New Age Cats

I’m back! Whee! So things are still going so stupidly well that I haven’t felt compelled to write–it feels like I need a dramatic topic or I got nothing. But if I’m honest it’s primarily that I prefer the Xbox to writing and only write when the urge forces me.

Today I left the house in a good, if harried mood, and stopped in a nearby card shop. The woman who owns it is lovely and I’ve been in social situations with her before. She is an acquaintance of the ex, but she’s never indicated that she’s remembered me. This time I walked in and knew immediately that she was going to ask about him. My intuition has been on fire lately, which is the primary focus of the blog today.

She asked me how he was, and I told her we have been split for some time. Then instead of leaving it at that, I did that female thing where I vomited up way too much information and then burst into tears like a total lunatic. And it was as much of a shock to me as it was to her. Where did that come from? Happily she wasn’t too put off, and I don’t have much more to say about it than that, except even at the best of times it’s a work in progress, and even when you think you’ve cleared a hurdle you discover that it’s more like one hurdle in an infinite series of the same hurdle until they get shorter and shorter and you finally get to move on to the next bullshit issue or confusion.

I just watched this Matt Kahn video, in which, among other smart things, he states that, for all of us, if things could have happened differently, they would have. I find that infinitely comforting, because I’m always second-guessing and always internally taking all the blame for not being somehow better, stronger, faster, smarter, kinder, more quiet, more patient, more faithful, prettier, skinnier, etc. If I had been better things would have been better. And the demise of that relationship is not fully cleared for me yet because I was never comfortable with my role in its death.

So this talk spoke to me quite profoundly. But I have a friend who found it upsetting. She was physically abused as a child and is not ready to accept that it was necessary or helpful in any way. And I have to respect that because it’s her experience. We all have our unique triggers and viewpoints. In any case, I would recommend giving it a listen if you are in a space where something like this can resonate for you.

Holy hell, did I just write that obscenely new agey sentence? Yuck.

Another one of the things in my life that I coulda woulda shoulda’d to death was my perfect little Pekingese dog Panda getting hit by a car ten or so years ago, because I chose to have him off leash. For a long time after the accident I replayed it obsessively over and over again in my mind: this time with him leashed, another time with him in my arms, not leaving the house at that exact time, not leaving the house at all. Just trying to change the outcome somehow. It was excruciating and impossible, no matter how my brain contorted. I can’t imagine what people who accidently murder or let a child die go through. That one haunted me for years.

The one good outcome is that recently I was able to talk a random guy on the street into leashing his chihuahua. It’s difficult to approach people about what they’re doing with their pets. I hate unsolicited advice from random strangers who don’t know my dog, but it was one of those perfect moments where we connected over our furbabies and I was able to express concern without judgment. I told him my story and he took heed. So maybe at the end of the day that’s the redemption. You can’t fix the past but you can create a better future for yourself or someone else or both.

So recently my cat Roquefort died, very peacefully at the vet’s office. I got a mountain of condolences via facebook and texts and I thank everyone for their kindness. I am actually fine with it. Because I dealt with the death of my dog in such a violent and abrupt manner, I handle putting them down voluntarily easily. It’s not a happy occasion, but it’s not a dark one either. I consider it holy work. And as with all peaceful animal deaths in my life this one brought valuable information and opened up some channels which feel worthy of sharing.

Roquefort was the smartest and most annoying cat I have ever known. I adopted him from a woman who had a house full of Persian and Himalayan fosters. Roq was the most beautiful cat I’ve seen, 4″ long silver fur which was white at the root and black at the tip, gorgeous big green eyes and a full, elegant tail. He looked like a Fancy Feast cat. But he was getting his ass kicked by all of the other cats in the house and once I had him for a while I understood their reasons.

He never shut up. Never. Just an incessant litany of high-pitched complaints and trills, and he was always one meow away from mastering human speech. Sam says that Roquefort is the only animal he knew that could communicate on Facetime, because unlike my other pets he recognized when someone was speaking directly to him through the phone, and he responded.

But he also fluttered about in a constant tizzy, like a feline Aunt Pittypat. He didn’t like it if I rearranged anything in the apartment and would explain in detail about how this thing didn’t go in that place. He had to eat in a separate room with the door closed because distractions took him off his appetite. He disliked strangers and would tell them so with a verbal refusal if they tried to touch him. Yet he loved me with unbounding passion. He would have been happy if I carried him around like a baby all day long, and insisted on sleeping as close to my face as possible at night. Which was unbelievably annoying because he could never get settled properly and squawked at any movement. I called him the murderer of sleep.

My other cat, Albert, or as I call him The Beep, found Roquefort equally irritating. But The Beep is gentle and mellow and treated him kindly, as we all did. Instead of smacking Roquefort when he was being too much, Beep would cheerfully slow-motion mush one of his big feet into Roq’s face until he complained and went away. And occasionally Beep, who has a great sense of humor, would wait behind a door to pounce on Roquefort because it was hilarious to watch him get the vapors.

