Category Archives: Personal

A Tail of Two Cats

It was the best of times, it was the…. oops, wrong story.

We last had a cat about 17 years ago and have been talking about getting another pet. Last year I made some inquires with a few local cat breeders, but there were no kittens available. On August 9th we went to the Seattle Humane Society’s Catapalooza event to check out the cats. We definitely were only going to look.
At the adoption center we walked around and looked at the various available pets. I found a shorthair tabby named Jack that was extremely outgoing. He never stopped rubbing my hand while I was petting him. I picked him up with no problem – some cats do not like to be picked up. Kate and the kids also looked at Jack and seemed to bond with him very quickly.
We decided to adopt Jack and filled out the paperwork. When we sat down with a staff member we learned that Jack was closely bonded with his brother Nikki and they had to be adopted as a pair. At that time we didn’t think we wanted two cats. We walked around some more and thought we might look at Jack’s brother who was hiding behind the cat furniture when we were looking at Jack. We talked to the staff member again and requested to see Nikki. He turned out to be a big cat with much the same coloration as his brother.
After a short discussion and encouragement from our daughter (she has two cats), we decided to take the plunge. We are glad we took these two guys home. They are currently staying in a bathroom until they get used to us. They come out for short periods under supervision to explore their new home.
Jack and Nikki have great personalities. Jack is the intrepid explorer. He sticks his nose into everything and is very active. He is never too busy to come over to be petted and have a conversation. Nikki is more of the gentle giant. He is 17 pounds of lap filling love. He has bonded with Kate and has quickly become her baby. He waits for her to get home and spends the evening snuggled up next to Kate in her chair.

Jack

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Nikki

nikki

 

 

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The Blues

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As the holiday season approaches the pressure seems to take a sharp rise. Exactly what the pressure is I am not sure. Perhaps the pressure is caused by the expectations I place on myself. For the last few years the holidays have brought a feeling of emptiness. Yes, I am with my wife and children and am thankful. Many years ago there was a bit of magic associated with this time of year. I often blame the blues I experience on the extreme commercialization that takes place months before the holidays. When I was a child there was not a sign of Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Now it seems to be unusual for Christmas displays not to appear before Halloween is over.

I have experienced depression for many years if not all of my adult life. Recently I participated in a depression and anxiety group. I learned that as bad as I thought my depression was it was pretty much minor league. There are some who have crawled into a hole and have begun to pull the dirt in on themselves. At least these individuals recognized their depression and sought help. I learned that depression is a downward spiral fueled by one’s own thoughts. In the group we were given tools to recognize depression and what triggers it. We practiced techniques to fight and help prevent depression.

There is a well-known prayer that asks for the strength to change what we are able to and accept what we cannot change. Acceptance is not always pleasant or easy. I can change my perception of the world and the people around me. Life is not waiting for the storm to clear. Life is learning to dance in the rain.

I am aware that I will never be completely free of depression. I do know that I will be okay. I also know I am loved and for me, that is enough.