Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why take in a stray cat?

I believe I was fortunate to grow up in a family that took in strays. Cats would appear and soon be curled into a corner of the back porch; dogs wandering the road would find a food dish and then a name. Because my father was the high school coach we seemed to take in stray kids too. Saturday afternoon would usually find leftover team members watching baseball or discussing the Friday night game. So when this lovely grey cat began appearing at the edge of the woods and then more regularly in a sheltered spot by the garden, I of course began giving her food. My rough carpentry skills became involved as an old piece of camping foam transitioned from ground pad to a box liner—and soon she was fully at home as the outdoor kitty.

We returned from our winter holiday to discover what the OK already knew—she was looking for a place to have her babies. I spent lots of time imagining how this was going to unfold. Would she go off and have her kittens in the wild, not showing them until they were older, if they survived at all? Would she want or need to come inside, further distressing our already grumpy indoor kitty who didn’t want to share anything with the intruder? Would she be able to bond with her babies, or perhaps hurt or abandon them? It’s amazing how many dire scenarios a person can dream up based on no evidence of alarm whatsoever.

When her time came, she came and got me with loud complaint, and we sat in the sun in the garden—she in the kittening box and me nearby—while she made a perfect new mom job of delivering and caring for 5 kittens. So now what? And what does this have to do with making shamanic drums and creating the Journey Oracle card deck?

Now what…will be whatever the next step is for the happiness of all. I am learning not to have expectations and anxieties. I am learning from the outdoor kitty to just do the next thing: eat, nurse, sleep. All will have homes when the right time comes.

This story relates to my shamanic art is interesting ways. I sometimes find myself taking in stray drums and rattles. Someone gives me a drumstick found at the free store here on Cortes, a rattle appears at a garage sale; sometimes I even seem to make a drum that becomes a stray. This large shaman drum with its ghost painting and deep voice has been sold and come back twice—each time through no complaint with the drum. Maybe these spirit companions who travel to the other realities can also be strays. If so, then they are coming to the right place. I am happy to give them all food.