Friday, April 24, 2009

Some Housecats Live Forever

Allow me to introduce you to a few good friends of mine. There is Amelia, a hound/beagle cross who is my biggest fan, Frodo one of the coolest cats on earth and somewhat of a mentor to this housecat, and then there is Claire a cat that seems to live forever.

I have had many pets over the years providing me with unconditional love and companionship, each with their own unique personality and a joy to me. I'm sorry to say, Claire, the cat that just keeps on going like the Energizer Bunny, has not been one of them. Not that she does not have her own charms, small as they may be, but from the day she arrived in my arms, a little calico beauty with more gumption than I could possibly imagine, she has at best been miserable. Claire, along with her brother had been dumped at the side of a country road when a coworker of mine came across them. Her brother had not survived but they brought Claire home and began to nurse her back to life. Knowing I had a penchant for Calico cats, this little fluff ball eventually landed at my house to spend the rest of her life. She was always somewhat on the defensive side and wanted very little to do with human interaction of any kind. But she was awful cute and feisty too! Generally a Good Morning greeting to Claire with any attempt to show affection was reciprocated with a very grumpy "Back off" growl/meow. We learned to just leave her alone. She would rarely go outside (a true housecat) but slept in the sunbeams and be a general curmudgeon around the house. She became quite fat and her beautiful coat of many colours prompted me to nick-name her the big fat geisha. Now I'm not one to give up on an animal so we carried on with her. Pets came and went and after a few sharp scratches soon picked up on the fact that this family member was not interested in playing whatsoever. When she hit about age 12 the Vet pointed out to me she could really use her teeth cleaned. "Naw.." I thought. "I'm not about to spend money cleaning 12-year-old cat teeth. She's not likely to survive another 2 years". About 5 years ago we moved into town and soon Amelia entered out lives. Claire, by all respects an old curmudgeon at this point, was not happy with this floppy eared bouncy puppy so she picked up and moved to the basement and basically stayed there. Many people did not even know we had a calico cat. Every now and then she would stomp up the stairs and meow at me angrily letting me know she needed more food or water and I would comply.

Well here we are; Claire is now pushing 17 years old. She has gotten a lot thinner and actually mellowed out a bit. She now comes upstairs but still lets Amelia know who's boss and she purrs like a nuclear machine contstantly. She will huddle up to us on the couch, probably seeking warmth. There is a warning look in her eye you must be aware of that means she could turn on you and slice you open if you are not careful and she still grumbles and complains. Claire poops and pees and throws up in places I would rather she didn't and every year when it comes time to visit the Vets I consider....should I have her put down? But the family has decided we will see just how long this cat survives. In all respects, other than the fact she moves like a 100+ year old woman, she is still going strong. I never expected that the cat I would own the longest would be the most miserable, grumpiest, unfriendliest thing I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. So for all of you wondering - yes Claire is still alive and kicking. Kudos to Claire - she has shown me the true meaning of tenacity.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

One in Five

Perhaps you have heard such comments as: "God broke the mould when he made you!" or "there's no one else like you!" or how about " You're one in a Million!" It's nice to know we are unique and special and that on this earth not another single person is exactly like you. Sigh.....sadly these are not the kind of comments I hear. It's seems I'm rather generic. It seems there a many, many people out there who look a lot like me.
It started when I was a teenager. I would be walking down the street and some unknown would be waving wildly at me yelling "Hey Heidi!!". My sister Heidi and I were only 1 1/2 years apart and granted we looked a lot alike - same hair colour, same shape, pretty much the same size, same pointed Italian chin. So after hearing this a lot I just simply started waving back and saying Hey right back. Why fight it? Why try and yell back "I'm not Heidi!" Now this is an acceptable mistake as we could pass for twins. But as I reached my 20s things started to get worse. I was waitressing and I can't tell you how many times people would walk in, stare, move closer and then begin to ask random question like "are you -----" or "do you know ----". Then it would move onto " you look just like -----." After a while I would just sign and nod. Yes, I know, I look just like you cousin Mabel in Iowa or Suzanne in Toronto. Things finally started to simmer down in my 30s. Perhaps I was finally becoming my one unique self. But lately it has started up again....A lady at church came up to me the other day.
"So, how are you enjoying living in Wellington?"
"I don't live in Wellington" I tell her.
"Oh...." she says with a puzzled look and then she trys another tactic. "So how is Judy doing?" I'm beginning to see where this is leading "I don't know a Judy." I tell her. And then I know what is coming next....
"You look just like so and so who lives in such and such!"
I have come to accept that I'm one of God's more generic models. I like to think that He felt this was such a fine specimen He would make a number of them with very few changes or upgrades! When my daughter was about 5 I had brought her into my workplace one day and a coworker exclaimed "Wow,'ve been cloned!" See, that just proves my point.
I'm not one in a million but by my guesstimation I'm about one in five!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Brave Little Crocuses

The past couple of days have been mostly cold and miserable with a fair bit of snow. Everyone stares out the window and sighs.....where o where is springtime? The weatherman calls this "winter's last gasp." It feels more like winter's last jab in my ribs!

But there for all the world to see or for anyone who walks up the pathway to my house are a group of little crocuses bravely facing the winter snow showing off their lovely colours. They huddle together in solidarity to stay warm and seem to proclaim "We will not be ignored. It's springtime winter and your time is up!"

Bravo brave little crocuses! I admire your spunk! May I learn a lesson from you all that no matter what the world says I will stand up for what is right.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Let the Blogging Begin!

Why does one Blog? Good Question.....certainly would not have asked myself that one 10 years ago as the word "blog" was not in my vocabulary. Am I bowing to pressure? Am I scratching an itch? For the sheer pleasure of writing? Probably a bit of each! But mostly because this house cat does a lot of musing and all these thoughts get swirling around looking for the big Exit sign.

I love to write, I love to read, I love music and I love photography. I love this amazing life that God has given me. I thought I might share a bit of it with you so please, come on in, pull up a chair and feel free to join me.