Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cat Tales

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I’ve learned a lot of important lessons in my life, sometimes the costliest ones are the ones that you don’t want to repeat. I’ve also learned that the word “never” or “I can’t imagine” are direct invitations for the Universe to deliver exactly what you didn’t think you would ever experience.

For example, at the high school rodeo finals in Pueblo, Co. I heard a girl had lost her barrel horse that week. He was a high dollar horse, had gotten colic and died. I distinctly remember saying, “I can’t imagine, how horrible that would be”, as a shiver of fear went through me. I looked down at Jet, patted his neck and thought nothing of my words. Two days later, I did more than imagine, I had a direct experience that left me bawling my eyes out over a horse that I loved as much as any family member. As we drove away from Castle Rock, Co, a very important lesson was forming for me. I lost my horse that day and I have never been the same. I closed my heart down and learned not to get attached. I would ride again but I wouldn’t let myself love in that way again. It took me a long time to let go of that pain and know that I could love, be hurt and still be ok.

I think that is how it works sometimes, we say never and plan on it being that way and then………………..when you least expect it, it just walks back into your life, or you find it when you didn’t even know you were looking for it.

I also loved cats. They were much more delicate and didn’t last long around me. The first time experience I ever had with a feline was making friends with a stray. It took months for me to be able to earn its trust and pet it. I respected its wild nature and was thrilled the first time Cinders came to me. I didn’t press or push, I was just there, to be her friend. I didn’t try to make her into a house pet or even a barn cat; I just wanted her to know that I liked her. She stuck around for a while but I didn’t get my hopes up. Same with the countless other cats that waltzed into my life! There were the three abandoned kitties that I tried to keep alive; they lived for three days. When I finally did have one that stayed around, I found out I was deathly allergic to them. My eyes swelled up, I ended up with splotches all over and sneezed to beat all. Ok, so I wasn’t meant to have cats. After that I kept my distance. I’d long give up the idea ever having a companion cat. I’ve always been a dog fan anyway so, no loss.

It didn’t get any better with cats as I got older. In fact, I developed terrible allergies to the point where I couldn’t walk into a house that had cat in it. They made me miserable. As a side note, what I didn’t know was that the Journey training I took last year would help me completely release this reaction to cats/cat dander. There is a process where you go into the body to get to the core of the issue or challenge. The cool part was that I didn’t intentionally work with releasing the cat allergies; I’d accepted it long ago. I actually worked on my fear of snakes through a phobia cure. I realized this spring when I picked one up that I no longer had any adverse reactions! This is amazing work so if you any of you reading this are interested let me know and I will be happy to give you more information! The point of sharing is that miracles are happening within and around us all the time; we just have to be open to receiving them!

So the last thing I ever planned on was having a cat sit on my lap as I was typing. Last week, we had trouble with one of our dogs eating kittens. (Deep issues there!) Pryce’s little grey kitty, born near the garden, was unknowingly sent to an early death by being put in the barn with the cat-eating dog. Feeling really bad about that, I decided that I would go take care of the meowing outside my window. I found a little white fuzz ball, very weak, skinny and scared out of her wits. It was the right thing to do, no Mamma around and the little thing needed some TLC. We brought her in and gave her some warm milk. My stranded Canadian friend Megan lovingly agreed to take first watch. She was a great kitty mommy. She and Pryce cared for the cat all the next day too. We ended up taking the kitten along with us for the weekend because I wasn’t willing to send another cat to its death and this one was just not going to make it otherwise. It was a gamble for sure. With 5 kids and 4 adults in and out of the living quarters of a horse trailer that cat was going to have to prove her survival skills. When we got to our destination and I looked in to check on her, there was no cat. She was flat gone. Again, these things don’t last too long around me so I wasn’t expecting much. The kids all took it hard but as I learned early on, that is life with cats or I guess that is my life with cats. I could feel those little heart stings tugging though, I was sad but didn’t have a lot of time to dwell on it.


That night after we got back to my parents home, my friend Darcy heard a sound! We listened and looked and to our surprise we discovered the kitty in the closet! We were overjoyed. Darcy is a huge cat fan and was just as sad (if not more) than I was. We were so, so happy to find the little fuzz ball. Parker I believe was the happiest. He’d named the kitty Angel. “You are my weakness”, he’d say to her. “Mom, just look at those eyes, they just make me melt. She’s my little angel.” As I picked myself out of the little pile of drool, I remembered how much I loved cats. I’d become hardened off, closed down and totally shut off. It was so hard to let them go each time one of them died that I just choose not to feel that pain any more; in doing so, I had chosen to not feel the love and elation that comes through such connections. And my body created an allergic reaction to make sure that I kept my distance. It all became very clear as I looked at this little creature. Cell memories began to unravel. I was opening to something new…………….

The cat made it back home. She’s way smarter than a dog too. It took very little for her to toilet train (Otis, I cannot say the same for you!) She’s done shaking and has found a really cozy spot right here on my lap. I’ve found it delightfully supportive to have this little furry creature keeping me company as I type. I can feel myself falling for her and I have to say it is the last thing I thought would ever happen to someone who was previously so allergic to felines. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit scared. I am terrified! It is kind a scary to know that you have no control of your heart and that your mind can’t make your heart do what you think it should. It would appear crazy to have a cat in a house with dog that thinks they are a chew toy, children who think the should flank and tie anything with legs and a husband whose never been a pet-in-the house fan. What am I thinking? This is all wrong! But she’s so damn cute and quiet, I just can’t help it. I realize the steaks are high; she’s still pretty fragile and there’s no way to ensure she will stick around. I am willing to allow the experience though.

In addition to learning to "never say never", I’ve also learned that some of the greatest experiences come from the unexpected; they rise up from one’s soul in a way that the mind couldn’t orchestrate. Those little unplanned experiences can carry some of the deepest blessings imaginable. They take us to a place beyond what we would have created for ourselves, into unlimited vistas. When we release the old rules we live by an entirely new perspective is visible.


This cat has no idea what a great teacher she’s has already been. And if something unforeseen does happen and she decides to depart early, I am good with that. I will miss her terribly, my heart would be broken right in two and there’s freedom in admitting that! I wouldn’t ever be the same, I’d be better…………..because I gave myself a chance to have the entire experience without picking and choosing only the good parts. I want to see Angel grow into a big cat, I want to see her saunter across my floor and snuggle on my lap. I want to be with her every day and see her when I come home from my adventures. She’s not mine, I don’t own her, but she does have my whole heart and I freely give it to her. Sometimes the greatest things that happen to us are the ones we least expect. The ones that come from out of the blue and drop in our lap and make no sense whatsoever! For once I am not questioning, or analyzing or wondering. I am fully
enjoying her presence. And I know that she’s enjoying mine. We make a great team!

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