Monday, 30 April 2012

Diary of 2 Black Cats: Part 3

Pepper has generally been very accepting of the new kitty. He keeps wanting to go in to the room and see what's going on. But as soon as Blackjack sees Pepper, he hisses and growls and scares Pepper away. My initial concern would be for Pepper to be comfortable with kitty #2. At this point, I'm starting to lose confidence. Blackjack was very sweet when I met him at his previous house, but he doesn't seem to like being in a house with other cats. He seems to be a bit of a bully to the resident cat. Which is strange, since Pepper was here first. Blackjack is bigger in size, so maybe he feels he has the right to intimidate Pepper.

I was really hopeful and wanted it to work out. I wanted to give it a week, but from what I'm seeing so far, it doesn't seem like these two cats can coexist. Pepper is normally very friendly and sociable, but with Blackjack around, he's being timid and running behind the furniture. In complete honesty, I love Pepper's personality, and do not want him to change. It's a shame it's not working out.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Diary of 2 Black Cats: Part 2

Pepper was meowing and scratching at the door for almost half of the night. Furthermore, he attempted to open it by pawing at the doorknob. I'm not sure if it was out of curiosity, or it he was scratching as a sign of "marking his territory." My husband and I decided to give it a shot, and let them have their first face to face interaction. I held Pepper in my arms and took him into the room, and allowed him and Blackjack to look at each other for a bit. So far, there was no hissing, growling, just staring at one another out of curiosity.

Then, later this afternoon, I decided to spend some time with Blackjack in the room. He was being affectionate, by rubbing on me and walking on my lap a bit. He didn't try to paw me this time, so I started feeling a bit more positive. Then I opened the door to leave the room, and he began hissing at Pepper again. (No hissing from Pepper today though. In fact, he ran away from the door, and behind the sofa.) I distinctly remember my friend telling me Blackjack gets jealous when she holds kids, so it could be a case of jealousy that I'm giving Pepper attention. I started getting hopeful this morning that both kitties are slowly getting used to one another, but I guess it could go either way at this point

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Diary of 2 Black Cats: Part 1

Let me start from the beginning. On March 15th, 2010, my husband called me up to tell me he found a lost cat outside of a Tim Hortons. He bought some milk and a bun from Tim's and tried to feed the cat (but he would not eat.) The cat looked clean, and was very friendly, so he decided to bring him home and gave him a place to stay. He dropped kitty off at home with me, and rushed to the closest 24 hour grocery store to get him some cat food and kitty litter for the night. Little did we know, this cat will find a permanent place to stay in our home and in our hearts. <3

We figured, he's so clean, he must belong to someone. We put up ads in the neighbourhood hubby found him, as well as Craigslist, Kijiji and on the Humane Society website. A few people had called, claiming to have lost a black cat, but their description did not suit him. We noticed he kept shaking his head and scratching his ears, so we took him the vet a few days later. It turns out, he had ear mites, so the vet treated him, and also let us know this cat was unneutered, so it's very likely he's a stray. Furthermore, he checked kitty for a chip and he did not have one. We gave it a few more weeks, but at this point, nobody had called, so we decided to keep him, and took him back to the vet for his vaccines and to get him fixed.

After a couple of months, I decided to officially name him "Pepper" (several months after that, he got unofficially named to "Timbit." So, we call him one or the other...but mostly Pepper.) Pepper's kept us good company over the last two years. He's a very vocal cat who is gentle in nature. He spends all of his time hanging around in whatever room we are in. He watches TV with us, eats dinner with us, and sleeps with us (and by "sleeps with us", I mean he sleeps on the top half of my/hubby's pillow, while we sleep on the bottom!) He is far more dependent compared to other cats. He hates when we leave the apartment, and meows at the door like there's no tomorrow when we're leaving. On the contrary, he also greets us with endless meows when we walk back in.

A few months back, my husband said he wanted to bring a second cat home (a kitten.) We'd been shopping around some shelters and websites to see if any cat was suitable to bring home for Pepper. The animal shelter I volunteer at had many cats which I started bonding with, but a few of them had come with disclaimers stating "not good with other cats" or "not good with kids." So, those cats were out of the question.

