9/20/20

Trying to find my last clean pair of no-show socks on my bed this morning and my cat Yuki—trying to sleep on the bed—lifts her head as I upend the covers around her.

I currently only have five pairs of socks—two pair I moved into the apartment, three I’ve purchased since—which is an intentional life choice she obviously doesn’t understand the beauty and simplicity of because she stares straight in my face while I’m searching as if wanting to be as clear as possible when she asks, “Do you fucking mind?” Neither of us were that surprised when I eventually find the socks inside a pair of shoes over on the loveseat. I like to live deeply into “Whoops”; feel its the least I can do to promote humanity’s reputation.

One of the two pair of socks I moved is 30+ years old. Once adorned the feet of “that” ex-boyfriend—who wore them with this pair of bowling shoes he stole—and since Steve, they’ve moved to Clayton(CA) and Santa Rosa(CA), Kensington(MD), Citrus Heights(CA), Back to Davis(CA), Burke(VA) and in 2000, Sandy(UT) then Salt Lake City (Garfield Avenue, Kensington Avenue, Logan Avenue, Paradise Lane), and now finally Bountiful(UT). I never wear them, just move them around the country like they’re doing research for their novel.

Meanwhile, Kiki ran inside from his outdoor enclosure—pushing the door open with his paws to get in (which yesterday yielded the apartment 15 flies and one mosquito)—to “check in.” Runs in, meows, finds someone, meows again; wants to be picked up. Kiki is a Siberian cat—we didn’t know this when he was our foster kitten— which means he’s a puppy who’s litter-box trained, and as soon as I pick him up, and chat “with” him in the bathroom, he runs back to the now-closed back door to start pawing at it. When I tell him he has to be inside now because I’m leaving for work, he paws harder.

“Kiki, I need to go to work now so that we can keep existing.”

He doesn’t care. Never asked to exist in the first place. Says ‘Jesus. Just open the door, SoMuchDrama’ with a little meow.

When I’d let the cats out at 5:30 this morning, there was an all-black cat eating from the bowl we put out for “Peaches”—the orange neighborhood cat we’ve been feeding—and it didn’t run off. Looked at me, curious and listening as I talked to it—which is totally a black cat thing*—then slowly slipped out of the yard. We haven’t fostered in a while—and miss Henry and Mac from our old place (neither of whom were homeless, just grifters who did death battles in our yard)—so the outdoor cat bowls fill the need in ourselves to care for the things who might not feel cared for by anyone else. It’s our way of being the protagonist.

And I started writing this this morning at 7 but whatever needed to be written wasn’t done happening until the homeless guy knocked on my car window at the light on 13th So/State Street. I debated the safety of rolling down my window—knowing I wouldn’t give him any money even though I had some; I was eating a nectarine and it’s juice was all over my hand—but rolled my passenger window down anyways and lied to him (“I can’t”) and he said “please” and I lied again (“don’t have any”), and he walked to the car in back of mine then to the side of the road when the light turned green.

And I drove away conflicted (should I have given him money? Am I turning into one of those people fixated with hoarding it?) but it’s a victory to be stamped by such experiences. To be a brand new world every day because you’ve stashed away the salience of life in the sock drawer for permanent pondering.

And tonight I returned home to fill the outdoor cats’ bowls and pick up Kiki, and say hi to Bitty. Yuki again jumping up on my bed, offering me one more chance. And as I tried to relax, Kiki wants out, parades about the house mewing—my custom reply guy —running around, pushing things off my dresser and jumping on Yuki. So I briefly began to join him in questioning “existing” but instead, got up, went to open the door to his enclosure and let him outside. Then, before heading to my room to relax, locked the door behind him.

