Category Archives: Cats

SMUDGING MY NEW HOME

DSCF3976 LIVING WITH GHOSTS

Moving into my new home requires a good smudging even though the house bursts with the best spirit ever. I start at my front door, give thanks to the four directions as I turn to face each one. The spirit above and the spirit below are added to those thanks for my blessings. Especially for being right here where I am meant to be for my best living right now.
As soon as I step inside (I don’t even look to see if the neighbors are watching. Perhaps I’m unknowingly teaching them something.) I light the sage sitting in my large conch shell, with a wooden match. It’s important to use a wooden match. As the smoke rises, I wave it outward with the eagle feather that I found in the forest one day. Walking clock-wise, I go from room to room, chasing negative spirits away, if there are any around, and inviting good spirits to come join me, watch over me (and cat Lizzie) to share in my joy of being here. Lizzie follows in my footsteps. She’s done this before, too.
There. Done. The house carries the aroma of burnt sage, a cleansing odor that comforts.
When I was still living in Bordentown, a lady stopped in my bookshop to ask a question. She wanted to buy a particular house in town and wanted to know if it was haunted. I didn’t know of any haunts hanging around the house, yet encouraged her to smudge, anyway. She was new to the concept. . . . I like spreading the word that helps others.

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Filed under Bordentown, Cats, hauntings, living with ghosts, paranormal

LIZZIE THE CAT and ME-HOME AT LAST

DSCF1968 Lizzie snoozing after a good read

Now that Mz Lizzie and I are moved into our new home, settling in, I’ve returned to the joy of watching her. She is so happy to be back in a home with just her and me, full of peace and good spirits in the house. Soft sounds of music float in the air while I sit on the rug and brush her. She purrs with love and contentment, reaching out her paw to touch my hand in gratefulness.
I tossed a familiar, thick towel of hers, onto the floor of the closet in her own bedroom on the first morning that we arrived here. That’s been her ‘go to’ place to hide out when she wants to.

We quickly found a convenient out-of-the-way spot for her water and food bowls. When they empty, she’ll come to me, sweetly asking in her best ‘meow’ words to come fill ‘er up. She gives her ‘thank you’ with a soft nuzzle at my ankle.
She’s taken to walking under and around a dining room chair and turning around and doing it again. It’s an “I’m doing this because I can.” thing. She sprawls out in the middle of the floor of each room, because she can. No dog and no one to tell her no or move or looks at her negatively. It is all her domain that she shares with me, gladly. I never tell her no, well, almost never. That one more bowl of dried food that she wants, but is not good for her anti-diabetic diet that I refuse her. She also loves to spread out in each doorway connecting rooms. That is something new for her to do in this lovely cottage of ours.

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CATS ‘N SPIRITS

DSCF3976   Cats are so tuned in to us real, live people as well as spirits who have stayed behind or drop in for a visit now and then. While going over my notes for my upcoming memoir, I came across a notation about an interview done in Bordentown a few years ago. Lora was telling me about the three cats that lived in her apartment at the time; her cat, her daughter’s Maine Coon cat, Draven von Lichtenstein, and a shadow cat. The shadow cat came with the apartment. He was just a shadow that ran from one room to another, leaped up onto the kitchen table, or jumped down from the sunny windowsill with a loud “b-r-r-p” just like the ‘live’ cats did.

As I sat at the kitchen table to record Lora’s story, I lay my folder in front of me. Lora’s cat leapt up, snuggled onto that folder and looked up at me, as if to say, “Get this all down right. I’m here to be sure you don’t miss a thing.” And that is where the cat stayed, throughout the entire interview, never moving, eyes watching me, interested in all that was said.” Cats are amazing!

From Living with Ghosts

 

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Filed under Bordentown, Cats, hauntings, living with ghosts, paranormal

GREATER GOOD SITE GIVING ANIMALS SHELTER IN PUERTO RICO

DSCF2793  YAY! Today on the Greater Good site they are giving animals shelter in Puerto Rico! I love being part of it.

