Thursday, August 30, 2007
All of us here at Cat On My Head send our love to Karl over at The Cat Realm, and to the human staff. Beloved Anastasia has been missing since August 21st, and the animal communicator says she is no longer here with us. She says that in the expanded enerergy Anastasia is now in, she is feeling like she is the SUN!
This post is to raise money for a very worthy cause- helping young people who are going through upheaval in their lives. The DreamTree Project, in Taos, New Mexico, provides a safe, structured place to live for up to 16 homeless youth, ages 16 to 24. These youth are helped to regain balance in their lives, become empowered through personal growth, and learn life skills they will need to make it on their own. Youth can live at DreamTree for up to two years, while healing from the past, and preparing for the future.
Now the DreamTree Project is getting ready to open 'The Tree House', which will be an emergency youth shelter for kids ages 13 to 17, who are in crisis at home. Soon, rather than running away to the streets or other dangerous situations, these young people will be able to come to The Tree House. They'll have a safe place to stay for up to 14 days, while receiving services and advocacy to improve their home situations. There's a great need for this in Taos. In spite of the amazing beauty of this area, poverty and domestic violence are high, and it is often the children who suffer.
On September 9th, the 2nd annual Walkathon fundraiser will be held in Taos, to raise money for The Tree House. You can read about the event HERE. If you live near Taos, please come join us! In conjunction with the Walkathon, friends & supporters of DreamTree are raising money, and so I'm asking my blog readers for donations, all of which will go to support the opening of The Tree House. Last year's Walkathon raised $29,000. This year we hope to raise even more. Also last year, generous friends of DreamTree provided funding to purchase the house that is being turned into The Tree House.
If your heart is telling you to help, please click on the orange ChipIn button in the box below, and you can leave a donation through PayPal. I'll be collecting these donations, and then passing them on to DreamTree on the day of the Walkathon, September 9th. If you'd like a tax deductible receipt for your donation, please let me know, and I'll see that one is sent to you.
(My personal fundaiser for DreamTree has now ended, with $360 raised. If you would still like to give a donation, to help support DreamTree, you can do so by clicking here HERE . Thanks!)
If you have any questions about DreamTree Project, or The Tree House, please ask! DreamTree Project is a non-profit organization, funded entirely by grants and donations, so fund raisers like this are vital to keeping it alive. I thank you all in advance for your generosity, whether you're able to contribute $1 or $100, it is GREATLY appreciated, and will go to make positive changes in a child's life.
In closing, I'd like to leave you with a poem I wrote about my little sister, Temple, back in 2002, when I first became familiar with the DreamTree Project. I believe that if there had been a place like DreamTree for Temple to have gone to when she was a teenager it might have changed the course of her life, and she might still be alive today. That is the potential impact programs such as DreamTree can have on a troubled young person's life.
When I was eleven and you were six,
you didn't believe the grown-ups,
when they told you that Dad was dead.
But he was, he was (just like Mom).
You believed it when I told you.
You believed me, when you were little.
When did you stop believing me?
Was it when you were 15,
and were thrown out of the house,
unwanted again, and on your own?
Or was it a year or so later,
when I found you cowering in my kitchen,
waving around that butcher knife,
in a panic of fear,
because your coke dealer
had just tried to rape you?
Did you believe me when I visited you
in the state mental hospital
(scary, scary, scary),
where they'd put you
when you'd said you would kill yourself?
I know you didn't believe me
when you drank that last bottle of vodka,
and then sliced the razor up your arm,
to let the blood flow out.
But maybe NOW you believe me again,
now that you are dead.
Maybe now you've found peace.
Because I tell you:
There IS peace,
and there IS love,
and there IS joy.
And I hope you believe me now.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Since the moon was eclipsing Tuesday morning, I was outside taking photos. I wanted to share some of them with you, from before it eclipsed. I know these are poorly focused, but they have a certain atmosphere to them that I find very appealing, as the moon plays peek-a-boo with the clouds.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
In an earlier post, I posted a collage of stamps off of old letters sent to me from Japan by my friend Jilla. A reader of that post, Terence Chang, left a comment asking if I had any mail from China. I said no, but that if I ever did get any, I'd post it for him. Well, just yesterday I got a postcard mailed from China by Carol, the 'mother' of Sylvester the cat. So Terence, as promised, here it is:
Thursday, August 23, 2007
In an earlier post, I included an old letter my little sister Temple wrote to me. In one section she spoke about what she'd been told of our early childhood, before our parents died and we were sent away to different places. She said: "it sounded like we were real animals". Well, maybe our parents thought so too, as they put us outside in a sort of a cage. You can see us in it below.
