Getting real

Eleanor relaxing

We don’t do a lot of socializing in our home, and there are several reasons for that. First, our home is tiny and second, our 6 cats are all over the place. I used to apologize for this when we had company over; pretended to be a little shocked when they got on the counter tops, and this fakeness always bothered me.

You never know where a cat is going to turn up in this house, and to me, this is one of the real delights of living with them….it is something that I truly love. And isn’t that what life is about; becoming who we are, doing what we love (even if we get some raised eyebrows!).

“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away”.  Raymond Hull

a wonderful cartoon sent in response to this post by Kate


40 thoughts on “Getting real

  1. I love this today! My son Christian says my husband and I are reclusive! We both work full time and are getting older. We LOVE being in our home whether we are alone or together ( although it’s better together). We do socialize, but not alot, and thats o.k. because we’ve designed our life the way WE like it. Trying to please people always leaves you feeling empy! Being comfortable with the way God made us is wonderful….

    • Tricia you hit the nail on the head! Designing our lives the way WE wish to live! I’ve learned that and felt more strongly about that as I’ve aged. True friends and loved ones are always welcome…the judgmental are not. Love this quote Mary. The two places I want to be most comfortable are in my own skin and in my own home! Happy December everyone!

  2. Years ago, a dear friend brought a pie for my family after the birth of my daughter. It was covered with a lovely tea towel. As she placed it on my table she explained, with a grin, that I was the only friend she could share this particular pie with. Then she whipped off the tea towel to reveal a perfect little kitty paw print on top of the pumpkin filling. A message from her Tao. That pie was delicious, and the memory always makes me smile.
    We deal with the kitty issue in several ways. We socialize mostly with other kitty people, we don’t share snapshots of us eating dinner with a kitty sitting on each side of our plate wating for their share, and sometimes when we have company we even move kitties to a downstaIrs room, close the door securely and pretend they are not really as neglected or hungry as their howls would have us believe.

    Dear Mary, bless you for more validation and for sharing endearing pictures of your furry flock!
    From Fran

    • Your stories are so heart-warming and fun Fran!! Thank you for sharing with us…I want a kitty paw print pumpkin pie this year (and may have to make one!)

  3. I heard this saying a very long time ago, here it is.

    “You can tell a lot about people by the way they treat their kids and their animals”

    I have found it to be very true. I have a dog that gets hair around. I do clean but still it is here if you are looking for it. I used to panic when people had hair on them from my furniture. Now not so much. If someone does not like it then don’t come back. I am okay with that. Mary you treat your cats with wonderous love and respect! Having been around you you also treat everyone around you like that. Don’t worry about your cats they are fun!

  4. Thanks Mary- great quote – it takes a lot of “c o u r a g e”
    as the cowardly lion would say….to live a whittle-free life…
    aging helps, too….

  5. Edie-Beats – our itty -bitty and infinitely strange kitty has recently claimed our kitchen table for her perch – in fact Mary, she resembles your Eleanore, but is probably half the size!
    Thanks for your post today Mary. I am often vexed because we too have a small home – out in the country – and there are times that I wish that I had more of a social life – but I am always so busy with my work and artistic pursuits and it leaves little room for much else. Last night as I lay on the couch, our dog Jackie-Boy lay next to me on the floor and Edie-Beats lay stretched out full length on my chest – I could feel the warmth of our bodies and hearts beating together. Nothing was asked of me at that moment, and all I could feel was unconditional love as I lay there scritching Jackie Boy’s head while looking into the mystery of Edie Beat’s golden eyes as she gently purred.

  6. Thanks Mary. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one that feels this way. We have 7, yes 7, cats and one dog that have found their way into our home and hearts. Dealing with the fur is a constant battle, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We don’t entertain much either even though we have a fairly big, older home in the country. I am getting better at worrying about what people think of me and my house. I figure I can just blame it on getting older with senility setting in! Have a great day 🙂

  7. I can so relate to this post. Thankfully most of my friends are animal people and love the cats (have 8, yes 8!) and fuss over them and it makes it so enjoyable to be relaxed and comfortable when they come as I do love to have people in. A friend tells of being at a party where there was a cat and the guest was clearly not a cat person. The cat was on the table and the horrified guest told the hostess, “The cat’s on the table.” The hostess nonchalantly glanced over and said, “Oh, there’s nothing there that can hurt her.”

  8. Mary – I love this quote and photo. My mom used to have a plaque on her kitchen wall which read, “My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to feel lived in.” I so agree!

  9. I have found that age starts to bring this kind of freedom. If I had known what benefits this would bring, I would have aged sooner!

    Thanks once again Mary, for another trip to ‘gratitude land!’

  10. Once again I thank you Mary for your encouraging words! I have spent far too many years worrying about what people think and trying to please everyone. I love the quote! We can only be ourselves and enjoy the day. I hope I never wake up to a house without a few dog or cat hairs in it. Love you all! It’s December and I had to trudge through the snow this moring to fetch the morning paper. It was lovely!

  11. My poor old cat (Aunt Molly) is too old and too heavy to spring up to the kitchen counter-tops any more. I used to smile at the sight of her daisy-paw-prints on the counter. Just invite “cat people” to your home – they all understand.

  12. I can relate! We once had five indoor cats and a Golden retriever. So no matter what one was wearing, there was always a contrasting animal hair color.

  13. What wonderful stories today! Pumpkin pie paw prints takes the cake I think! Many years ago, my dog Dobie managed to snag almost half of a sandwich that was too close to the edge of the counter. I wasn’t really hungry anymore, but didn’t want to waste it either, so I wrapped it up in saran wrap and stuck it in the ‘rig, thinking that I would give him the rest later – why waste a perfectly good half sandwich? Well, as luck would have it, my husband was scrounging around for a snack, and ate that half a sandwich to the uproarious delight of my two young sons – “Dad ate a dog sandwich!” What we don’t know won’t kill us, dog saliva and all!

