My Greek kitty crew

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winds of change

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Thanks again to all you lovely people out there for your encouraging comments.  It's just the sweetest nectar! Well, it's been a while since the last post but here I go again with an update from the Greek hills.

So one day I'm loving how close I've finally managed to get to Tiny and his brother. Yes, turns out Tiny is a boy! Tiny and Co. is letting me take photos up close and personal - and Tiny ate crunchies right out of my hand. Can you imagine my exhillaration!! Soft little whiskers tickling the palm of my hand... bliss. We're talking feral kittens who vanished at the speed of light at the mere (even at long distance) sight of a human approaching when I first spotted them back in early November. Oh, how I love the process of gaining the trust of a timid or shy animal.


One morning they each had a toy mouse - thougth it would be fun to see how they would react. Tiny was very careful and tried to see if it was possible to finish the mouse off in a gentle and dainty way... 
 

Whereas brother Ninja lived up to his name in full and went staight for the "kill" - sharpened claws, sabertoothed fangs, honed suffocation techniques, flying kung fu moves and what have you...You don't even see a mouse in the picture, so fierce was the wrestle :-)


It was over within minutes and Ninja was very well pleased with his stellar efforts. He was very keen to show brother Tiny how it's done... but Tiny was content with the slow kill. It was really cute to see their different their natures.


Knowing that another cold storm was coming I went out to buy a little house that could house the whole little family. Nothing was spared so the house was padded with a big fluffy pillow and wollen blankets (yes I know, any cat person in this part of the world would think I've lost my marbles!!) - shouldn't all cats have a warm bed?! But alas, they never even got to spend a night in their new house. I'm not sure if it was the wind, the sound and sight of other cats or the fact that kittie mommy is pregnant again (oh dear!)... but something made them move a few hundred metres down the road into an old abandoned shack. It took me two days to find them in their new location. Two hungry kittens finally gave it away when I repeatedly called them. Luckily they've been fed a rich a nurishing kitten food for two months so they're well bolstered. But... I miss their presence in the garden. How can you not grow just a little bit attached to a couple of cutie pies like these when you've fed them three to four times a day for two months. Anyway... at least I know where to go to feed them. But I sure wouldn't mind if the wind changes direction again and send them straight back into the garden!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It can be done!

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Yay... found this wise tale today which I heard many years ago. It's so sweet and so inspirational. Hope you like it.

Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began.  Honestly, no one in crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. You heard statements such as "Oh, WAY too difficult - they will NEVER make it to the top" or "Not a chance that they will succeed..  the tower is too high." 


The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one. Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher. The crowd continued to yell, "It is too difficult!!! - no one will make it." More tiny frogs got tired and gave up. But ONE continued higher and higher and higher. This one wouldn't give up. At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top. All of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it. A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal. It turned out that the winner was DEAF!


Never listen when someone tells you it can't be done!!


Image © via photo.net

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Things that a cat's eyes signifies


I love trying to observe and learn in cat eye communication (and other animals), so I was thrilled about this article and will definitely be trying out the exercise. Do you have any experience/success in this field? I would love to hear about it.


Article by Stephanie Davies

Locally known as "The Cat Whisperer", or alternatively "That Cat Lady", I have a lifetime of experience studying and analyizing cat behaviour and what I call "cat-speak". Cats do not have the proper vocal cords to speak English, but they have a highly complex vocal and gesture system which allows them to communicate in great detail with both humans and each other. This article focuses on cat's eye gestures.

Have you ever paid attention to the movements of your cat's eyes? Cats use their eyes to communicate with each other in many different ways that most people wouldn't even notice. Let me give you one simple example. Have you ever called to your cat to get it to come to you and it acted as if it were not only of disproportionately low intelligence but also completely and utterly deaf. Next time, try this simple exercise with your cat. When you want your cat to come to you, or jump up on your lap, make eye contact with your cat for about 2 seconds, then shift your eyes to look at where you want the cat to end up (be it on your lap or beside you). Then immediately shift your eyes back to making eye contact with your cat, hold for one second, then look somewhere else. You may have to do this two or three times before your cat understands that YOU understand the whole "eye thing". Pretty soon you will be able to do that without any hesitance on your cats part.

In the above exercise, what you did, in the easiest form for your cat to understand was to:
1. Make eye contact with the cat (i.e. "Hey, you there, I want to talk to you") 
2. Shifted your eyes to a spot where you wanted him/her to go (i.e. "Look at this spot!") 
3. Shifted your eyes immediately back to the cat (i.e. "See that spot I just showed you.. It involves you...can you go there please"), and finally:
4. Look at something else besides the spot or the cat (i.e. That's all my request is for, I don't have anything else to say besides come sit up there).

It makes perfect sense when you think about it like that, but most people - having the relative ease of vocal cords that allow us to say and understand "Please come here" - don't think in terms of nonverbal language.

Other things that a cat's eye signifies are:
  • Eyes wide open and looking at you: "I'm listening" or "Yes You need me"
  • Eyes half closed: "I trust you and everything around me, I'm secure." or "I'm sleepy"
  • Eye pupils in slits: "I'm feeling alert and confident"
  • Bug-eyed: "I'm frightened" or (if looking at another cat with this) "What in HADES are you doing!"
  • Blinking and winking: "I'm talking to you, I like you"
  • Eyes clouded: "I'm ill" or, "I'm relaxed"
  • Eyes staring at a person: "Stay away. I don't wish to be disturbed"
  • Eyes staring at a wall: "I thought I saw something move!"
  • Looking at you then turning away "Oh, it's just you"
If you wish to make "friends" with a cat, the best thing NOT to do is to stare at it. Cats take staring as a personal challenge, as well as a confrontation. Much like you would with an aggressive dog, the best thing to do is to look away, or look downward. If a cat "allows" you to pet it, then if you close your own eyes, you are showing the cat that you are trusting him/her and want to be friends.