But all this aside, Roquey was sweet as the day is long and I did love him. And I had him for many years. I estimate he was 15 or older by the time he went.

He started winding down a few months ago. He was eating less and less and getting too skinny. I brought him to the vet, who said it was the usual thing with old cats, their kidneys decline and I was supposed to give him an IV of fluid every three days. Which means you have to jam a needle in their back and then hold them in place for ten minutes while the fluid moves into their body. Suffice to say we had mixed results at best. I could never keep him still for the full time and there was a lot of emotional argument going on for the short time that he would tolerate it.

I bought twenty different types of food trying to get him to eat more. Beep was thrilled and ate it all. Roq just complained, and Samara could hear him when we talked on the phone, so we would yell in unison in fake exasperation, “Go into the light, Roquefort!”

Pretty quickly his poor appetite went down to nothing. I could get him to eat a few bites but that was it. I still didn’t think it was time, but after about a week of that I woke up at 3 am with him staring down at me, quiet for once in his fucking life, and I knew immediately that the time had arrived. I can’t explain how I heard it, but it was loud and clear. He said, “Today is the day.” And I said, “Okay, buddy.”

When I got up a few hours later I didn’t try to get him to eat. He slept in his favorite spot waiting while I called my vet and made an appointment for that afternoon. It was so easy and gentle when we got there; I’ve never experienced a cat so in control of the choice. He was quiet and calm and only protested a bit when the first needle went in. After it was done I stayed with him for a little while and rubbed his giant, fuzzy feet between my fingers. He always hated that and I had told him many times that when he was dead I would touch his feet as much as I wanted and there was nothing he could do about it. But eventually you have to leave their little bodies laying there alone on that metal table. My vet had been treating Roquefort for so long that he gave me a hug before I left.

This is an ordinary tale that people go through every day. But what isn’t ordinary, for me at least, is how clearly the communication came through. And now some channel seems to have opened for me with animals. I was thinking about what I should do for the Beep; I don’t want to get any more cats for a while but I was worried about him being lonely or bored. And then I heard it loud and clear from him as I pet him, pondering the question. “The dog is enough, I want to be the only cat for a while.” The words were just there all of a sudden. And now this new, happy Beep has blossomed. I’ve never seen him more content and it appears that he’s come out of a shell that was forced upon him by Roquefort’s more aggressive neediness.

My neighbor across the hall is out of town and I’m taking care of her cat. We trade off petsitting and it’s quite convenient. But I don’t really love this cat. She’s not that pretty to look at, she’s obese, not friendly and hisses most times when you touch her. She’s kind of a dick, really. But I’ve been taking care of her for years and we have a decent truce going. She comes out and talks to me and wants to me to sit with her while she eats. Once she did start coming out from under the bed and talking to me I understood her very clearly. She most definitely didn’t like being left on her own by her person. But that might not be communication as much as observation.

My neighbor always asks me what she’s saying though, and I tell her what I think. The cat, like Roquefort, always has very clear opinions.

Now the cat is dying. Just like Roquefort, she hasn’t been eating. The first day I was there she came out and I told her how many times the sun would go up and come down until her person was back and she got so mad that she turned around and went back under the bed. The next day I tried to pet her under there and she hissed. So I was like, all right, fuck you, made sure she had food and left, and that’s how it was for a couple of days.

Then I thought, I know this cat, I know she doesn’t feel good right now and she’s gotta be lonely, let me put my ego aside and meet her on her terms. Which means no touching unless she asks for it. So I sat at the end of the bed and said, “I know you don’t feel great and you want your mom to come home. But it’s going to be you and me for a few days and I’d like it if you could let me know if you need anything or if there’s anything you want me to do.” She meowed quietly and I got the message that she was just trying to maintain as best she could while waiting for her human.

I thought that was a pretty okay communication and I went to the kitchen to check the food. To my surprise, she came running out after me. She looks terrible right now. She’s still fat but also bony at the same time. And she’s weak and wobbly. But she came out. So I sat on the floor with her and opened various baggies of cat food to see if anything appealed. She sniffed them politely and declined, then drank quite a bit of water. We sat together for ten minutes or so before she went back under the bed.

My mother, an energy channeler/healer, as most of you know, keeps telling me that we’re moving from a 3rd dimension reality into 5th dimension and as we clear out our old baggage from this lifetime and others we become more receptive to the higher frequencies.

She also says that anyone “awake” who has chosen to incarnate at this time has come in with more than one issue to work on, since this is such an intense time of movement and change. It’s a crash course for many of us, so try to have compassion for yourself when you feel overwhelmed or stuck. Or if you act crazy in a card shop. It’s time to be gentle with ourselves, especially with all the terrible things going on in the world around us.

