SAMHAIN'S PAGE

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HOW I CAME TO BE SAMHAIN

February 7th 2011 7:12 am
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It was a dark and stormy night…Alright, I lied; it wasn’t dark and it wasn’t stormy…yet.
But it was COLD, and Mama had disappeared, off hunting I thought. But she never came back. First my sister was gone, now Mama – I was so lonely and scared! And the Bad Thing had happened. I can’t remember now what it was, but I had a scar on the top of my head, and my eye actually had a little hole in it, and was cloudy and felt red and sore. And every time I breathed, I snuffled and snorted. And I was HUNGRY, too!!!

Mama had brought me back to the place we’d been at before, back when I had a sister, back before the Bad Thing happened. I sort of remember that day when we left. This big animal (now my human Mom!) had heard my sister crying and came to look. Mama growled at her and she went away again. That’s when we moved to a new spot, but she left my sister behind! I missed her beside me; she was warm and smelled good, and when Mama was hunting she would be there beside me and I knew everything was alright. But then she was gone, and Mama was gone, and I didn’t know where I was. Things were scary then, and colder and I was hungry all the time.

When we came back to the corner of the big house, the place where Mama left me for the last time, I could smell where my sister and I had lain, but it was an old smell; a moon had passed since then.

In the house I could hear happy sounds; I think I heard mewing! And there were good smells, and the corner felt warmer there and somehow safer. But night came and it was so cold. I was scared again, and Mama hadn’t come to feed me in so long I couldn’t remember.

I could see light coming from the windows; I thought if I just went a bit closer, I could see what it was…maybe there’d be food, too. But I couldn’t get in, and I couldn’t help myself – I cried!

Then it happened, the thing that changed everything. A door opened and the big female animal came out and saw me! I wasn’t sure what to do, but instinct took over and I ran. She didn’t chase me right away; she was talking to me, but I didn’t understand what she said except she didn’t sound scary. Well, not too scary! But life had taught me not to trust. Everyone had left me, and then there was the Bad Thing, too – the thing I couldn’t quite remember. Better not take the chance.

Later she put some kitty milk out for me, and when I came to eat, she did chase me! I ran as fast as I could all the way around the house and into the tall grass. That’s when she caught me, ‘cause I couldn’t move fast enough through the deep grass. She took me back to the house and put something gooey in my eye; it was weird, but it felt sort of good, too. Then she made me a nest in a big box by the door and put food and water beside it. I was afraid and ran away again, but when she left, I came back and went in the box. It was so warm! Mom says now that’s because she put a hot water bottle in there with me. She didn’t want to bring me inside yet, because she was hoping my other Mama might still come back for me.

By the morning Mama had not come back, but I was still in the box that my human Mom had made for me. When she came to check on me, I ran and hid. But she waited and caught me when I came out, and put more gooey stuff in my eye. I was happy to see her, but afraid at the same time – isn’t that funny?

Mom took me inside and I saw my sister!!! But I didn’t get to play with her then. Mom and Papa put me in my own room, with another hot water bottle in my bed and all the kitty milk and food I could eat! The day after that we went to the vet, and he looked at my eye, and listened to my chest, and weighed me. He said I had a bad cold and an ulcer in my eye. He gave my new parents some medicine to feed me with a dropper, and some more of the gooey medicine like what Mom had already been using with my sister and then had used for me. I had to stay in the room for 6 whole days so I wouldn’t make my sister sick, too. (Mom says it was supposed to be 7, but they just felt so heartsick at leaving me in there alone, they decided they couldn’t stand even one more day. Me neither!) Mom and Papa came and played with me in the room – that part was fun. At first I hid, but I didn’t really want to – I wanted to play! Pretty soon it was easy to not feel afraid, and I really wanted to get out and play with my sister, too. I think Mom and Papa were keeping her away from the door in the beginning, but towards the end, we were playing “paws” through the crack under the door.

When they brought me out it was so exciting!!! But my sister didn’t recognize me, and didn’t want to play. I tried and tried, but she hissed and growled at me. I even rolled over on my back for her so she could attack my belly, but she didn’t want to, she just wanted to get away from me. Mom and Papa were concerned that she’d never accept me, but I just knew if I kept trying, she would – and after a week, she did! Then we play-fought all the time. And we still do, except sometimes we like to hug each other and lick each other’s faces and fur. And when it’s nighttime and Mom and Papa say it’s time for bed and turn out the lights, my sister is there beside me, and I know everything is alright.

