One artist's journey: Trying to live a creative life with grace, grit, gratitude...and a border collie.
(or perhaps I should say: greys, grit and gratitude)

10 October 2012

Orange You Happy You Found Me?

On October 10, 2011 I was supposed to go horseback riding with a friend but had decided to cancel because I was coming out of a rough couple of days and pondering a weighty life decision. My friend called to move the time earlier...and on impulse, instead of canceling, I went.

On the way to the barn we came around a corner and two tiny orange kittens were in the middle of the road. My friend stopped the car and I jumped out, grabbed the first one I came to and quickly rolled him into my sweater. We tried to catch the second one, but it had disappeared into the grass. After some searching, we gave up and went to on the barn. The kitten I had captured was a thin little bag of bones and so small I could zip him into a pocket. He made no sound, didn't fight....just looked at me with solemn blue eyes.

Neither of us could stop thinking about the other one, though...and we decided to bail on the riding and go look for kitten number two. He was sitting in the same spot in road when we came around the corner. My friend scooped him up and now we had to decide what we were going to do with two kittens.

Another cat was NOT part of my plan, but from the minute I picked him up, I could not let him go. Sometimes animals, like people, come into your life for a reason.

Taking care of "Starvin Marvin" was a distraction from things I did not know how to face at the time. Over the coming months, a lot of tears turned to laughter at the antics of a scrawny little ginger colored waif. A year later, life has changed in a huge way but Marvelous Marvin is still here. He is far from scrawny now.

In the end, it really is love that heals all things...and few things help heal a broken heart like giving more love (even if the object of your affection is sometimes a kitten).

The assorted animals that have been a part of my life over the years have given so much more than I seem to give them. For the small price of some food, shelter and whatever attention I have time to give...they make me laugh and listen without interrupting, they offer comfort and companionship.

Given the opportunity, the creatures that share our lives are not mere pets...if you are willing to listen, they are teachers, little Zen masters. They take everything in stride and don't get hung up on bulls***. Like people, they may reflect things about us that we are not always willing to see...but, unlike most people, they do so without criticism or judgement. They forgive our mistakes and offer boundless unconditional love...who can't use a little more of that in their life?

Over the years, my "rescues" have rescued me over and over again.  They bring laughter into every day...and every time I am carefully picking cat hair out of a wet painting, I try to remember that that too is Zen...