Cats read our own eyes for signals they use themselves and therefore recognize (it's a heck of a lot easier than that human-speak stuff). So when around a furry feline, monitor your own eye movements and what they are saying to the kitty, kitty might just surprise you and start "talking" back!


Image © via pictopia.com

Friday, January 7, 2011

Custody over this glorious planet


Wish I could put in a buffer between my last few posts and this one, but blogging is about what moves in life isn’t it – and sometimes the nature of one day can be very different from the next.

A few days ago I came to think of the story about Mary the elephant – the elephant that was hung in 1916. I could not believe it when I first read this story. But then today I see this news item that South Korea has culled one million pigs because of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. That in itself is horrific enough - because they might not even have the disease - BUT they culled them by burying them alive to save money. The images filled me with such utter abhorrence and with a physical sensation I’ve never experienced before. It was a feeling in the chest of a mix of deep remorse, grief and sadness of just how low the human race can fall. In the light of the majesty of the human spirit and all things high and mighty that attends our God given experience here on this planet. I believe that all we humanly have was given to us in sacred trust… the custody over this glorious planet and all the creatures that live on it. Whatever happened to the human race to become THIS scarily detached from emotions, feelings and empathy. That this should become acceptable!


Image ©via curiousanimals.net

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I heart...


... kittens!

Thanks to all you lovely people for your sweet comments. 
My internet connection has gone arthritic, but I'll be back visiting you all soon.

Image ©via dailydoseofcute.net

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kiss me...


Kiss me little kitty and let me be your friend. 
If by chance you scratch me don’t worry it will mend.      
 
Author unknown

Image ©via Awwpix.com

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

When you know what you're gonna get


At some point or another you've probably known the feeling of retreating back to your home - away from encounters with devious, dishonest, two-faced or shall we just say not entirely straight individuals. Back to that soothing and uplifting company of your pet - whatever it's shape or size. 

Here's a small extract which I'm sure you will find so recognizable.
From "The Emotional Lives of Animals" by Marc Bekoff.

"Sometimes it's easier to see and understand emotions in animals than in humans because animals do not filter their emotions. What they feel is clearly written on their faces, made public by tails, ears, and odors, and displayed by their actions. Animal emotions are raw and out there for all to see, hear, smell, and feel."

It's just a small and well-known fact to all animal lovers, but when you really come to think about it, isn't that just beautiful?? What a friendship to have. No hidden agendas. You know exactly what you're gonna get. How comforting is that!

So here's to a big kiss, hug or cuddle for our beautiful friends.


Image © via raumyrskole.wikispaces.com 

Monday, January 3, 2011

How do you create a mouse?



How do you create a mouse? Silly question of course, we humans can’t “create” a mouse. That would have to be the works of God or some higher intelligence (or is it just some random outcome of the evolution of some microbe?)

I know it’s a funny kind of question, but I read a book recently where there was a passage that really made me wonder. The book is called “Destiny of Souls” and is about the extensive research carried out by Dr. Michael Newton into the lives between lives (fascinating if you’re curious about this kind of thing). Via spiritual hypnotherapy he interviews students about what they learn in the after-realm between lives. One student gave an example of a study kind of “classroom” where spirits were taught how to create with energy.

Excerpt: (Student explaining to Dr. Newton)

Student: We are to rapidly visualize a mouse in our minds… as the to necessary energy parts to create a whole mouse. There is an order of progression with how energy should be arranged in any creation.

Dr. N: So the test is the proper steps in creating a mouse?

Student: Mmm… yes… but… actually, this is a test of speed. The secret of efficiency in creation training is rapid conceptualization – knowing which part of the animal to start with first. Then you tackle the amount of energy to be applied.

Maybe it’s a strange thought, but it actually can give you a renewed sense of respect about even the smallest creature if you really think about it. How do you create the little eyes, ears, mouth, snout, whiskers… the fur coat, the tail, the heart?? Doesn’t it give you a sense of awe about how it was actually created. I mean we can’t create anything remotely as exact and superbly functioning.

I guess it’s just a peculiar little contemplation, but a lovely thought when considering giving due respect to even the smallest of animals.


Image ©Dean Mullin

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Destiny has assigned us to different roles









Destiny has assigned us to different roles: in our relationship with animals, 
we should regard them as different, not inferior. 

Quote by Dennis Bardens

Image ©Tim Flach


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Gratefulness


There's something incredibly rewarding about rescuing animals. To witness what a little bit of TLC, patience and basics (food and water) can do, is nothing short of a small miracle. It's heartwarming... 

Today I watched Tiny, her brother Ninja and kittie mommy playing beautifully in the garden. Their confidence has grown and these days they come right up to the garden door to say hello. It's just such a blessed feeling seeing this little happy family scampering around the garden. After one of their meals they all curled up in a sunny spot and took turns in giving each other "facials". It was a happily blissed out scene. It made me smile. Do you know this feeling where you know they are showing you their gratefulness? Maybe it's my imagination - I don't think so. They say so many things in their own little ways. Ninja is now a "big boy" - he walks in front when they go on their small adventures. Today he came right up close and lay beautifully in front of me - as if to say thanks. I fetched my camera and he let me take this close up. To me their language is loud and clear. You just have to listen!