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4 + 4 Weeks: Happy New Year and All That Jazz #cats #stress-busters #nature

Well, hello, 2021! So far, it’s looking good. At least for me since I’ve been living in my comfortable, do-not-wear-in-public, sometimes-wear-to-bed clothes since January 1. Of course, by the time you all read this, I’ll be in regular work garb. But only another 4+4 weeks of that.

I expect January to be a stressful month but I’ll try to go with the flow, reminding myself that I’m doing the best I can do. The challenge will be to take care of myself. As you all know, walking is a great stress-buster for me. Well, it’s been rainy this weekend so no nature trails. I did manage a morning walk in my neighborhood on New Year’s Day, before the rains came, and saw a bird on a wire.

Actually a big bird on a wire: the neighborhood red-shouldered hawk surveying his territory. A few days ago I saw two hawks on the same wire. We’ve had generations of hawks in my neighborhood, with this last generation seemingly at ease among humans, or maybe they’re just unimpressed.

Since we haven’t gone for a nature walk, I took a few photos of my micro-mini-rain forest aka my backyard. Here’s the wide view:

I love the Pano setting on my iPhone, but here’s some individual shots for a more up-close and personal feel:

I have all my plants on the deck because I was afraid they would drown if they couldn’t drain properly. A few of them love water, but it’s been raining steady for two days. Their cups runneth over.

Can you guess what my other great stress buster is? You got it! CATS! And now that I have four, I have plenty of opportunities for stress busting. Right now, though, Raji is hogging the camera.

Isn’t this little guy fricking adorable! Yes, folks, Raji loves to be petted AND brushed! (The other three have to be “in the mood” for brushing — “eye roll.”)

We’ve come a long way with Raji since we brought him into our garage in early November. Then he’d flinch and move away if we reached out to him. After about a week, he let me lightly caress his head while he ate. Fast forward to now, we have a routine of petting and brushing him for a few minutes before every meal. On his own, he started “flopping” down onto his side during this ritual, lying still while he’s being brushed or rolling on his back and being playful. He kneads and kneads and kneads and kneads. He even kneads his stainless steel food bowl.

I wish I knew Raji’s history. I can only imagine he was taken from his mother too soon and then neglected. We have not integrated him into our household yet. We’re rather anxious about that because he won’t be able to live in the garage during the summer. Even spring might be too hot. We have allowed Maxine, our oldest, to go into the garage to meet Raji. He is very curious about her and seems to want to be friends, but she wants nothing to do with him. She’ll hiss and then exit, probably pissed off that there’s another cat in the house.

When our three indoor kitties are sequestered for their midday meal, we let Raji come into the house proper and roam around. We’re thinking that as he becomes familiar with the house, he’ll feel less intimidated whenever we start the formal meet-and-greet meetings. At least, he’ll know how to find his way back to the garage. The most important thing is to never let Raji feel cornered.

Here’s another one of my stress-busters, the ever demure Wendy.

The look on her face means: “Stop taking pictures and feed me already!” Can’t you just feel the love … lol.

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

Categories: Cats Nature

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

27 replies

    1. Thanks, Linda! Life with Raji is still two steps forward and one step back. He still harbors some fearfulness, probably a result of living outdoors too soon for too long. Happy New Year!

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  1. Happy New Year! Beautiful back yard and such sweet kitties. I also use walking and kitties as stress busters. Having recently lost my second 17 year old kitty, I’m still in grief and also have not been able to motivate myself to walk. I’ve agreed to adopt an 11 year old kitty whose owner passed away. She’s due to arrive on Thursday, if the owner’s daughter can really let her go. She travels and feels unable to keep her, but has become quite attached. I feel lost in this all too familiar land of grief lately. Your post was lovely to read and helped me to remember…..

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    1. I think it would be wonderful if you adopted another kitty, especially an older one. You have so much love to give and it might ease your grief a bit to have a distraction such as a cat needing your attention ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Hahahaha … yeah, Maxine is indeed a diva! As long as Raji shows her the proper respect, all will be well ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you for your kind words about our backyard ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. It’s been nice following Raji’s movement into your family. I look forward to reading about his continuing blending with the other kitties. I wish you calm and the successful passage of time for the next 4+4 weeks.

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    1. Thank you, Ellen. I’m looking forward to the passage of time for so many reasons, not just my retirement but also the beginning of a new administration. After January 6 though, I don’t think I’ll be able to relax for a long, long time ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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  3. I admire you for trying to get Raji acclimated to what could be for him a better life. I don’t know how you explain that to a stray cat, but I’m sure you’ll figure out a way! Your photos are lovely. It is bleak and dreary here so seeing some outside color is joyful.

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  4. Maybe Maxine thinks he’s a 2nd class citizen because he’s in garage and she’s being snooty. Are you going to introduce him through a door once like Jackson Galaxy (I think it’s him) suggests? Feeding cats on both sides at the same time? Stuff like that?
    Your blog is becoming this gorgeous photography blog btw!!!!!

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    1. Hey, Luanne, my blog just might wind up being a photography blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Maxine thinks all other cats are second-class citizens … lol. We’re taking it really slow with the feline introductions. So far no fights, just hissing and running away.

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