TRANSFORMATION

We met the black boy when Katy descended into her first “heat” after she was spayed.  He was one of the clues.  We did not recognize all the wriggling and vocalizing.  Had we an unfixed female in the last 40 years?  No.

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And Katy WAS fixed.  What could she be thinking of?  Her new friend the black one could not stay away.  Katy’s fertile parts were blasting notifications all over the neighborhood.  After the second spaying, the doc said she may have had three ovaries.  She had a more complicated surgery this time with a large incision and a hunt for swollen things inside.

This second operation was very difficult all around.  Katy being a rescue, the longer we live with her the more I know that she had to be a feral kitten when brought to Pets, Inc.  She can tolerate just so much.  She stresses easily, and senses things deeply.

When the second heat came along, we knew she had to be worked in for surgery the next day.  Pets, Inc. , as good as the intentions are,  casts their net in disorganization.  We did not get the OK to bring her in until late in the morning.  By then, Katy knew something was up.

I have used the term “bouncing off the walls”  loosely before, but I had never seen it.  It took 45 minutes for us to contain the feral Katy.  And we were both bloody from the job.  I feared all our work with her to understand love was lost in fear and flight.

We came home with antibiotics because of the large incision.  We both knew there was no way we could administer them to her.  Luckily, she has not needed them.  She spent the first night after surgery inside, and the next morning was just gone, all day.  We both thought she would never come back, but she did.

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Now she is feeling better and playing soccer.  And as in the first picture above, the black boy comes around just to talk.

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Sister does not care to.

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FIGURING OUT CATS

Not possible, you say.  This late summer has been a revolving door of cats.  Not that I wanted it to be.  Meet Miss Katy and Miss Pastel, our two new four month old babies.  We adopted them from a shelter this week, and they have never been outside.  We have ten acres and three buildings and a pool, and wherever we are working, they kind of stay in that area.  So much to learn about, so much to be spooked about.

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Both girls are calico, Katy the traditional and Pastel a diluted one.  Never had heard that term before.  Pastel’s face looks like an owl.  She has some interesting genetic thing going on too.  There is a line going down the middle of her nose dividing the grey from the almost pink color she paints.  Same thing below her mouth, on her neck.  But opposite.  And her eyes are different colors.

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Pastel is uniquely beautiful, and Katy is the expected.  Katy is the foot of the bed comfortable, and Pastel sleeps at our heads.  And they both hold hands; that is important.

We arrived at these girls after my Mouse, my muse, walked into the woods to die after almost 17 years with me.   She inspired my life and my art for a long time.  She was stoic and wise.

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She knew I could not bear to see her go, so she evaporated while we were doing other things, and left a great hole.  Then there were Frida and Carlos.

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They did not live so long with us.  Carlos less than a week, and Frida less than two.  There was a miscommunication between docs at our vet clinic, where we adopted them.  We were not given the meds they needed, and they confirmed this mistake, even when challenged by me.  They died.

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Little Frida’s last picture.

MATH NEVER DID MAKE ANY SENSE TO ME

Awhile ago I wrote about trouble coming in groups of three.  And how we might project which three of a lot of bad experiences were the “correct”  three.   So now we have lost three cats in about a month.  This morning it was Frida.

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We found her having seizures this morning.  The only time she could make a noise was when one grabbed her.  She had an appointment with the vet at eight this morning to check on her loose stool;  she died on the way, in my arms.  Again.  I watched her eyes go from blue to black.

frida and carlos

I guess we never even got a picture of Carlos alone.  He died a week ago; the vet neglected to give us the meds he (they) needed when we adopted them.  So went the two little miracles we had in our lives for about ten days.  Frida was so much alone this last week without Carlos.

It makes the loss of my Mouse all the worse.

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Can I ever establish companionship again with the wisest element of nature that I know?

MOUSE

When Mouse and Bro first came to us, they lived here.  Alone.