Then just a couple of weeks ago, one of my friends (who's moving out of the country) told me she's looking for a new home for her cat, and asked me if I'd be able to take him in. I told her I'd test it out for a week or so, and see how the two cats bond. Although my husband and I are comfortable having a second cat at home, Pepper is the one who gets the final vote! So, kitty #2 (Blackjack) came "home" last night. I've set up each of the cats in separate rooms, with their own food bowls, water dishes and litter boxes. There was a bit of hissing from each side, but overall, the cats have been doing their own thing. Any time I open the bedroom door, Pepper keeps running up with me to see what's going on in there, and Blackjack is usually the one hissing from the inside.

I have my fingers crossed that the cats will eventually be okay. All the books/magazines/websites say that some cats bond really quickly (within a week), for other cats it takes a few months, and other cats don't bond at all. It just depends on the personality of each cat. My main concern was, these are both male cats, I really really did not want any spraying cats in my apartment! Knock on wood... no spraying so far! Just mild hissing, and I had Blackjack paw me a few times (out of stress and fear.) My hubby really had his heart set on a kitten, not another adult cat. In retrospect, kittens can easily find homes. Even at the shelter, one of the questions I hear ever so often is "where are all the kittens?!" Adult cats generally do take longer to get adopted out, because everyone wants the cute babies. So, I think we are doing a good thing for Blackjack. I'm very hopeful that these cats will learn to coexist.

But, we will have to keep in mind... when a baby comes along, we'll need a bigger place for 2 cats and a child!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Gratitude Journal

I learned an important lesson from Miss Oprah Winfrey during Lifeclass. Keep a "gratitude journal." Write in it everyday about the things in your life you are grateful for. It could be anything. Something big, something small, just something you are thankful for. There will be times in our lives when things go wrong, we are sad, angry and unhappy. However, they can never compare to the things we take for granted. I haven't started my gratitude journal yet, but I plan on keeping one. 

I remember visiting my local library last summer, and I wasn't having a very good day. I was angry and hurt about something that had happened earlier that week. Just then, I saw one of the librarians (a young man, probably in his 30's) walking to a quiet corner in the library. He sat down on one of my chairs, and instantly started praying. Oh yeah, did I mention he was using a walker, because he had trouble walking? He had lost his ability to walk, yet he was still gracious enough to speak to God, and show Him how much he loved Him. At that very moment, I could not help but feel ashamed. When was the last time I thanked God for providing me with food, shelter and a fully functioning body? Never. Sometimes we forget how lucky we really are.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Crossing Things off my "List"

I was talking to one of my girlfriends the other day about things I've always wanted in my life, and one of my biggest dreams came to mind: I've always wanted to write a book. I don't have a plot idea, I don't know who I want my audience to be, I just know I want to write. I've always loved literature, and writing has been my passion. The first thing I said to her is, "I know it's not impossible, but my dream is big." To which she replied, "Dreams are supposed to be big."

At that moment, I remembered some of the things I learned at Lifeclass, which really impacted me. Tony Robbins stated, (paraphrased) "Decisions are our destiny. Do something significant, and don't make excuses." The only one who's stopping me from being great is myself. I've made excuses not to move forward, I've stayed in the past, stayed bitter, and sacrifice my happiness. The only one who truly has the power to make me happy and successful is ME. Bishop T.D. Jakes gave the room a reality check with humour and a no non-sense approach to life. He said, it's normal when life is full of chaos. This is what helps us grow as human beings and move on from what went wrong. My favourite metaphor Bishop T.D. Jakes used was comparing chickens to eagles. Chickens stay in their coop all day long, but eagles spread their wings and fly. People who are afraid to experience failure, hide away in their "coops" and never try great things. Meanwhile, those who follow their dreams see their failures as another step closer to their success.

Don't be a chicken in an eagle's world. Be an eagle, spread your wings and fly.

Monday, 16 April 2012

A Day Full of Positivity.

