Committee Breakfast, Friday, May 15th, 2015

Friday Morning, May 15th, 2015 -( 9°C / 48°F @ 8:15 am, Sunny & Bright in our little corner of Atlantic Canada )-

Deer on the hill saying good morning and thanks for the oats.

7:30 am – Three deer looking a bit scruffy as they get ready to shed their winter coats. This photo was ‘auto-adjusted’ in PhotoShop. That made the greens looke a bit greener. There still is plastic inside the windows, which shows up more obviously when the photos are full size. At 549 x 412 pixels here, it’s about 1/5th the full size.

3 deer in the foreground while a fourth comes in from behind them.

There are at least two groups that seem to consist of a mother deer and between two and four yearlings, -depending on who comes with them?- Sometimes I only know there are more than one group is when I notice that one of the mothers has a straight line scar on her right flank. -Either a scar or a very weird bit of fur trimming.-

4 deer that almost look like three.

All 4 deer are in this photo. The middle two are pretending to be a Dr Doolittle type ‘PushMe-PullYou’, The one in the back is on guard, looking away from the camera while the one in the front is busy enjoying the oats I tossed out on the hill about an hour before they came around.

— These photos here are the size I usually upload 549 x 412 pixels or pretty close to that. I told the inner workings of WordPress that ‘medium’ sized photos should be 549 pixels wide because anything bigger than that does not fit right if I copy and paste them into a couple other blogs that I sometimes post in every day, sometimes once a month or once a week? But, anyway, it’s the middle of May. The grass is beginning to turn green. Spring is here. I think we survived another nasty winter. The last bits of snow on our property melted just before Mother’s Day again this year. The bad guys might be trying to bluff us into believing most of the world is going bankrupt while they’re “laughing all the way to the bank”. The sun felt warm even through the windows and across the room. & The guy who owns the field the deer are in either came here and cut the tree that fell down last summer in the Storm they named “Arthur” or paid somebody to do that.

