Saturday, September 12, 2009

some people have cats and go on to lead normal lives*

(video length 1:09)

Willow will be a year old next month. She and I have a bond that I treasure. Each of our pets is unique and loved for special qualities, as is true for most pet owners. But some come along that spark something deep inside and a soul connection is made that weakens only a little when they die.

Willow, for those of you who have been following her at Writerquake, still has her little beard (can be detected in final scene) and she continues to sleep on my pillow. Not all night long like a little baby in my arms as she did for months, but I always wake up in the morning with her right there. If we have to get up earlier than usual, as I did most mornings this week because I scheduled my physical with lab work at the hospital and my eye exam over the past days, Willow comes to me in early afternoon with a cranky sort of little cry. She then runs to the bedroom and jumps up on the bed trying to entice me to fold down the covers for us both to cuddle into together. Friday I actually gave in and had an hour nap with her sleeping next to my cheek.

Where she is a soft comfort to me she is hell for bugs. No matter if they are crawling across the floor or coasting in flight, she finds their destination nanoseconds before they arrive .....and the bell tolls. She may be the quickest hunter who ever lived with me. I'm already full of pity for these delicate lazy flies that are around this area come Fall. They seem almost baby-like in their search for warmth inside as the days and nights turn cold and rainy. You'll think me peculiar, but each year there are one or two that we've allowed to hang around until they leave through an open door or die either by cat or other peril. They don't fly around much, don't buzz, and don't challenge us at the dinner table. Actually, these little flies seem to have the best of manners and what they care most about is sleeping lazily on a wall all the live long day. Amazingly, they know when they are being greeted and stay put for a cheery word sent in their direction. It's just been an honor to know some of them for a short time in years past. With Willow around, I'll make every attempt to move them along outside where they may be cold but will also be safer to live another flyday.

Being an inside cat, Willow takes exercise seriously. Our cats indoors have a carpeted cat climbing set and stairs to chase one another up and down. I play with them nearly daily, providing an interactive workout with the world's simplest and cats' favorite toy, Cat Dancer. A former hair stylist of mine, who used to cut my hair in the sassiest bob after coloring it what I'd describe as mocha-burgundy, recommended the Cat Dancer and it's been the toy we keep on hand constantly. It's so Zen, this loop of thin spring steel wire and rolled cardboard at the end, and it suits each cat to a tee.

But Willow is a young cat and she creates additional challenges for herself. Such as in this video clip where she scaled the kitchen counter to perch atop the spice cabinet. It's a good thing that Mike installed it to withstand an earthquake. I've noticed that she appreciates both a journey and a goal achieved, usually stopping to meditate on her conquest - be it a large brown spider or a French country wood cabinet with a ceramic cow for silent company.

*author unknown


English Rider said...

It looks as though your pretty plates may have been in danger during the ascent or descent phase.
Pretty Kitty, for sure.

Looking to the Stars said...

Loved the post! I do not think it strange for you to let a couple of flies live. I do the same thing for a black jumping spider (all of the other spiders die or I put them outside).
My boys (my dogs) do the same thing Willow does about sleeping if we have to get up early :)
LOVE the new pic of you!

Darlene said...

Willow must be very graceful to avoid hitting the plates or the ceramic cow on top of your spice cabinet. One of my daughter's cats was so clumsy that nothing was safe. He would have knocked all of your breakables off in one leap.

M Riyadh Sharif said...

Willow is so sensible I guess... Can't wait to see her birthday pictures... And it's so pretty the way she stares at you! :)

Rhiannon said...

Wow! I don't think my cat Lizzie would ever be able to make it up to that beautiful wood spice rack! Willow is a lovely name and I know what you mean about your her snuggling up with you on the pillow. Lizzie's brother "Darcy" always used to do that..he was much bigger than Lizzie but much more affectionate to me then Lizzie. He would always lay on the pillow and I would open my eyes and he would look in my eyes and take his paw out and touch my's hard to explain and it's a precious memory I shall always cherish. I miss him so "still" hard to get into what happened with him. I love how Willow has the brown stripe down his head and nose on his face.

Lydia I wanted to let you know that I agree with you what you said in a comment made you from your last post..about how ever since 9/11 we have never been the same. And not for the better as you said. For one "little nanosecond" people came together right after it happened...on tv and such..but then fear, anger, revenge rose up and I've witnessed through the years how much people have changed. I wrote all about the slow changes in my journaling through the years since 9/11. We are no longer the same country, or the same people..we act a bit paranoid..and always seem to "look the other way or turn away"..we still think war and "my country right or wrong" mentality is the way to go. Have we learned nothing through this experience?

