Sunday, July 20, 2014

Retirement and Ten Thousand Buddhas

Let me start off by saying that May 23rd I officially retired from dealing with dogs. Don’t get me wrong. I like dogs. At our grooming shop, I grew up with all sizes and shapes. The stocky pugs that were usually as round as they were tall made grunting sounds when they received a nail trim. The huge Great Pyrenees dogs who came to our grooming shop for their summer shave, I loved to roll in their hair as it fell to the floor. And, the happy little Shihtzus I kept on my play list. Oh, they were the best. We would roll around like wrestlers until I tired of the game,  then leap to my ‘just out of reach spots’ to observe the dogs’ silly antics of begging me back within pawing distance.

 I always enjoyed a slow march past the dogs’ cages with my tail pointing skyward as if they were non-existent. My soft paws noiseless in the quiet shop, I heard only the low conversations of the groomers cooing to their clients as they brushed and styled, the clicking of scissors and hum of the clippers.  Always at the same place as I meandered past the sleeping dogs, relaxed and dozing from their warm bath,  that they would sense my presence and the shop erupted into a nerve jerking,  cage rattling, roar of dog voices all scrambling futilely to engage in  an impossible chase. Over the din, no one heard me chuckle as my steady gait carried me down the hall and I disappeared into the break room.

Today dogs have no place in my home, in my life or with Judy. At the Canine Beauty Salon  they were my work-sisters and work-brothers. You know, like some of you have a work-wife or a work-husband?  NowI am traveling with four dogs….FOUR DOGS!

I hadn’t seen Tika since our trip to Florida and I’ll have to admit she has changed and I have been able to teach her where her place is in my life…away.

But Rocky, Kona, and Dahlia. Well they are a pack and, I’ll have to admit, they make me very nervous. We all know in the animal world, strength is in  numbers and I am out numbered. I’ve overheard Kona and Dahlia talking about the rabbits that met their demise under Kona’s swift paw and sharp teeth. I want no part of that gang  behavior.

But life here in Ukiah is quiet these past two days, the dogs their owners, Julie and Vicki, pulled out yesterday morning. Judy and I will catch up when the part for our refrigerator arrives Monday and gets installed.  But until then, I take  leisurely walks with Judy as she sips her coffee and  describes her delicious  vegan lunch at  The  Sagely City Of Ten Thousand Buddhas.

 If I had visited  the peaceful grounds,  I would have been convinced to become  a Buddha. I have the meditation down.
 Oops! That my yoga position, "Upward Cat."

I would have loved to meet this Peacock that roamed the grounds. Wow!



But I stayed home enjoying the new addition to our motorhome décor. This is a Rte. 66 Memory box from Judy's artist friend in Mendocino.  Thank you, Suzi Marquess Long. It looks so nice on our coffee table.


Down time is always great. Enjoy the Ukiah sunset.

Soon we will truly be on the coast.

Don't forget to read,MASADA'S MARINE, The Story Of A Service Dog And Her Wounded Marine Warrior

Every hour a veteran commits suicide because of PTSD.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sporster, Barbie, and the Cat Gods

The days are hot, long, and getting hotter. Like my jungle ancestors, I spend the  cool mornings catching up on  chores,  reminding Judy  my food  dish is  half full and  my bowl of water is hours old. In a seminar I give to anyone who will listen (Cat Care For Dummies), I’ve trained her to multi task by dribbling the kitchen faucet water while she prepares her morning coffee. I study the rivulets wiggling down the drain, as she counts, “One. Two……” If I don’t embellish in the fresh stream by the count of “Three,” she turns off the water video. I’ve learned to lap on the count of “Two.”

Food preparation and packing are the priorities these days, but I sense a tenseness in the air and it is not anticipation of our upcoming three month journey. I eavesdropped as Judy prattled on and on with her sister and her best friend as she described her nervous energy. It is what all humans whom I’ve ever confronted seem to be plagued with - trying to predict the future.

Doesn’t she know that everything happens for a reason? I know she does. I’ve heard her say it.  I want to tell her about the time I lived on the streets. Back then I was young and I hung out with Barbie, a beautiful sleek, sweet feline who prowled the neighborhood next to mine. I wanted her for my own. I envisioned us merging our territorial rights and becoming a pride to be reckoned with. We would wake the people with our wild, passionate love making and I prayed to the Cat God for him to make Barbie mine.  I promised I would never ask for anything again, if, just this once, he would grant my wish.

The Cat God never granted that wish that I wished way back then. Barbie found other interests when I was swept up by a rescuer of lost souls and taken to Judy.  Although Barbie is not in my life anymore and we never accomplished our goals to rule the neighborhood, I guess the Cat God knew what he was doing after all.

