When we first met Guinness the cat…

Hubby and I had decided, it was time for us to adopt a cat from a cat rescue. I had started doing my research and looked at a cat rescue website. I contacted the rescue by phone and they let me know what the procedures were. I was to make a list of the cats we wanted to meet. And then the rescue would give me the contact information of the people fostering those cats so that hubby and I could arrange to meet the cat.

The first cat we met was in a college student’s apartment downtown. I was pretty shocked how small, dark, and dirty the apartment was. I felt sorry for the cat which had so little space to roam around and no windows to look out of. The college student had decided to foster a cat because she missed her cats back home. The food she was feeding the cat was the cheapest she could afford. Yeah, I confess to judging her for that. I didn’t think the college student should’ve been able to foster a cat in such an environment just because she missed having one around. 

The college student told me the cat was devastated because her previous (and original) owner had given her up because his fiance was allergic to cats. The cat had been with the owner since kittenhood. I felt really sorry for the cat. I just can’t understand people who think so little of abandoning their animal. If it had been me, I wouldn’t have considered dating someone that wouldn’t let me keep my animal. The cat seemed depressed but was connecting with me a little. I wanted to take her out of that dark, dingy little apartment and give her love until her little heart opened up again. I wanted her to be able to run down our hallways and nap in the sun by our windows. I wanted to cuddle her and let her know she was loved. But she didn’t connect with hubby which was so disappointing for me. We had agreed that the cat had to connect with both of us. In the end I had to sigh and let her go. I wished her well in my mind and we went to visit another cat. I still haven’t forgotten her and hope she’s well wherever she is.

The next cat we visited was being fostered in a house with two other cats who were bullying her. The person fostering was another college student but this one was out of the country! Yeah I judged her too. Talk about irresponsible. In her place, her parents were taking care of the cat we wanted to meet. The parents had put the poor bullied cat into the cat carrier 30 minutes before we were due to arrive. They just wanted the foster cat gone. As you can imagine the cat was feeling stressed. It has been cramped into the not large enough cat carrier for 30 minutes. How were we supposed to meet the cat in a cat carrier? I asked the parents to let the cat out which they did. The other two cats came around and started pushing her around. Our attempts to connect with the cat weren’t possible because of the situation. The cat was trying to protect itself after being cooped up in a cat carrier. The parents said we could just take the cat. “What if we don’t get along?” I asked. “You can just bring her back.” the parents said. That would’ve been very disruptive for the poor cat even though it was being bullied by the other two cats. I wasn’t impressed with the parents. Hubby and I left in disgust.

I was feeling quite discouraged by then and mad at the way these rescue cats were being fostered. I said to hubby, “That’s it, let’s go to Petsmart.” He asked me if I was sure and I said yes. So we dragged ourselves over to Petsmart which also works with cat rescues to get them adoped out. We were allowed into the adoption area. Hubby was immediately taken with a tortie cat who was being grumpy with him. I was looking at the cats still in their cages. There was one really beautiful black fluffy cat. He was walking back and forth in his cage, rubbing himself against the metal bars and he would stop as he got shocked by static electricity. Then he would start walking again. And I said “Oh let him out please.” I looked at the chart by his cage. His name was Guinness and he was six years old. The description said “very affectionate guy.” But the word guy was smudged a little and hubby thought it said “very affectionate gay.” I was kind of incredulous at that. “No silly, it says very affectionate guy! Not gay!”

Guinness came out of his cage and immediately came to me and rubbed on my legs. I petted his silky soft fur happily. Then he walked over to hubby and rubbed on his legs. He continued going between me and hubby, making figure eights around us. I was smitten. Hubby agreed he really liked Guinness too. His health records were in order. So we filled out the paperwork to take him home. The cat rescue told us someone would interview us by phone and if we passed the interview then we could pick him up and take him home. We found out that Guinness’ owner had been an elderly lady who had fallen ill. She hadn’t been able to continue taking care of him and her children didn’t want him.