Epilogue: I accidentally fell asleep after locking the door and when I woke up to the alarm I’d set to wake me for a late pet sit was greeted to Kiki relaxing on my bed and Livy saying, “did you know you locked him outside? I couldn’t find him but the door to the enclosure was locked so I knew he wasn’t out there.” It didn’t seem fair to instruct Livy on the complexities of life via telling her you locked her baby outside to keep him from making you lose your shit. So I nod but don’t verbally commit then quickly head out to my sit

Here it comes

Here comes the sun, and I say, it’s all right. Nineteen pet sits today, up at 5, lots more dogs than cats (this irregular/imbalanced truth often arrives like the rush of retail), Greta and Tala’s (and Sophies [see Come See Me, Sophie]) family leaving later because new baby is teething, colder day, easier on the dogs, new shoes, old car, star rising, melting ice of (emotional) winters, sun, sun, sun, here it comes, tricking minds into living inside the surprising joy of a moment of NoThing, smiles returned to faces, waking the safety of our soul its taken years for us to clear. [Its a Beatles kind of day]

[in memoriam to 2019]

Some Little darlin’s from that day

7/20/2019

“Cat”

 

“I’m not what you think I am. You are what you think I am.”—Unknown.

I’ve been blessed and cursed with an overactive, curious mind, swaying from science towards philosophy then beyond to where Rumi lays in that grass and the world is too full to talk about, and always I come back to “I don’t really know.”

Because it’s the only place I’m truly comfortable.

The kitty above—one I sit for, and love—is part of the social experiment known as “humanity,” an experiment in which everything has been labeled—“cat”, “dog”, “love” etc.—by the subjects of the experiment themselves in a process of proving what exactly the experiment is even while we’re in the middle of living it. Meanwhile, 90% of the known universe is matter (“dark matter”; they posit now it’s a “fluid” of negative mass to where if we pushed on it, it would move towards us) that we can’t even experience with senses or instruments, and in the last 100 years, philosophy became science and just last month, an actual visible mini-moon was discovered that had been in earth’s orbit for three years completely undetected.

And for someone not prone to taking herself seriously anyways, to walk around like the big human expert on what anything is feels ridiculous and counterproductive.

For when even the most basic physical properties are 90% unknown, tossing labels and theories like darts are akin to hitting a “target” we can’t aim for or see and only designate as such after it exposes itself.

If humanity was the one that labeled this experiment, and there’s no objective template or guide outside of ourselves then “I don’t know” shouldn’t be shameful or fearful; it should be natural and lovely. Like accepting the complexity of the universe isn’t ours to maintain, rather it’s ours to experience as the joy of a connection. Where “I don’t know” comes to mean we breathe in a continuously-evolving state of unknowingness, and moments of leaning down to a “cat” becomes “Olivia” looking into our eyes with what looks like magic, and maybe even could be.

 

To: “That” guy

In about five minutes I’m going into a house to try to help a kitty—Henry/Cheeks; a new family to me, an 8 yo recently-adopted rescue—feel safe.

Henry/Cheeks is a long-haired grey and white kitty who ended up at Best Friends Animal Society after having been found tied with rope around his waist that was cutting into his skin, having had lost all of his paw pads to hypothermia and with a BB under his skin, and yet two weeks into his new relationship with his mom, he is showing clear signs (not resisting when she pulls him out from where he’s hiding, purring constantly while on her lap, coming to “help” when she’s at her desk) that he feels safe and loves her for their new life together.

And I hope that I can duplicate the trust he has built with her so that way he can eventually expand his circle of support. But that is pending; we shall see.

What I really wanted to say is: if somehow the man or men (he’s scared of men so we assume the psychopath was male) who perpetrated this crime are scrolling through the Internet, unknowingly angry at the messed up shit they’ve endured: welcome to my website, I hope you’re getting the help that you need and if you’re not getting the help you need, no offense to your journey and stuff, but if our paths ever cross and you’re still “that” guy, I’m going to jump you in an alley and beat the fucking shit out of you.

What would my asshole cat do?

The collective anxiety right now is incredible; lots of people unable to feel a sense of safety so it’s coming out as worry, desire to control things and a reaching out for near-constant reassurance from the world which in other circumstances would be eased by their own effort via coping skills and established resilience.

If you are having a hard time—and pushing shit off a table seems unlikely to help—consider that while right now the world is in flux and things are changing and making it more challenging for us to adapt, you do not have to listen to the voice in your head that says we’re fucked. Because we’re bigger than thoughts, can do hard things, and in truth already do, all day every day, in waking up to a world flush with injustice, war and disconnection when all we really want is to spoon with our pet.