I've partied in Key West with my friend Charlie.
I've celebrated Thanksgiving with the Cats of New Orleans.
I've listened to the Aspens sing in the canyons in Utah.
In El Paso, Texas, I  searched for Marty Robbin's, Rosa's Cantina.

I saw Barbie the other day. She crept up to the door and called out to me. I chirped and twitched my tail in greeting when I realized it was her.  We tried to talk about old times but she could see that I had changed, and she had too. Her fur matted fur along her back smelled and her eyes sunk in her sockets. She looked like she had lived eight lives. I turned away from the screen door and gazed up at Judy as she laid back in her recliner lost in the latest rerun of, Wanted Dead or Alive. This is where I belong.  I try not to question life’s events, because I believe the Cat God knew what he was doing when  so long ago and he has his plan now. My life is the envy of cats and humans alike.

And I've been lulled  asleep  by sunsets in....

Winter Island, Massachusetts....

in the Florida Keys
and my favorite, Galveston, Oh Galveston I still hear your sea winds blowin'


So Judy, if you read this, have faith. Everything that has come before this moment is a preparation for what lies in the future. Trust and Faith in the Cat God’s plan comes naturally to me as I lick my paws and ponder my gratitude list.  Stick with me, I will help you.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

9 Signs Sportster has a Soulmate

9 Signs You've Found Your Soul mate (If You Believe In That Sort Of Thing)

I have spent hours primping in front of the television set and  everyone is concerned with meeting their soul mate. Judy says she and I are soul mates.  I rolled my eyes. Who believes in such things? Not me. She tried to explain that your soul mate is someone whom you connect with on the deepest level and yet allows you to still be you in the relationship. I am looking down at my gorgeous soft fur and trim body …well, I am still me. does she have a point?

She showed me a list of nine signs.

1.      You communicate without speaking.

Well she had me on that one. I give her what I call my “steady stare.”
 In response, she locks eyes and tries to make it a game, but  always caves and asks, “What do you want?” But she knows, I don't have to tell her,  because she scratches my chin and rubs my belly. So that’s one point  for her side of the argument.  If she is my soul mate, she certainly knows   how to respond to your emotional signals.

2.      You know in your gut that you have found “The One.”

I have to give her this one, too. I came from the streets. I was too small to forage for food and had been living on grasshoppers and crickets when a young man rescued me and took me to meet Judy. I will never forget that day as my tummy swelled with crunchy kibble that warmed me all over. I did feel it in my gut. Judy became very special to me that day.

3.      The physical chemistry is palpable.

Judy explained that experts in relationships claim you feel ‘an electricity’ when your soul mate enters a room or touches you even after living together for years. I guess I have to cede on that point as well. When I am home alone the sound of the garage door rising sends a thrill through me. I trot to the door and can hardly contain myself until she picks me up and rubs my ears and kisses my nose.

4.      You’ve been totally comfortable around each other since the first time you met.

It is true I opened up to Judy from day one. I revealed my inner needs, what I liked and what I didn’t,   and she was there for me.

5.      But the relationship is not all about rainbows and catnip. Your soul mate challenges you like no one else can.

Boy does she!! How many times!! Every time!! I let her know that I hate my bath. I cry and once I even bit her. She pushes my buttons and aggravates me.

 Secretly I agree the entire experience is good for my body and soul. After my bath I evolve into a happier, better smelling cat and I’ve learned that sometimes in life we have to endure pleasantries to reach a higher level of consciousness.

6.     You may not see eye-to-eye on every little thing, but you're on the same page where it really matters.

Right on. I may not agree about the baths, or that I have to finish all the food in my dish before I get more, but we both love to travel and I enjoy sharing my bed with her and sharing  the hours with her in front of the computer.

7.      The relationship bring both partners inner calm.

I know this is true for Judy. She has told me she only has to watch me sleep and she says she “catches” my inner calm. I know I can sleep for hours when she is home with me.

8.      You and your partner have separate identities but you face the world as one.

"Soul mates recognize that they are two parts of the same whole, and no outside influence or external matter can break that bond," Judy explained. I questioned her on this one. I pointed out the times that her friends bring their dogs into our peaceful inner sanctum. “What about then?” I asked.

“They always go home, don’t they?”  I surrendered that point, too.

9.    You may have known each other for years, but you suddenly find yourselves ready for love at the same time.

Finally! She’s wrong.  We have loved each other from the beginning.

Check out Judy's latest book, MASADA'S MARINE on Amazon.

Every hour a veteran commits suicide.