Posts Tagged ‘Cats

02
Apr
14

sharing & caring, a cat story for all ages

This is a story of feline sharing and caring from my yet to be written, therefore unpublished, AdvoCat Studio anthology: My Life With Cats.

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Frankie, the polydactyl, tabby cat, began his life with us under the care and tutelage of Nicky, our big, luxuriously furred, Himalayan-Birman mix. With patience and forbearance, Uncle Nick taught Frankie the ABCs of cat behavior and etiquette, a sometimes daunting task.

Frank & Nick 150

Frank was already a grown up with a long track record of caring and tutoring each kitten that came to live with us just as he’d been taught, but like any cat, he needed his rest and had his favorite spots.

Frank on radiator_5T-24_cropped

One fine winter’s day, when Frankie was asleep on his favorite morning spot atop the radiator in my studio, dreaming dreams only cats really understand… in walked Beau, the sleekly, beautiful, young prince of the household.

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“Ah, there’s Frank… must be a great spot for a nap,” he said to his cat self as he gracefully leaped up to join his friend.

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“Oh bother’ muttered Frankie through his sleepy cat lips. ‘Patience, forbearance… that’s the key…”

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“Okay, you’re cute, I love you: lay down now.” In truth, Frank was just a tiny bit annoyed, because he’d been dreaming the most wonderful dreams that morning and wanted to get back to them as quickly as he could.

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Beau sighed, deeply content with such loving acceptance, but he just couldn’t get comfortable.

 

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“I’ll give him another minute to find his groove,” Frank thought… ‘he’s just a kid.”

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“You okay, there buddy?” Frank asked in his best uncle voice.

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“I think my feet are too long,” whined Beau as he twisted about, certain that with perseverance, he’d find his perfect spot right next, and as close as possible, to his friend.

“Feet? Something like that,’ Frank whispered to his own self… ‘something like that!”

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“Got it, Uncle Frank! Thanks”

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“This spot feels great; I’ll just do a quick wash, be done in a jiffy. You don’t mind do you Uncle?”

 

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“Musn’t forget the hips ‘n haunches… so important to a cat’s graceful beauty. Appearances are important.”

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“Okay, all done, I’m back now. Thanks for waiting Frankie.”

Frank, running a bit low on patience said ever so quietly, “I’m sleeping now, gorgeous. Try it, you’ll like it… we’ll both like it.”Image 12a_Neg JI-26A_cropped

But Beau wasn’t ready to sleep yet. Settled near enough to hear his friend’s heartbeat, he said coquettishly, “Tell me a story and then I’ll go to sleep.”

Frank, reaching the end of patience as well as forbearance, thought: “I really don’t have time for this.”

” See you later…bonne nuit,  Beau, sleep well.” He said warmly, and slipped away to where grown-up cats go when they really, really need their rest.

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Beau was bewildered; he couldn’t understand why Frankie would just up and leave like that.  “Where’s he going,’ he mused, ‘I’m kind of lonely here all by myself… but I do look good, don’t you think?”

 

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18
Dec
13

A Most Magical Christmas

A Most Magical Christmas is an adaptation of the original story written for me long ago by Korin Heinz. As with all Armenian stories, this one was…
and was not…

karenswhimsy.comOnce upon a time, there was a little girl named Melineh, who lived with her parents, her sister and her brother in a big house. Melineh liked to pretend and play imaginary, magical games, especially at Christmastime. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, and right up to Christmas, she listened to The Cinnamon Bear on the radio and imagined herself right inside the story.

She was happy except for one thing: she dearly wanted a pet—not just any pet—a warm, furry kitten all her own to love and hug. She asked her mom and dad for a kitten many times, but the answer was always no, because they thought animals should always be outside—not inside the house. Then one day, after thinking it over carefully, Melineh’s father came home with a small, tabby kitten that he found near where he worked.

“Look what I found, Melineh,’ he said, ‘He begged me to bring him home, so I did.”

Melineh, filled with joy, held out her arms and begged her mom,  “Can I keep him… please?”

“Well… if you will promise to take care of him and not let him scratch the furniture, then we will try it for a little while,” Mom said, rather reluctantly.

Melineh named her new kitty, Buttons. She fed him every morning before school and in the afternoons when she came home. She brushed and played with Buttons and sometimes even put doll clothes on him. At night, Buttons slept on her bed in a tight curl of fur. Melineh was happier than she’d ever been in her whole life!

A few weeks later, just before Christmas, Melineh came home from school to play with Buttons, but couldn’t find him. She called and called and looked in every nook and cranny, but could not find him. “Mom,” she asked plaintively, “Where’s Buttons? Have you seen him?”