But I forgot to tell why I’m named Samhain! Mom says it’s Gaelic for “summer’s end”, and is what some people call Halloween, and that’s when they took me in – on the eve of Samhain. Oh, and she pronounces it “sow – in” , though there are other ways to say it.

 

FIVE PET PEEVES FOR TAGGING

February 7th 2011 7:55 am
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So – now I’ve been tagged by my new friend Samsara. I gather that the way this game is played I’m supposed to list 5 pet peeves and then tag 5 of my friends. Hmmm…I hadn’t really thought about it before. The way I look at it, if there’s something I don’t like - I try my best to avoid it, and if there’s something I want – well, then, I just keep trying and trying until I finally get it! Like with my sister, Sleeper. I knew if I kept trying to get her to play with me, eventually she wouldn’t be able to resist me, and I was right! I mean, how much could she hurt me with biting and scratching that I hadn’t been through before? And let’s face it, I’m faster than she is – I could dodge those swipes, no problem!
And like when I want to get out the door, if I keep at it, I usually make it out. I can’t even list that as a pet peeve when my Mama catches me and is mad; I just give her a little lick on the hand to say “Hey, no hard feelings!”, and - sometimes – she smiles. :)

1. Well, I could list taking all that medicine when I was a baby. I didn’t like it, but I knew I couldn’t avoid it, so when Papa would hold me and Mama would put the dropper against my mouth and say “Open up, please!”, I would. That usually got me lots of pets and sweet talk, and often a food treat – yum! They always seemed so surprised that I didn’t fight it (like my sister!), but - oh, well – if you can’t avoid it, you just deal with it.

2. Getting sprayed in the face with the water bottle when I’m up somewhere where I shouldn’t be. But how can that be bad? If I can get to that place, it should mean that I’m supposed to be there. Except like maybe when Sleeper was balanced on the edge of the painting frame last night – I’m not even sure how she managed to do that. I was impressed. Mama looked like she was going to have a heart attack. I don’t think it was very fair that Sleeper didn’t get sprayed in the face then.

3. Not being let out of our room in the morning as soon as I wake up. I mean, Sleeper likes to sleep, but I only sleep if I’ve been playing extra hard, or I’m full (I wonder if that’s why Mama feeds us just before bedtime?), or if I’m bored like when Mama and Papa go to work at the shop. I don’t understand why Mama says “It’s only 5:30 in the morning for Cripe’s sake!” I’m awake – shouldn’t everyone else want to be? I’ll just keep trying and eventually they’ll open this door.

4. Getting my claws clipped. But that’s another one of those things that can’t be avoided, so I only complain a little bit. Sleeper is a real baby about it, though. You’d think Papa was trying to kill her or something. Mama says she can’t do it – it makes her too nervous. He’s never hurt me, though, but it’s a lot of work to get them nice and sharp again. Don’t they know that? Geez!

5. Wet food that has been sitting in my bowl for too long. Like 10 minutes or so! But I’m getting better about it. Mama says she’s tired of feeding all our leftovers to the birds outside. BIRDS ARE EATING MY FOOD?!!! Can they do that?!!! That made me think twice…and besides, I’m hungrier these days. I think it’s because I’m growing.

Well, that’s my list, so now I’ll tag these friends:


Colette Sidonie-Samantha

Miller

Jerry

Mischief

Casper

 

DAY AT THE VET

February 14th 2011 12:30 pm
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Can I wake up now? Whew - I feel funky...
Sleeper and I went to the vet today and got spayed. They neglected to tell us that they were going to give us our next set of vaccinations, including rabies, too. Seemed like alot to deal with, but then Mama said she guessed it was just as well - it might slow us down for a little longer till the incisions had more of a chance to heal.
The incisions are so small; it's surprising. If they hadn't shaved my side, I don't think anyone would know. Mama and Papa say they'll be keeping an eye on us for the next few days.

 

DAY #2

February 15th 2011 8:11 am
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Sleeper may feel like jumping all over the place; me - I think I like it fine right here on my red blankie in front of the space heater. Would you set that up another notch, please? Thank you.
As I was saying, I'm doing as well as can be expected, but hey -I've got less fat to sustain me - well it's TRUE, Sleeper! You've got a good half pound on me. Which I totally don't get, since you eat about twice as slow as me, and you must be sneaking food on the side or something - I hardly ever see you eat! Hmmph! Mama says we just have different metabolisms - whatever THAT means.
Well, whatever that vet did to me, at least it doesn't itch. I can pretty much ignore it, except for the weirdness of having no fur on a big patch of my body - yucchhh! Hope it grows back soon, so that once again I can be "the sleekest in the land"!

