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Author Archives: catzandalldatz

Listening

Cats are exploratory creatures by nature. While they like to have a base they know they can come back to, they do like to explore and expand their territory. This explains why I have several cats that sleep around my house because my neighbor and I both feed about three cats that come around. One of these cats in particular has made friends with Jean-Claude (although she is still frightened of me.) In fact, during the freezing cold, Jean-Claude actually went out to look for her and make her come in the house. It was one of the sweetest, kindest acts of unselfishness I have seen.

However, cats are great at listening. And by this, I mean keeping their eyes and ears open to any changes in their environment. These changes could be a new cat that walked through, to new feeding times. Many of us,however, are not really good at this. We see changes and because of fear of the unknown, we clamp down and close our ears to anything that might be counter to our lives – even when we know that we desire change and actually ask for the change.

We also don’t do a good job of listening to the small changes in our life. Lasting change comes from consistency and small steps, rather than a large all at once change.

Koko expanded her exploratory territory very very slowly. First the backyard, then the neighbors yard and now, to my dismay, she feels comfortable going across the street. I see the progression of her confidence and can only try to mirror that in my own life.

The Perils of Being Too Busy

Time is the one resource that equalizes everyone. No matter how much money or power you have, you get the same 24 hours a day that everyone else gets. Now you might be able to allocate resources to accomplish tasks for you, but those resources are trading in their time.

I recently created a dream board full of ideas and items I want to accomplish in my life time. Some are short-term, e.g. finish a book this week, and some are long-term (buy an apartment in Paris!). But one of the lessons that I have learned recently is to make time for your dreams. We all waste time. I saw a post that captured this perfectly.

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In this case, it’s the trade-off between working out and playing Candy Crush (or in my case – Simpsons Tapped Out). I realized that I don’t want my life to be measured in increments of 8 hours waiting for Homer to complete a tasks, but I want it to be measured in actual, meaningful things.

Cats don’t have this problem of focus. They have multiple avenues for when they want to engage (or in the case of my cats – two houses, a grandma that spoils them, trees, outdoor friends, and a couple of dozen toys and the red laser đŸ™‚

But when they are sleeping, they aren’t dreaming about work and how they have to complete that presentation.

When we are too busy, it can feel overwhelming and we actually shut down. The lesson I am learning is how to say – NO.

Always Making Your Wishes Known

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I haven’t been traveling as much lately so the cats and I have settled into a routine. I let them out to roam around usually twice a day. Then we cuddle while I work. I have been working on both my normal job and decluttering my home (shout out to Freecycle).

Anyway, here is me taking one of the few trips I have this fall and clearly Koko was not happy. She either wanted to come with me or didn’t want me to leave.

Very rarely do we make our wishes known. We are afraid of hurting other people’s feelings and in the end wind up hurting ourselves and the other person.

Sometimes, just take the time to sit on the luggage and spark the conversation.

Multiple Entry Points

Azeena came over the other day to visit the cats. She sat and worked while the cats went outside and came to check on her. Right before she left, Jean-Claude decided to go outside again, but went out the front door. A little while later, Koko goes to the back door and I hear scratching and sure enough, Jean-Claude has come home through the back door although he went out the front.

Often times in life there are multiple routes and methods to get to the same place. And the old adage does say it’s the journey and not the destination.

And yet, one of the lessons that it’s extremely difficult to know is when do you persist in pursuing something and when do you let it go. When do you try to climb in through a window or another door and when do you finally figure out to either shut that door yourself or that it has been welded shut. Often it comes down to figuring out what we want or think we need versus what God has planned for us.

I go back to words that my pastor preached is “No man can close a door that God has opened and no man can open a door that God has closed.” Even if you don’t believe in God, the universe and nature always has a way to balance itself.

Many times in my life there have been things that I have wanted but they have been pushed only just slightly out of reach. This is the most frustrating feeling. I can see it, it’s there and I can ALMOST touch it. This is when I have learned to fall by my faith and just shut the door. For example, there has been this company that everyone says I should work for, it’s in my field and has many of the qualities that I would want. And yet, after three attempts of going for three different jobs including having several interviews,I have not been successful. There is a part of me that says “Why not me?” but I have to realize that it is a door that is shut for a good reason. Even when I want to apply again. Unlike Jean-Claude, I don’t have a back door to sneak in through.

And yet, when I need to be persistent, I find that sometimes the door just opens just enough to let me get to the next door and then the next door until finally I’m at the end of the hall and at the final door only to find that it is already open!

If you are wondering whether to pursue a path or go another direction – pause and listen – you’ll know which way to go.

Feathers…

So this past weekend Koko brought me a live bird for Jean-Claude and I to play with. I was working, i.e. watching natural hair care videos on the couch, when I saw that she had feathers in her mouth. I then noticed that she had a bird on the ground inside my house and her and Jean-Claude were looking at me with excitement – “Let’s kill it together!!!”

Of course I proceeded to freak out and try to shew both the cats and bird out, Koko got really upset at me. She was chasing the bird out the back door. I’ve accepted the law of the jungle that cats chase animals. They are the most prolific killers in the world. See my previous blog HERE from the Oatmeal.

I love my cats, but still can’t deal with some of their realities.