A Tale of Twin Kitties

They were the best of kitties, they were the worst of kitties.  Hahaha, no, that’s not true.  They are good kitties.

‘Lil Puppet

‘Lil Puppet

This cat story starts almost 3 years ago, when we first got two barn cats, aka assassain kitties.  Our yard was being taken over by ground squirrels and these two kitties were hired.  Papi & Puppet have been awesome.  They took their job seriously.  Then, one year ago, Uni came into our lives and home and our assassin kitties only came home in the cover of darkness.  Eventually Puppet stopped coming at all.

After 6 months of not seeing even a glimpse of Puppet, we started to consider getting another assassin kitty. 

Uni the fearsome. Scarer of Assassin Kitties

Uni the fearsome. Scarer of Assassin Kitties


As luck would have it, a friend told me that a stray mama cat had recently given birth in their backyard.  They waited for the kittens to get big enough and then called the local shelter to see about having them adopted.  Unfortunately, they waited too long and the shelter said they are now considered feral and not adoptable (they are not cat people and didn’t know these things).  However, they gave them kitty traps and once caught, they took them in to be fixed, ear clipped (marks them as fixed feral cats should they ever get caught again) and then released back on to their property.  

Papi Chulo

Papi Chulo

One of the household members is severely  allergic to cats. Even having the kittens romping and playing outside her window was sending her into an attack.  So I told her if they caught one we would take it.  

The next day we came home with Lou.  We weren’t sure of gender, so we though Louie was perfect.  Short of Louis or Louise, we’d figure that part out later.  When one gets a barn/street cat, it’s important to kennel it on the property for several weeks, so it learns that there is food, shelter and safety at the location.  The kennel we used for Papi & Puppet needs some cleaning and repair work, so we are using a large dog crate in the meantime.

Lou, the escape artist

Lou, the escape artist

NotLou

NotLou

We set up the dog crate, put in all the necessities and locked Lou up in the slammer.  Around 11 pm I heard a familiar cat’s meow.  In complete shock, I looked outside only to see Puppet.  Alive, well and back in our yard.  I guess we will be  a 3 cat house now.  Somewhere around 3 am I was woken by a different cat’s meow.  It was much softer.  Our new assassin kitty was singing the song of it’s people. I let Lou sing and fell back asleep. 

When I got up the next day and looked in the crate, Lou was gone.  Turns out there was a bar missing on one section of the crate, making a hole just big enough for a smol kitten to fit through.  I was devastated.  I looked around our yard, my son looked up and down the street… no kitty to be found.  

I went to the local hardware store and picked up a live animal trap.  Made for cats, opossum, and raccoons.  The gal at the store happened to volunteer at a local cat rescue and told me to get Tuna in oil to help entice the kitten.  We set the trap up in our front yard, I assumed Lou would not be tempted to come in our backyard because of the dogs.   We caught nothing the first night.  I moved the trap to a different location out front  for the next night.   Meanwhile, my friend messages me and tells me that they caught another grey kitty…did we want it?  I said yes without hesitation.  

This kitty, NotLou, looked just like Lou, only smaller.  We repaired the hole in the crate, looked it over very carefully to make sure there was no escape routes and released NotLou into the crate.  NotLou is not fond of the dogs, hissing and spitting at them if they look too long.  Mostly I’m trying to keep the dogs away and trying to make NotLou feel safe.

We manage to keep NotLou safely in the crate for hours! Just before going to sleep, I looked outside because I heard a small cat meow.  I assumed it was NotLou.  However, it wasn’t.  It was LOU!!! standing outside NotLou’s crate.  YAY!  (Except now we have 4 cats!!!!!).  Lou won’t let us get close at all, but who cares, he’s alive and in our backyard!   

We drift off to sleep, all is right with the world.  Except it’s not.  NotLou sings to Lou.  Lou sings to NotLou.  They both sing…for hours.  By 4 am both Ben & I are exhausted and ready to send the kittens packing.  Instead I give Ben my noise canceling headphones and I used some earbuds.  We both get some much needed sleep, albeit not nearly enough.

Morning comes, the cat food I left out for Lou is gone (so is Lou), NotLou is in his bed, both food and water have been ingested.  Now all is right with the world! Right? Right???  Nope.  

I look out front and see that the trap has been sprung.  The door is shut.  I know we didn’t catch Lou, I’m praying it’s a neighborhood cat and not a wild creature.  I move the towel covering the cage, see whitish fur and start talking to the white kitty I think is in the trap.  Until I notice a very long, thick tail.  We caught a opossum.  I actually like opossum, I know that’s a bit of an unpopular opinion, but there it is.  I lift the other side of the towel to see the face of the opossum and this is where it gets awful.  

Captured….

Captured….