— I can’t think of anything clever to finish this off with just now. Still kind of ‘shell shocked’ over the death of a pet. It feels like life goes on – and silly me, after a couple “Near Death Experiences” myself, I’m pretty sure I’ll see those pets again in the ‘next life’ — But that didn’t make it any easier. And every time life drops one of its ‘little surprises’ – all of our priorities seem to come up for review and have themselves reshuffled. You find out again who your real friends are and suddenly you’re locked in an echo chamber where ideas like: “Nobody ever comes back from a near death experience with the Divine message that they should have spent more time at work-” reverberate in your body, mind and spirit as if they’ve been double or triple underlined.

~~~~~ Jim

 

Ouch: Grief and Hope and Remembering

Thursday, May 7th, 2015 -( 14°C / 57°F  & Sunny and warm @10:15 here in Atlantic Canada )-

More perched on round cat furniture thing in Arnprior

Moe in February of 2006 – Hanging out atop the hideout we got for Sasha, who died of a heart attack after being with us for less than three months. Sasha was a bit timid and Domino was much bigger than she was and he played a little too rough for her.

— Yesterday was my cousin-in-law Joe’s birthday.

— Also yesterday, & totally unrelated to Joe’s birthday, my stomach was sore. fter a while I felt a bit like I might be sick if I tried to do too much, and defined ‘too much’ as ‘trying to do any more than I already had, folding up a big tarp and moving it under the section of unfinished plywood roof that had blown off the frame I was building around the steel yard shed. -The plan was to finish building a protective wood shed for our firewood, outside the steel tool shed. Because we couldn’t finish the woodshed before we were inundated with snow last winter, and because the second part of my pension is in orbit somewhere, we couldn’t afford another cord of firewood, so it cost us at least $300 more a month to heat our house which meant we couldn’t pay a couple other bills which meant- anxiety for mon amour fou.

— Last night I dreamed I was doing yoga stomach lifts. I dreamed that I remembered having done stomach lifts the day or night before and I wondered if that was why my stomach hurt. (Probably not- my stomach probably hurt from crying over our cat’s death, crying to the point where I burst into coughing fits, which probably strained my stomach muscles.) Today I wondered if part of the reason I took Domino’s death so hard was I saw him suffering through his last couple days. Maybe that hurt me more than it did him. He complained, meowing mournfully just a little bit louder than he did when he was upset because a door was closed and doors just shouldn’t be closed. That’s part of many cats’ philosophy. Some doors should never be closed. Some doors should always be closed, but some should never be closed. He also meowed fairly loudly and stared at things that maybe he could see and we couldn’t, halfway up the wall in the living room and other spots around the house.

— Last night before we went to bed, Cathi told me she’d found a photo of Moe from 2004, so maybe he was a couple years older than the “8 years old” she’d reported online somewhere a couple days ago. I went digging through old blogs and found evidence back as far as 2005 and she checked out her old bravenet blog and found the passage she’d written there and posted in April of 2004, the day after she brought Moe home from the shelter. -( my stepdaughter, Cathi’s daughter, Erin, had fallen in love with Max a scrappy little British grey cat, partially because he was an older cat and she was worried that nobody would want him. I’m really not sure of all the details, but I think we were in the Ottawa animal shelter to pick up Max when one of us blurted out the fact that Sasha had died of a heart attack shortly after we brought her home. The right person at the shelter heard that and told us she would give us a voucher good for a replacement for Sasha. We brightened, asked about possible replacements who might be there that day, and we were introduced to Moe, who’d been left off outside the shelter, who seemed to like and get along with all the other animals in the shelter, but who had a cough and needed to be ‘fixed’. Before they ‘fixed’ him they carried him around and brought him up to the doors of several other cages, he said hello and didn’t pick any fights with any of the cats there. Cathi remembered that they handed Moe to Erin and he leaned on her shoulder and gave her a hug. Cathi believes we have a photo of that somewhere on her backup drive. Anyway, I’m about to copy and paste the entry that Cathi found last night. )-

I don’t think this will print itself twice here, but I better check to make sure.

Link —> http://cathi_harris.bravejournal.com/archive/04/25/2004

===== Cathi’s blog entry is below this =====

Sunday, April 25th 2004

12:17 AM

Welcome Tigger!

  • Mood:
  • Music: The Chieftains
  • Weather:

The rain has stopped, but it’s a cool cool wind that blows.  Oh well, it was still a lovely day.  Yesterday was also a lovely day, and with it came the happy arrival of Tigger, the cat formerly known as Morris (for lack of a name), now healthy and happy and anxious to be away from cages.  The trip home was fun; he delighted in sticking one red-haired nose out the holes and talking to me the whole way.

At first he was happy to be segregated in the bedroom, lying in front of the windows watching the world go by.  But it wasn’t long before he made the great escape through my legs to rush out and then, with Domino meowing at him through the vent outside, Jim figured we might as well introduce them.  There was no hissing, no howling, just a sniff of noses and Domino going shrug and turning around and going downstairs.  This looked hopefull.  So a few more breakout attempts by Tigger resulted in one very fast cat finally making a break for it and exploring his surroundings.  He loves the windows, and he Domino had some minor “words” when he went down into Domino’s lair in the basement.  So, back to the bedroom.  This wasn’t Tigger’s idea of fun though, so after an hour or so of “scratch scratch scratch knock knock knock!” out he went again.  Domino was waiting for him, belly up in the hall and when he was let out, Domino led him downstairs.

Last night to give Domino a break, Jim stayed with Domino behind a closed door downstairs, Tigger stayed upstairs with me,  walking across my keyboard, knocking down photos off the piano (he learned that is a loud and clunky thing to do, hasn’t been up there since), played with little guy’s puzzle, played the piano, and spent several happy visits on my lap giving me hugs.  He does give good hugs.

And last night, against his will, back behind closed doors in the bedroom.  He was up on the bed, curled up between my legs (exactly the same way one of my other cats used to ), and then, on the pillow above my head, purring purring purring.  That’s how I fell asleep, to the wonderful sounds of cat purring.  Did you know that the frequency of cat purr is supposed to be very healing?

Anyway, that lasted until about 6:30 with Domino outside meowing, Tigger inside knocking on the door, so okay, out again.  I know, you’re supposed to keep them separate, but these fellows like each other, both are up to date on shots, Tigger is healthy again so I wasn’t too worried.  All day today we have had two cats following each other around the house, wrestling (they are so cute doing that, no teeth, no claws, just literally wrestling), sharing Domino’s futon, admiring the birds together, complete with Domino cleaning Tigger.  Yes, I think we have two buddies – Domino is still dominant (he did try his hissing routine and Tigger didn’t bat an eye at it, so Domino is happy), Tigger is so happy-go-lucky and friendly, he’s just happy hanging out and playing.  All is well with the world, and Domino is also a much happier fellow today  .  He really did miss having another cat around.

Other than that, well, we checked out some garage sales, drove over to Galletta (very neat little town), plan to go back and check out the flea market tomorrow.  Jim has been busy building cat perches with carpet reminants (some given free, some pieces 50 cents from a new store here); was a little too cool to work on the yard like I had planned, but maybe later in the week.

And that’s about it for now!

Cathi

=====

