Tag: CaTs

The Deep Peace of Buddy

The Deep Peace of Buddy

It’s 5am. A faint, short, hum calls me from sleep. He’s standing on the other side of the door asking to go outside. Upon return begins Buddy’s favorite part of the day…snoozing with mama and cat sis.

Generally I write or read while Buddy and Tawanda sleep their early-morning sleep but this day I decide to turn off the lamp and close my eyes, too.

One hand on Buddy, the other on his kitten…surrounded by furry love…I drift in the ethers. As a practitioner of energy work and an intuitive, sensing energy is a familiar experience. But what I experience next is amazing.

In the quiet and stillness Buddy’s energy can be fully experienced. He takes me to a place of perfect balance and grounding. I sense vast space yet containment. He is solid yet open and dynamic. Different that the goofy dog boy he usually shows me.

In these moments he takes me to his center and shows me the depth of calm that resides there. Respect and understanding of what animals bring to humans grows and I am changed by knowing the deep peace of Buddy.

Who Rescues Who?

Who Rescues Who?

For social media friends, you already know about my new friend Little Queen Tawanda. She was barely four weeks old and was dumped, along with four siblings, on a lonely, deserted road at a swamp near my mom’s home. It has been over six weeks since the litter was rescued and Little T is doing quite well and ruling the house.

It’s not that I was looking to add to the circus that is my home. In fact, two days before my mom called me in panic about the helpless, precious babies I stated out loud…”Old Gracie cat will be journeying on soon and I’ll be down to one dog and two cats….that’s more manageable.”

Oh, be careful what you say out loud!

My neighbor was fostering the crew and went out of town so I took over feeding, scooping poop and playing with the kittens. Little T claimed me…dammit! I would sit on the floor and play and observe while foster mom was away and Tawanda–the wildest, craziest, ring-leader baby–would break from her shenanigans to claim my lap. NO! Surely not, I thought. I can’t adopt another animal. But long ago I learned when an animal claims me, there really isn’t an option except to surrender.

I haven’t had a kitten in a very long time….decades… I usually adopt older cats who generally have a more difficult time finding homes. I kept her separated from Buddy dog and the three adults cats for a while in my bedroom and bathroom….and quite honestly I thought I had lost my freaking mind.

It was a time when something funky must have been going on astrologically because I already had a lot of past stuff resurfacing. Adding a tiny kitten to the mix of my life was like throwing gasoline on an already-hot fire of emotional disturbance. But now, six weeks after adopting her, I see what a true teacher she is for me.

Her name–Tawanda–comes from the Fried Green Tomatoes character of Kathy Bates….it was actually her alter ego. She was a middle-aged woman stuck in life and when she transformed into Tawanda she kicked ass…rammed the car of a young woman who stole her parking space, took a sledge hammer to a wall because she needed more light. Tawanda took no crap off of anyone from the moment she stepped into the house. My baby T is just like that and she’s teaching me to stand up and move forward out of the stuck place I’ve been for the last five years.

Every rescued animal seems to have an extra-special gift they bring to the world. They have seen hard times and made it though to the other side….and Little T lays here in my lap, running in her dream as I write.

My other kids have their own, unique stories. Buddy was a sick puppy living in the back of a pickup truck. He was rescued by friends of mine that work with a rescue organization. I saw him on Facebook in my friend’s lap and knew he was my boy. He is named after the main character in the movie Elf. Buddy Hobbs is SO JOYFUL! I’ve never met a dog that is so happy and happy to meet everyone…except squirrels. He despises squirrels with a vengeance.

Willie Fay was zip-tied along with two other cats on to the railing at Dyke’s Vet Clinic. One of the cats died from the trauma. My mom saw her there when she was healed and up for adoption and alerted me to her specialness. She still doesn’t like to be held tightly but is an amazingly smart kitty. Willie was named after the group Willie Sugarcapps because it was the only music that calmed her when she was adjusting to her new home here.  Her middle name is my mom’s middle name.

Stanley was a rescue from North Carolina. He was owned by a college student who named him Chow Mien. The reference to eating cats wasn’t lost on me so I renamed him Stanley Kubrick. The student left school and left Stanley with a roommate that didn’t want him and he was turned into the shelter.

Gracie Sue was originally named Silver because of her silver feet. She’s part Himalayan or Persian with thick fur, gray with faded orange spots and intense blue eyes. She had been adopted twice and returned because she was shy and hid. I gave her the option to come home with me if she’d come sit in my lap at the adoption center. The foster mom in North Carolina said she didn’t come to people but when I offered a home to her, she came and sat in my lap. So there.

Each of these special friends has a story and much of their stories I’ll never know. They came to me as animals in need and became my friends. Even shy Gracie, who most likely is a little ‘mental,’ has taught me how to love when little is given in return. I give her permission to be herself, hide under the bed, be aloof. It’s okay.

It’s not always easy to be mom to so many critters. It’s expensive to feed them, vet them and when I travel to have someone come stay with them but they give me so much in return. I can’t imagine how lonely I would be if I didn’t have this family of precious four-leggeds keeping me company, forcing me to engage every day with life. And much of the time filling my heart with so much love.

It’s right to contemplate the question….Who rescues who? Every animal that has been in my life has taught me so much about myself and for that I am deeply grateful.

Best Workout Buddy

Best Workout Buddy

SimoneLipscombStanley Kubrick is an awesome friend. His charm and devilish good looks would steal any woman’s heart. And to make him an even more wonderful friend is his commitment to working out with me.

SimoneLipscomb (4)One time in the middle of a three minute plank Mr. Stanley decided to jump on my back, lay down and start to clean his whiskers. That was ‘special.’ Just last week I was in the middle of doing a standing pretzel at the barre, which requires leaning over with forearm on said barre, and Stanley decided to jump on my back. I’m not quite sure what his goal was but it elicited a scream from this gal. It wasn’t malicious though. I found him after my workout upset with himself that he had caused me pain. He was only adding weight resistance.