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Mouse’s real name is Boston, and Bro is Duncan.  They lived in a storage shed with a little cat door.  After school, we would race out here to feed them and be with them.  They were the first permanent inhabitants of the little estate here.  Knowing more about birds now, I wonder how that decision could have been made.

Mouse really does look like a mouse.  We get them to compare to her from time to time in the pool skimmer.

Mouse and Bro are sixteen years old now.  They are slowing down.  Mouse was diagnosed with early renal failure well over a year ago, but is doing just fine.

She was involved in a car accident many many years ago, and I used to think about her future.  Figured she would have arthritis because of it, and the damage the event did to the end of her spine.  She is my soul mate as we both have whacky spines near their ends.  With both of us, the spines seem to be seeking their polar opposites, bending at their very tips.

She is on my lap now.  This is what I see.  She would be so embarrassed to be seen in this position as “lap kitty”, this former amazon woman, but there you go.  It happens.

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When Mouse and Bro were only one or two, we went to Florida for four days at Thanksgiving.  An acquaintance down the road offered to put kibble in their shed, which she did.  She also hit Mouse in her car out on the two lane highway.  She didn’t know it was Mouse, it was just a kitty.  And she hit Mouse the first day we were gone.  In her defense, Mouse probably ran out in front of her.  No one intends to hit a kitty.

We arrived home with her saying she only saw one kitty the whole long weekend.  We walked up and down our long driveway calling and calling.  After a while, Mouse somehow appeared at the pool like an apparition, dragging her back end, trying to get to the water.  She had not been grooming herself, and Bro spit at her.  He didn’t recognize her.

We realized that she had been laying in the woods waiting for us for four days.  I was overwhelmed at her life spirit and her strength.  There was no blood,  just the obvious effect of the crash, she could not walk, could not jump.  I carried her in a towel for days.  It was then that we truly bonded, and we have been this way ever since.

There was nothing to do as a result of the accident, the vet said, just let the interior armature heal.

Mouse learned.  Veteran car traveler, she is always suspicious of Highway 4.  She remembers what happened there.  She sticks closer in her wandering.  I learned as well.  I documented the event in my work, as was my creative effort back then.  This was before digital photography.  Must have a slide of the piece somewhere, but where?

Sold my little homage to the spirit of Mouse in Atlanta to the wife of the Home Depot guy:  Arthur Blank.  At first she was interested in another piece, but when she heard the story about Mouse, that was the piece she took home.

BRING IN THE REINFORCEMENTS!

The only life force around here to challenge my Mouse’s would be in the little yoshino tree on the drive.  It is about ten years old and is a pygmy.  The deer strip it down to nothing every winter.  Now the deer are eating tiny leaves on my new pyracantha, so on this quiet Christmas Eve I went collecting fallen cedar in the woods.  Love doing this.

MY MOUSE

This is my Mouse, almost sixteen years old.

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You can hardly see the little tree with all these armaments.  We have these amazing vines in our woods.  They get very large and feel dense like hardwoods.  They grip and strangle a tree.  When you find a dead one on the ground, they can be configured in useful shapes.

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This vine swivels on its crossbar.  That should shock the deer when they get their noses too close!  Maybe next year I will have some leaves, and later can lay off the tee-pee when the tree gets bigger than deer height.  I should live so long.

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Above is the pyracantha which needs saving.  Having planted it around August, it is still leafing out, in the winter.   Another,  one of 12 cuttings taken and the only to survive,  is making new leaves like crazy now too.  I have a lot to learn.

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This tee-pee, built last spring did a great job of keeping the deer from eating this snowball bush.  It has been blooming all fall, misstep-ping like the pyracantha.  What goes?  You can see the remainder of the last flowers.  In this fall blooming however, big full snowballs were not produced.  The flowers were less than half of a sphere, and flat on the bottom.

The “teeth” laying on the ground and pointing up did a good job.  Will do this again with the raw materials below.

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