After our interview about a week later we were cleared to take him home. When we came to pick him up he was snuggled with two kittens whom he seemed to be protecting. He didn’t want to go. I can’t blame him. He was leaving his friends and going to be the only cat in our home. The first night he was with us he howled almost all night. Hubby and I barely got any sleep and I asked him if we had made a mistake. But I think he was lonely. We were still strangers to him. Despite having to adjust to a new environment, he had the best manners of any cat I’ve ever known. It was wintertime so we had one of those fake mink feel blankets on the bed. He was sitting on the floor looking up at me as I sat on the bed. He had a questioning look on his face. So I said ” Guinness you want to get up on the bed?” He meowed as if to say, “I’m allowed on there?” I patted the bed. “Come on up.” He jumped up on the bed. And when he felt the texture of the blanket he laid on his back and was rolling around from side to side, purring in pleasure. It was the cutest thing I ever saw.

Sadly Guinness got cancer. He developed a bump on his side which was small at first. The vet did a biopsy and the prognosis wasn’t good. We had the option of giving him all the medications and chemotherapy. But we thought it would put him through too much stress and really decrease his quality of life.

Towards the end he was only eating when we would put food in front of him. I think he was holding on for me because I wasn’t ready to let him go. I was in denial. I thought there was a chance he could get better. But finally our vet helped me to see that he wasn’t going to get better and I had to let him go. It was so hard to let him go.

We put him to sleep in January of 2017 and we buried him in one of his favourite blankets our backyard under a bush. We put some small boulders on top so he wouldn’t be disturbed. I still miss him everyday. But I know he’s still with us. In the first two months after he passed he visited us constantly. He kept setting off a touch lamp and a sensor light by the stairs when no one was around. I think he did that to reassure us he was with us in spirit. He hasn’t been back to visit as often but he still comes by every now and then to let us know he’s still around. He’s our angel cat now. A guardian of sorts. I’ll always miss him and love him.cat

Fight Inside Me

The fight is inside me
I’m my own best saboteur
I’m the only one who can really get in my way
Because when I’m determined to do something
I blow through all the excuses
That lead me astray

But that’s the trick you see
The toughest part of it
Is for me
To convince me

The fight is inside me
The little girl within doesn’t believe
That she is worthy enough just to be
Herself in every moment
Without shame
Or blame
Or judgement
And she cannot see
That she runs my life in times of stress
When things don’t go
As she thinks they should go
When I feel like I’m a mess

The fight is inside me
But little by little
It’s changing, transforming
From a place of defeat
To a place of power
I’m starting to let the joy inside me
Out to flower
To wash away all the doubts and fears
Turning it into self-confidence
After all these years

By: Hazel PK

I miss you

I miss you sometimes terribly.

It comes over me suddenly.

And when I don’t have my guard up

My eyes start leaking tears.

I sometimes wonder if this is normal

Will I ever stop missing you?

I believe in the afterlife

I believe that even when we physically die

We’re still connected.

A so-called psychic once said that

The spirits of people we love that pass away

Can still see us.

It’s like a one way mirror for them.

They can see us, hear us

But we can’t see them or hear them.

That thought makes me sad.

You could be reaching out to me from the other side.

But I wouldn’t know because I’m on a different frequency.

But then if you can see me, hear me, feel me.

You would know that I still love you very much.

And I miss holding you in my arms every day.

We had only a little time together but every moment is precious to me.

By: Hazel PK

I will come to you

Wandering and lonely,
Hungry for your presence,
When we are separated,
I will come to you.

Though river or rock,
Or hand or wood
Bar my way,
Across the reaches of despair,
Beyond the call of time,
I will come to you.

Over the barren land,
Void of love or life,
Though shadows of night press on every side,
Though forces unseen try to deter my will,
I will come to you in your need,
By night or day,
Or within the time between.

When we are separated,
By some unfortunate turn of fate,
When your soul reaches for me,
I will come to you,
Though the very essence of evil stops my stride.

For the length of your life,
And surpassing death’s grasp,
I will dare to thwart all who come in my way,
Who prevent me from coming to him,
Who waits for me in some place that stands apart from heaven and oblivion.

If you love me,
I will come to you,
Out from the darkest shadow,
To comfort you in your need.

