August 7th, 2006

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Once again, we are "staff" -

Last night, Tiger hopped up on our bed in Mandu's spot.   I got into bed, and there, was Bella, too, upon my legs.   Soon, she snuggled in with Tiger, and there was barely room for Steve, but he did fit himself into the bed.  They slept all night, and then, got up and ate and did their business, and they run up and down the hall, and all around, and now, they are resting a bit.  They are really sweet.   I'm still not sure about their names, but nothing yet has come to light.  I do think of Bonnie for Bella for some reason, but not strongly enough yet to change it.  We feel like we have kids.  I had not realized how quiet the house had become.  If you go in a room and close a door, they cry outside.  It is lovely to be noticed, and missed.

Happy kitty day to you!!   May you bounce, pounce, and snoop.   This morning, they spent ages running between two pillows.   Then, one pillow fell down, and so one perched on the pillow, and the other is up on the chair looking out the window.  They are quite entertaining.  I love watching them move, and explore.   Maybe I will do the same.  
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My two friends -

Tiger is asleep on my lap.   Bella is asleep right next to us in the chair.  I have companions now.  I am touched.  They are so very sweet.  It was odd how out of the blue, I knew yesterday was the day, and Chris and I went to the humane society, and there they were, and, now, they are here.  They fit right in.   I think Mandu is easing their way.  Mandu died June 22nd, and we did mourn.  Now, our new friends are here.   May something soft and warm be resting with you, too!
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Kittens -

Bella and Tiger are sleeping together after cleaning each other.  There is a web-site on ten reasons to adopt two kittens from the same litter.  I see how right it is, and how lonely they would be if they didn't have each other.  They have been sleeping now, together in one chair, and wrapped for about three hours.  They wake to wash, and then, fall back to sleep.  I think they are very comfortable here, now, and I am grateful for that.   Today, is a junk drawer kind of day, where I do some of the little things that have piled up, so it works perfectly.  I putter, cross things off my list,  and they, rest and purr.  
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Bella and Tiger -

Now, Bella and Tiger are completely intertwined, with their arms around each other, and their heads nuzzled.

They each had a microchip planted, when they were neutered and spayed.  The can do that now when they weigh only two pounds.  They now weigh about 3.3 pounds.

As I look at all their paperwork, I see great care, and also, a world that must have felt very frightening, at times.  They were in foster care before they were old enough to be placed in the shelter.  I am so grateful they had and have each other.  I can't imagine what it all must have felt like to them, but they are happy campers today.

Because of the microchip, if they are ever lost, they can be traced back to us, as long as we keep their ID information up-to-date.  It seems amazing to me.

Bella has a great deal of white fur, so will be sensitive to the sun, and skin cancer is a risk for her.  Who would have thought that even our animals are affected in the way the sun is dropping through on us.

Anyway, I am obviously enchanted with my two small friends, who in this moment are intertwined as one.  Earlier, Bella washed Tiger's face and ears.  Now, he washes hers.  It is SWEET as can be!!
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on kittens -

When you adopt a cat today, they request that you keep it indoors, so it doesn't get fleas, stolen, or hurt.  I contemplate that, as all of our animals have enjoyed the ideal life of being both in and out, at their choice.  We had assumed it would be the same for dear Tiger and Bella.  Today, with both Steve and I present, we decided to take them out on the deck.  I think they had never been outdoors, outside of their box.  They were unsure.  They were disturbed when the wind blew their hair.  They cautiously investigated the wood of the deck, and considered the shadows.

I wonder about life never lived outside.  Cats are descendents of mighty beings.  Can they really be healthy and thrive inside without ever going outdoors?  I find it disconcerting, and a sign of what we do to ourselves.  Soon, we, too, will have our locater chip and the safety of indoors.  Angeles Arrien, as part of her year-long training, requests each person spend an hour a day outdoors.  At first, it sounds absurd.  Who wouldn't be outdoors an hour a day, but if your life is home to car to work and back again, you may not.  I watch Bella and Tiger as they play with tiny, toy mice.  They stretch themselves every which way.  Could they really survive without going outside, with just looking out the window?  It is odd for me to contemplate.  Can I do to them what I wouldn't do to myself?   I think I will slowly let them out, onto the deck, and then, into the front garden.  Perhaps, they won't have the freedom of Mandu, who had quite a territory, and yes, I did occasionally take him to the vet for an abscess from a fight, but he was a true cat, mighty in offense and defense.  We have already neutered Bella and Tiger, and,  rightly so, but shouldn't they enjoy breeze, sun, and shadow?  I think so.  I do.   They will.  I introduce them today, and that will continue.  I want them to live with risk, since risk arrives, no matter what you do.  
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Kabir -

Petra sent this in February.  I peruse it again now.

I Said To The Wanting-Creature Inside Me
  I said to the wanting-creature inside me:
What is this river you want to cross?
There are no travelers on the river-road, and no road.
Do you see anyone moving about on that bank, or nesting?

There is no river at all, and no boat, and no boatman.
There is no tow rope either, and no one to pull it.
There is no ground, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford!

And there is no body, and no mind!
Do you believe there is some place that will make the
soul less thirsty?
In that great absence you will find nothing.

Be strong then, and enter into your own body;
there you have a solid place for your feet.
Think about it carefully!
Don't go off somewhere else!

Kabir says this: just throw away all thoughts of
imaginary things,
and stand firm in that which you are.

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new lands -

"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time."

-- Andre Gide
The Counterfeiters (1925)

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The Bearded Vulture -

According to an article by David Brian Butvill in National Wildlife, the Bearded Vulture is the only known bird species to deliberately dye its plumage.  "Beginning at about age 7, the vulture equivalent of adolescence, the birds begin frequenting red, iron-rich mud pits to dye their naturally white breast, neck and head feathers.  "The movements in the red soils are elaborate, different than when they bathe in clear water," says Margalida, who has been studying bearded vultures in the Spanish Pyranees for 16 years.  The birds first dip their undersides, he explains, then use their beaks and talons to spread the tint from foot to neck.  Then they rub their heads against their stained shoulders.  The result is a snappy suit of sunset orange."

Their diet is primarily ungulate bones, which "lack carotenoids, substances common in seeds and barries that give most other birds their flashy feathers."

"Red is very popular in the bird world," says Margalida, adding, that, in bearded vultures, the color appears to be a status symbol.  Females, the dominant sex, are brighter than males.  Color intensity also grows with age.  A bird often handles conflict by puffing out and displaying its dyed 'do."

"Showing off one's shade of red may advertise quality, Margalida says, "The damp iron-rich soils are rare and require a detailed knowledge of the territory."  It's as if the bird's saying: I'm the brightest, baddest, most knowledgeable bearded vulture south of the Pyranees."

It makes sense.  I am reminded of how red is a sign of danger in nature.  Perhaps, that is true, too.
I am also reminded of Jon Carroll's column today where he spoke of what a name, in certain societies, conveys. 
What do you say with your colors, attitudes, name and handshake  when you are introduced?