Friday, December 30, 2011

Feline Groovy

We are a family of cat lovers. Why, I happen to have the most wonderful cat in the world living with me. And the other most wonderful cats (yes, I know you think they can't all be the MOST wonderful, but you're wrong) live with my sister and niece.

Meet Bella. She plays hard.

And she sleeps hard.

And there's Biscuit. Big stretch - and... jazz hands! 

He's exceptionally handsome. And according to the Myers-Briggs for cats - he has the same personality as my Socks. I knew he was super cool.

And super cute. This is almost too much cuteness. I should have warned you.

What's your cat's personality? Take the test to find out. I'll be taking it for Cass tomorrow, to see how compatible we are. Well, I already know that we are extremely compatible. Still, I find it fascinating to plumb the depths of my cats' mysteries.

Here is Socks's profile (And, interestingly, Biscuit's too):

BSPV (Bold Social Compliant Vocal)
Bold and Social, the BSPV cat enjoys adventure and companionship. It is easy to make friends when you meet a confident cat with a vocal communication style, who actively seeks attention. When his vocal style includes a large vocabulary of pleasant chirps and mews, the BSPV can be the 'perfect' cat. However, if your idea of the 'perfect' cat is a quiet house quest who is pleasant but undemanding, the BSPV cat may be too needy for your tastes. When his vocal communication style is loud and repetitive, with a limited vocabulary, this attentive cat may drive you nuts.

As a kitten the BSPV cat is likely to be the one that meows in greeting, runs over to you, climbs into your lap, and steals your heart. If you like a conversational cat, go for it. If you prefer a quiet household try to find his quiet counterpart, the BSPQ kitten. Whenever possible, acquiring two kittens will make it easier to satisfy the social needs of the BSPV or the BSPQ. Bold, social, compliant cats generally live happily in groups. Sociability in cats is not indiscriminate however. Who and what any cat chooses to befriend is dependent on mutual compatibility and previous experience. BSPV/Q cats are just easy to get along with so the chances of forming friendships is greater than with some other temperament types.

Even though the BSPV is a compliant cat, he may actually be intimidating when you attempt to do things to him (like trim his nails or groom him) because his vocal commentary may sound more angry and reactive than he actually feels. Once a kitty learns that you are easily intimidated, even a compliant cat can dictate your behavior. Siamese cats have a bit of a reputation for being difficult in a veterinary exam room. Actually they are often just vocal cats, and are not necessarily any more likely to bite, scratch or struggle than any other cat. BSPV cats express their opinions out loud. It is perfectly reasonable to expect that a vocal cat will make less than happy sounds when placed in a potentially threatening situation. Over reaction to their vocalization can result in a confrontation rather than a pleasant exam. If your veterinarian or other experienced cat handler recognizes that your BSPV cat is just expressing his opinion, they will find him to be quite manageable.

The popularity of Siamese cats and more recently Maine Coon cats reflects our desire to share our home with a companion who will talk to us, enjoy our company, and approach life with confidence. Both of these breeds are reputed to have a temperament that fits the profile of a BSPV cat. Maine Coon cats are generally of the soft-spoken, large vocabulary communication style. The Siamese being recognized as the great orator of the domestic cat world. Whether or not this temperament type occurs with greater frequency in any particular breed of cat remains to be seen. It is however a temperament type that is likely to appeal to many cat owners.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

6 Weeks!

I admit that even I had begun to wonder if I was ever going to post on my blog again. Fall came and went with such a flurry and rush that I'm still a little whoozy from the spin of it all.

Good weather lingered, blurring the lines between summer and autumn. Tastes of cold and light frosts intermingled with warmth, sunshine and green pastures. During the hectic spring of moving and getting a garden in, I dreamt of long summer days and times of just being. Breathing in the warm evening air and listening to crickets. But those summer days were full of activity. Good things, gardening, church happenings, animal raising and tending. Dinner at 8 or 9 pm and falling into bed happy but exhausted. And so I dreamt of fall and a time when things go dormant and we find rest. But those autumn days were filled with rich harvests from the gardening. Fall days were filled with canning, drying, apple picking, animal raising, tending and butchering. Thanksgiving and family became beacons of coming joys. And with the holiday, more activity and preparations.

First snow came and went.


I continued to "go" to school. Learning that the more I learn the less I know. Finding even more to study and learn. Illness knocks on our door from time to time and we take pause but it is not refreshing. I put my schooling to work treating with homeopathic and herbal techniques. With success which fuels my desire to learn more.

And time continues to rush by, as swift as our swollen creek. A beaver dam appears on it... overnight? No, I've just been too busy to visit the corners of our little world here at The Sanctuary.


Old friends come to call, bringing us gratitude for friendships that endure. New friends move into our lives, bringing gratitude for the kindling of new relationships. And faithful companions keep pace with us as we wake each day to a new adventure. Sometimes waking far sooner than I would choose. 5 am. 3 am. 1 am. I am glad to have their company when sleep refuses to spend time with me.


So days and weeks have passed in the blink of an eye. Their beauty falling on us with suddenness and their departure just as fleet. A friend gave me the gift of henna art during my blogging absence. She so quickly created lovely images on my hands. And the change was startling. At first I couldn't help but be aware of them nearly continuously. And then, just as I became accustomed to seeing the images stained on my skin, they faded away. Like days do.


They come on, each with their new challenges, tasks, and joys. Just as I begin to get a feel for it and find a rythym, the day fades away and another, different day takes its place. I remain hopeful that I will someday find my steps in this dance of life. That I won't always feel like I'm counting in my head to keep up with the tempo. Since Thanksgiving, school has been overshadowed by preparations for Christmas and last minute wrap ups in the garden as winter seems to be coming to stay awhile. My morning workouts have been a little spotty. My blogging non-existent for some time. I would like the dependability of my routine to reflect the value I place on the discipline. I fall short. Dependably.

So for now I'll head into winter, hanging on like a kid on a sled. I'm sure the days will rush by like wind through my hair and I hope I make it to the bottom of the hill without tumbling head over heels. But if I do, I'll just be glad I'm on this wild ride and be grateful for the snow in my face that tells me I'm alive.

And during this season of Advent I'm reminded that God came to the messy and undesirable places to redeem us. That makes me a perfect location for His intervention.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Great Pumpkin

flavor of homegrown squash.

It turns out that our cellar is far warmer than I had anticipated and our squash are not wanting to hold as well as I'd like. The pumpkin are the most vulnerable to spoilage and after losing several, I determined it was time to process them.

I started by cutting the pumpkins in half and seeding them, then I cut them into wedges for roasting.

Once they were roasted until fork-tender, I let them cool and then scraped them from their skins. I processed the flesh in my food processor.

The result was lovely pumpkin puree to put the nicest organic store-bought to shame. Not only does it make a tasty pumpkin pie... it's amazing in a smoothie!

Oh! And I can't forget one of my favorite parts! Those pumpkin scraping contain a special treat... Pumpkin Seeds. Soaked in salted water, drained and roasted - they are a particular favorite of mine.

I don't believe I will ever cease to be delighted with the bounty God provides from our garden.

Friday, December 16, 2011

It was still and so small...

Winter Snow - a beautiful song - for Christmas and all year.

Hey, I'll be posting again soon. So much has been and is going on... life is getting in the way of my commentary on it!