So, I may have said this before, but I’ve come to realize that cats who live indoors outlive their natural lifespan. This is why they develop degenerative diseases like diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and dementia. I think the same thing is true of people. People are living much longer than they used to through a combination of better nutrition, better medical care, and better protection from the elements. Not that I am saying that cats (or people) shouldn’t live longer, but everything has its consequences. In my world we have a whole generation of humans in their 50s, 60s, and 70s trying to care for very elderly parents who are in varying degrees of incapacitation and decrepitude, and who typically are to some degree uncooperative with the whole process. Now, you might think that I have no right to an opinion about how long cats or people should live. While I’m perfectly willing to leave the whole business up to the Universe, the fact is, I do have opinions about this and a lot of other things. If I didn’t have opinions, I wouldn’t be writing a blog.

Mike went to see his mother a few days ago. She is 100 years old and severely demented. This time Mike doesn’t think that she knew he was there visiting with her. He says it’s very sad to see her in this condition, so different from the person that she really was, energetic, gregarious, happy. I don’t know anybody who would like to wind up in this advanced stage of dementia. At least cats have the gift of euthanasia to end the misery. People don’t have this luxury. I don’t know what the answer is.

The weather has been very confusing. For several days it was warm, and the birds were singing. The camellias are in bloom and it looks like a lot of other plants are coming up and getting ready for spring. Today it is cold again. So it’s a confusing time, and as I understand it, in the people world it is a confusing time as well. Things seem to be kind of upside down, as if the chickens put the fox in charge of the henhouse. This can’t be good. But eventually the pendulum will swing back in the other direction and sanity will return. I hope too many people and chickens, to say nothing of cats, don’t get hurt in the process.

I will talk to you again later. Have a blessed day.

An Auguration

So, today is the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I only just learned that his given name was actually Michael as was his father’s. His father changed his name to Martin Luther King, and Dr. King subsequently took that name on for himself as well. Dr. King was a great human being and a Great American. He had the courage to take on the enormous challenge of injustice in American society. While he was initially concerned with the need for equal rights for African-Americans, he expanded his mission to that of poor people as well. Mostly, the people who do not admire him are the members of the privileged and elite class in our country. Privilege and class separate people more than race, it seems to me.

Mike has advised me to stay out of political commentary in my blog. He thinks there are enough other people, as well as their dogs and cats, who already have a lot to say about what is going on in this country. So I have to respect Mike’s opinion, but at the same time, this is my blog and after all, Georgia Cat Speaks! So, I just want to say, that a certain individual who shall remain nameless, has had unkind things to say about 2 great Americans from opposite sides of the political spectrum, John McCain and John Lewis. It’s hard to imagine  men of greater integrity and courage. Regardless of a person’s political philosophy, you just have to admire them. Go online and read their biographies. (You might want to read about Dr. King as well.) You have to be proud of a country that produces people of such good character. The character traits that I admire the most are those in which people can place their personal interest aside and stand up for what is right for everyone. They are the givers, not the takers. They are the lovers, not the haters. But maybe you don’t agree with me. Feel free to make comments.

I understand that there is going to be an auguration in the next few days. I heard that there  have been some problems getting people to sing in this auguration. I have taken the trouble to look into this to some extent. I had thought that possibly I could volunteer myself and my Backyard Soprano cohorts to participate in the auguration. But as I looked into it, I thought that possibly we should stay out of the whole thing. It turns out that an augur is an omen, often of something bad that’s about to happen. So this auguration sounds like it might be the initiation of something bad, possibly very bad, that might be about to happen. Omen, by the way, should not be confused with omentum, which is a membranous layer of fatty and fibrous tissue that covers the intestines and organs in the lower abdomen.

But auger spelled with an “e” is something different altogether. It is a drill bit or a screw, a sharp tool with a helical shaft that is used for making holes. And a tool is a person who has limited mental capacity, who is easily manipulated. A tool is a fool, a schmuck (metaphorically). So, whether it is an auguration or an augeration, I think the whole event is something that I might get involved with and later feel ashamed that I did so. A bit of feline wisdom that I have been taught, and almost always adhere to, is this. If, when you consider  doing something the feeling of shame arises within you, you had better not do it. I must say that following this advice has served me well more than once in my life. So, I’ll just sing in the back yard according to my usual custom.

By the way, when the snow melted in the back yard there was still a patch of white which I investigated. It was rabbit fur. I could still smell the coyotes in the area. It’s a dangerous world, and I suggest that you be very careful. There will always be people and coyotes who want to hurt you, kill you, lock you up, or take away what you have. It’s a competitive world out there and some people are like coyotes: very dangerous, and with no scruples.

Have a nice day.

Elmoo and Elvis

So, with the end of the year it’s always natural to think back on the events of the year and particularly about loved ones who have passed. Mike wanted me to mention, in particular, his mother’s first cousins Robert and Helen. You hear people say all the time that so-and-so is the world’s nicest guy, but I want you to know, that the world’s nicest guy was Robert, and now that he has gone the world is diminished because of it. He lived a long life and brought comfort and joy to many. He was certainly a patient and loving husband and father. He was 98 years old when he passed. If Robert was the world’s nicest guy, then Helen was as kind as a person could be. I think she was my mother’s best friend. Helen was renowned as a manager not only of her own affairs but those of the many other people that she came in contact with, particularly her family members. This is a common characteristic  of the oldest daughter of a large family which she most certainly was. She was 96 years old when she passed. Mike and Judy loved them both very much, and they will be missed.