  14. “Dad ate the dog sandwich”! I love it!

    What would we do without our families, furry and otherwise to keep us grounded and amused?

    Who amongst us has not cut off the nibbled edges then served or eaten the rest with a smile?

    Then there was the Thanksgiving I placed our frozen turkey in my Volkswagen Beetle to thaw since it was cold outdoors but not below freezing. One of my cats apparently didn’t want to wait for “the day”, so when I retrieved the bird it had a considerable portion already gnawed away. I don’t know how he got into the car but, I figured several hours at 350 degrees would kill any kitty germs. So I roasted it, carved it and served it. No one noticed, complained or died!

    See, this is bringing up really good stories for us to share.
    Thank you Mary and all who are sharing!
    From Fran again

  15. Greetings Mary and fellow animal lovers! This is my 1st comment but hopefully not my last. I am in CAT HEAVEN and richly blessed to be in touch with fellow animal lovers! I much prefer animals’ company to “some” of the 2 legged varieties! KNOW you understand. Our animal family presently consists of 3 female cats: Isabella, a black/white “tuxedo,” McMuffy, a gray/tan/black “tabby,” Annie, also a black/white “tuxedo,” and Doc, our mixed breed handsome and loving canine. We lost our 20 year old beloved Murphy Cat to
    “old age” on 26 Oct.. All our pets are “rescues” – we wouldn’t have it any other way. At one point, when I volunteered at the humane society, we had 10 cats and 2 dogs. That was back in the ’90’s. There’s only 1 of the original 10 remaining. We miss each and everyone of our precious “babies.” Thank you for listening and thank you Mary for providing this opportunity. By the way, I absolutely LOVE your “magical/healing” ointment! I’m using my 2d tin and don’t plan to ever be without it. Blessings to each and everyone of you “kindred spirits” and your adorable ” furry children.” “Jekyllcat”

  16. Another wonderful quote, Mary. My printer is overloaded with my favorite quotes stuck to the top of it. It and I thank you for this one. Another way of saying be true to thyself. I don’t know about others but I often walk a circuitous route to get to this.
    SandyP

  17. The photos, the stories, the LOVE! I’m enthralled in fur heaven here today.
    I have a T-shirt that says, “How to handle stress: If you can’t eat it or play with it, then pee on it and walk away.” Smiles and paw prints to all.

    • Saw this t-shirt and almost sent away for it! Now I think I will. Wish I’d followed this advice about 30 years ago. My life would have been soooooo different. 8)

  18. Oh, I love that quote!!! Thank you, Mary, for once again sharing with us all your innermost thoughts and ‘shortcomings’. I just love the fact that I feel so human around you! You are such a comfort in this crazy world! And with that being said, I must confess that I have never had animals. (Yikes, I think I just heard a collective gasp in the White Feather Farm community around the globe.) It’s really not that I don’t love them; just that I was not raised with them and never had them in my current home for whatever reason. And I am slowly understanding that this is one of my ‘shortcomings’. But, it is on my list to warm up to the idea and I know in my heart that fate will prevail in my future when the time is right.

    • Oh Susan L, it’s surely not a shortcoming! You just haven’t had the moment arise and present itself in a paw, or a yawn, or something that shows up on your doorstep as Wonder did for Mary! I also did not grow up with any pet, other than a brief period my sisters and I tried to adopt a stray cat, but she, who we named Flora, was not long in our family. Now, I cannot imagine my life without my dogs, since 1981! Just hang out, they’ll show up in your life, for sure, if that is what you wish!

    • I was doing the same thing while reading these comments last night Carolyn! My computer chair has become another of Eleanor’s favorite places, so your comment made me smile!

  19. Great post and conversation today, Feather-and-Fur Flock!

    Thanks to all of you, I now feel that I can finally “live down” the fact that my Labradoodle ate half of a turkey that my best friend had set aside for Thanksgiving dinner (it was outside in a cooler… we still don’t know how she got the lid off of that thing…) So good to know we all have plenty of company in the “animal foraging adventures” department…

    • Kitties and dogs (and occassionally women!?) behaving badley (having fun!) all belong here…thanks Kelly!!

  20. A friend told me a story of her having company over and her cat jumped on the kitchen counter. Her company was upset, she replied to her company “Oh there’s nothing on the counter that will my cat” – I thought the perfect reply!

  21. When I lived at my Mom’s house, it wasn’t uncommon to find a cat snuggled on the dining room table, or in a pile of clean laundry. It never bothered me but I never really wanted company to see and always swatted the cats off if someone was over…always felt bad about that…This probably confused them since they always sleep in these spots. We have had almost all our cats (we used to have 7) in bed at the same time…some may find this weird, but we thought it was exciting to have everyone together lol.

    I remember when we came to your house, you told us you had a lot of cats (almost a little nervously maybe) and we were actually thrilled to go to another kitty lovers house that was similar to our own. We knew you were “our kind of people.” haha Remember that kitty who washed Dave’s head? I think he was an orange tabby. He made us feel so welcome in your home!

    PS love the pic of Eleanor! Give her some scratches from me. xoxo

  22. What a joyous blog and photo! I used to come into the kitchen and find “Maverick”(my mini-poodle) sitting on a placemat at the table, just gazing out the window. He was such a cute dog. If you forgot and didn’t push in your kitchen chair, there he’d be. Just finishing off whatever was left. I used to joke that now I didn’t have to load the dishes. Just put them back in the cabinet. Low stress,high tolerance animal lovers are the best!

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