I'm guessing the cage, or pen, was around 8 feet square. I only have vague memories of being put in there, but there is this photo for evidence. Perhaps one of my older siblings will clear this matter up for me. I don't know if they were put in there as young children too. Temple and I were probably put in there to keep us from wandering off. It was probably well intentioned. Still, I haven't talked to anyone else who was put outside in a cage as a child. Were YOU?
Holding my sister Temple, in our outside cage, 1960
(wire mesh side of cage visible behind me if you look closely)
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
When I was in my early twenties, there was a time when my keepers wandered off, leaving me within reach of a tube of black paint. Below you can see the results.
I wonder if this might have been a brief regression to some primal past life I have yet to recall consciously.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Rexie's Auntie MaLu sent me a lovely flax seed eye pillow, to help me sleep better during the day. I enjoyed it very much. But then Rexie decided it should be HIS. So he staked out his claim...
He noticed how nice it felt, mushing the little seeds beneath his paws:
But then he thought about some of the other cats who have blogs and are so fashionable, like Daisy and Skeezix, and it suddenly struck him that this could be just the accessory he'd been needing. And Rexie's new hat was born:
Rexie knew, even without me telling him, that he looked pretty darn spiffy in his hip new hat.
But then his hat got sort of heavy, and it weighed his head down.
And he started getting sleepy, and he thought to himself, 'Maybe this hip hat would make a good pillow..."
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Having fairly well developed intuition as I do, I'm aware that visitors to this blog have been hoping that I would some day post the footprint that was made from my wee foot on the day I was born. And, good news, your wish is my command, at least in this instance. Here it is:
So... my foot has gotten quite a bit larger since then, and I've also left that original weight of 7 pounds far, far, FAR behind me. (Pass the Twinkies, please.) Note that the top of the sheet says footprints, plural, as in more than one. But, alas, I was apparently born with only one foot, as shown above. You'll no doubt be relieved to learn that I did grow a second foot at some later point. In fact, from my earliest memories, I had two complete feet, and happily so.
And now I sense you are wondering: Well, what did she look like a few years later? Here's your answer:
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Artus was SO sad when he did not win the wooden monkeys prize in the great contest Jeter Harris & his squillion, Laffin an Laffin, put on last month. Only ONE lucky cat could win the wooden monkeys, and that cat was the ultra cool Skeezix. Artus was mopin' an mopin'... he didn't even want to play in his favorite toy, the tunnel. He just sat beside it, looking forlorn. I felt bad for him, but I didn't know how to cheer him up.
BUT THEN, I got an e-mail from Karl, one of the cats over at The Cat Realm. He said he was going to send out a monkey magnet to all the cats who didn't win the wooden monkeys in the contest!! How thoughtful and generous that Karl is!
When I told Artus, he seemed pleased, but I'm not sure he really believed it. He'd never gotten mail from Karl, or any other cat, before. He didn't want to get his heart set on the monkey magnet, like he did on those wooden monkeys, and get all dissapointed again. So, he sat down by the window and waited for the mailhuman to bring him his monkey magnet from Karl. He stayed right by that window, day after day, waiting and watching.
To be continued...
(several days pass, while I'm busy elsewhere)
... and now,
the rest of the story:
So Artus waited by the window, day after day. It seemed to him as if he was waiting forever. but it wasn't really all that long before the day came. Artus watched as the mail human brought a bigger than normal envelope, and it had HIS name written on it!!
Yep, sure enough, it was from Karl. I opened it up for Artus, and out came a WONDERFUL magnet with a wise and fashionable looking monkey on it, and these memorable words: "Owning a wooden monkey does not make you a better cat!" Hearing that made Artus feel SO much better. He knew he didn't have to be sad anymore. He began playing in his tunnel toy again.
And I put the monkey magnet up on the refrigerator, where all the cats can see it from the cat feeding station. And that's the happy ending to this story, with special BIG THANKS to Karl, from me and from Artus!