On the feline side of things, we lost my cousin Elmo this year. Elmo lived with Amy, who was a devoted guardian. Elmo was a black and white cat with patterns like a Holstein cow. In fact, Judy used to refer to Elmo as Elmoo. If you’re not familiar with the Holstein by name, you have most certainly seen the Holsteins in fast food commercials urging you to eat more chicken, dreadfully spelled in a manner that is supposed to reflect the lack of education of said Holsteins. This is supposed to be amusing. I think it was amusing at first when the ad campaign started many years ago in 1995, but they have certainly milked it for everything it’s worth.

We can’t be the only family that has lost loved ones in the past year. One of the hardest things in life is letting go of people and pets that we love. We also know that the holidays always bring back memories of loved ones we have lost in previous years, sometimes many years ago. Today, for example, is Elvis Presley’s birthday. He was born on January 8, 1935. Most people don’t know that he had a twin who was stillborn. After becoming one of the most important cultural icons of the 20th Century, his life degenerated into overindulgence of various sorts, especially prescription drug use.  He died in 1977 at the age of 42.  Success and fame overwhelmed him, sad to say. Thankfully, there is no chance of anything like that happening to anyone in our little family.

Today is also the 40th anniversary of Mike’s marriage to Gena, Michelle’s mother. He is in a reflective mood, but seems happy with his life. Gena died in 1977, the same year as Elvis. She had cancer, and actually died of complications of chemotherapy. That hurt Mike terribly, but life goes on, and the Universe provides us with the capacity to heal from our wounds. Judy and Mike have been happily married since 1995. Judy has had the unique capacity to know that Mike is fully involved in his love for her, without needing for his love for Gena to be diminished in any way. We have been most blessed as a family, Michelle included.

It is very cold outside today. We had an ice storm a couple of days ago, and there are still patches of ice on the sidewalks and streets. I don’t know what it is like where you live, but if it is anything like what we have here in Marietta, I advise you to stay indoors and be safe if you are able to do so.

We hope that all of our readers experience nothing but joy in 2017. And if you are sad, we pray for your speedy healing and restoration.


Fleas and the Meaning of Life

So, the holidays are over, although there is an extra day this year because Christmas and New Year’s Day came on Sunday. So, Monday is also taken as a holiday. Not that it makes any difference to a cat like me, except that Mike has been home more because he has had another four-day weekend. It has been very wet outside the last few days. I have been getting soaked just walking across the grass. So I just got back home and gave myself a good washing. At least I don’t have to worry about fleas. I get some medicine every once in a while that protects me from the little buggers. My mother used to say that fleas are one of God’s mistakes. They are incredibly vexing at best and they spread serious disease as well. But of course, God has really not made any mistakes. The universe is created in such a way that every environment invites life. So if there is a niche, living things fill it, and not only that, but they compete with each other for the space. Things will live where one would never imagine that anything could survive. From the bottom of the ocean to coldest environment at the tallest mountain tops, there are things that live. Or so I am told. I hear a lot of speculation about whether there are other worlds where life exists now or whether it has existed in the past. Humans are working their way towards an expedition to Mars. There is probably nothing alive there now, but I would be surprised if there hasn’t been life on Mars in the past. There must be millions of places in the universe where life has existed, does exist, or will exist. It is only either people’s arrogance or lack of imagination that leads them to believe that this planet of ours is the only one where life can be found. This is the same sort of arrogance and lack of imagination that leads people to believe that they are the highest life form on earth. What doubt could there be that cats are the most advanced of all God’s creatures, at least spiritually? But I digress. Holidays are always a lot of fun. Some of Judy’s family came to the house, and it was nice to see them. We exchanged presents, and there’s always something for the cats. The best presents are yummy cat treats, but the little toys are fun to play with as well. And it is always a pleasure to be admired.

Our neighbor at the end of the block has just walked by, walking his cat, Pinky. When I say he walks his cat, I mean that he walks, and he carries the cat. This is rather amusing, don’t you think? Some of the  neighborhood cats think that Pinky is aloof because she never lets her paws touch the ground. But I believe she is not so much aloof as aloft. I think  it is part of her guardian’s strategy to keep her from getting the above-mentioned fleas. Most cats would never allow themselves to be carried around like a loaf of bread, but she seems to tolerate the experience, if not enjoy it. It is funny how different we cats can be in our personalities, and retain such commonalities at the same time. By the way, some people object to the use of the word personality referring to cats, because cats are not people. But the word is not people-ality, it’s personality. I think every living thing that has a sense of itself can be thought of as having its own personality, and humans can just get over it. People think that just because it appears to them that they are the only truly sentient beings this makes them special. They think that they’re the only beings that think about the fact that they think about themselves, who they are, where they came from, and what it all means. I think the people who achieve the greatest enlightenment are the ones who are the most like cats. Watch a cat meditate sometime, and you’ll get an idea of what I mean. It is only in any given present moment that one can be in direct contact with the universe, and by extension, with the Master of the universe. Think about it, and enjoy the moment.