 

DAY #4

February 17th 2011 6:37 am
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Feeling much more like my old self, though yesterday there were a couple of accidents for both Sleeper and I - trying to jump up on things and not qu-i-i-i-te making it. Whew – that kinda hurt! But not enough to keep us from trying to jump up the next time and making it! Determination, yeah. Pays off every time.

Mama kept trying to feed us something every time we turned around. She cooked broiled salmon last night and saved us some little bites (without the sauce). I liked them fine, but Sleeper ate them and threw up! Made Mama feel bad, so I cornered Sleeper later and gave her a few bites of my own!!! 

Mama says there has been no swelling around our incisions – I could have told her that. They do feel a little warm to the touch – I could have told her that, too. And we had a good breakfast this morning. Well, good for us – we never eat that much at a time anyway.

Now if the fur will just grow back…

 

A POEM

February 17th 2011 1:53 pm
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ODE TO A MOUSIE
by Samhain A.R.

O Mousie fair,
what dost thou there
alone, unheeding, 'neath that chair?

Perhaps you dream
some little scheme
to cause my feline heart despair.

I'd be remiss
did I but kiss
Thy silken, softly shining hair.

So I will bite and rend and tear;
Let it be known here:
Mice - BEWARE!

 

SNOW DAY

February 21st 2011 6:33 am
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It's been a week now since Sleeper and I had our surgeries, and it's business as usual! Today we are snowed in, but it's Mama's day off anyway, so no worries! The wind has been blowing something fierce all night long, making the windows rattle like they're gonna jump out of their frames - kinda scary! Sleeper and I huddled together on our bed in our room most of the night, not feeling like bugging the Mama and Papa while all that racket was going on!

Alot of the snow had melted off, but now it's back - 4 or 5 inches and still coming down. Nice to be inside with the woodstove cooking.

 

PAWTY TIME AT 3 AM

February 25th 2011 6:40 am
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Last night we had a lot of fun. It didn’t start out so fun ‘cause Mama and Papa were tired and went to bed at 9:30 PM. Well, right off they should have known THAT was a mistake! That’s not our normal bedtime, not even back long ago [a week, says the editor] before we had our surgeries, and were having to sleep in our room with the door closed so we wouldn’t keep them up.

So-o-o-o, we played till it was the proper time for bed, another hour or so. This involved a lot of games: running through the house at top speed, for one. Mama and Papa call this “The Hour of Scampering”. And of course we wouldn’t want to leave them out of it, so they were included in the hurdle races; they got to be the hurdles! That was nice of us, don’t you think? And there were other events: playing with mousie, desk climbing, bat the ball, kitchen sink spelunking and drain board diving. These last two are particular favorites of mine, because Mama always gets involved. Sometimes if she’s a little slow on the uptake, I “prrrppt” at her to let her know the game is on. She comes to get me down; I just wish she wouldn’t bring the spray bottle sometimes. You think she’d know by now that I don’t like that.

Anyway, we finally got kinda tired, and lay down to sleep. It was a real surprise later when we thought we heard a sort of crackly-rustly noise coming from the kitchen. Mama had switched on the flashlight by this time and had her spray bottle in hand, only to find out it was the Papa! He’d gotten up to make a bowl of cereal! So she decided to get up, too, and have that piece of German Chocolate cake that she didn’t have earlier. Yea! - Pawty Time!!!

Sleeper and I each got a spoonful of Fancy Feast, plus some fresh water, warmed just the way I like it! Papa was reading his book by this time, having a second bowl of cereal, and Mama was eating cake and looking at CATSTER on her laptop. Then she started to browse some articles. She found one at the DISCOVERY NEWS website with an interesting title: “Cats Adore, Manipulate Women”. [ Editor/Mama’s note: http://news.discovery.com/animals/cats-humans-pets-relations hips-110224.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1 ] She read us some excerpts for a second bedtime story:
“Cats attach to humans, and particularly women, as social partners, and it's not just for the sake of obtaining food, according to the new research, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Behavioural Processes.”

"Food is often used as a token of affection, and the ways that cats and humans relate to food are similar in nature to the interactions seen between the human caregiver and the pre-verbal infant," co-author Jon Day, a Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition researcher, told Discovery News. "Both cat and human infant are, at least in part, in control of when and what they are fed!"

"A relationship between a cat and a human can involve mutual attraction, personality compatibility, ease of interaction, play, affection and social support," co-author Dorothy Gracey of the University of Vienna explained. "A human and a cat can mutually develop complex ritualized interactions that show substantial mutual understanding of each other's inclinations and preferences."