~~~~~ Jim

 

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 –

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 -( 20°C / 68°F & we still have that one small patch of snow here in Atlantic Canada at 3:48 pm )-

Orange cat sleeping with his arm on alert Bengal cat on a sleeping bag inside out on a window seat.

Orange Moe and stripey-spotty Domino enjoying their nice sunny window spot in Arnprior, 2007 -ish.

— My sister had a poster in the late 60’s / early 70’s that had several examples of how child development shapes the future of that child. – If a child lives with criticism he learns to be nasty to others. If a child lives with encouragement he learns self esteem.— & so on.

— If a child lives with pets he or she learns something valuable. I forget what that was.

— I can’t find that version, but this appears to be the original: Maybe there was a picture of a child playing with a happy puppy or something.

=====

     Children Learn What They Live (1969)

     BY DOROTHY LAW NOLTE

      If a child lives with criticism,
      He learns to condemn.
      If a child lives with hostility,
      He learns to fight.
      If a child lives with ridicule,
      He learns to be shy.
      If a child lives with shame,
      He learns to feel guilty.
      If a child lives with tolerance,
      He learns to be patient.
      If a child lives with encouragement,
      He learns confidence.
      If a child lives with praise,
      He learns to appreciate.
      If a child lives with fairness,
      He learns justice.
      If a child lives with security,
      He learns to have faith.
      If a child lives with approval,
      He learns to like himself.
      If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,
      He learns to find love in the world.

=====

— But pets certainly teach us something, including unconditional love. And right now, in deep mourning for Domino, because the life that used to be here, isn’t any more, it’s hard to understand or believe that this love and joy is worth the pain of separation. And I know through and through that we don’t just stop being when death occurs.