I believe most of what she tells me but I’m also petulant as fuck about it ever since we were promised that big shift in 2012 and nothing happened. I’m a skeptical believer now. It was just business as usual in 2012 after a buttload of internet promises and then by 2015 I headed into some of the saddest days of my life. So fuck you empty new age predictions! It is what it is what it is and we all have to go to work and pay bills and do dishes and wait in the grocery line behind people who take their sweet goddamn time putting their money away while you’re clearly straining under the weight of a giant bottle of olive oil and 19 lbs of laundry detergent in that crappy plastic basket with the metal handle that cuts into your hand. I watch my friends go through all kinds of crap that they don’t deserve. But I can’t deny that my life and psyche have shifted quite a bit in the last few years and I believe it’s largely because of the work that I’ve put in to understand the deeper truths around my stuff.

I would have never put in that work if I wasn’t forced to do so by discomfort. My mother also has a great saying that once you learn a lesson for real there’s no need to repeat it, and that it’s a tool you can access in your toolbox forever. Courtney can keep the cake, I want to be the girl with the most tools so I don’t have to do this shit all over again.

So now life is good and all of a sudden I’m hearing my animals. I’m not sure if it’s a global shift or if it’s because I’ve done the work or simply because I’m a crazy animal lady and I no longer feel the urge to tamp that bit of crazy down. Either way it’s something I’m interested in exploring, and I’ll keep you posted. And I’d love it if you did the same and reported back to me. Just sit quietly with them and listen. If you don’t hear anything, that’s okay. We all have different means of intuition and ways in which we are supposed to serve and be served. And not all animals are as determined to be heard as Roquefort was.

Namaste, Beauties.

Advertisements

Bring It

First, I’d like to address that someone in our circle was hit by a truck while on her bicycle, by a driver operating under a suspended license. She was severely injured, has had a number of surgeries and will be recuperating for some time. We are not close, but she is close to many of my friends and I don’t feel it would be right to write about my internal noise without acknowledging that things can always be worse, that life changes on a dime, and that we have to love one another. Patton Oswald quotes his late wife as saying, “Life is chaos; be kind.”  True dat, and my best wishes for her recovery.

Okay, back to my favorite subject–NEW AGE NAVEL GAZING. I feel like I’ve been writing about the same things over and over again for a while, but as vision gets clearer the topic refines itself for me, and it is my hope that any bit of clarity I receive will work for others as well.

I often have to rein in what I share because some of the people in my life are not as public as I am. Its not fair to tell their stories from my point of view or expose them in ways that could make them uncomfortable. I understand that I am already revealing much of my private life to people who don’t have my best interest at heart, but it’s a choice I make for myself.

I have had to be guarded about the dissolution of my 13-year relationship with Drew, sharing just the iceberg tip of the emotion and chaos in my world. But as I get further into the journey I can now speak more freely. I don’t feel that I owe as much anymore. I have paid a great toll for my weakness, confusion and imperfection, a toll so heavy that it culminated in a bottle of pills. And the many attempts that I have made to make amends or find a peaceful co-existence have been met with what I perceive as disdain and, at times, a deliberate desire to punish, to win. It could be temporary, but for now it is a hard and barren ground and does lessen any feelings of obligation. I still wish to speak with respect and love, but my story is solely my own at the moment.

The main lesson throughout all of it, and I believe now the cosmic reason for the rift, is to finally get down to the messy job of loving myself. I would have never had to face the depth of my own self-judgment and self-doubt if my soul had not forced me to step out into the eye of this terrible internal storm. A big pot of shame and secret knowledge that I was unlovable that has been on simmer inside of me since I was a child finally came to a nice roiling boil and I had no choice but to step away from the one person I thought I would be with until I died. My brain did not ask for this change but I couldn’t stop myself from spinning in that dark water until finally change could no longer be denied.

I have been judged harshly–by him at times, by his friends, by his family, by my family, by strangers. But mostly, and with the least amount of compassion or understanding, by myself. Fortunately I am great at choosing friends, and they have loved me throughout this process far more than I have loved myself, even when they didn’t fully understand what the process was.

I re-listened to a lecture by Matt Kahn on twin flames/soulmates and it shifted me from the place of burning hurt and resentment that I’ve been residing in over the last few months. I had listened to it before but somehow it hit the bull’s-eye this time. Sometimes it takes me a little while to properly ingest information. Okay, let’s say a lot of while combined with brutal and repeated ass-kickings usually does the trick.

It reminded me that it is past time to quit looking outside of myself for approval, information and peace, especially in places where it’s never going to come.

I have gotten pretty much everything I’ve wanted in this life. When I was an excruciatingly nerdy and shy teenager I wished every day to be pretty and to be able to open my mouth and talk to people. I was sneered at and called “Dog” by the jocky boys with lockers next to mine. And once I started developing, “Tits on a tube.” It hurt. And it was so dumb, even under the pain I thought, “Really, that’s the best you could come up with?

