Friday, June 30, 2006

Facing Your Problems (and confusion) Straight On

Meet Patches, the family feline. Amazingly sociable and friendly, yet, fearless. Patches just turned four years old this month. Because we live in the country, she is an indoor/outdoor cat. We couldn’t turn her into a little princess if we tried. There’s too much to do out here in the woods. Patches has field mice to chase and ground squirrels to torment (she leaves these victims at our front door as gifts) Another thing about Patches, she suffers from gender confusion. She believes she is a tomcat. Her best friend is the neighborhood tom, who has taught her everything he knows about being a tomcat, including spraying things to mark her territory. Oh, nothing happens when she thinks she is spraying something, but she‘s making her point well known.

I will give you another tidbit of information, Patches behaves very much like a dog. That could be because we’ve never been cat people, we were dog people. We adopted Patches’ mother four and a half years ago when she wandered upon our porch one night, skinny and starving. We treated these cats the only way we knew to treat a pet. Like a dog. Our neighbors seem to get a kick out of the fact, Patches follows us everywhere we go. We walk around the neighborhood, she follows us just like … a dog. When it’s time to go home, we whistle and say, “Patches, come!” and she always obeys the command. When she has to do her business, she scratches on the door to let us know and we open it for her go outside. She's never even seen a litter box.  But that is where her similarity to the canine ends. By no means does she care to socialize with the neighborhood dogs. In fact, she is a bona fide dog-hater. If we didn’t know that before, we know it now. We have two new dogs in the neighborhood. A black lab and a white lab. Ebony and Ivory, we call them, although we have no idea what their real names are. In the photo above, you can see that she didn’t take a liking to Ivory and was defending her territory last Friday. No way was she going to let Ivory come on the porch to play with her family. NO-WAY! She nipped that little problem right in the bud. Today however, was a different story. Ebony bypassed Patches somehow, came on the deck and had the audacity to eat her tuna and liver flavored cat food! Paul got home and caught him in the act, just as he was finishing off his meal with her water! Poor Patches, just waking from a little cat nap was down in the yard looking up at Ebony in disbelief, then at Paul in disgust as if to say, “Your going to let him get away with that? You coward! Do I have to do everything around here?” Patches arched her back like a cat and growled like a dog until Ebony decided he’d had all the fun he could stand, then he barked at her and left. I don’t know if Ebony or Patches won that battle. He did leave after she warned him, yet he’d already helped himself to her lunch. So that’s a tough call. Ivory has only come back as close as the driveway, but he’s refused to enter the yard after their standoff last week (which you see up there in the photo) Patches won that battle, hands down.

That’s what I admire about Patches. She may be confused about her gender and she may behave a little like a dog, but she knows that this is her home, by-golly, and no dog is going to come into her yard if she can help it. Of all the times I’ve seen her approached by dogs, I’ve never seen her back down. She stares them down until eventually, they leave.

Five things I’ve learned from my cat:

1. The one who meows the loudest, gets the milk.

2. If you never back down, you’ll win your battles.

3. If you waste your time sleeping, somebody will come along and stomp all over your territory. Stay awake, be watchful!

4. You don’t have to be a male to know your territory and how to claim it

5. If you’re treated like a dog, you’ll act like one.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I Am Still On Planet Earth ...

I tried to post this entry yesterday but my aol browser was not working. It still isn't, but I am posting through Internet Explorer. It's a pain but this motivates me to go computer shopping. By the way, this is my first post to my AOL journal since they've added all the new tools. ... CoooL!  :-)

here goes ~

 Just to prove that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth and to include my AOL-J friends in my latest happenings (however boring my life may be)  - I have decided to finally update my aol journal and my other, non-aol journal. By the way,  If you are not an AOL member and wish to access my non-aol journal, Email me ( and I will send you the link. For some reason, my AOL-J friends are having trouble accessing my other journal and vise versa.  Being the people-pleaser that I am, I am now going to have two journals. It shouldn't be that difficult. Type my entry in MS Word, copy and paste to AOL and other (new) journal, right? Hmm, well, we'll see.

So summer is here and I'll have even less time now to surf the net and update my journal(s) but I am going to try. When I have time, I'm going to buy a new computer because this old one has dealt me fits for too long now and that is another huge reason why I am spending less time online. Since too much time has passed since my last update, it'd take more time than I have for online playing today to catch up. This is what I will do instead - - If you've seen the movie, "Because Of Winn Dixie" you'll get it. It occurred to me that in my three years of online blogging, I really don't get into details about me. So if you're interested:  
- Ten Things About Me -
1. My birthday is July 24th. Next month I am turning 40. Saying that almost makes me hyperventilate.  (oops, that was two things in one)
2. I don't own a house yet, and the thought of not doing so before I'm 40, really depresses me. I have exactly 40 days left to do something about that. :-/
3. (I'm already running out of things to say) Oh! -- I talk to myself too much.
4. I also answer myself. (That's normal, right?)
5. I am still very close to my two best friends from childhood. I've been told that this is rare and very special. I know for sure that they are.
6. I am a true Alabamian. I was born here. I love it here and I never want to move. I've moved out of state twice and I was very homesick both times.  
7. I have Irish and Cherokee blood for sure and I'm uncertain about the rest. I keep saying I'm going to dig deeper into my ancestral roots, but who has time?  It is something I really want to make a priority. 
8. I live in fear most of the time. Of what, I am not sure. I am a creature of habit and anything unfamiliar terrifies me. I was raised to fear (among hundreds of other things) driving and water. Therefore, I hate to drive outside of my city limits and I hate to be in water that is more than waste-deep. I swim like a rock.
9. The above statement makes me feel very angry towards my mom because when I was young and wanted to do those things, she wouldn't let me. She convinced me that I couldn't do them. I've believed her ever since. Isn't it funny how it's easier to believe the negative? Especially when it comes from a parent? I realize that those are her fears, passed down and she thought she was protecting me.
10. Even though I am afraid to drive, I love to travel (as long as someone else is doing the driving) I love the ocean, the lake, and even the pool (the wading pool, that is) I just don't want to get in too deep. Such is life for me. I don't want to get into anything too deep. I guess that would be a fear of intimacy? Commitment? Add those to my long list of fears.
Reading over numbers 8-10, I realize they are all very good reasons to seek therapy.
... I've said too much already and I am sure panic and regret will rush all over me the moment I click the save button.  I should have signed off long ago. My online time is over for today but I am going to get the camera out, and try to get back to my old self, soon. I hope to do some photo-journal stuff again, very soon. I have missed photography and writing. I'm rusty at both. Have a great summer!