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Yes indeed, today I am feeling the schmooze, because I've been given the schmooze award, not once, but TWICE, in the past few days. I'd like to extend my gratitude to both Sindhu, over at Under The Sun, and Awannabe over at Awannabe's Hangout, who chose to bestow this award upon me here at Cat On My Head.
Here's what Mike, one of the originators of this award, and the human behind the wonderful Gummy The Lovesick Alien, had to say about it: "Schmoozing as defined by Dictonary.com is the ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.” When it comes to blogging, schmoozing is your ticket to making new friends, getting yourself noticed and building a reputation. Some bloggers are gifted with the ability to effectively schmooze and others not so much."
What amuses me about being given this particular award, is that I am so UNschmoozey in my offline life! When I'm not at work, I really do live a hermit's life, and happily so. My socializing is done with cats, not with humans. But, online, I've discovered that I really do enjoy being a part of the blogging community, and participating in social networking sites like Blog Catalog.
Now, as it often goes with these blog awards, and memes, I am supposed to pass this on to 5 other schmoozey bloggers. And this is where I fall down in my responsibilities. BUT... If YOU, dear reader, are a blogger, and you're feeling the schmooze, just leave a comment saying that (include the specific words "I feel the schmooze"), and I will nominate the first 5 of you for the schmooze award. So tell me, are ya feelin' it??
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Here's the scene a foot or so from my computer- there are usually one or two cats there, but tonight it got a bit more crowded. Gracie is also up there, to the left, but she didn't fit into the photo.
And then, just a few minutes later, Gamma and Rexie jumped down, so Fieldsie and Boo had more room to stretch out.
I was lying out on the hammock in the dark a little earlier tonight, and there was just enough light left to notice once again how full and bushy the willow tree above the hammock is this summer. It is full of new growth.
There are several enormous old willow trees on this property. I had told my landlord that they needed trimming, as there were many old, dead limbs hanging out which could come crashing onto the roof of this little house I rent. The landlord hired someone to come and trim away the dead growth on the trees closest to the house, but left a few other trees untouched.
I went out tonight, in the dark, unable to see exactly what I was photographing, and took photos, first of one of the uncut trees, still hanging onto its old dead parts, and then the tree above the hammock, trimmed clean and showing its vibrant new growth.
And I realized that I am also full of new growth, like that tree. And, like the trees, it involved first letting go of old growth, to make space for the new to come. My new growth doesn't show as much on the outside, like the tree growth does, but it's there all right.
I was looking at myself in the mirror tonight, and noticing that I looked younger. And I said to my reflection: "It's because I have released the Demon of Misery which I'd been holding onto for so long." Yes. I have. I have finally let go of the Demon of Misery. And I know that this demon was one of my own creations, so it was mine, and only mine, to deconstruct. It was my personal life responsibility as a Human Creator. I could have chosen not to let go of my Demon of Misery, it would have been just as valid a choice, but I'm glad I chose release, instead. My reflection in the mirror smiled back at me, agreeing with all I said and thought.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I am pleased as punch to announce that my post from the other day about my Grandma Julia has been awarded the 'Post of the Day' by Judd Corizan over at The Rising Blogger, as seen HERE. Thanks, Judd! Each day Rising Blogger features one post to have the honor of that day's spotlight. It's a great idea, and it's worth visiting Rising Blogger to see what Judd has chosen each day.
Judd asks winners of the Post of the Day award to nominate a favorite post by another blogger. I thought long and hard, and I have made my nomination. "Which post? Which post?" I hear you wondering. Well, I'm not saying! Hah! All I will say is that I talked it over with 8 out of 9 of my cats, over tuna & cream, and we came to a unanimous decision. Judd, over at Rising Blogger, has been notified of our most excellent choice. Why did only 8 of the 9 cats participate in the decision? Well, because Boo was outside hunting bats, and could not be lured in for our important blog post nomination meeting. Any other questions?
Friday, August 10, 2007
I never met her, just as I never met her husband, my grandfather, Herman Aaron. Her son, my father, was 4 years old when that photographic portrait of his mother was made. I was born 40 years later. My father is shown below, as a young man, in a World War II era photo.
The generations roll on, we come and we go, leaving behind dust that smells of time long gone, like the dust that floated out to tickle my nose when I removed my grandmother's photograph from its frame. I honor my ancestors as best I can, by placing their images here.