She isn’t running false scenarios though her mind that I don’t love her, or that I deserve to be bitten in the face. There’s no lashing out because she didn’t get what she wanted… And there’s no toddler-type tantrum (the kind human adults pitch all the time.)

If you think about it, it really IS as simple as that – and it’s applicable. We may be upset about a situation, or feeling hurt (which, by the way, animals can certainly feel too – they aren’t devoid of emotion!) but wallowing in misery or replaying the “how-can-I-retort?” loop isn’t going to help us.

What will…?

MOVING ON. 

Even better? Moving on and being happy.

If someone in our life is toxic, hard it may be, we have to exit stage left (why left? I have to look that up again. I have no idea!)

If someone has lied or wronged us, we need to let it go and move onwards-and-upwards. (It’s not easy to let go sometimes – I too have been known to struggle with this. The moving ON, however, was always the plan. Chin up. Smile on. Seek out the new and better opportunities.)

When we lessen the burden we carry around – such as the plethora of injustices done to us (and I am sure we could all enumerate at length!) – we make room for more joy, love, and fulfillment in life.

Not everyone IS as nice as you are. Not everyone understands what might feel to some of us like common-sense manners, or decencies. Not everyone, let’s be honest, really cares about others…or if the impact they’ve had on your life has been negative all around.

But…

We have choices.

  • We DO get to choose or partners and friends.
  • We DO get to choose how we manage situations
  • We DO get to choose our behavior, our actions, and our responses (note that I didn’t say reactions…which are often quick and less measured than a response. Semantics, yes, but an important distinction.)
  • We DO get to choose how we carry ourselevs
  • We DO – big one – get to choose happiness (it’s the ultimate DIY! Read other posts on this here, here, or just browse the rest here.)

And finally… 

We get to decide to detach. To let go. To let Karma do what she does best…and right a situation of her own accord. I was taught that people “fall of their own weight” and boy…I’ve seen it time and time again. We don’t need the burden of weighing in. It is neither our right, nor our responsibility. And ooooh, the freedom in getting to focus on our own happiness instead? Talk about a GIFT!

SaveSave

SaveSave

Cat Humor – My Daughter, The Vampire

My baby girl looked a vampire with those beautiful fangs (ones which, I daresay, she bared to all but her thankful mum.) ❤

I had the  painful task of helping her transition – with her permission, which I had – just under four months ago.  I still cry when I think of her, and I feel a void where once her little voice sounded, but I will ever be thankful that she and I were united nearly 13 years ago – she was the closest life I had for a while.

She was, without question, my little girl, through and through…and how blessed I was she chose for me to fulfill that role for her, because wild animals DO choose. ❤

When we open our hearts to the Universe, it gives us the gift of being able to be present with others – human or otherwise – to offer our love, and to be there when friendship, compassion, trust, and mercy are needed most.  

While in some ways I felt I didn’t have the right, it was a responsibility I would fulfill to the very best of my ability…for her. For my angel. 

 

 

Happy Birthday To My Baby Girl

Today is my baby girl’s 12th birthday, and I feel more blessed than I can express – there’s nothing more special than gaining the love and trust of a wild animal. To be accepted in and of itself is a gift, and one I will never take for granted…

Ana ba hebek, Kemisi, ❤

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-5-47-33-pm

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-5-47-51-pm

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-5-48-25-pm

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-5-48-38-pm

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-5-49-38-pm

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-5-49-50-pm

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-5-50-08-pm

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-5-50-15-pm

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-5-50-40-pm

Just Hanging Out

When I had to let my two melanistic F1 Jungle Cats go many years ago, I was so devastated that I refused to have cats at all – my heart was broken and I just didn’t want to go through it again.  All or nothing.

But when faced with a debilitatingly painful situation in my life, a close friend gently suggested I think about it…  Bearing time alone – or any time at all – hurt so much that I was nearly unable to function.

One of the boys, a rescue, was taken into a home, and then brought back to the foster because the new family thought – because of his fur color – that he was “bad luck.” He was one of the sweetest kittens any of us had met and I decided – if he liked me too – that he would travel back home to live with me.  For good.  Black cats and I have a habit of working out. ❤

img_0131

As fate would have it, a second all-black, bob-tailed rescue would show up…and the two of them got on famously.