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Writing Memoir

I gave up a chance to paint with friends one day last month because I knew I’d been postponing writing the next chapter in a memoir, written strictly for healing purposes. The Past kept burning me to get out of the place I had buried it so many years ago. Like the characters in my Major Fraser book that would not let me sleep at night until I told their story.
So I gave up the beautiful day for painting and stayed inside, on my PC, and wrote, and wrote, and wrote; only taking time out for nibbles and water from the kitchen. These trips to the kitchen help keep my lower back from protesting the hours at the PC. Lizzie came after me, pawing at my elbow at 3 o’clock. She wanted me to join her in our loosely scheduled reading time.
“Not today, Lizzie” I told her. “My muse is hot and my fingers nimble. I’m cranking.” She looked properly disappointed but understood. She’s a witness to me on a writing hailstorm.
It’s a half hour before midnight and I’ve completed the chapter. I’ve wept, dried the tears, and kept writing. I feel great now. A good cleansing made me feel lighter. The memoir is near completion and I’d like to get back to some kind of normal life, for a while anyway. Maybe do some planting if the season has not passed me by . . . cut the grass… clean the house… all waiting for me while my memories were unloading onto the paper.

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Filed under Cats, reflection, writing

The Muse as Cat

DSCF1968
Some have a muse
I have Mz Lizzie
this cat
will come for me
if I am not at my PC
hunting the house
for me
then nudging
nudging my calf
Come on! It is time to write!
she tells me
with her eyes

her head bumps me
let’s go!
I smile at her
completing the chore
that is keeping my hands
busy

this cat is relentless
bump, bump,
nudge, nudge
finally I give in
okay, okay
off we go
Mz Lizzie at my ankle
the PC chirps from slumber
Lizzie settles on the table
at my elbow
contented, her job
well done

As a post script here is a link for Louie Schwartz at TED:
http://www.flickspire.com/m/HealthierL433/Gratitude-Louie-Schwartz-at-TED

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Filed under books, Cats, Poetry, writing

Write Down Your Story

After being away several months writing, and re-writing, and re-writing the final pages in my latest manuscript, IT’S PERSONAL, I’m back to blogging again. Hope you will return with me.

 

DSCF2584

 

We all have stories. They are all over. Each item in this picture has a story i.e. the paintings on the wall, the settee, Lizzie cleaning herself on the settee, the afghan, the pillow. You get the idea.
Even the house/apartment we live in, the utensils used in the kitchen, a particular set of clothes that hangs in your closet. Stories are everywhere. The writer is the one who thinks about that story then writes it down to share it with others.
These stories that are tucked way back in our minds often explain what we do and how we do it. They are the events that shaped our personalities that guide the way we do things. Bringing a story out of the treasure box into the light can be joyful but it can be painful, too. If you write about the painful one, even if you burn it afterwards, you can help alleviate that pain.
So do it. Write down your story.

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The Girls

Image(re-posted from 2007)

The term “The Girls” as I refer to them, came easily after birthing four sons, having two brothers, raised in a neighborhood full of boys and marrying three guys. One at a time, that is, with a little leeway in between.

So when these two adorable rescued kittens were first placed in front of me like gift boxes to choose from, I took both. Sisters, even with different fathers, shouldn’t be separated. Plus I travel often so they are company for each other when I’m gone. They don’t appreciate that I planned such consideration for them. They sense my plans days before I even take my travel bag out of the closet. Their upturned faces show me the saddest of eyes tugging at my inner softness. It makes me not want to go anywhere and I have always loved to go, anywhere.

That’s also when they begin adhering to my ankles, in front of, rubbing the sides of and tangling in between. Sometimes I’m nearly tripping just trying to stand up. It seems as though invisible glue keeps them in place. I step, they step, I sit, they sit, I breathe, they breathe.

They are Lady Jane and Mz Lizzie. The Bennet sisters from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” Jane was upgraded to a titled ‘Lady’ because she is; just like Jane in the story. Her personality and being born minutes earlier gives her the older sister air. She’s also shy and reserved, but can romp (like a rabbit) beside Lizzie when encouraged. She’s a Manx. Black and white, no tail.

