Hawaii as a kitten 🙂

Be it our four seasons in nature, or the “seasons” of our lives, one thing is for sure – nothing ever stays the same.  One spring is not the same as the next, especially when comparing summers, never two alike.  In years past, I have had beautiful changes of color in the leaves of my lilac trees.  I have taken countless photos of them.  This year, when I came back from the writer’s conference, my biggest tree was minus about a third of its green leaves.  The second tree was full of leaves and they were all varied shades of reds greens purples and golds.  In the last week, the green leaves on the big tree began to thin.  This morning, they are all gone, leaving only the dry dark brown seed pods behind, their bony branches naked, the leaves pooling around the trunk like a towel that has slipped to the floor.  Just a big puddle of green.  The other lilac trees are still partially hanging onto their leaves, but they are all colors. 

The  half grown kitten above was my best cat ever – Hawaii.  He and his friend Kona were either dumped here or sought refuge when a terrible thing had happened to Kona.  She had been attacked by a dog or some big toothed animal and barely escaped with her life.  They appeared here mid summer two years ago, he as just a bit more than a baby, she as a partially grown up girl.  She is white, and she bore terrible still healing red scars on her back, hips and sides.  Her ears were grizzled, tattered, so sad looking.  I was horrified when I saw her, and there was no way to get close to her.  They would both hide when I came outside, but I would see their sweet faces looking for the food they knew I would set out for them.  Eventually I got Hawaii to play with my dressage whip, a four foot long crop with a soft end that dangled and enticed.  He would play and chase that thing as long as I would play with him.  He got used to me and eventually let me pet him.  He took to following me everywhere on the ranch, even over to mom’s house.  The last day I had him he had come with me over to moms.   I called out to him that I would be a while.  When mom and I came back outside, he was sitting there, waiting for me.  That night, there was a lot of commotion, growling and running noises.  I ran outside in the dark with my flashlight, but never saw a thing.  I never saw him again.  Perhaps he chased another cat away, and the neighbor shot him – cats disappear in this area and when I asked the man if he had seen him, he said no.  My gut feeling though was that he was lying to me.  I had hoped that Hawaii had been scared away or only wounded and would eventually come home, but it was not to be.  That cat loved his home and he loved me and he would never have left of his own volition.  Time went on, and I  realized that Kona was bred…… then I was so hopeful that she was carrying Hawaii’s babies.  The kittens were born in some boxes stored by the garage.  I could hear them with their tiny voices when Kona would come or go.  I talked to the boxes all the time, and one day when the kittens  were about 2 1/2 weeks old, there, peeking out was the tiniest white kitten sitting there calmly looking at me.  I of course was mesmerized by her, and anxiously awaited seeing the others.  I didn’t know how many there were, but I hoped that one would be black like my boy Hawaii.  A day later, I could see Kona nursing them between two boxes, and could see another white kitten.  The first one I had seen would come to the edge of the boxes and look at me when I was talking to her.  The others would move around, and I could see what I thought was a dark one.  Then a day later I was sure, it was a very dark gray kitten.  Because of the chickens, I was afraid they would snatch one of these kittens – I put up a series of wire panels around the boxes.  Then, the morning the kittens turned three weeks old, I looked out the window and saw poor Kona, trying to contain the gray one…….she would drag him back to the boxes but then he would bounce away.  I knew the day had come, I was going to be mom to at least three kittens.  I had bought formula and a bottle and was ready.  Kona was not up to keeping them safe physically, she hurt so much, it was heartbreaking to watch her.  While I got into the box area, she corralled them.  They were in the top of a box, the bigger white kitten, the dark gray kitten and a black kitten !  Then I realized that there was still someone missing, and there was Little Girl, meowing at the bottom of the box, outside of it, and I scooped them up and into the house we went.  I mixed some formula for them, fed them took care of the bathroom requirements and put them to bed.  Not once did they cry or act like they were somewhere new.  I can tell you that hand raising four kittens is a walk in the park versus miniature goat babies !  Plus the fact that Kona did all the night duty, when I got them, I woke them up to eat at two am and they all looked at me like “what on earth are you doing ???” and went on sleeping !  They are the best cats I have ever had – a lot of that owing to genetics from my dear very much missed cat Hawaii 🙂  When he disappeared I didn’t know he left me such a great gift as these babies.  Little Girl, Koa the great big boy, Chocolate the dark gray and Obsidian (Siddy) the black girl.  It seems impossible that my “babies” are a year and a half old now.  I am grateful every day for their presence in my life.

This brings me to the next part of my post.  My friend Susan Wiggs is doing a wonderful project now.  The Gratitude Project, which will run through Thanksgiving. A compilation of people’s posts on what they are grateful for each day.  Take a look and post !  Here is the link and instructions.  I did this last year and loved reading others posts.  Besides, it gave me the mental nudge to be aware of things in a slightly different light 🙂  Thanks Susan !  You’re the best !

Instructions: Posting is ridiculously simple. All you need to do is send your gratitude in an e-mail to post@gratitudeproject.posterous.com. You can write a line or two or three, whatever you like. You can also attach a picture or video. Then come to www.gratitudeproject.posterous.com and see everyone’s posts. Put that e-mail addy in your address book. Please chime in! I can’t wait to hear from you!

Note: Posts appear without attribution (it will just say “posted by e-mail”). If you want the post attributed to you, simply sign it with your first name and last initial, maybe your location. Like this: Susan W., Washington state

A wonderful way to start each day leading up to our day of thanks !