Mom looked away and said quickly, “Oh, he must have run away.”

Melineh wailed helplessly, “No, that’s not possible! You know where he is!” Inconsolable, she cried for days. There was nothing she could do but wait, hope and dream.

Then, on Christmas Eve, while Melineh was making make paper chain garlands for the tree with her sister, she heard a faint scratching noise at the back door: scritch, scratch. “I wonder what that is,” she thought, and got up to look outside in the fading afternoon light. At first she saw nothing and was about to close the door when she heard a tiny mew from under the porch. Melineh bent down and saw something dark and furry; “No, it couldn’t be,” she thought, but there, rubbing against her hand was Buttons, back from wherever he had been!kitten_in_holly 2

Melineh brought her precious tabby kitty inside and gave him some food. Buttons, once again in Melineh’s loving arms, purred happily. This was the very best gift ever—for sure!

Buttons lived with Melineh and her family for many years, bringing warmth and fun into the big old house in the city. When Melineh grew up she had lots more cats, but she never forgot that wonderful Christmas when Buttons found his way back home.

And, of course…they lived happily ever after…

Visual images in public domain from:
karenswhimey.com and clipartpal.com

09
Feb
13

cats ‘n dogs love food

Today, I want to post a couple of simple blessings to bring smiles on a cold winter day.  For dog lovers, a YouTube doggie video compliments of klaatu42 . Enjoy!

Speaking of Cats…here is one for cat lovers originally posted (in part) on my Facebook page:

I am trying to work. Bella thinks I need a break. I haven’t even started, Bel. Please get off my key board. (What I will have to do in about 10 minutes is “put her to bed”. Really! I’m not kidding. Oy, vey! She is now laying across my left arm, making it difficult to type accurately. She just decided I’m not worth waiting on and left. Bless her.Bella and her keyboard trick

By 1:30 P.M. Bella’s brother Ben awakes from his morning slumber and stretches out in all his princely glory. “It is time for lunch,” he says and proceeds to set himself between me and the keyboard much as his sister did this morning. He is much bigger than dainty Bella. No matter his tricks, I know how to open the fridge and he doesn’t. Lunch is always 3:00/3:30. Ah, he sees a bird outside the window…off he goes.Bennie and his keyboard trick

Or so I thought… When I closed down the computer and got up to leave the studio, there he was, under my desk, waiting for me to get the message and go down to the kitchen. In fact, both of them were quietly waiting, Ben under the desk and Bella at the doorway. When I rose from my chair, both of them got excited and ran ahead to the kitchen. But it was only 2:00. They waited patiently for about 5 minutes. These cats are smart. They aren’t going to waste energy mewing and fussing…no. They chose their spots to wait it out and I chose mine.

Doggone it! I couldn’t manage the last 5 minutes. They got their lunch at 2:55. If there is reincarnation, I want to come back a cat and live with a push-over like me. Of course, I will be well behaved, like Bella and Bennie.

17
Nov
10

today is my birthday

Today is my birthday. For the curious: I am 72 going on 59. Have been through many deep valleys in my time and weathered many storms, even perfect ones like the one at the church that didn’t really want us. Nicks and scratches, bruises and bumps—these are the marks of having risked comfort many times over in order to live an authentic life. I did not acquire this character on my own and it doesn’t come without some anxiety and fear, but it appears to be part of my DNA. I hope I am learning how to carry it more faithfully…more trustfully.

I am a late bloomer in many ways. The first 40 years were preparatory, the following 20 years were rehearsal for the next 10, and those were the refinement for the current now, when the God in me and the me in God enjoy sharing tea together from time to time. I am grateful for this and all the blessings God gives to me. This year I lost an important person—one who called me Mamacita and sometimes, Kimosabe, and made us a family. It was a hard loss. Then God brought a new family to me, complete with two beautiful grandchildren. I did not think I would ever be a grandmother, even a step-grandmother. I didn’t know how much sunshine little kids can bring to a life full of years. Last Sunday my new family came to church with me and then to lunch. The girls made birthday cards for me and we had a lovely time together.

This one is Miss Green’s card. Miss Green has recently turned 9.  Both cards fold in the middle and have little cut-out hinges so they can “stand” on a table (more or less).  Clever Miss Green has included a greeting in Japanese and says that she does not know the greeting in Korean but wishes me a happy birthday…and she likes my drawing. 🙂 Good girl!

Miss Pink’s birthday card (note the coins taped on and the kitty face inside) Miss Pink will turn 6 the day after Thanksgiving. Miss Pink is an ardent admirer of both my art and my cats. Ah, right to my heart. I like your art too…but prefer my cats as they also prefer me. 🙂

These are happy little projects made especially for me. I’m thrilled to have them. Thank you girls. I love you both!!

