For the love of Cats

Today I woke early. Small, hungry meows bellowed from my almost two-year old tortoiseshell cat. Her mouth filled with saliva, anticipating the high quality canned cat food that I buy her. She licked her lips then my arm in hopes I’d wake that instant to feed her. She purred loudly, but waited patiently. Me waking up was the only way she’d feed her hungry tummy.

I rubbed my eyes and pet her soft fur, then watched as she raced down the stairs. She had won.

It’s a privilege to feed your pet, not just a responsibility. But today was different feeding my sweet ball of fur named Katniss.

Once I set her Nature’s Variety Instinct, salmon-flavored wet food in a raised glass dish near her water and dry food dish, I noticed another beautiful creature outside. I’ve seen her before, but never have I seen her out and about this early in the morning. Usually she roams about at night.

She was a mirror image of my Katniss. A young “tortie,” wild and free lurking by the trees. She seemed so calm. When she was a kitten, I tried to catch this kitty and her orange tabby companion. I wish I would have tried harder back then to catch her because now she is much bigger, and perhaps more wild.

Before winter we found one of her brothers. A small gray kitten hidden inside a car. It meowed for his orange tabby cat mother, but we never saw her around for days. We knew there were kittens in the yard under a drain, but nobody could ever get to them. We’d all just leave food and water for them and their mother. How this little kitten got a few yards away, I’ll never know.

We cleaned that little gray kitten up. Got him some food, water, and toys. He loved catnip and began to trust human hands. He went to a loving home…success! We were able to save that kitten, but how do you capture a young, adult stray…I mean feral kitty? And does she even want to be captured? So, I thought. What can I do. What’s the one thing both stray, feral, and pet cats love, and that us humans can provide for them? Food. I raced outside like the crazy cat lady I am, carrying a can of food with me.

She saw me and I had her attention. Such a beautiful cat. I opened the can, the noise keeping her from running off. The noise that makes Katniss run from any room in the house to the kitchen. I set it on the ground and walked back inside. I watched from the window both my Katniss inside and her mirror image outside. Different places, yet both the same. Torties, but also cats. I then realized a bigger picture.

You don’t need to necessarily “capture” this beauty, but rather like everything and everyone you encounter, leave them in a better condition then when you first saw them. If I can feed this outdoor kitty, who may not have eaten anything in awhile, then that is pure joy in itself. You cannot change everything. You can’t fix everything. You just have to look at the bright side and be kind. Offer your kindness to everyone and every living thing.Β Don’t turn your cheek on stray cats, or even feral cats. I learned my lesson with feral cats the hard way, but at least I showed my kindness and can prove it with my three inch scar. But this outdoor kitty, I’d term a stray, a community kitty.

Neighbors I’ve talked to have tried also to capture these kitties before, to spay and neuter them, and find them homes, but none have had success, at least not on her. Last year it was the orange tabby, this one’s mother. And now with spring coming, it’s only a matter of time before this tortie has babies. You may be asking, how do I know this tortie is a female? Fun fact, most tortie cats ARE female, very rarely are there male torties. Genetics.

If only we could control this. Are we suppose to control this? I think yes. Some if not all of this is our human fault. People drop cats off all the time to different places. Barns are a different story, but a large apartment community? I suppose we are in the country, technically, with a barn and field surrounding our apartment lot.

This is a problem that i wish could be fixed overnight, but sadly it cannot. I cannot run out there and magically pick up that beautiful, plump tortie. Some realities we just have to face. But if that cat is in my viewing area, I will always go out and feed her. And now just as I was about to finish this story, there is the orange kitty companion, strutting down the sidewalk as if it’s another normal day. Oh, how to fix this. Until then, don’t turn the other way. You never know who or what may need your help, and you never know what kind of joy they may bring you. For the love of cats, show kindness to those in need, but accept what we cannot change. Never give up on trying. It’s called compassion, and it makes us human.

Living in a Summer Haze…

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Living life is more than simple breathing. It’s the awareness of living by means of sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing.

How does the air feel on your skin? Does the air smellΒ like the sandy ocean? Or does is smell like fresh-cut grass? How does it feel when you see your feet barefoot in the grass, running like a child through a sprinkler and tasting drops of water as they fall to your lips? Can you hear the giggles?

Living is more than simply not being dead. It’s being alive, awake and alert that your body, mind, and senses are real. Living is enjoying these wonders while they last.

Have you ever stopped and just watched a hummingbird drink nectar as it’s perched? It’s like the whole world is in slow motion in that one moment so something so small can taste a sugary necessity.

Living is seeing these beauties and recognizing they are here, before they fly off quickly like the hummingbird’s wing.

Life throws obstacles at us, two at a time. It frustrates us and leaves us drained. It’s a sadness, really, when one cannot see the beauty and real purpose of life. With the way the world is going now, the earth needs us to see the real problems more than ever. Temperatures rising higher and higher. What will the breaking point be?

I had a dream the other night of a tree catching fire while a hummingbird with it’s nest stay protecting it’s two babies the size of dimes. Does she fly away from the fire, leaving her two babies behind or does she stay like Jin in the TV Show Lost, never leaving his loved one Sun, even if that means dying with them. I woke up before the decision even had to be made.

It really got me thinking about what really matters in life. Living, loving, and dreaming to understand a little better, sort things out. When we sleep we ponder on things for hours. When we wake up, the answer is so much clearer. The mind is fascinating, and we need to keep it close to nature and love for others and this earth. Compassion is in all of us.

Whatever it is you are doing, make sure you do it with a purpose. A purpose that betters something or someone in need. Whether it be a person with sickness or an animal in need. We are here to make this world better, not destroy it. So take time to see the beauty and discover the things that truly matter in life. Bring happiness where sadness is, and find love where hate has been forgiven. See the bigger picture. We are all here together, living on this earth.