By: Hazel PK

Quote: I wish common sense…

Image Source: Share it’s funny

I once saw a lady walking around wearing a shirt that had this quote. Not sure who first wrote this quote. But I have to say, I agree with them unfortunately! When I was younger I used to believe that some people who did or said things that were ignorant were just clueless. Now that I’m older I realize that some people are just that stupid. It’s really a sad thing for me to realize. I always believed in the best of the human race. But society has not encouraged the average person to be a deep thinker. Maybe that is not society’s role. I don’t know. I cannot judge. But it just seems to me that people now are shallow thinkers compared to previous generations. That’s not true for everyone of course. There are always the exceptions. Is it the advent of social media and the digital age? But then again there are some people of the current generation who are using social media & the internet to do some really profound things. I applaud those people.

But it’s people who do insane things to get a good selfie that I don’t like. There were some people in the Dominican Republic who dragged a shark from the water to get a selfie. The shark ended up dying. Because DUH! Sharks cannot breathe air! These people just killed a living being. Does life mean so little to them? Things like this really get to me. That is not the only story I’ve seen about such incidents with selfie takers. Many such selfie takers are also unaware or don’t care that the cute sloth they are taking a picture with was probably stolen from the wild. Sloths are solitary creatures. By nature they don’t like to always be touched or handled, much less by humans. It’s very stressful for them. I’ve read that sloths used in this manner live only about 6 months. People are treating living beings as disposable. They don’t even think about it such things. It makes me so mad. I have to stop here because I could go on and on.

The selfie takers are the worst examples of thoughtless people. But there are so many smaller incidents in which people could act with more common sense and more thoughtfully. Humans are by nature self-centered. But we can remember to think about other people. We can remember to be kind. The homeless guy in the subway has to worry about his next meal and where to find shelter every day. Will you really miss $5, $10, even $20 if you give it to him? You might say you don’t know if he’ll use it for drugs or alcohol. That choice will be on him. But at least you did a little something to help. If we all did a little something or a big something to help, this world would truly be a great world. So before you go rushing off to do something, take a little time, think about it. Use your common sense.

Memory and Dream

I don’t want to live here
Unless you’re here with me
These walls hold too many memories
They keep whispering in my ear…
Of nights when I could feel your body
Curled against mine
And I could turn over
Just to look into your eyes.

But it doesn’t hurt as much
To remember you today
Thoughts of you flit & float away
Occupying space somewhere in between
My memory & a dream.

It’s another world now,
Another time.
Like a vision of utopia
That interrupts reality for a while.
And now I rise in the mornings
To the everyday world.
If it somehow feels a little bit empty
Or a little bit cold,
I just have to close my eyes & remember you…

Nights when you held me so tight
Days when we would do nothing,
But stay inside
Wrapped in nothing but love
And a passion that kept us
Spiraling higher & higher above.
Until it seemed
We could see our bodies below.
We were once connected.
We were once a whole.

I don’t want to live here
Unless you’re with me
Because the walls,
They just keep whispering…

By: Hazel PK

Funny Cat Moments

Hannah on the sofa.

Hannah is 16 years old but she is a spry cat. She’s a black and white tuxedo cat with a very expressive face. Her whiskers are white and it looks like she’s got eyebrows. She can stare at you with a laser-like glare, it’s so intense. Her paws are white so she looks like she’s wearing mittens and boots. I love her. She makes me laugh and she talks to us in trills and sweet meows. She goes up and down the stairs by jumping up with both her front paws then both back legs follow in a short hop. It looks really funny, like a bunny rabbit hopping around. When she’s hungry her meow sounds like she’s saying “now?” It starts as a mmmm then turns into a rrrrrrow! And then when you put her food down she purrs loud like an engine and faceplants into her bowl. You can hear her slurping up her food enthusiastically. It’s hilarious to me.

Well one day, she jumped up onto the loveseat in our master bedroom. It’s got lots of cushions on it. Six cushions in all. I happened to glance her way when she jumped up and she suddenly dove into the middle of the cushions face first. Before I could whip out my cell phone to take a video all I could see was her butt sticking out the top of the cushions and her tail following it. Then she pushed the cushions aside as if forging her own brave path in the woods so they fell on top of her kind of like a teepee. And she sat under her teepee cushion very happily until the next thing caught her attention and she jumped off the sofa. What a funny cat.