Thank you readers—for your interest in my writing, experiences, thoughts, opinions….and the art I sometimes add in. Thank you for being there in the forest to hear the tree falling. It does make a sound after all. For many years I didn’t know this.

I have not made many postings lately because I’ve been busy with visual/worship art projects for my little church at the edge of the city. But soon this will be complete and I will have writing time again. I have so much catching up to do both on this blog and on my Drawing Sacred Circles blog. Stay tuned.

But in the meantime, this is me greeting you today.   

20
Aug
10

thinking of you

Today I found a little drawing by a very talented young girl from the church Big Dawg, Adopted Daughter Bettina and I attended until June, 2009. It was given to Bettina shortly before she died last March. The drawing was of a beautiful horse with a coat of many colors. At the top of the drawing this little girl placed a perky little pink flower with green stem and leaves. At the bottom, beneath the colorfully happy horse she wrote: I’m thinking of you.

This artwork had been amongst a pile of things collecting for months on the table next to my computer desk. Why I saw it today and not yesterday, or the day before, I don’t know. I saw it today—early this morning as I booted up and began my electronic day. Looking at it—its simple beauty took me by surprise as though I hadn’t seen it months ago, when it first came to Bettina’s bedside. She was always so happy to have these gifts from children. From child to child is how it went. I’m thinking of you, it said; and so I am, and do, and did all day long.

I decided to add another posting to her blog, Longing for Light. I called it Hovering, and published the drawing with it. Afterward, I worked again at thinning down her last few belongings…the ones most difficult to deal with. The most difficult thing was reading through the letters she had written…remembering all of the good and all of the painful things that ran through our knowing each other. I made some progress, mostly organizing and separating things for final distribution. There isn’t a lot, just a couple of small boxes, but it was difficult and I thought about her all day long.

I’m thinking of you, Tina…and the sadness returned.

Hovering: Tina promised to hover. She told everyone she would learn to hover. I don’t know if she has learned, or is learning, or maybe flunked 101. I don’t dream about her, don’t have visions, don’t feel her presence…except when my little cat Bella jumps up to sleep with me at night. At that moment I feel Tina…as though Bella brings her to me. I am especially glad when Bella chooses to come right up to my chest, settles down and stretches out there. I say, “Hi, Tina, where have you been?”

So this is Bella…or Tina…or just a pretty orange tabby. You can decide.

13
Jul
10

beginning and ending

The day started with what I thought would be an early visit to the doctor for a cholesterol blood draw, followed by a pleasant, sweet-treat breakfast and chat with one of my dearest friends.

I drove up to the medical building somewhere between 8 and 8:30 this morning, parked my car in the nearly empty lot (lucky me), phoned my friend to say that I’d be at the cafe shortly and smartly proceeded to gather my belongings from the front seat of the car. Oh, oh, no purse…everything else, but no purse! That meant no driver’s license, no insurance cards, no money and no credit cards. Bummer! I (not so smartly) phoned my friend again to say that I would have to drive back home and start again. She was gracious as usual. I was feeling the result of having been too pre-occupied with a challenging email I’d read before leaving the house to think straight. Multi-tasking had eluded me once again.

I drove home, picked up my purse and started out again traveling back the toll road route, which is faster but unpleasantly nerve-wracking. The parking lot had filled in a bit, but miraculously the space I’d vacated 40 minutes earlier was invitationally still there! Still more miraculously, I didn’t have to wait an hour at the lab, only about 15 minutes. What luck!

“Are you fasting” the technician asked?

“No one told me to fast; I had one cup of coffee,” I said somewhat reluctantly.

“Black? That would be fasting,” the technician’s supervisor announced.

“Cream and sugar,” I said.

“Sugar? Sugar? That’s non-fasting…write non-fasting and go ahead with the test,” the supervising lady replied, while keeping her gaze directly on her computer screen.

I was given the choice of right or left arm for the poke and so it was done. I got out of there quick without caring one whit what the test said one way or the other, and called my friend to say that I was on my way to the cafe, where we would have whatever looked good to us. Coffee with cream and with sugar, for sure! We had a fine time eating, enjoying each other’s company, and celebrating her birthday. It was a lovely couple of rejuvenating hours, then time to say goodbye and head home—richer and deeper for the shared time together. What is better than that?

