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!
Marie A Bailey
Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.