Yes, animals do have souls


Callie-cat pressed against my leg enjoying a scratch

For centuries it has been debated whether or not pets have souls. I am an animal lover, always have been, always will be. Personally, I believe they do have souls (and humans are pretty arrogant to think that only we two-legged beings posses such a thing). I have a cat. You many or may not have seen some of my blog posts and photos of her. She is my comfort animal, often a source of great entertainment, and always my furry friend. Actually, she is more than a friend. She is family. I think most of us who are the parents of fur babies feel the same way. And, anyone who has been comforted and loved by any animal will likely agree that their love truly is unconditional. Much more so than human love with our biases, conditions, and selfish needs. So, how could you not believe animals possess something of the Divine?

 I truly do not understand people who do not really like animals. Yesterday I watched a dog and cat in the backyard. The cat had been shaved except for the head and yip of its tail. It’s a fairly new trend and I abhor it. No doubt its owner is trying to cut down on the amount of fur shed all over furniture and floors. See, to me, if you love animals you won’t mind putting up with the fur that seems to be everywhere. Callie-cat sheds a lot. At one point a woman I had rented an apartment from tried to convince me to have her shaved. You don’t want to know my response but it went something like, ‘when hell freezes over’ or ‘over my dead body’ or words to that effect. Honestly, I don’t remember what I said but I know it was a very emphatic ‘NO’. I love and respect her too much to ever submit her to that level of humiliation. I also don’t like cats and dogs dressed in those cute little outfits for much the same reason.

Cats and dogs, as well as other companion animals bring us so much love. In many ways they give us much more than we can ever hope to give them. Today is a sad day. My son and his wife had to take their little dog to the vet to make his final journey over the “rainbow bridge”. They are heart broken, even though they both know they have given him wonderful care his passing has left a huge hole that will take time to heal. Teather was a very sweet little dog with lots of personality, and more importantly lots of love he freely gave. He will be so missed. So, as I write this, I am seeing those large brown eyes gazing at each of us with pure love shining outward. Do animals have souls? I absolutely believe they do!

In loving memory of “Teather” – photo by his mama, Paula Hopkins

Callie’s road trip part 2


I was so happy to have our fur baby with me during our brief stay in Edmonton. She did a fair bit of crying when we first left home, at least for the first little bit, but on the way back she was ready for it. And, yes, she did enjoy the hotel room (I told you I’d let you know of her decision). She enjoyed exploring all the new smells and especially the window where she could investigate, at least visually, the big city. She spent the first half of the journey home on my lap. She remembered not to get under my seat where she’d suffered the indignities of wet paws and a dirty tail on the way down. On the final leg of the trip she settled down in the back of the car and had a nice cat nap.

Callie really is my furry angel and I fully understand how our pets came to be called ‘comfort animals’. She certainly comforts me. We hit freezing rain as we made our way back into the city we call home. It was stressful. But, having Callie aboard definitely helped lessen my anxiety. Here are a couple of photos of Callie in the hotel room, and in the car going home.

Looking out at the city and seeming to enjoy the view
“What’s that, Mom?” Taking in the view as we drove home. She is one very curious little beast.
My lap was a much warmer, drier, and cleaner place to sit during the drive. I rather enjoyed it as she is not given to sitting on my lap as a rule….

Contentment and delight


My fingers slide over her fur

Soft as silk and warm to the touch

She purrs her song of contentment

And I am comforted by her tunes

My companion and often my anchor

Love not earned yet freely bestowed

She presses her little body against my leg

Curls up there, lazy and comfortable

As I stroke her coat of fur

Snow flakes swirl outside the window pane

And I too am content, peaceful

Grateful for this divine gift

This little cat that fills me with delight

Christmas and Callie Cat


Callie, my fur baby

This photo was captured by my talented daughter and remains one of my most favorite photos of Callie, my fur baby. Christmas can be so hectic and often my poor baby is neglected – there just does not seem to be enough hours in the day. Finally, Christmas is here, and I can get back to normal routines – well almost anyway.

Our fur babies bring so much love and joy to our lives, it makes me feel terribly guilty if my little cat does not get the attention she so richly deserves. I do enjoy the holidays, but I have to admit I am looking forward to the slow, steady days of winter once Christmas is past.

Callie has been very patient – she can teach me a lot about what’s really important in life. So now, like my cat, I am going to curl up on my bed and take a much-needed break.

Wishing you all a very happy holiday from Callie and me.