So if it’s one of “those” days, take a deep breath, know you’re doing a great job facing daily hardships, and when the anxiety hits, toss the thoughts into the river of unrealized experience, know they don’t have to be real and ask “what would my asshole cat do?”

Muh Earl

Some pics belie the tenderness behind them. Because when I met introverted Earl–whose history included the passing of his former owner, the relatives for whom did not find new homes for his cats and Earl was put on the street–his eyes seemed almost too sad to overcome the emotional hesitation.
 
And as a pet sitter, everything is always temporary and short-term. For a few days, I come in, feed, stay for a bit, leave and don’t see them sometimes for a long while between their families trips. And because of this, good connections with sensitive animals who’ve experienced abandonment are challenging to manifest. Since animals become world-weary just like humans, and know better than to get attached. For although circumstances change, once we experience such a loss as Earl had the fear usually settles into even our muscles, so Earl had made his whole body part of keeping distance, revealing his skepticism and hurt as he’d let the other house cats crowd before walking off as if giving up.
 
But I understood Earl. Knew his grief. And in the justified sadness of a sweet cat someone shooed outside as if they were sweeping the floor, I was called to act. So I made time to find him each visit, to sit with him, to specifically bring him into the circle of my attention (even with his extroverted sibs crowding around) because I wanted him to know he was important to me. Wanted to make an event out of “Earl”. Came into the house hollering the refrain “Where’s muh Earl?” so that he knew right away I hadn’t forgotten between trips that he was that tender guy I wanted to see.
 
Because we’ve all looked out upon the world with sad Earl eyes, many of us coming to exist within the immovable sense of not feeling safe enough to trust the world won’t hurt us, for, in fact the world has—Purposefully, Unashamedly—until sometimes we want to even flee from this life. And while these are harsh realities I can’t erase out of existence, I didn’t want to accept that that’s all there is. And Earl didn’t either.
 
For sometimes sadness and grief seem solid as if anchoring us permanently into them. Yet from mutual loss flows a compassion and nurturance for our fellow humans and creatures until somehow, one day, we’re sitting on the couch and old man Earl suddenly climbs into our lap and nuzzles his face in our hair.
 
And there are yet mysteries to solve, but events often become bits of truth constantly discovering itself, and when sweet Earl jumped up that first day—cat hair like love floating delicately around—I think it seasoned us both in what to do with this Life. In how to stand inside the new love we weave into existence as we survive this world more powerfully within togetherness.

Finding home

 

Pics of George and I during his full-service snuggle sessions complete with hug, tender paw to face AND nose, with capstone experience to include rolling over on my lap, gazing into my eyes, and listening to me talk about my shit.  (from 9/2018)

***

I turned 50 years old on October 1, 2018.

I’ve lived a lot of lives in a single one, and can hear reverberations of self bouncing around in my cells and my soul, chorused with that of society—stereotypes and patterns of thought— which has before kept me moving in ways which didn’t make me joyful but which I did not question for reasons of both habit and distraction.

And I have encountered those who believe a pet sitter (my occupation) is of a certain station and intelligence, bearing simplicity unable to standardize within societal algorithms, and I’ve made my peace with the fact that even my girls’ dad (my former spouse who cheated, left town, etc.) tells my kids that I don’t have a “real” job.

But there is a certain point in life when you see a bigger picture of all, a point at which through connection and calm you derive sensations of well-being to where you must change. And that is where I’ve been. And am better for it.

For in the end, change is the breath of who we are and anchoring into the simplicity of heart is the most complex thing anyone will ever do, and once you realize that, looking good to society becomes silly.

Because, beyond habit and distraction, holding space for the tenderness of the world is all any of us can ever truly want for all else is just the journey.  And settling in on the couch—in a deep snuggle sesh, as a pet sitter, without a “real” job—I’m honored to have found the humility and reverence to see with eyes of a different world.   For the world we crave is one of love and safety, and when all things change, all is never lost when we ourselves walk through life as the loving home we desire.

 

Caturday (religious background of)

“Caturday is basically where the spirit’s moved you so powerfully the only thing you can think of to do is demand that humanity worship you.”

(Dolly seemed to be clinging to her bed with such ferocity last Saturday that it looked like she might be having a religious experience)