Sounds like a whole bunch of words for saying that cats and humans - particularly women! – love and understand each other!

And this morning, the Papa had to go into the shop early for a Fed- Ex delivery, so he got up to shower, trying not to disturb the Mama. We got up – of course! – so he closed us up in the bathroom with him. He turned on the water in the bathroom sink for us to play in, which is always fun! But he was taking so long to wash his hair (it’s longer than the Mama’s!) that we got bored and had to find something else to do.

So-o-o-o – there was the wastebasket…We hadn’t had a good wastebasket exploration in a long time – wow! The Papa was a little miffed with us when he got out of the shower and found kleenixes and used toilet paper rolls strewn across the bathroom floor, but it was worth it!

Sleeper and I think we should do this again real soon!

 

SAMHAIN IS A BAD GIRL

March 4th 2011 6:19 pm
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It started with the little things. Mama was sitting quietly at the table, enjoying her breakfast, reading her book, and I was on my side of the table. I guess I have to explain about that.
You see, there are some places I'm not supposed to be. The tables, the kitchen sink and counters, the chandelier...oops! I wasn't supposed to tell about THAT one! I only touched it - I didn't actually get ON the chandelier! But I digress.

Some time back due to my insistent jumping on her table, she relented and allowed me half of it. What did I tell you? Persistence and determination - these are key to winning your way.

Anyway, I was lounging on my side of the table watching her. This was sort of boring, so ever so slowly I inched my paw over the imaginary line and patted her pencil. She pushed my paw back and went on reading. That was a little more promising, so I stuck my paw out and knocked over one of her vitamin bottles. She threatened me with the spray bottle. Now things were looking up! I stretched out even further and grabbed her pencil, biting it. She wrestled with me over the pencil, and I knew I had her just where I wanted her! Pretty soon I was in her lap enjoying non-stop head scratches.

But even the best of idylls can pall after a while. So I jumped down in search of adventure. Which was soon found in jumping on the kitchen counter a couple of dozen times, being squirted to get down, and then racing up and down the hall with my sister.
But I'd done all this before; I needed something new...

So far the pinnacle of my achievement was that early that morning I had made it to the top of the woodstove - my lifelong dream! I have to explain this.

Since we were brought into our new home so long ago, it has always been winter - my sister wrote a diary entry about that. The soapstone woodstove has been a magical and awesome artifact sitting in the middle of our living room. Inside it resides GOD in It’s Fearsome Fiery Form - a form instinctively known by cats from time immemorial. This morning I had dared to set foot on the sanctuary!

Papa was cleaning the sanctuary, as it happens, and GOD was temporarily gone from It’s altar, so it was only warm, not “HOT!” as they are always saying to me or my sister whenever we get close. But you would not BELIEVE the fuss my humans made over this!!! I realized I had committed a grievous sin… I could hardly wait for the chance to do it again! And the chance came just a few hours later…

So, back to my original story where I’m in the Mama’s lap, and the whole boredom thing is setting in again; I jumped down and nonchalantly wandered over behind the woodstove, which GOD once again inhabited in all It’s Terrible Splendor. This was nothing to concern the Mama, as I had a little warm laydown spot that I liked back there, so she went back to reading her book.

Suddenly she jumps up in alarm, because I’ve let out a sharp ROWRRR!!!. I leaped to her arms, where she proceeded to check me all over for signs of injury – there was nothing. I honestly don’t remember what happened, but I think GOD SMOTE ME!!!

Mama, much relieved to see no burns, held me close and stroked my fur. I was limp with relief, too, and sort of forgot myself – I tried to nurse on her! She said that was OK, and she hoped now I’d know better than to try that again. I think she’s right. After all, there are other things to do…

 

THE SNOWDROPS ARE BLOOMING

March 14th 2011 8:27 pm
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Today the sun shone brightly, and the air was fairly warm; the first real warm-up we've had all winter, Mama says.

Sleeper and I watched from one of our perches as a possum ate our leftovers and the apple peels from Mama's breakfast. I could tell he was really enjoying eating his breakfast under that warm sun.

I've been restless; the air feels different; it SMELLS different. I could hear geese honking as they flew by outside. The snow was melting off the roof and I could hear it dripping on the porch. There were other bird calls that I didn't remember hearing before.

Later, Mama went out to pick kindling; she said we'd need it when it got cold again, and she was right since before the day was done, she'd built up the fire in the woodstove. But when she came back from gathering wood, she brought me some catmint in her pocket. She said the snowdrops were blooming. I think this means Spring is almost here.

 
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