Photography: How does it make you feel?


_f4q7215ol-kopieImage source: Nicholas Roemmelt

I was just thinking about things that make me feel good. Photography is one of them. Looking at a photograph when you can’t be there in person can have a visceral effect on you. Well, at least it does for me. I think great photography has a story behind it and it makes you feel something. That feeling can be profound or lighthearted. But it provokes some kind of reaction in you. Art is another thing that affects me in the same way. I was scrolling through Dr. Nicholas Roemmelt’s webpage and I’m astounded at the images there. Looking at these images fills something up inside me. I look at them and sigh. I feel a kind of joy when I look at these photographs. I can’t tell you how nice it is to see that there are still so many beautiful places on this planet. We’ve ruined so much of it already. Sometimes I despair that we won’t be able to repair the damage we’ve done. But I digress. Let me get back on topic.

Image source: Laurent Baheux

Laurent Baheux is another photographer whose work I adore. He seems to focus more on wildlife though he also does landscape shots. Looking at these wildlife photos I feel like I can see the spirit of these animals. Elephants have sadness and wisdom in their eyes (especially these days). While lions are the physical manifestation of earth spirits. They are so entirely one with the land they live on. They depend on it and are affected by it. All beings have a soul and if you take a moment to look closely you can see how they are feeling in their eyes.

Take a look at the photographs on their website and let me know. What do you feel when you look at them?


Quote: Edward Abbey

_f4q3719_20_21-panorama-kopieImage source: Nicholas Roemmelt

My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation’s history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.

Confessions of a Barbarian: Selections from the Journals of Edward Abbey, 1951-1989 (1994) p. 92


12 Apostles, A Memory

photo source: Wikipedia
12 Apostles, Victoria, Australia

We took the Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles. It’s about 2 hours and 45 minutes to get here from Melbourne. I’m claustrophobic, but being in the same car as my cousins helps distract me. Plus the landscape of Oz is truly unique. I can’t stop staring at everything we pass by. The city turns into small towns and are interspersed with stretches of wilderness. We take turns napping in the car. There isn’t much else to do on this long drive but wait until we get there.

When we finally do arrive, I step out of the car, my legs feeling a little funny because I’ve been sitting for so long. We wander down to the viewing platforms. I stretch my arms over my head, relishing the freedom from confinement. The hot sun beats down on my head. It’s summertime in the land of Oz. Thank God. Back home in Canada it would be winter and I’d rather be here right now. Winters can be long and dreary back home.

I look up and the sky is a pure perfect blue. There are hardly any clouds in sight. The blue of the sky matches the blue of the ocean below like two mirror reflecting each other.  I look down to the cliffs below and the waves are crashing against the shore. A refreshing breeze comes off the sea, caressing my face gently. It’s cooling me down just enough so I don’t overheat. I close my eyes in bliss. It’s the perfect temperature for me. I can’t help but think that this is what heaven on earth must feel like. It sounds corny but how else do I describe this profound peace that I’m feeling? This feeling that this moment is special? This is a day and a place where the sky meets the earth and water in perfect harmony. There are no other sounds except the people around you, the waves and sea birds flying around.

photo source: Wikipedia

I hear a little rustling and open my eyes to look towards the noise. Not far from my feet an echidna (a type of anteater) is waddling around underneath a bush. It’s rare to see them because they are naturally timid. I feel honoured to have seen one. Natives and aboriginals believe that when you see animals in their natural habitat it’s a message to you. And I wonder what an echidna would symbolize.  My family and I explore the area with a meandering pace. We come across a naturally formed pool of water on the cliff side with an arch of stone hugging the cliff’s edge. I wish I had my camera with me because I’ve never seen such natural quiet beauty. The sun shines through the arch, dazzling my eyes. That sense of peace washes over me again. I know that no matter where I go in my life I’ll always remember this day and what it felt like to be here. Most of us will say that life is never perfect. But today is a day where everything felt perfect and everything fit. Even the long drive on the great ocean road to get here to the 12 Apostles and Port Campbell was worth it just to experience this day.