The opossum tried to chew it’s way out and in the process got his jaw stuck in between the wires of the cage.  It was doing what opossums do…playing dead.  Except I thought it was really dead.  (They are so good at that!!!).  I am freaking out a bit, at a loss as to what to do.  I have to wake Evan for an early morning PT appointment, animal control isn’t open for two more hours and I have a dead opossum in my front yard.  Both boys get out of bed to look at the opossum.  Owen swears he sees it move.  I tell him he’s crazy, I killed it with a trap that wasn’t supposed to kill.  I’m getting worked up at this point… exhaustion and hysteria setting in nicely.  


Warning: Graphic Image Below

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We have to leave in 15 minutes when I, too, see the darn thing move.  This is where I lost it.  Completely lost it. This poor creature is stuck, scared, bleeding and trying to get free.  I’m sobbing, Emma is comforting me, boys are getting dressed and gloved up to see what they can do.  I am useless.   They get intimidated once outside and couldn’t quite bring themselves to touch it.  It’s back to playing dead.  Owen gets close and looks carefully.  He feels like it can get out, it just needs to turn the right way.  

At this point I have to pull myself together and take Evan to PT.  We leave the door propped open with a stick, and hope for the best.  Animal control is still not open.  

As soon as I get to PT I messaged my friend Deb.  She lives across the country but has volunteered for a wildlife rehab for years and has a special place in her heart for opossums especially.  I didn’t know what she could do or say, but I knew she was the best person for me to reach out to.   

After talking and sending pictures  (thankfully Owen was home and could take photos).  She suggested that I see if there is a local wildlife rescue.  This guy would probably need some medical attention.  I find one in a nearby town, and that one directs me to one in my town.  I call and leave a message, hoping someone can come out asap.  However, before we were even half way home, Owen calls me.  The opossum broke free.  It was gone.  I’m torn between relief and sadness.  I hope that if it is injured it is minor.  Owen assures me it is.  He looked closely.  Deb reassures me that they are very resilient and that it will be fine, that we did good.   She thinks that this was a freak accident, she’s never seen a trap do that.  I can tell you that I will never test that theory out!  I am incredibly grateful for Deb, my boys, and for Emma and her gentle hugs and reassurances that everything was ok.  

Back to the kittens. We now have Lou & NotLou (name TBD eventually). Before all the drama of the previous 15 hours ensued, I noticed something about Lou.  Something important.  I was already worried about how in the world we would tell these two kittens apart.  Aside from size they are almost identical.  Except one thing.  Lou doesn’t have a clipped ear.  Which means… Lou is not fixed!!! The cat that busted out of the slammer is feral and not fixed!!  I don’t know how I’m going to catch the little bugger.  Not with the trap I have that’s for sure.  There are other designs out there, I need to see about getting a different trap.  One thing is for sure though, we will have to move the crate away from out bedroom at night.   I can’t do another night like last night again. 

I still feel like I could collapse into a puddle of tears at any moment.  So many what if’s and should I have’s.  The sinus issues I was having all weekend come back with a vengeance, my head is hurting, my eyes are burning, I am exhausted and want to curl up and pretend today is over.  

NotLou trying to find a way out- he’s fine, I moved the carrier…

NotLou trying to find a way out- he’s fine, I moved the carrier…

Unfortunately, adulting doesn’t allow for that, I have food to shop for, kids to transport, kittens to tend to &  dogs to walk. As well as a variety of other tasks for the day.  First on the list: Posting a barely used, almost new live animal trap on LetGo.  


The Evolution of Rocks

The Evolution of Rocks. These little guys have changed for me. The creator/artist had her intent (each represents a quality such as creativity or tranquility), but I lost the paper that says who is what . Then they were just special because of when & why I bought them. However, as life moves forward sometimes these things become irrelevant, and so now, they just make me happy because they are cute. The catalyst for change isn't always serendipitous, but the outcome will be what you make of it. 

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I moved them from their former home on my shelf, to live with this happy little cactus, Totoro, and some other little friends. Change can be hard and scary, but I like to think that in the end, it's generally a very good thing that helps us become our best selves.

Unexpected JOY

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Roughly three years ago I asked my hairdresser, Missy, to add a small, discrete streak of blue to my hair.  A touch of fun.  I never knew I could love a strip of blue hair so much! The next time I went in, we decided to do a layer of colors under the top layer of hair.  So if I put my hair half up, you’d see it.  Again, I fell in love with the color. So much so, I rarely wore my hair down.  It made me so happy to show others the beautiful colors.  It got to the point that I would get annoyed that I couldn't properly separate my hair so that the colors could be seen right.

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The time for being discrete was over. My next trip to the salon I went all out and we did full on My Little Pony hair.  We went with purples, teals, pinks and yellow, all very soft and pastel. 

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Since that December day I have had quite an array of colors.  I tend to lean toward the purples and teals, but not too long ago I was really inspired by Tae’s pink/magenta and had to try it.  When I went to Korea in the summer of  2017 I had bright blues, yellows, reds, pinks and purples.  Talk about standing out.  

When I started this colorful journey, I was afraid to stand out, to look different.  When I first added color, it made me happy, really happy. It felt good.  I felt good.  The more color I had, the happier it made me, the happier it made me, the less I cared about what other people might think.  Then an interesting thing began to happen, it made other people happy too.