— Dang-

~~~~~ Jim

 

Monday, May 4th, 2015 – Kent State Day

Monday, May 4th, 2015 -(11°C / 52°F deceptively sunny and bright at 10:45 am in our little corner of Atlantic Canada )-

Cat enjoying cat food in a nice bright window.

Not the last photo we ever took of Domino. I didn’t post this one before because it showed how pudgy he became.

— Twice I got to choose a pet. In sixth grade I rode with my father when he drove a friend of his up to the vet in Trumbull to pick up a pet who’d needed extra care there. I asked my father if we could ask if the vet knew of any dogs up for adoption, he’d had a couple drinks earlier and he said, “Sure-” so I did and the vet just happened to have a fairly large young mongrel, white with brown spots, named ‘Reno’ who came ran me all around the parking lot on the end of a rope tied to his collar and then came home with us. We couldn’t let him run wild through our neighborhood so we tied him outside a couple times a day. He learned that a few short loud barking sessions would get him inside in a hurry. One next door neighbor complained. Dad took Reno back to the vet after we’d had him maybe a little more than a week. — I think I was just about 30, back living with my parents again on the advice of a spiritual Yogi. Working evenings in the post office. My sister Sharon and her first husband, Charlie, had puppies and offered me one. I knew that they wouldn’t live very long if I said, “No thanks-” and I wanted them both, but chose a female and named her “Lucky” My mother complained that she didn’t want to be the one who got stuck taking care of another puppy. I told her I was perfectly capable of taking care of her and didn’t mind at all. Another case of within a week, Mom and Dad jumped in the car to go visit my sister and took the puppy back with them. Brother in law Charlie shot both puppies shortly after that and shocked my mother, who didn’t believe me when I’d said that that could happen. Other than that, any time a pet came into my life it came because somebody else wanted it or somebody had to give it away. An undocked Doberman in New York state, Named ‘Rooster’ had scared a kid off a bicycle when he wanted to play with her and the kid’s parents threatened legal actions. I kept Rooster on property I was trying to buy up there and the neighbors made a big stink, I gave Rooster to a future Vet who believed there were ‘papers’ available. The Vet and another friend of mine contacted the woman I’d gotten Rooster from and learned that, yes, somebody had papers, but they weren’t quite legitimate and would have cost real money and a bit of moral quicksand that a future Vet didn’t want to deal with. The dog was a pure bred Doberman who hadn’t been registered at birth and the person with the papers registering phantom pups and charging people with questionable intent an unreasonable amount of money for those papers. And, my friends didn’t think they wanted to try to trust anybody like that. Other friends in New York had to get rid of a cat. I couldn’t have a cat where I was staying, another friend said he would take the cat and keep him for me until I had a place where I could take him back. Okay, well that cat caught feline leukemia very shortly thereafter and wasted away to almost nothing in a couple weeks. My life in New york fell apart shortly after that and my father asked me to move back home and help him out, so I did.

— One stray cat came and found me. She’d been in a fight and the first time I saw her one eye was a mess. I’d never been a cat person before this. But that cat found me every time I was in the depths of teen aged angst and depression. She got killed in the road while I was either in Vermont or away in the Navy. She was special. Every pet has been special. Trixie used to fall asleep in my lap as a wobbly puppy. It nearly killed me to see her in the dog pound after the same neighbor that complained about Reno complained that Trixie was digging up his back yard. A couple weeks after Trixie disappeared from the dog pound that neighbor came over and screamed at me that if we didn’t get rid of that dog he was going to call the cops on us, he’d seen it the day before digging up his back yard again. If I had the power to kill with my mind that guy would have exploded then and there. Thank God I don’t?

— And, other than that, any time a pet came into my life it was somebody else’s idea and somebody else’s choice.  But every one of them has been magical and special. When his doctor told my father he might be allergic to pet hair mom asked Sharon in Vermont when I was staying up there if she could take him. When we conferred with her husband and he reluctantlay agreed, we called back and said, “Yes!” And we were told it was too late. Flipper was gone. Too many pets were ripped out of my life by selfish adults. When Max the gray cat died last November, that was rough. We had seen him gradually wasting away and then in the last couple days he went quickly. Erin, my step daughter who had fallen in love with Max, especially because he was ‘older’ when they saw him in the cage in the animal shelter display at a pet store, thought that nobody would want him because he was an older cat.  So she gotr him and brought him to Mississauga, then Ottawa, then up to Pembroke when she was going to University up there. Then she transferred to WEstern Ontario University in London, Ontario, and Max stayed with us for a while. Then her future husband turned out to be extremely allergic to cats so Max stayed with us until the end. She came here to see him one last time and he went downhill really fast while she was here, he went that night. That was rough. 

— Maybe every time a pet leaves us is going to be rougher.

Young white deer and young normal deer in the foreground another normal deer in the background, blending in under the tree.

April 21st, 2015 – We’d heard that the white deer, the mother, who had been coming around with her mottled white and brown offspring had been hit by a bus and killed last winter. I think we’ve seen her and we’ve also seen this one, a younger deer, seen through the rain on the window here. Life renews itself. Earth abides. Silly people and their silly ideas fade away but love and joy and everything good about life is still here. Sometimes interrupted by brief periods of grief. There’s at least one more deer beneath the treem to the left of these guys.

— Argh! And thank you for the facebook messages of support and sympathy.

~~~~~ Jim