The rest was history, and now we have two beautiful, jet black boys, Keku and Musashi.

img_0123

I remember nearly every day how lonely I felt back then…and how lonely I’d feel now without them.  Even when I get mewed to death an hour before dinner time, I’d be crushed not having them in my life.  

No matter what I’m doing, they’re there just hanging out, with sweet spirits and ridiculously silly antics to assuage any bad day.

img_0127

Animal Humor – Pet Food

I’m fortunate…(or maybe not so fortunate, as I might have a bite taken out of me one of thees days!)…to have two little boys who aren’t nearly as picky as felines are made out to be.  Still, we all have our tendencies, right? 

In our home we teeter between:

I’d-rather-have-wet-food-but-I’ll-still-eat”

And…

“I’m-a-voracious-raptor-who-will-resort-to-eating-your–limb-if-I-don’t-get-fed-immediately.”  

I find myself responding to the vehement mews with “oh, I knoowwww!  I’m a TERRIBLE mum, aren’t I?!  Starving you for DAYS like that?!” (They eat twice a day, keep in mind, but I’m convinced they forget what happened only hours earlier.)

My F1 Chausie Jungle Cats weren’t so bad either – I could leave the food out and they would only eat as much as they needed.  Amazingly easy, both of them.

But cats are generally more particular than their canine brethren, so this fun little cartoon gave me a laugh. 🙂

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 5.03.28 PM

 

For more of my kitties, click here! 🙂 

Dinnertime With The Boys

Well…they aren’t supposed to be eating with us but…they definitely try.

My hunnie is a phenomenally good sport (especially as he wasn’t necessarily a “cat guy” from the outset) – there are rather a lot of crazy feline antics taking place…on a regular basis.  No, he takes it in stride, and is absolutely wonderful with them!

But much that we love them, we do have to draw the line with the kitchen and the dinner table.  There’s that image of a Jack-In-The-Box… You know the one…where the head pops up (terrifyingly in some cases, thankyouverymuch!)?  

Once the ears pass the table’s horizon…it’s game on.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 9.15.22 PM

I have a “GET DOWN!” tone that goes along with the words – it’s generally enough to send them on their way.  But sometimes those sweet little faces, jutting out and up, sniffing at the poultry-ed air…they’re followed with a paw.

Just one…ever so carefully reaching for the table.  

(Risky move!) 

IMG_9441

Sometimes I’m not even in the room and I’ll hear “OoOoo…you better get down!  If she catches you you’re in BIG TROUBLE!” 

I have to laugh because it basically our own live comedy show…and that part about being in big trouble is totally true!  I’ll march in, clearly going for “undefeated,” and they bolt before the “GET DOWN!” is fully expelled.  

If the boys get distracted (after a lengthy exercise in futility, they often reach a point of “we aren’t going to get the chicken THIS time…”) they might launch into a play paw fight.  Mittens and mews everywhere!

It is terribly entertaining.  Particularly when you have a few cat trees.  (They plan high-ground strategies too, you know!  Smart little devils!)

IMG_9442

I realize not everyone wants pets, in part because they want certain freedoms.  For me, the dinnertime mews start at LEAST one hour before I head for the cat food.  I get nose bites and ear batting starting around 4am…  But I’d feel a void without them, and I felt one between these lovie rescues and my jungle babies…  It just wasn’t “home.”

So dinnertime can have a few stresses with animals around – gone (so we thought!?) were the days of guarding ones food?  Not so in our house!  

But other than that piece of roasted cauliflower they absconded with the other night…it isn’t all THAT bad. 

 

Visiting Avalo

I recently took a much-needed trip to my best friend’s farm – what a departure from the nuttiness around here! Avalo Cat Sanctuary is an official non-Profit (501c3) created to “make the world a better place for Cats through Care , Compassion and Companionship.” Animal lovers of any ilk will appreciate that foundation. ❤

Avalo’s goal is simple:

To be the best guardians possible for domesticated hybrids and small
exotic felines that have particular needs, require medical attention or
can not stay with their human guardian for whatever reason.