Lizzie follows Elizabeth’s personality. She’s daring, impish, funny and cuddly. I can sometimes see an idea forming by a light popping up in her eyes. She’s full of life and energy. She can talk the ears off an elephant. She’s a calico born with a bent two-inch tail.

They are blessings in my life.

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Cat & Dog Ghosts

Image

Now that my rescued Manx cat, Lady Jane, has been diagnosed with diabetes and I know I will be facing a day in the not-far-off-future when she passes away, I’m thinking about seeing her in the afterlife. Over the years several people have told me they have seen a cat or dog in spirit form race past them in a blur. I have too, in the first year that I lived in my new home in North Carolina. Fortunately for me, it didn’t step on the paint can lid while I was putting some fresh color on my walls.

My girls (Lady Jane & Mz Lizzie) did not seem to mind this other pet running through the house. But then they were playful with the Native American Brave that wandered through, also. He even stopped to rub their bellies. The Brave left after that first year, along with the animal. It could have been his companion. My eldest brother moved in with me during the second year. I wondered if that had something to do with changing the tone in the household even though he was an animal lover.

I’ve read where some religions state that animals do not have souls because they do not have free will or an immortal soul or a conscience, so no afterlife for them. It runs through my mind about cats traveling hundreds of miles to get to the home they love and are familiar with, after they have jumped out of a car and become lost. Or a dog that leaps into swirling waters to save the life of a family member. Or protects a child from a snake biting, or goes for assistance to help their owner. You get the idea.  Instinct? Don’t think so. Trained to do so? Nope. Souless? I think it is all about love. Love can bind a person to a place after they pass away; staying as a spirit or a ghost. Why not the love of an animal?

        Two Cats      

     (Read horizontally or/and vertically.)

        Two cats                               Lizzie and Jane,

playful, joyful,                      full of life

romping thru the house         like two kids

one leading the other            upstairs, downstairs

all over                                  boisterous

a calico, a manx                    black, white and gold

different breeds                    different markings

same mother                         same heart.

(C) Arlene S. Bice, 2008 publ. Life & Labyrinth

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Filed under Cats, paranormal, Poetry, Uncategorized

Cat Tricks

I’ve had to change some normal daily routines around here since Lady Jane developed diabetes. It ain’t easy. She is eating special dry food for diabetic cats. That is okay. She likes it. Well, let’s face it, there is very little in the food department that Lady Jane does not like except for tuna or salmon or sardines. Go figure.

But it is very expensive. If that is what it takes to get her stable, that is okay, too. But here is the deal.  Mz Lizzie is not diabetic so she is eating her usual Science Diet for Indoor Adult-over-seven-years-of-age dry food. Expensive enough on its own. Again, if that’s what it takes to keep

her healthy, fine.  So I have separated their foods. Jane’s in the usual kitchen spot; Lizzie’s in the bedroom where I can put the bowl out of Jane’s sight when not in use. Lizzie eats like a bird. Not in selection but in volume. She could care less about eating but eats to live. Jane lives to eat. She could be at the opposite end of the house and she will hear the tiny little rustle sound of dry food being eaten from a bowl. She’ll come sauntering in, trying to make me think she is being casual, leap up onto the worktable and push Lizzie out of the way to inhale her food. I scoop the bowl into my desk drawer to keep Jane from eating what is no longer good for her health. She looks at me with these pitiable eyes, asking me why I am being so cruel. Do I like Lizzie better than her? It is tough.

Lizzie likes to eat most of her food after midnight and again at 3 a.m. This poses a real problem for me. I like to sleep after 11 p.m. I cannot leave the bowl out in the open because Jane will gobble it down. So we’ve fallen into a new routine. When Lizzie is hungry she nudges me and nudges me and if I don’t wake up and get her food out of the desk drawer, she nudges me until I do. I’m desperate for a good night’s sleep. I haven’t had these problems since I had newborn babies and they have children of their own nowadays!

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