happiness

Precious friend, precious memory

Sometimes we are lucky enough to have a true friend arrive in our lives. I’ve had a “bonus cousin” for about 25 years who is this wonderful soul who not only married my cousin, but became like family and a true soul friend to me almost the moment we met.

Yesterday I finally managed to drag myself to the vet clinic to pick up Aladdin’s ashes. I had a long talk with myself and “self” agreed that I could handle the emotions of it and everything would be fine.

Self lied

I was doing really well as I was standing in line at reception, I even let a lady go ahead of me who was carrying a large feed bag. I visited with the doggies who were coming in, I felt ok.

Then it was my turn and I blubbered out that I needed to pick up my ashes and then awkwardly stood there and cried while she went to the back to get them. Interesting note, crying with a mask on is just a disgusting mess of boogers and tears that run rampant all over my face.

I got home, cried again a little bit, and then started making supper. As I was cooking the doorbell rang and it was this soul friend standing at my door.

She’d had a portrait of Aladdin made for me because she knew how much I loved him and how I missed him. I burst into tears, she got a bit watery around the eyes, and I blubbered away about how much I appreciated the painting and the love behind it.

The kids have suggested the portrait go in our “hall of fame” which consists of photos of all of my grandparents, and somehow a portrait of little Melissa (not sure how I made the hall of fame, but I’ve always secretly loved it).

I will never forget Aladdin, but I also will never forget the love that went behind this gift. I will treasure it forever.

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happiness

Aladdin

I can barely stand to write this, we lost the beautiful soul that is Aladdin over the weekend.

Within days of dad dying, the kids and I went into Pet Valu in Cochrane to grab food for our dog and cat. The girl saw this beautiful bonded pair waiting to be adopted and immediately asked me if we could adopt them. I said no, partly because we would then have three cats which seemed like too many (haha I had no idea what was coming down the line), and secondly because I didn’t want to make any major decisions while I was grieving.

For the next three months, at least once a week, the girl found one reason or another to take me into the store and look at her cats. I even put her in a camp at the SPCA and told her if she found ONE cat that she liked we would adopt it.

Instead I would pick her up from camp and go see Aladdin and Abu at Pet Valu.

One day, as the weather was changing, a mouse ran across the floor of our old house. On that day I agreed to pick up the duo and our lives changed for the better.

When Aladdin came to live with us, he didn’t know really how to “cat”. They’d been left in an abandoned house with their mother for God knows how long before they were rescued. He didn’t know how to cuddle, he didn’t really know how to accept love.

But he knew how to give love. And he gave it in spades. And as time went on, he learned how to cuddle, found his purr box, and learned to accept the love that we showered on him, in the same way that he loved us.

I had a strict “no cats in my bed” policy. But as soon as Aladdin came to live with us, he decided his spot was on the bed, right between my feet. That is where he’s slept for the last 5.5 years and now there’s a big empty space where he is supposed to be.

If the other cats got into spats with each other, he was the one who came running to make them stop. If one of us was sad, he would come and sit on our lap until we felt better. Wherever he went he radiated love.

Aladdin means “nobility of faith” or “servant of Allah” and so his name is fitting for the soul that he was.

I feel like none of the words I use to describe him do even the littlest bit of justice to celebrate who he was. I am absolutely gutted and devastated by the loss of this gentle fur ball of love.

Aladdin (in front) with his sister Abu
To say they were a bonded pair would be an understatement
He even taught prickly old Ella to love
And they quickly became friends
We had a whole “Aladdin crew” with Abu and Jasmine

I hope he knows how much he was loved.

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How much is that puddy-cat in the window

The girl was reunited with her precious cat when we returned home. All the animals were happy to see us, but little Abu has a special relationship with my girl. She calls Abu her therapy animal, and I think they share an incredibly special bond. The two have been inseparable ever since.

This morning when I returned home from the school drop off I saw the saddest little face in our window

Little Abu staring outside looking for her girl.

Love is precious – it is the only thing that is real.

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happiness

Little Jasmine

Jasmine, our found in the compost bin kitten is now very clearly in her adolescence. She lips off, runs away, and doesn’t want any cuddles anymore.

Today however, as I was sitting having a cup of tea, this happened.

And she cuddled right up, and purred, and was almost a normal cat. There’s something so awesome about when a cat chooses to sit with you.

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happiness

Honey cat

The girl and I have had a really nasty stomach bug for the last couple of days so things have been pretty quiet around here. 

Tonight though, our super chill cat Abu got on the counter (where she does not belong) and spilled over my pot of special honey which ended up all over the counter and all over Abu. 

So poor Abu had to tub, and poor Jenna had to do it. She sat in the bath giving sad little cries, but because she’s Abu she was not scratching or fighting. Her brother Aladdin got really upset and kept peering into the tub to see if she was ok. Even her arch rival Ella came to see what was going on (this may not have been an act of kindness, we aren’t sure). 


I am constantly amazed by the love that Abu and Aladdin have for each other, and the love they show us. They came into our lives at a time when we really needed them and they continue to be an incredible blessing. They are happiness. 