I drove home along the same road I’d gone  back on the first time around. It was 3 hours later. I was mulling over some things we’d discussed, and generally feeling happy, when suddenly I saw a tiny, furry body on the road. It was a small kitten about 6 weeks old—small enough to fit in the palm of the hand—black with a triangular patch of white on its chest. The kitten was lying limply on its side with legs outstretched. How does an infant cat find its way to the highway? It wasn’t there 3 hours ago when I drove this road home the first time. How did it get there? Was it feral? If so, where was its mother or litter mates? Worse case scenario: someone dumped it out the window for whatever reason. This happens, I am sorry to say. Some people think animals can fend for themselves and are better off out there. (This, of course is never true of older animals who have had human companions, or of the young who haven’t yet learned survival skills.) I have heard all sorts of reasons for the inhumane treatment of animals. Humans do not yet realize that God is incarnate in every living thing.

I gasped as my car passed squarely over that baby kitty. In that instant I felt jointly responsible as a member of the human race, and my heart broke completely. Prayers for the kitten all the way home…prayers and tears and helplessness.

Am I an animal nut? No. I am not wed to the idea of  no-kill shelters or heroic measures for the diseased and deformed. There are millions of unwanted animals in this country. I am an advocate for spaying and neutering and responsible stewardship of God’s creatures, which would include responsible and compassionate euthanasia…not the gas chambers until they are dead that often happens in county animal facilities. I do not like to see an animal suffer, just as I do not like to see human beings suffer…do not like factory farming, just as I do not like warehousing of the elderly or mentally infirm.

As I remember that lifeless little body lying there, I feel a nagging sense of guilt mixed with shame and sadness. Although life is more manageable for us now with only 2 (perfect) cats, I am filled with an urge to add another…one not so fortunate as my Ben and Bella—the prince and princess of our towerless castle. Crazy…guilt driven and compulsive…maybe I’ll just pray some more for the kitty and for all those people out there with whom I am connected as a human being, like it or not.

P.S. There will be more postings about the wedding and grandchildren…and pictures too…eventually.

15
Apr
10

smiling from memory

I am immersed in constructing a new blog and preoccupied with it. It will be something different—a site dedicated to the practice of art as spiritual experience. But I have to keep Called by Name and Longing for Light going as well. Pondering what to add to this one since my last posting, I look out toward the porch where Adopted Daughter, Bettina, used to conduct teleconferences last summer. She was vital and energetic. We were certain she’d be a long-term survivor, just because we couldn’t imagine it any other way. I am overwhelmed by the sunlight, the young green, the gentle breeze, and the peacefulness. The cats sleep. All is quiet except for the occasional rustling of the breeze through the living room vertical blinds. It is the same today as it was last year. Nothing has changed but the occupancy. I am quite alone today, and every day.

This gets to me now. We used to be a little family of three. She was here quite a bit of the time because she worked from home a lot. We got on very well. She was busy with her work and I was busy with mine. We were friendly wallpaper for each other. And then there were the cats who roamed about in their friendly furry ways. Troubles aside, life was good in those family days—family is good. Alone is good too…when it’s partial…when I know the family will assemble at the dinner table…when the family will talk and share and the house will fill with energy.

I found these notes on an entry I’d intended to post, but never got around to doing so. It was to be a loving bit of humor. With a bit of editing it’s a loving look backward to share with you:

I used to live with a business engineer, a fixer of problems, a leader of persons. All day long AD sat in a big chair with a computer and a headset. I was in a room below, just far enough away to hear the conversations rippling along as I worked along in my own world. Every now and then I actually heard, or I should say listened to what was being said. After many, many months of this I had been able to piece a few things together…enough to know that AD was something of a symphony conductor, keeping a whole group, or team of persons moving forward in a world of endless projects needing completion. The quality of completion is important. To reach the client’s expectational need is a must, but to go beyond that to fantastic and under budget is another diamond in the Executive Vice President’s crown and a twinkle in AD’s eyes. She is good, very, very good.

Her world has a language of its own, which I sometimes find quite amusing. Here are some of the words and phrases I hear repeatedly,  I even began to recognize who some of the people were, just by the sound of AD’s voice. If I listen with my ears tuned to memory, I can still hear it:

Acceptance rate

Approval rate

Circle back

Good with that!

It’s all good! It’s all good

It’s all about…

Moving the needle on this thing.

No worries!

Qualification rate

Reach-out

Right? Pause for 3 seconds

Shoot you an email

Take rate

We’re all about…

Zen, baby, zen!

Some of you may be familiar with this business-speak. I found it curiously strange. I don’t think you will hear me using any of these phrases. I have my own language. On a good day, I can even remember what it is 🙂

28
Oct
09

and the winner is…

Hello everybody,

The Bennie Award-72 I am pleased to announce that the Blog Comment Award has been won by non other than…Mr. Ordinary Mostly… for bravely going where no man or woman has gone before. He has written a candid and insightful, comment to my post, “Please leave a comment” (September 25, 2009). What a guy!! OM gets the Brave and Handsome Bennie Award for… yes… you guessed it: bravery in leaving a comment!!