Capturing the mundane and the magical


Recently we had to travel to Edmonton for health reasons. It is approximately a five-hour drive from where we live to the city. The highway is woven through the countryside and I always find it so restful and peaceful. This trip was no different. As usual I grabbed my camera, just in case. I enjoy taking photographs and I treasure the memories they invoke. We were treated to a trio of hawks circling overhead when we had stopped once more for me to take pictures. (My husband is endlessly patient with my passion for this.) As you may have guessed, I am a nature nut. I just love it. There was something spiritual about watching this trio of hawks circling overhead and listening to their cries. Unfortunately, my zoom lens wasn’t strong enough to capture the images I was seeing. This trip I focused on the farm animals we passed and we had stopped for me to photograph cows in a field.  I hope you will enjoy these images of the mundane and the magical.

 

Cows are very curious animals – these ones seemed to want to know what we were up to….

Curious cows

and these two seemed to be having a conversation  ….

Having a conversation

Black-faced sheep, a flock of Canada geese, among  other things….

and not so great shots of the hawks overhead….

 

And last, but not least, my favorite capture of a little kid….

Kid chows down

Savoring life – that’s what it’s all about, right? Until next time, cheers!

In homage to my fur baby: My cat is a diva


callie-photo-by-darlene-martin

My cat is a diva

Spoiled beyond compare

She deserves every bit of it

And of this she is aware

My cat is a diva

But she’s not difficult to please

A bit of love and attention

Is what she most wants from me

And in payment for my loving care

She soothes my tired soul

And winds herself around me

To take away the blues

My cat is a diva

I wouldn’t have it any other way

For she fills my life with laughter

And joys that know no bounds

My cat is a diva

Independent, most of the time

But loves her tummy rubs and scratches

She thinks them quite sublime

My cat is a diva

Regal is her stance

But I need only shake a plaything

To watch her run and dance

My cat is a diva

Welcome to my world

We are ruled by this small feline

And I am blessed to call her mine

Love covered in fur


 

Love covered in fur

That bounds upon my lap

And settles there

Bright eyes that gaze into mine

And remind me that

Though no words are spoken

I am loved and needed

What a blessing

And what a gift

To share my life

With creatures that know no hate

Or bitterness or cruelty

These four-legged wonders

Who make my life better

In every way

Every day

I thank you, God

For all the animals

I have known

And for those

In the here and now

For furry kisses

Upon my brow

And for all the love

that is bestowed

Fur babies


“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”  – Ernest Hemingway

IMG_8834

I had several things to write about – however – my cat wants my attention and have it she will. My creative muse must forgive me, and hopefully not abandon me to that dismal abyss called “writer’s block”. But you who have pets will understand, fur babies must have their needs met and so today I give to you a gallery of photos of my beloved Callie-cat.

Honouring my Dad


DAD

On Sunday families across the country will be celebrating Fathers’ Day. My Dad died in 1990, but the gifts he gave us through the years live on – gifts of wisdom, a love of animals and nature and all things bright and beautiful.

He was a very quiet man. A man of few words – generally gentle, he could be tough, gruff even, but for the most part he was mild mannered. He was a twin –they were the youngest of a large family, but his twin sister died of tuberculosis in her early thirties. My father would live through many deaths in his family, several to T.B. He rarely talked about the hardships he faced growing up. I know he had left home at age 14 to go to work. He lived through the depression, which came to be known as the “dirty thirties”.  A heart murmur prevented him from enlisting in the armed forces when the country went to war for the second time. It was during the war years that he met and later married my mother. Their lives were not easy, but according to my mother, they had a good life.

Dad loved animals – all animals and would not tolerate cruelty toward them. As a child we kept chickens, a cow, and sometimes a pig. Memories of Dad building a new chicken coop, demonstrating to us children how to feed a horse an apple or how to milk the cow, carrying a new calf up the hill to our house while its mother butted him from behind, cradling new kittens in his work-calloused hands, petting the dog – all ways he demonstrated his deep love and respect of all living things.

I also remember him sitting in the shade of a tree out in the yard, his gaze on some faraway place and time. Sometimes I would sit quietly with him and wonder what it was he was thinking about. Often it was a time of silent reminiscing for him and sometimes he would share stories of his childhood with me – like skating on the ice wearing home-made skates – blades driven into blocks of wood that he strapped to his boots. At other times he was enjoying listening to the birds sing and breathing in the scent of flowers.

Dad was a quiet man, but his love of the beauty of nature, the way he spoke to people, and the way he handled animals spoke loudly. So on Fathers’ Day I will honour his memory and be thankful for this man I was fortunate to call “Dad”.

The answer is not there


Do not look to the stars

The answer is not there

Nor  in the widest ocean

Or on the mountain tops

But look inside, deep inside

Where you will discover

The secrets hidden in your heart

Behind some thick and heavy door

That you can open if you have the will

And the courage

To face what lays there

Curled and forgotten

Within the confines

Of your self