Speaking of so many angry about the so called "scary change" of our health care because of Obama. What about all these years of war and how much money we have spent and how out of control that has been and gone? The Soviet Union was at war with Afganistan for many years, way back when and they finally gave it wasn't the amount of weapons and fighters Afganistan and the taliban had that made the Soviet Union give up...but it was their will to never give up..and to committ suicide and be martyrs..this's their religious dogma way.

Its' time for us to move out of there and Iraq. Maybe then some of those billions of dollars spent monthly all these years for the war might help with the medical care cost and the "change" we so desperately need. I never heard too many people complaining about the war all these years, even though we've killed so many civilians in it and lost so many of our own. People in this country didn't start complaining about it until it was a bit too late. So people need to stop blaming Obama for all our problems and financial didn't happen on his dime..he inherited so much from the war monger Bush..and think about all the years of the so called "Mission accomplished" 8 year war. All that money and all that death..and that's "okay" for the angry people that fear and hate Obama so much? I have utmost respect for a man who would be willing to take on all "this mess' that needs to be handled carefully and fixed and worked on. It will take him time and we must continue on in supporting him..but it is so time to stop the's sucked our lives dry and the other countries are not really into can't force democracy on other countries...if that worked than we would be called "dictators" and it would be dictatorship. Something for us to think about.

I am so disappointed in my country and the selfish mean people who are not ready to be caring compassionate and "ready" for change...we are so going backwards..fear rules us...and fear makes us blame Obama for everything..hate the messenger..blame the messenger..we are hypocrites.

Thank you for letting me share this in the comments here..I known it's on the subject at hand..but when I read the comment you wrote about how much we've changed for the "worse" since 9/11 I wanted to let you know I feel the same as you in that respect.

Love, Peace and Blessings for this crazy world of ours,


svasti said...

She's beautiful! I love cat meditations, they make it look so easy!! :)

francessa said...

What a lovely and amazing companion you have, Lydia! Say hello to Willow on the pillow! ;-)

Lydia said...

@English Rider- Ah, yes, my grandmother's plates! That is exactly what I thought. She hasn't returned to that high perch (not that I know of) and I decided not to remove the plates hoping it was a one-time excursion!

@Looking to the Stars- I'm glad you understand about sundry creeping/flying things. They have a right to be here, too, with certain boundaries of course. :)
I wasn't sure about the photo. Mike took it when I was actually frustrated with his trying to pose me. Because of my braces I'm not smiling as much for pictures right now, but the narrowing of my eyes looked awfully serious to me. I looked at a photo album and realized that it has been an expression caught, not often, but caught, throughout my life. So I went with it for awhile at least.

@Darlene- Yikes! I know the kind of cat you are describing. Willow is the opposite, since she seems to float she's so graceful. She compares herself to the other cats and seems to know that she has special capabilities they do not. :)

@Riyadh- Thanks for the idea for taking birthday pictures of Willow. My little girl is growing up! I love the look in her eyes too. I read once that this is how cats send kisses. Kitty kisses come via those eyes that slowly squeeze together....

@Rhi- Your memories of Darcy sound familiar to me. I do understand that kind of connection, and I'm so glad that you keep Darcy close to you via those sweet memories.

Thanks, too, for your long comment about the earlier post and comments. You put out some real zingers that probably felt good to write and sure felt good to read. I thought of your comments when I watched the huge demonstrations in Washington D.C. on Saturday's news. Very alarming. We absolutely need to commit to a greater solidarity, one based on truth and justice.

@svasti- She is beautiful and so sweet. I do think she will grow to be a really mystical cat. :)

@francessa- O, thank you and she sends big hellos back to you. She is reminding me to go to bed (it's after 3:00 a.m.) and send you an email tomorrow!

Nancy said...

I had a cat that we had for years that held that special place in my heard. I still miss him. He had a big personality, and always got away with murder. He was the man!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

A nice company is always welcome!

Lydia said...

@Nancy- My male cat with me for 16 years has been gone for two years now. I know what you mean about still missing them. Love your last sentence!

@Phivos- Indeed, you are right!

naomi dagen bloom said...

Think she has your number and in truth Willow is trying out for a feature film about her life with a woman who films her. She's very patient as only a starlet would be.

Lydia said...

@naomi- You are so right about her having my number! It's fun to think of her as being a patient starlet; she does seem to have a feeling for the camera-probably because one has been pointed at her so frequently since her birth.
Hope all is going well with packing for the move!



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