Sterling the Cat

Monday, April 18, 2011

My cat has taught me a better way to start the day.

My cat has taught me a better way to start the day.

        Calli has many rituals. One could be very irritating if I let it be.  When I wake I'm ready to get started. Calli has other plans, and now we combine our needs. First thing in the morning I turn on the bed light and call “Good Morning Calli Cat.” That is Calli’s signal to come from wherever she is and jump back in bed. If only I could train her not to land on my tummy. Her paws have the force of high heels! Then she settles down on my chest with her face inches from mine and starts to purr. That is because I am stroking her, back from her face over her head to her neck, around the neck, and back from under the whiskers. I repeat these strokes over and over. She lets me do this as long as I choose. In the beginning I let it bother me because I wanted to get started on my day, as I told you before.
Now I use this petting time to silently list my blessings, followed by another list of what I am looking forward to in my day. Then I stop the strokes because Calli and I are both in a good mood to actually face her day and my day.

How do you start your day?

Friday, March 25, 2011

My Cat Teaches Me to Get Out of the Rut

My cat teaches me to get out of the rut.
        Just when I think I have Calli figured out and can predict her behavior she changes the rules. For weeks we have been playing a ball game, last thing before going up to bed at night. Little soft balls are collected in a basket. I sit about half way down the stairs and throw one ball at a time at the front door. The ball bounces down the hallway where Calli is waiting to chase it. We both get exercise, my throwing and in the mornings when I do deep knee bends to pick up the scattered balls. Now Calli goes up to bed before me, so no bouncing-the-balls-off-the-door game. Does she just need a break, and will she return to the ball game?
        Are there some routines in my life that could be varied and add some spice? Maybe I could have soup and sandwich for breakfast and my healthy cereal at noon or in the evening. Related to eating, I could definitely find some more interesting places to eat in my home, using a tray table I keep folded. Why don’t I add restful music to my bedtime routine? I may return to some of my old routines, just as I suspect Calli will want to chase the balls again. But life does need spice.
How have you added spice to your life?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Cat Teaches Me How to Ignore

My cat teaches me how to ignore.
I’m at my computer and I hear “Meow, Meow, Meow.” “Calli, it is not time for your food.” “Meow, Meow, Meow,” she replies. each “Meow” louder than the one before. Of course I hear her; the whole world hears her, but I pretend I don’t. Actually I have learned this technique from none other than Calli. If words don’t work absolute I-don’t-hear-you does. It helps me to have something to do that appears to be very important and I proceed as if my life depends on in.
Mealtime comes and I sneak up on Calli with “It’s time to eat.” Must admit there is a little part of me that feels triumphant, and another part somewhat guilty.
Help! What works for you when your cat, or a person, is pesky?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What My Cats Taught Me

My Cats Taught Me to Believe in Miracles
One thing I am not is a fighter. Neither was Cali One. Sterling had been my only cat for several years. Maybe I should listen to my friends after most of them said “Sterling needs a cat companion. He must be lonely.” How could he be lonely when he spent so much time with me? At the Shelter I listed everything I wanted in a cat knowing I would not be faced with a cat who would meet all my requirements. “There she is, looking through the window at you. She is the Perfect Cat. We call her Cali.” And she was, a sweet and beautiful calico cat. “She gets along with all the other cats, and we love her.” So did I, but Sterling hated her.
Of course I followed the book and kept them apart in the early weeks. Sterling was a holy terror, knowing of her existence. In the short trial introductions he tried to rip her apart. He made her life on earth hell! I was busy trying to find a good home for Cali. He heard me on the phone making final arrangements for someone to take her, in one week. Believe it or not, from that moment on he began to soften toward Cali. It took quite a while, but they did become bosom buddies, playing and sleeping together and grooming each other. A miracle!
Would you like to share a cat or personal miracle?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Cat Teaches Me to Choose Where I Walk

My Cat Teaches Me to Choose Where I Walk
        The most important place to watch for Calli is at the top of the stairs as I start to descend. I do use the handrail but, if Calli does her zigzag in front of me, I have a vision of both of us tumbling down the stairs. Who breaks a hip? The kitchen area is the second most threatening place. Calli cuts in front of me to get to her food bowl and I am concentrating on a new recipe. Who wins? Number three danger zone might be after Calli has used her litter box and is barreling out of the upstairs bathroom when I am crossing the landing. There is nothing to grab if she crashes into me. My mantra is “Watch out for Calli!”
        Where are the danger zones in my personal life, and where do I choose to walk? Not getting enough sleep is close to the top and I am working on this. Beside my bed is my Sleep Journal, with daily recordings. A soothing music CD is playing in my boom box. My “Attitude of Gratitude Journal” gets three things from the day for which I am thankful, no matter how small. This is followed by a daily devotional guide, “These Days.” Next comes relaxing into a favorite light reading book until my eyes become heavy. It’s back to the book when I awake during the night. I’m still not getting enough hours of sleep, but more than I did before the plan was put into action.
Would you like to share a danger zone and how you are coping where you walk? 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Cat Teaches Me Patience

My Cat Teaches Me Patience
       Calli is my current cat. She does not replace Sterling. No cat can take the place of another. If you have ever lived with a cat you know each cat is an individual. Calli chooses when she will be impatient. At four o’clock on my clock and on her clock, she finds me and announces that it is time for her evening meal.
       She does have endless patience, however, when it comes to waiting for birds to eat at the bird feeder outside the bedroom window. She sits on the little stool that she owns without moving a cat muscle and watches for hours. She pays no attention to my coming and going behind her. Nothing matters except waiting, then watching the birds. Somehow she knows she can’t get to the birds. She chooses daily to be an observer, sometimes even after the sun goes down.
Yes, I like to feed the birds, especially in the winter. But I must confess I invest in bird feed equally to provide the Cat TV for Calli. In addition Calli is teaching me patience. What do I value in my life enough to watch and wait and never give up, even when the sun goes down?

What do I value most?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My cat teaches me phone time consideration.

 My Cat Teaches Me Phone Time Consideration
Most of my phone calls are made or answered in my office. The chair is ergonomic. Reception is clearer. I enjoy the view from the window. Why use the other phones unless I get caught and have no choice?
What I don’t understand is why Calli never bothers me while I am on the office phone. Now that I think about it, she is not a pest when I use the other phones. There have been times when I have gone an hour past her late afternoon feeding time on the phone. The moment I get off the phone she is there with her special whine that I know so well. Why the consideration? At first I thought it was related to the office phone being corded. But she does not bother me when I am on the other phones, even when I am listening for a long time and she does not hear my voice. I have given up trying to figure out why. Now I simply say “Calli, thank you for being so considerate.”
Am as thoughtful as Calli? Before I make a call do I consider if this would be a convenient time for the person? Do I go on and on without a thought to what that person might have on their agenda? Do I train myself to condense my phone visit into what is really important and then get off, tactfully and with appreciation for their time?

Please share your phone etiquette reminders.