Thursday, November 26, 2015

gratitude abounds

I've been away from blogville for some time due to ten days of travel and time on each end of the travel preparing and then adjusting back into regular life. One challenge is that I keep having incredible experiences that open my heart and stretch me in becoming a more fulfilled, alive person. So, returning is not a matter of just re-engaging regular life as it was before I left. This challenge is one I embrace, as it indicates how much I'm growing more into life.

Today being Thanksgiving in the US, it's a day of reflection and noting my gratitudes. There have been many, it's been quite an amazing year.

The highlight of my year was my summer Montana Equine therapy experience, which forever changed me. It was certainly the most terrifying thing I've done and the most life changing. I'm amazed what happened when I leaned into my deepest fears with the support of some incredibly loving people, I came out so much stronger on the other side. Fear, take notice, I'm done running from you!

Thecatguy and his trusty mount, Harley

I'm so grateful for all my delightful kitties!!!

Buddy continues to live a healthy and tummy rub filled life! It was sometime earlier this year when the vet figured out that he has IBD and once we started treatment, his health immediately improved! I'm grateful for his continued health and his lovey personality. 

Buddy is usually affixed to me in a snuggle posture
Nahum is as fluffy and gorgeous as ever!

I've started getting Nahum acclimated to my office in hopes he'll be my therapy cat. I was thinking Marvin would make a good therapy cat, and I think he would (he has the personality for it), but two things got in the way, he started having more health problems and on his second visit to the office, he urine marked my couch, Ack!

special food speeds up the acclimation process!
Willow is still Willow, cute as ever. In this year she has gotten more snuggly which I adore. (She's actually purring up a storm in my lap right now!)

Willow gets cuter every year - how does she do that?!

Rose is still terrified that her humans might eat her alive, so she keeps her safe distance.

Silly boy Theo, remains a character. We must always be mindful of unattended food as Theo will attend to it for sure!

Over the past year, Theo has gotten more snuggly. He loves being held and just wants to be close. He doesn't really like us having foster cats as it takes attention away from him and usually takes some of his space away too. Theo very much likes his space and his peeps.

Oliver! Every interaction I have with this boy makes my heart aglow. This guy is pure love, I so adore him and so wish he could be inside kitty, but he continues to urine mark his space. So, that means I can only bring him inside under supervision or in a room that's been fully oliverized (covered with towels and things that can soak up the pee.) The other day, I brought Oliver inside and we both snoozed together in the living room with the indoor cats letting him be - it was a glorious moment! I'm hopeful for more such moments where he can be inside and not create tension with the other kitties.

Camping in the side yard with Oliver this summer was a highlight of the year for sure! We both had a wonderful time!

The saddest event of this year was MK going missing and is now assumed deceased. That was hard. Really, really hard. That happened early in the year and really set my heart into a painful place for quite a long time. Even though I never got to pet him due to his semi-feral nature, I loved him deeply. I miss him and his silly antics dearly.

Pierre has had a good year, although it's clear he misses his brother, MK. Those two were inseparable, so without MK, Pierre gets lonely. He's taken to staying pretty close to Oliver, who tolerates the closeness. Oliver gets his love needs met from me, but Pierre is still too scared of humans to trust me that much and thus tries to love on Oliver every moment he can get. 

Since MK went missing, Pierre rarely leaves the yard. Actually, that seems true for Oliver too. Both stay close to the house, which makes me happier. I occasionally see Nora come by for dinner, which makes me happy!

ever so curious Pierre

Bert, my previous foster cat, is doing amazingly well in his new home! I had the honor of housing him for about a week this summer while his forever human worked on moving to a new house. I love that he's doing so well. This boy really got a big chunk of my heart and knowing he's happy makes me happy.

And now there's Marvin, my current rescue and foster.

Somehow I thought I would guard my heart from becoming too attached to Marvin. I failed miserably. This guy is such a delight. He's little (about 7 pounds) but has tons of personality. He's become a professional snuggle champion in such a short time, he's a natural. 

His health has been up and down since his rescue. I'm super grateful that his health has been stable for the past week, but with chronic kidney failure and his other problems, his health is a roller coaster of emotional stress.

Marvin is still available for adoption if the right person comes along and wants to love on him for however long he has. And if no one comes along, he can stay here and live out his days knowing he's loved and enjoyed. I'm grateful for how sweet his personality is and he's like eye candy, a pleasure to look upon! I love his deep, luscious chocolate coloring!!

I usually get one big house project done a summer, but this year I somehow managed two!

I'm grateful for the house and for the ability and resources to get these projects done.

I'm also grateful for all the humans in my life. I've been gifted with an amazing wife and many delightful friends who I treasure. I'm also grateful for all my blogging friends - you all have gifted me in amazing ways that you are not even aware of. Thank you!

I'll close with this quote that I was introduced to on my recent trip. I feel it beautifully sums up my life journey of this past year as I come to more fully own and live into my gifts and value.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. - Marianne Williamson