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happiness

Faith, loss, the tribe 

This has been a year of learning to let go, leaning into our faith,  embracing our tribe. 

Today one of our family cats, one that my parents got when my kids were just little, was suddenly called back to heaven. It was heart wrenching. 

Jacob and Tawny have been buddies since he was a little kid. When we would come home to visit, his constant companion was his pal Tawny. When we moved back their friendship only deepened. He was just telling me yesterday how Tawny has always been there for him as a  best friend.  

After he cried in his room for a while he came out and said you know, something I’ve learned after all these losses is that you cry, you feel like the world is over, you remember they are with God, and you learn to move on. 

My cousin (the one we all always turn to in a crisis) and her family came over to help us bury her. Something my tribe knows how to do well is come together and support each other in times of grief. 

We stood at the computer and looked at family photos of our group trip to Italy, oohed and ahhhed at how the kids had grown, how youthful and thin we were all back then, how much fun we had. We measured the kids on the family wall to see how they had grown since  spring. 

And then we went out near where we had scattered my dad’s ashes and buried Tawny. My cousin said a prayer, we shared memories of her, we held each other up, then we came home. 

I talk about my tribe a lot, but I can’t express enough how fortunate I feel to be part of this group of amazing people. So strong in faith, so much love and compassion. I feel so blessed. It’s a weird happiness moment, but I am so happy that we have this strong, loving support system around us. I’m thankful that we had Tawny in our lives. She was a truly loving, wonderful spirit. She will be missed. But, we know she’s sitting happily on Dad’s lap in heaven 

Tawny hanging out with my Dad a few years ago. 

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happiness

Mountains and meditation 

It seems it was a day of reflection. There’s been a lot of big things going on lately and it was nice to be able to absorb some of it today. 

I know when my inner balance is more where it should be by the actions of Ella the Yoga Cat and lately she’s been all over me. This morning during my meditation she crawled up and lay right across my heart – purring away in bliss. That’s a good sign. 

I took the kids to Banff this evening and got a big mountain hug (and chocolate – a soul hug) because every once in a while I need such things. I have discovered there’s nothing quite as healing as a good hug. 

Mountains and meditation.  My happiness moments for the day. 

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If you don’t tell your story, someone else will. 

If you don’t tell your story, someone else will 

I came across this quote this morning while reading an article about the Canadian beef industry. Given my family and background, the article held a lot of interest to me because of the content. But, that quote just leapt out at me and hit me right in the soul. 

I have let someone else tell my story for a long time. Finally after a lot of work and faith building I am strong enough to start to tell my own story. 

My close tribe already know most of it. They have been my angels who have held me up as I have regained my strength and sense of self worth. Many others have just sensed it and have reached in with loving help. 

I have a feeling it will get worse before it gets better, but I also know that I am strong enough to stand in this storm. 

I spent some time doing some energy work this morning with my dear friend and mentor Asrael from Ananda Ayurveda. I can’t express properly the gratitude I have for this wonderful, spiritual woman who had guided me out of my darkness. 

We worked on helping let go of a lot of the painful emotions that are coming my way. I have been putting myself in the path of the strong chinook winds and letting them blow all the yuck out of me – both in my imagination and literally as I stand on the ridge and cleanse my soul. As we were deep in our energy work Ella the Yoga Cat (who loves Asrael and always comes and hangs out when we work together) came by. She punched me in the head, glared at me, then turned and stuck her fancy tail up in the air and marched away. I don’t think she liked the energy I was getting rid of!! Me neither but I’m glad to have it gone! 

This morning I started my happiness moment early as I ran outside in my bare feet and danced around appreciating the beautiful sunrise. Ok, I was mostly dancing because my feet were cold. But it was a glorious way to start the day. A lot of good things are happening.   

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Uncategorized

Fall back….into bed

Today was a day that began with many plans. We were going to try a new church. Well, really it is an old but new church. It’s the one my grandma went to and I have fond memories of sitting in service with her. We were going grocery shopping – you know, so we could eat today and tomorrow. We needed to buy gloves and water and a few other boring household things. 

Instead we did nothing. Well, not entirely nothing…. We had naps, watched a movie, and ate. Jenna actually managed to do her homework and I did some coursework for my Ayurvedic class. Jacob spent some quality time cuddling with Ella the cat. 

We needed this day of rest. Yes, there were other things that I wanted to get done, but all of us really needed a quiet day to recharge. 

  
Something I’m really learning to honor is that when my body or soul says it needs rest that I need to listen to that. Otherwise what seems to happen is my body rebels against me and I have to suffer the consequences- usually being down and out for much longer than a day. 

Today’s happiness moment is being able to celebrate a day of quiet with my monsters. It’s nice to just slow down and really enjoy them. 

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True love 

 

Today my happiness moment was watching Jenna cuddle with Abu the Cat. Jenna has waited forever to have a cat she can snuggle with and carry everywhere. 

These two are great friends and a great match for each other. Abu came to Jenna at a time when she really needed someone to hug and cuddle with whenever she wanted to. I’m grateful for both Abu and Aladdin. 

Seems fitting on national cat day to have my happiness moment be about a cat!! 

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