Over the last three years, my hair has brought me so much JOY. In this time I realized that color was an expression of who I am and how see the world.  Over the last three years, not a week goes by, that I don’t have someone say something me about my hair. It has never been a negative interaction.

Of all the things said to me, my favorite is, “Thank you”.  The first time it happened was at KCON last year. As I was walking through the convention, a young lady stopped me and said, “Thank you for coloring your hair! It has made my day.” It really took me by surprise. 

Recently, I was at church, services had just ended and people were making their way out.  A man came over to me, hand outstretched.  He was probably in his mid 20’s, had long hair and cheerful smile.  He said to me, “I had to come over and just tell you how happy your hair made me.  I looked up from praying and saw it and it just filled me with JOY.”  He then gave me a hug and said, again, how much he loved it and then headed out. 

A few days ago I was in the food court at the local outlet mall.  I was heading out when a woman, probably in her late 70’s early 80’s stopped me and said “I love your hair so much! The colors are just so pretty! I was even going to try and sneak a picture of you but my phone is full.”  She had the biggest smile on her face. Again and again I am having these experiences. It is so genuine, so heartfelt, I can’t help but feel my own JOY from theirs.  

When someone goes out of their way to tell me I’ve brought them JOY, I am humbled immensely.  I am so grateful for their words, their kindness and their openness.  It has made me less afraid to say my own admirations to others, things that in the past, I would just think in my head but not offer up.  Imagine what kind of world it would be, if we all expressed our JOYS as we came across them.

It really starts with loving yourself and embracing what makes you happy. Your JOY will become JOY for others.  

🌸How I became ARMY🌸

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Twelve years ago (2007), I enrolled my son in a local taekwondo studio.  I knew nothing about martial arts, it was location that brought us to this studio. The instructors were enthusiastic and friendly, but what sealed the deal was that they gave him a paper with “philosophy” on it. Each belt level had to learn different aspects of Korean TKD as well as some general culture.  The homeschool mom in me was thrilled, physical education plus cultural studies, where do we sign?  

Nine years later, I was introduced to Kdrama From there I began listening to some K-pop mostly OST's. One of the older girls at my daughter's ballet school also happened to watch K-dramas and we would often chat about them between rehearsals and classes. One day she told me she had been too distracted by a kpop group to keep up with the dramas we'd been watching.  She told me about BTS and said I should really go on YouTube and check them out.  I have to admit I just couldn't fathom that anything found on YouTube could hold my interest.  

Several months later I went to KCON for the first time.  At one of the vender booths I found a variety of BTS stickers.  I immediately texted my dancer friend and asked who her favorite (I had not learned the term ‘bias’ yet) was from BTS so I could get her some.  I remember asking the girl behind the counter to help me decide which J-hope & Suga stickers to get for her. I was not at all familiar with even their names at this point. That changed when I got home and gave her her stickers.  She was genuinely thrilled and happy, so much so, I felt compelled to find out just who these boys were that a couple stickers would make her so happy (and would keep her from K-dramas).

She suggested that I watch the Dope MV.  That was it, game over, I was in.  I could not believe a group could be so coordinated, so in sync, so GOOD.  I proceeded to spend the next 8 months or so sending daily Bangtan bombs, vlives, pictures, and songs to two fellow kdrama watchers. We all became fast fans and even eventually went to Wings tour in Anaheim together.

By this time I had also enrolled in taekwondo and was well on my way to black belt.  In 2017, I earned my black belt, took a trip to Korea with our studio, was attempting to learn Korean and I had help start a small group chat of other older fans of BTS. The Hallyu wave swept me up! I had made friends from all over the world.  

I found BTS at a time in my life that was happy & full of good things. I didn't need them, but they brought me a joy that was consuming.  I have gone through several hardships since finding them & I am grateful every day that they are a part of my life.  They inspire me to work harder, to be better, to give more and to love who I am.

Meesh 🐸

PROMISE by Jimin

혼자 주저 앉아
생각만 커져가
언제부터 넌 날 아프게 했던가
너 조차도 모르잖아

너도 아프잖아 'cause you're mine
I just wanna blow your mind
이렇게 넌 또 멀어져 만 가는데
아무렇지 않은데
그렇게 말하는데
사실은 내가 그게 아닌가 봐

I want you to be your light, baby
You should be your light
더는 아프지 않게
네가 웃을 수 있게
I want you to be your night, baby
You could be your night
이 밤이 너에게 솔직할 수 있게

너도 아프잖아 'cause you're mine
I just wanna blow your mind
이렇게 넌 또 멀어져 만 가는데
아무렇지 않은데
그렇게 말하는데
사실은 내가 그게 아닌가 봐 oh

I want you to be your light, baby
You should be your light
더는 아프지 않게
네가 웃을 수 있게
I want you to be your night, baby
You could be your night
이 밤이 너에게 솔직할 수 있게

#Speakyourself

#Speakyourself








Art by  Mao

Art by Mao