I started my day by attending Oprah's lifeclass in the morning. The show had special guest speakers Deepak Chopra, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Iyanla Vanzant, and last but not least, Tony Robbins. It was a very motivational and inspiration day of seminars on how to be yourself, love yourself, and be proud of yourself. My personal favourite was Tony Robbins. He was so full of energy, which instantly leaked out into the audience. His message was to accept life's challenges, and don't make excuses for yourself. The show went on till afternoon, with no breaks in between. It was fantastic, to say the least.

The weather was gorgeous today. It was the perfect weather to have lunch at the waterfront, so that's just what I did after the show. First, I walked along the boardwalk for a bit, and checked out some of the photography they had on their outdoor display. Afterwards, I did nothing. I just sat their, and enjoyed the view of the water. I did exactly what I learned at Lifeclass: I did not contemplate on yesterday, I did not worry about tomorrow: I lived in the moment. I savoured it and I enjoyed it.

After I was done taking in the fabulous view, I noticed a large building by the lakefront with large animal silhouettes displayed along the sides. As I looked closer, I noticed banners with "Paws Way" written in large, bold letters. I thought Paws Way sounded familiar, but I wasn't exactly sure what it was, so I decided to check it out. It turned out to be an amazing place dedicated to pets. They offer free (and paid) classes for cats and dogs, have a library with animal books, a small store which sells pet products (such as dog leashes, collars, pet clothes, etc.) But what struck me the most was their great Pet Hall of Fame they had way at the back of the facility. It was several walls consisting of Animal Heroes with their head shots, and stories about how they saved their humans. I absolutely love going on a video marathon of watching pet hero stories on youtube, so you can just imagine how excited this wall of fame made me. Imagine: A whole facility dedicated to animals. Furthermore; animal heroes, who've put their lives at risk to save the people they love unconditionally. On a sadder note, they also had a memorial wall, where people can write little messages to their deceased pet and hang it up on a bulletin board. Needless to say, I wrote a note for my late kitty who passed away this passed January (2012.) Amazing... there's no other word I can use to describe it. Just amazing.

All in all, I had a beautiful day.

PS, if you get a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Oprah live, I strongly advise you to do it!

Friday, 13 April 2012

What do you want to do before you die?

So, I've been (amateur) blogging for a couple of years now. One of my blogs is about literary arts, while the other is about culinary arts. (2 of my passions in life). This is a different kind of blog: I wanted to start blogging about ME.

I have always thought of myself as a fairly philosophical thinker. I love finding out why and how things are made, and I always look at things from a much deeper perspective. I like watching movies, and thinking about how a scene is made, I like learning what inspires an author to write his/her best selling novel, and I like learning new recipes, just to name a few.

Lately, I have been looking at LIFE in a different way. I've often asked myself such questions as, "what's the meaning of life?", or "what is my purpose of being here?" Even though I haven't truly answered any of these questions yet... Yesterday, I asked myself another question: "What do I want to do before I die?"

This question was inspired by such movies, TV shows, and books I've watched/read, as The Five People you Meet in Heaven, Yes Man, The Buried Life, and Pay it Forward.

The Buried Life is a TV show (which aired on MTV) about four friends who have a list of 100 things they want to do before they die. In each episode, they try to cross of one of those things. Meanwhile, they also help a complete stranger cross something off of their list. The premise of the show is just so inspiring, and beautiful.

This lead me to start making my own list. I haven't put anything too crazy on my list, but there are many things I want to do, which I've never done. I don't want to share my entire list online (it's very personal to me) but some of the things include bungee jumping, visiting certain countries, eating duck meat, and eating escargot.

 I like to think of myself as a very adventurous person. I love trying new things, and I am open to having new experiences in life. I try to embrace life, and am afraid of very few things.

One of my biggest fears in life is drowning. I have faced this fear and started taking swimming lessons, which is something I've wanted to do every since I was a child.

We are only given one life, the best way to live it, is to live it to it's full potential. So as yourself this... "Am I more afraid living, then I am of dying?"