I cannot pretend to be upbeat and positive. I want to be. I was at the beginning of the month but events–both national and local–have left me feeling sad and often scared. While I’m writing this post, I’m listening to a podcast that a relative (by marriage) publicly shared on Facebook.
Yes, I should know better. For months now I’ve read this relative’s public posts with the sinking feeling that it wouldn’t be long before this relative embraced all the most ludicrous and bizarre conspiracy theories shared by the mob that stormed the Capitol. Well, this relative’s slide into the abyss of disinformation is complete. And that makes me sad … and a bit scared because there are obviously plenty of other people who believe as this relative does and a lot of them are willing, perhaps even eager, to use violence.
So … kind of hard to feel upbeat and positive, but I need to get up every morning. My cats and my husband depend on me to do so. They are my welcomed distractions.
Here’s one distraction who probably doesn’t need an introduction. Things are going well with Raji albeit slow. My goal is still to get him into a pet carrier, but he’s fast and has great reflexes. We’ve tried feeding him inside a carrier, in the hope that he’ll relax and not notice us slowly coming up behind him. Eh, he doesn’t relax. Usually he keeps a back foot or two outside the carrier so he can quickly back out and get away. The least sense of movement from either of us and he’s off! So we recently purchased a pet carrier built for two.
The trick with this carrier is not in getting him all the way into it–he will do that when he’s eating–but in getting the “door” zipped up before he can escape.
Meanwhile, we continue with our before-meal-petting routines.
Can you see his sharp little claws in the last photo? Right now that’s the main reason I want to get him back to the vet: nail trim! Besides being such a cutie-patootie, he is still allowing me to pick him up, but only when I’m sitting on the floor and I follow this procedure:
- put gentle pressure on his back until he’s prone
- firmly place my hands on either side of his rib cage and under his shoulders
- slowly lift up, making sure his back is to me at all times
- hold for one, two, maybe three seconds
- slowly lower down to the floor
- loosen “grip” on his sides so that my hands caress him as he launches away from me.
It’s fun, and it gives me hope. For the most part, we do have fun with Raji. Recently we’ve allowed our other kitties to be around during his supervised visits to the house interior. No fights so far. Nothing worse than Junior hissing and Raji running back for the garage. He’s curious about the other cats, but leaves them alone if they get hissy (thank goodness!).
It’s been cold here and we’ve been too busy for Greg and me to go on a nature walk. So, here’s a few of the plants I’ve been tending the last several months. I am quite impressed by these lovelies. I do shelter them on nights when the temps are below or near freezing, but it still impresses me how resilient they are.
This bromeliad was gift from a coworker. I’ve had it for over a year now, and it’s already bloomed once. I’m thrilled to see that it plans to bloom again.
I purchased this Red Penta a couple of months ago, shortly before our temps turned wintry. Butterflies and perhaps hummingbirds are attracted to the red flowers.
This here is a white-flowered butterfly bush. What you are seeing are new leaves interspersed with old. I find it so fascinating that this bush is continually pushing out new leaves. The white blossoms won’t appear until spring.
I feel a lot pride in this Scarlet Salvia. My husband bought it a couple of years ago and then complained that “it never bloomed.” I guess it’s one thing to tend to trees and large bushes, but a potted plant is something else. By the time I took an interest, it was already quite “leggy.” The soil was bone-dry. I started to water it. It is a water hog. It requires twice as much water as all the other plants. After a month or two, red shoots started to appear and before too long we had blossoms. And it has not stopped blooming since! It’s a miracle! In spring, I plan to prune it back, once it has access to plenty of warmth and sunshine to spur new growth.
I am grateful for these distractions: my cats, my husbands, and my plants. I’m also grateful for all of you who bring light and love into my life.
Stay well, safe, and as happy as you can be.
Marie A Bailey
Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.