SimoneLipscomb (1)This morning he was especially helpful through my at-home Pure Barre workout. He helped me stretch, he cleaned the sweat off of my hands and arms and participated in numerous trust exercises as he reclined under me as I lifted, toned and burned.

SimoneLipscomb (8)His level of dedication and commitment to my workouts earn him my deepest gratitude. It’s not often that such a good workout buddy comes along to lend his support.

SimoneLipscomb (9)

Being Present with the Wind

Being Present with the Wind

photo 7I was standing in front of the mirror completing the process of getting ready to leave when I glanced down the hallway. Ollie and Burton sat side-by-side looking at me. Their eyes were intensely focused, watching every move I made. They looked concerned and anxious.

A few tears moistened my eyes as I stopped drying my hair and connected with them. “I’ll miss you guys, too.” While I enjoyed my visit with my daughter and her husband immensely, the interactions between the furry boys with Em and Kev, with each other and with me enriched my visit immeasurably.

Earlier that morning, after their ‘parents’ left for work, I put Burton’s harness on and took him for a long walk…three laps around the neighborhood. During my stay I took him in the back yard just to stand and smell the interesting smells from the woods across the road, the wet ditch smells and the infinite variety of scents wafting from far away places. It wasn’t a potty break for him…we connected through our desire to simply stand in the breeze and feel it, smell its richness. With no agenda except being present with the wind. Ollie and I had another way of connecting.

photo 8Ollie is the elder of their home and the years are showing on his body. So this orange tabby boy and I would sit together as I laid my hands on his soft fur and offered Reiki (a form of energy healing) to him. We sat for long periods of time, connected by love and deep calm. Aging animal companions hold a special place in my heart so being with this star-player-of-epic-midnight-soccer-games-with-unseen-opponents was very precious.

photo 3It’s so easy to be with animals, to form friendships and offer love. What’s more difficult, at times, is to discern what they want or need and how we can provide it for them. I see them look at us with bewilderment that we cannot decipher what they are clearly communicating. We are not a species aware of nuances and non-verbal communication. Much of our instinctual abilities have faded as language developed.

photo 5For a treat, take a moment to see the world…to experience the world…through the eyes or nose of your animal companion. Feel the world open as your instincts and senses awaken. Allow everything else to fade and simply be present with your friend, be present with the wind.


Motivation to Move

Motivation to Move

photoThe engine of the car idling a few feet from my head brought me back to the present moment. I found myself laying flat on my back with severe pain in my elbow and back looking up at the ceiling of the garage. The cats! Through tears of intense pain I forced myself to get up and shake off the nasty fall so I could take care of my cat friends who were in their carriers inside the car.

Taking cats to the vet for their annual exam and vaccinations isn’t my favorite pastime but they really aren’t difficult to travel with and the vet’s office is a few minutes from my home. But let’s face it–cats are never overly fond of  change…and being crated, put into a vehicle and visiting a place where slobbering, noisy dogs are present is not on the top ten list for felines.

simonelipscomb (8)I loaded two of my cat companions into their crates and into the back of my station wagon. I pushed the garage door opener and the motor operated just fine but the door didn’t move. Drats! The power outage with yesterday’s storm had created a ‘situation’ when I tried to enter the garage so I had used the emergency release to open the door from the inside and closed it manually. I didn’t think about reconnecting the door to the electric pulling device so this morning I had to once again open the door manually.

There was no problem getting it open and backing my car into the driveway. I expected a quick closing operation but left the car running so the kitties would stay cool if I was delayed.

simonelipscomb (10)The wooden doors are very heavy and they are tall so I had to reach to grab the emergency cord to try to get the door moving. It wouldn’t budge. I’m pretty strong so I thought I would simply force the cord to move the door. Little did I know the cord was wimpy and as it broke my feet flew out from under me and I landed flat on my back and right elbow. Thankfully I had a pony tail that cushioned the blow to my head or I might still be laying on the floor.

simonelipscomb (4)What motivated me to get up and move, despite the shock and pain, was my friends in the car. The motor noise is what brought me back to myself and I realized there was a task to do, an appointment to make and so I wiped the blood off my elbow with my other hand, got a short step ladder, climbed it, grabbed the door and pulled the damn thing down. And we were off to the vet’s office.

simonelipscomb (2)Other than being a bit sore and having an elbow that’s complaining, I’m fine. It was scary…but not for me. I kept thinking: What would have happened to my cat kids had I not been able to move? They are what motivated me to get off my back and take care of business.

This afternoon I’ve been pondering the idea of motivation in our lives. What motivates us to take action? The safety of my beloved Stanley and Gracie motivated me today. But with life in general…what motivates me to take action?

simonelipscomb.com (5)If I titrate each action taken that has meaning, I’d have to say love is the motivation. Turtle volunteer work at sunrise and those midnight hatchings? Love. Scuba diving with all kinds of beautiful creatures? I LOVE them! Cave diving? I love the Earth and so appreciate being inside Her. Writing about nature? Love of nature. Teaching photography classes? The love of teaching something about which I’m passionate.

Cape Flattery, Washington

And sometimes love motivates us to take action that is most difficult….freeing someone we love to be on his Path….loving ourself enough to follow our Path…leaving a job we enjoy to take care of ourselves…moving geographically to follow a calling.

A kid's book I created to explain the oil spill in a simple, understandable way to all ages.
A kid’s book I created to explain the oil spill in a simple, understandable way to all ages.

Love can motivate us to get up when we have fallen, to push past emotional and physical pain and to follow our heart’s calling even when it’s difficult. What motivates you?