I’ve mentioned Avalo before...a few times…and I no doubt will again – it is, always has been, and always will be my second home.  The one place I can actually sleep better than when I AM home (which, for me, is incredibly noteworthy!)  

IMG_0175

Kemisi’s enclosure (outdoor portion)

My friend Michelle is hands down one of the most amazing people I have ever met – she would feed any of her 114 cats, or 13 horses, before feeding herself…and, minus her husband a student or two, she does this by herself!  (She also teaches Parelli Natural Horsemanship, at which she naturally excels, hence the horses!)  

While I have no knowledge of the goings on (regarding horsemanship) myself, I am a former competitive figure skater, a competitive ballroom dancer, classically trained / performing ballerina, and a current martial artist and lifter – so I can see the difference(s) a mile away.  I see her with her students, and I see her with her horses – it is like watching a dance. 

She has no idea that I’m writing about her, by the way…she would never ask.  Michelle and I are the kind of people who don’t like pushy individuals – neither of us can stand proselytizing, imposition, or sycophants.  But I like to share what she is doing because it is truly, sincerely, AMAZING.  And I just had the fortune to be there – at a time when I REALLY needed a break.  

Avalo is home to my beautiful F1 Chausie, Kemisi – as mentioned in other posts, I had to rehome her (to my great devastation) along with my male, Khonsu, some years ago.  My career in Fashion was soaring…but the more-and-more frequent trips to China were frankly painful for my felines – they wouldn’t eat, they’d get depressed and lethargic…it was awful.

IMG_3851

The process of finding the RIGHT guardian(s) was arduous, felt nigh impossible, and is far too complicated to get into here… But let’s just say, Michelle was the light at the end of my tunnel!  

Khonsu and Kemisi have an indoor and outdoor enclosure that Michelle and her wonderful husband, Steve, put together.  We worked on the outside, which was emotional and fulfilling at the same time – it is a perfect space for them and, minus a few large Southern spiders, I LOVE hanging out in there! 😀

My little man would have been ten and a half – he passed in September last year.  Kemisi is also ten and a half, and I was overjoyed to see her – she looks as beautiful as ever.  The wonderful thing about the outdoor portion – at Avalo – is that there aren’t just snazzy little bugs flying about, or varying weather to sniff at… There are tons of cats running about!  While she is never particularly thrilled – Kemisi always was a bit territorial! – she loves to see who’s running by, and what antics are taking place in neighboring enclosures (with other Chausies and Jungle Cats), or with the outdoor “kids” as they fly by.  

I managed to hose down my iPhone while filling Kemisi’s fish pond (fear not, she never troubles the fish, but rather prefers to drink from a pond than a bowl! 😉 ) But in a way, having less connection and down time was a GREAT thing! I have always been a believer that time in Nature is one of the most rejuvenating things a person can do for him or herself – no devices, no social media…just good friends, quiet time, animals…and the natural world around us.  It isn’t only for us Empaths and energy people either – I sincerely believe ALL human beings need that “down time.”

I scheduled a bunch a posts prior to leaving…enough to carry me a day or two after I got back.  Technology allows us to stay on top of the more hectic Life of 2015, if absolutely necessary…but we can do that without taking away from our recharge time.

Owning and maintaining a farm is HARD work, but for Michelle, taking care of all those animals is her “peaceful time.”  Cats are sent to her because they have behavioral issues, injuries that others would euthanize over (I’m sorry, but the handful of three-legged cats around?  They are having a BALL – loving Life, enjoying their surroundings, and managing just as well as the others!!)  

She also has more hybrids, like my babies, some of whom are larger and unhandleable (There are Asian Leopard Cats, a Serval, a Caraval, Bengals, and other Chausies, as well as a feral cat or two.) But for her, it is a joy – to know she has touched the lives of those animals, and been a guardian to them for whatever time they have, is the biggest gift in the world.  

Avalo is a Sanctuary not only for the animals there…but for her…for me…for anyone blessed to spend time there.  

And blessed is exactly how I feel when I am there.  ❤