Stray cats, and dogs too, for that matter, are an endemic problem that makes my heart ache. There are lots of animal charities that do most excellent work in raising awareness of this problem and combating it too, not to mention all the blogs that I have read and followed who add to the campaign and give practical help. First, thank you to them all and I will continue to support and help where I can.
Having said that, I have a stray cat problem that is driving me up the wall and upsetting my precious girls… There are two tom cats who are engaged in a battle for supremacy over my garden – I’m trying hard to win this one for the honour of my girls, but it is infuriating. Number One is a black and white cat with white paws and moustache that puts me in mind of Josef Stalin. He is sneaky and aggressive. My younger black cat is a cheerful, unassuming soul who was minding her own business when Stalin-Cat launched a stealth attack from behind the bin. Luckily, I was on hand and I ran after him screaming and hooting as I leapt down the garden path. Pausing only to look at me in disbelief:
“What IS that thing?” He slipped through the fence and onto the park.
Number Two is Ginger Ugly. Sorry, but this happens to be the ugliest cat I have ever seen, with stumpy legs and a face that looks like he ran into a wall. Now, my little tabby is the fiercest of cats and thinks nothing of seeing off a fox or the cat from over the road, but there’s something about Ginger Ugly she finds terrifying… Perhaps it’s his un-feline gracelessness and horrible face, I don’t know, but I resent him for distressing my poor little cat to the extent she is over-grooming. Engaged in battle with Stalin-Cat, Ginger Ugly emits horrid wails and shrieks that Charlie finds the stuff of nightmares, so she comes running in for comfort, kneading desperately at my jumper.
“The monster is out there again and I wanted to play in the garden…”
I’ve cat-proofed the gaps where they usually lurk. I’ve laid cat repellent along their smelly used paths. I’ve installed Feliway in the house. I will not ever hurt a cat – I love them too much and I think strays suffer enough, but WHY won’t people neuter their pets? That would be one step towards reducing this problem. In the meantime, I am practising with a water gun…
Stilbite is an unusual crystal, at least I found it so as I ‘tuned’ into it straight away. Normally I have to be in the right environment, the right frame of mind etc. Its positivity and action drew me, like holding a wriggly kitten. My son is lucky enough to have a sample of this crystal which he acquired from a magazine. It is a delicate stone, not unlike a gathering of white sugar crystals, strung along filaments of ice. White in colour, this sample has a subtle peach overtone that draws the eye inwards in contemplation.
This piece actually has the shadow of a love heart on it…
As I held it, I could feel its vibration like standing next to a fridge, or a purr deep within a cat. A typical interpretation of this stone is that it opens intuition and lends love and support to any endeavour. Whether travelling spiritually or physically, it gives guidance and direction, transforming thought into direct action.
Action is what is needed to tackle the stray problem. Maybe I should send some to the government and put the intention out into the Universe. We adopted a stray cat once. Or rather, he wouldn’t leave us alone and his persistence won my partner round, who admired him for his braver y and determination. Billy was a smart black and white cat, who despite his poor circumstances, kept himself immaculately clean, I was first drawn to him when I watched him on our lawn one rainy morning. He was sitting quietly, then a paw would dart out and hook… a worm. Yuk. He was resourceful and brave. I left him a cat treat. Big mistake. We only had two cats at the time so a third was a distinct possibility… I just had to persuade my partner…
Part of the family
In the end, Billy did it himself. After days of shouting at him, chasing him away and even throwing water in his face, I came home to find Billy firmly esconced on the rug in front of the fire. Apparently, he had sneaked in through the cat flap while my partner was asleep and curled up on his chest to join him in slumber… My partner’s heart melted and Billy became a member of our household, much to his joy.
“Scratch posts? For cats? Soft beds? For cats? Food…” The pleasure and relief on his little face.
Unfortunately, he was only with us for a short while. His difficult start in life had compromised his immune system and he left us only eight months after he adopted us. His sheer joie-de-vivre and cheerful character endeared him to us. He holds the cat record to this day for ninja leaps and introduced my older girls to the joy of cat tag. Hunting for worms never caught on though…
“What? Soft beds? For cats?”
All photos were taken by my son!