So, anyone else out there want to try for the Baby Kitty Bella Award or the Grumpy Old Frank Award? (Neither baby talk nor grumpiness need be a prerequisite for winning.)  Yours truly, Called by Name

25
Sep
09

please leave a comment

So why don’t readers leave comments? Do they know that they can be anonymous or even use a pseudonym? I love to read what others have to say about my musings…and I often reply. One can contribute another point of view, add from one’s own experience or anything else, so long as it is appropriate and not end up in the Spam file. So what’s the problem? My dear friend OM has 300 comments on his blog. Called by Name is nowhere near that. I had hoped for an interactive blog. Maybe I should offer rewards for comments…

I could have the baby kitty, Bella award

Bella - 2 years old

Bella - 2 years old

or the brave and handsome, Bennie award

Ben - 2 years old

Ben - 2 years old

or the grumpy old, Frank award.

Frank - 18 years young

Frank - 18 years young

Or, I could just go on talking, and musing, and wondering who is reading the stuff.

03
Aug
09

one more for cats

While I am yet in a cheery mood, let me post another little kitty story for your feline pleasure:

Toulouse the Tabby Cat Saves Christmas, by Darling Daughter

Brown TabbyOnce upon a time there was a brown striped tabby cat named Toulouse.  Toulouse lived in a big old house in Chicago with his person, a nice girl who fed him well, and a big yard full of birds and leaves to chase, and if he was very lucky, and very quiet, a mouse or two at night.

Toulouse was happy in his house and yard.  His life was well ordered in cat-like fashion:  meals twice a day, sleep as needed – most of the day, in the spring and summer he hunted, in the fall he chased dried leaves and in the winter he curled up contentedly on the soft red couch in the living room and watched snowflakes fall or the flames lap up the fireplace walls.  “Birds, mice, squirrels, food, bed, what a nice life,” Toulouse thought as he purred himself to sleep.

Then one day, Toulouse’s world was turned upside down in a most uncat-like way: his person got a new cat.  The new cat was gray and white with silver tips where the sun hit the edges of his fur.  The new cat had long elegant whiskers and a way of striding around the house that gave no indication that he was going to be the second place cat.  The new cat was soon named Pablo and just as soon tried to take over.  “Yes, I’ll be king of this house,” he thought firmly.  “What a perfect setting the girl gave me to rule.”
Toulouse was focused on his orderly pursuits – hunting, sleeping, eating.

******

It was that time of year again, the time when the house began to smell of warm, nutty baked goods, when the snow began to pile up against the cat door and when the girl began to spend lots of time with the shiny strings and paper that Toulouse loved to play with.  “All those good smells, Pablo,” said Toulouse, “you know it means we’ll be getting salmon and turkey ourselves.”

“Yeah, especially when we steal them off the counter when the girl gets careless,” purred Pablo.”

All was cozy and content in the big house in Chicago until one day the girl and her friend brought home a fir tree.  Pablo and Toulouse stared wide eyed as the two humans lugged it in and set it up in the living room.  “A tree, a real live tree, just like the ones the birds live in!” thought Toulouse to himself.  “Maybe, if I’m real quiet and stay hidden under the couch I’ll catch one.”  But Pablo had other thoughts.

“Wow, my own climber!  How nice of them to get a tall one for me.  I’ll just wait ‘til the girl goes into the other room to try it.”  And when evening came, the tree glowed with lights and jangly, bobbly, twizly toys that cats love and the girl soon went to bed.  Pablo crouched low at the living room door, “a running start, that’s what I need,” he plotted.

“No!” Toulouse shouted, “you must not, Pablo.  You’ll ruin Christmas for the girl.”

“Out of my way, Toulouse,” Pablo growled, “try and stop me!”  And Toulouse did just that.  From under the couch he shot, tackling Pablo full on.  The two cats tousled, brown and gray balls of fur rolling and flopping and spitting at each other.  Until finally, Toulouse backed Pablo into a corner “say you won’t do it, say it!” he hissed at Pablo.  “No!” A quick swat of a brown paw and Pablo conceded, “I didn’t want to climb that stupid tree anyway,” he said licking himself.

And so it was that the next day the girl and her friend woke to a perfect Christmas morning and enjoyed a happy Christmas with Pablo and Toulouse, who got their extra turkey, plus what they managed to steal off the counters.

Finis




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