February was quite the month. Lots of travel. Lots of going ons. Grateful for the month that it was and even more grateful to be home now.
I'll catch you up on my happenings by starting with the now. Today - this moment, Oliver is taking a snooze on the couch with Buddy about one cat-length apart. After years in the making, Oliver has officially met the indoor cats face to face.
I started by having all the indoor cats locked on the front porch while Oliver got to play inside. Remember, Oliver has been dying to become an inside kitty for years, but his chronic urine marking prevents unsupervised time.
When Oliver settled in on the couch, I decided to let the inside kitties back inside with Oliver. I thought it was time they meet nose to nose. Theo was the first who popped up on the couch and slowly approached Oliver - they sniffed each others noses and Theo slowly backed away! No hissing, no growling, nothing but sniffing! I was so proud of my Oliver!
Oliver is a super dominate cat outside in his yard. He will violently take down any intruder cats that come anywhere near his space. But inside, he seems to know he's a guest here and has not done anything to challenge the indoor cats.
Buddy was the next to check out Oliver. He sniffed and settled in a cat-length away. Then he grumped and attacked Oliver with his flying-paw of doom. Oliver didn't retaliate, he just hissed and backed away. Oliver could easily dominate any of the indoor cats but he's choosing to remain submissive. I'm super impressed with him - he's very smart kitty - he knows if he wants to be an inside kitty he can't do it by force.
Sweet Willow just hopped up in my lap to get some loves. She doesn't seem phased in the least by Oliver being right next too her. And likewise, Oliver doesn't seem to mind Willow's presence either.
I've been waiting for this moment for years! When Oliver could come inside and be part of the harmonious inside kitty world!! Today we took a major step in that direction! Yah!!
I traveled many places over the past few weeks. One place I went was back to Onsite (in middle of nowhere Tennessee), a place of incredible healing. If you know of anyone who's stuck in survival mode and can't seem to figure out how to get to thriving, Onsite might be worth checking out.
The work related training I did there was life changing, in line with the rest of my Onsite experiences. I'm incredibly grateful they are there doing what they do.
One of the pieces of personal work I got to attend to was working through the trauma of the death of my first dog, Lassie, back in childhood. It was to be an event that forever changed my world, in a not so good way. I'm grateful for getting to finally resolve that trauma, and in doing so, has changed my relationship with death - and grieving.
On the way home from Tennessee, I stopped in Ohio to visit Sarah's grave. I wanted to make intentional space for more grieving. I brought her a forever rose and a little cat figurine (three kittens playing) to mark the delightful gifts she gave me. Visiting was really hard but also really, really good.
My heart is full of love, gratitude, and joy. Life is good! It's good to be home!