School1

I didn’t want to be on the top of the food chain so much as off the bottom. I prayed to God, “If you give me this I know I can be happy.” I got contact lens and discovered punk rock and started dressing for my imaginary rock and roll life, and one day I heard a man whistle at me. I thought, “That is so mean…” I went home and sat in front of the mirror and thought, “Hmm. Maybe this could be workable.” That was a good day; I got my wish and it definitely helped. But it didn’t silence the deepest inner dialogue:

“You’re just fooling people.”

I wanted to live an urban, exciting life, I wanted music and cool clothes, to hang out with rock stars, I wanted to be a rock star, I wanted to see the world, I wanted cool friends, I wanted certain boys to love me. Later on I wanted to not hate my job and live in a nice apartment. I wanted a real relationship. Got all that.

“You don’t deserve this. Break it apart.”

While much of what I have is due to some serious determination on my part, I fully acknowledge that life has been exceedingly kind to me. And acknowledge that the information to be gleaned from this luck and progress is that while getting what you want is awesome, it is mostly temporary. You’re gonna lose some of it and bad things are gonna happen. Which means that no matter how much you are given, sometimes you’re still gonna feel terrible.

The lesson always comes back around to this: that the inner current of confusion and sadness that runs through me at times (and I’m guessing almost all of us) only changes or is assuaged in a profound way when I stop dancing around trying to force things outside of me to stay the same or to be as distracting and appealing as possible.

Which means that in this particular case, it is time to stop fighting to be loved by someone who no longer cares about me, to stop being angry, sad and sorry about the way things went down, to stop trying to figure it out, to stop trying to rewrite it in my head, to stop trying to convince people that I’m not a bad person, to stop reaching out, to just STOP. Stop it and be still and accept the death and learn how to give that love to myself so I don’t have to race around looking for it in every dark corner of the world. ‘Cause guess what? Boom! It was here all the time, Dorothy.

Ugh. Blargh. Feh. Poop emoji.

These illnesses and losses and tragedies that we mourn and fight so hard to change, to bargain away, to rework in our heads, are meant to feel this bad. They are meant to break us down, to shatter us in ways that leave us too exhausted to fight anymore. And eventually beat up enough to be open to rebuilding from the inside out.

I especially needed this message from the lecture: when we are in anger, blame, sadness, regret, etc., we can say to ourselves, “Let the one who is judging be next in line to be loved.”

And while we are flailing to ease the pain and fill the void, there is the simple act of saying to ourselves, “I love you.”  Even if we don’t believe it or know how to love ourselves, we can say it, and it is soothing to the heart and mind, and it brings us closer to the truth of why we are here. Why we are in these bodies being forced to learn one bullshit, ridiculous, stupid, excruciating, unfair, fuck you Universe lesson after another.

“How can they do this to me?” – I love you. “I can’t take it anymore.” I love you. “This is so wrong.” I love you. “I don’t want to feel this pain.” – I love you. I’m sorry you’re feeling this. I’m sorry I haven’t loved you enough in the past to make better choices for you. I love you. 

It’s so corny and not at all badass. I’d so much rather set everything on fire and watch my enemies burn. But it works. I feel at peace right now. I feel okay with being viewed as unimportant or a liability to someone who I thought would love me always. I feel free of the fear of being disliked for the first time in my life. You have shit to say about me? Too late, I’ve already said it to myself. And with a better vocabulary and a better understanding of where the knife cuts the deepest. The outside stuff is not going to hurt me as much anymore. I have others who do love me and I know that my job at this time is to focus on being healthy and grounded enough to give them the love and attention they deserve.

I have a beautiful 25 year old boyfriend whose presence is a constant reminder to act with thought and compassion. Because he is a gentle and loving soul, but also because I see my own 25 year old self in him and I know how hard it is to make sense of anything when you’re that young. It would be too easy for me to mess with his head, so I am always cautious of my motivations and the words that I use. I will have to release him into the wild sooner than later because the difference in age and experience level is too great. In some ways that’s sad but as I get clearer I see the perfection in that imperfection. And it’s not happening today so today I feel gratitude. I believe that our partnership was a gift given to me to help make the steps to this next chapter in my life a little less bloody, a little more comfortable and warm. And regardless of the status of our relationship I want to remain the safe and sane place for him that I haven’t always allowed for myself.

My demons are crafty and I don’t want them screwing with me or anyone else anymore. So I give them love too. I love you demons for dancing around and smashing stuff, for breaking my heart, for always working so hard to distract me and keep me occupied. You can take a break for a minute while I sit here quietly and try to practice this self-love crap.

Namaste, bitches. It’s a hard knock life and it goes by too quickly; be kind to yourselves.