A Personal Post: human & cat peaceful coexistence
My cat takes over…
well everything in my life right now.
If I’m not around as much, it’s because both of us are busy with self care.
I’ll be honest with you: Learning to coexist with my cat Gale has become my greatest personal challenge and engaging activity. She is a feisty Siamese with strong opinions and lots of attitude. And she’s been sick on and off for the past month.
In spite of all that, Gale and I are getting along okay. She talks more and plays with me. Uses her cat tree and cardboard scratchers more often than my door frames and carpets now. Let’s me know she wants attention NOW with meows and chirps. And spends time “working” in her office when I work.
Cattitude & Veterinary Expenses
But I am really distracted by learning how to live with Gale and keep her healthy. It’s only been 2.5 months since her adoption, but this cat takes over everything. She owns the apartment and wants to be involved in all parts of my life.
If not for working hard all year to build on my emergency fund and save money for Gale, I’d be more worried about the unexpected veterinary expenses. She’s been to 3 appointments, had lots of meds, sedation, bloodwork, and x-rays between end of September and now. Yet we’re still working out what is causing her so much trouble.
Creating New Personal Habits
In between Gale’s appointments, were my birthday and annual check ups. Between the two of us, we have a lot to work on.
It’s the usual: add more movement and activity; adjust my eating habits to include less unhealthy fats and sweets; sleep better; and relax to enjoy life. Be more active and engage in hobbies I put aside. Self study to spark curiosity.
Then my other job decided to get more proactive about helping employees grow and create career paths. That’s involved a lot of meetings and self study. Books to read; classes to take; meetings with lots of different people; forms to fill out.
And lots of encouragement to improve work/life balance. Lucky for me I have a cat who announces herself when she wants attention and “works” next to me in her office.
Weather, People, and Other Stuff Out of My Control
Between that and strange weather around the country, I’ve been distracted from focusing on Scent Reflections. Forest fires and smoky air in September. Riots or protests on the streets. Storms, COVID next wave, election campaigns made travel with a cat who doesn’t like to be confined difficult on a good day.
Another example of when a cat takes over…everything 😉
Time zone differences and work schedules were also a challenge. The contractor I hired at Social Graces NOLA has been amazing in helping me set up this website, create a marketing campaign, and get the store going. She weathered quite a few hurricanes, raising her family, and working other jobs to help me out.
Coping Strategies to Thrive
Aromatherapy and Blending
Blending always relaxes me. I can’t use aromatherapy like I did pre-Gale. However, post-Gale aromatherapy adventures have been just as fun. Last weekend, I made more lip balms and body butters. Post quick on Facebook, but I will included photos here too.
Inhalers keep me going through the day. Lip balm reminds me to nourish and value my body too. Dry lips are a sign that I’m not feeling my best and means there are other areas that need TLC too. Body butters and bath soaps help with that.
Sometimes Gale watches from the cat tree. Other times she goes off to do her cat stuff. But she really likes the body butter and bath salts with lavender. What scents do your animal companions like?
Baking, Cooking & Tea
Cooking is one of my favorite activities. I didn’t get to do it often before moving here because I often sacrificed a nice kitchen for an affordable apartment. Plus, it’s hard to pack and carry all the tools necessary for certain types of food. That limited my cooking and baking options. Same with making tea. At the least, it required a kettle for hot water.
Luckily, this new apartment has an incredible, fully equipped kitchen with a full sized refrigerator/freezer and a microwave. – Heaven!
There is enough storage for my tools, Gale’s needs, and dry goods.
That makes it easier for me to enjoy cooking more often and re-learn how to bake. As you can see below, my efforts still leave a lot to be desired. The cookies came out looking funny, but taste delicious. And the butternut squash was a little hard in some places, but still tasted yummy alone or combined with other food.
Last, but not least, I have a whole drawer dedicated to tea bags. Plus a cabinet devoted to herbs. What doesn’t fit in the cabinet (jars are too big) sits on the counter in shaded areas. But honestly, as someone who does not like to drink a lot of water, tea and infused water are my favorite ways to stay hydrated while getting a fun sensory experience.
The flavors of different herbs by themselves is one part. But the fun comes from learning about the plants and then combining them to get something new (to me) or different. I never know what will happen.
On a side note, take-out and delivery are options I utilized in the past for many reasons. At this time, it is not something I want to continue, especially with all the unexpected bills.
But your circumstances are NOT mine. If take out and delivery mean you get reliable access to healthy, safe food and beverages, please use that option.
That caveat applies to all the suggestions here on the blog – including the resources in the next section.
Wisdom Healing Qigong & Louise Hay
In 2010, I took a vacation to Martha’s Vineyard island with the sole purpose of taking free qigong lessons on the beach. The room I rented was about 7 minute walk to the beach and overlooked a beautiful park. The practitioner offered free classes to help earn certification hours and invited anyone to attend.
I was so excited because qigong was something I tried on video that helped without causing a lot of triggers. But I struggled with maintaining a routine long enough to make it a habit. So I hoped taking this class would inspire me to keep practicing when I got back home.
It didn’t quite work out that way for a lot of reasons. But I kept my eyes and ears open for references to Master Mingtong Gu and his Wisdom Healing Qigong.
Another Example of When a Cat Takes Over...and gets me moving
Then something changed last month. The pain became manageable. Gale got me more active and present. I finally had time to practice before bed and on breaks during the day.
So I reached out to the Chi Center and got information about the online classes and available resources. Here is a link to some free YouTube videos if you want to see what is becoming my evening exercise routine. My favorite is shared below.
Revisiting & Re-learning from Inspirational Leaders
Louise Hay has been part of my life since my first time working with a wellness coach back in 2007. The coach and I did not work out in the end, but she introduced me to Louise Hay through You Can Heal Your Life. It was one of the first books I bought on kindle and still have.
The book I’m referencing here is called Loving Yourself to Great Health. If you’ve ever read some of my articles and affirmations on Untangled Connections, you are aware of my philosophy about health, wellness, and unconditional love.
If not, here is a short version:
Louise Hay inspired and taught me how to start changing my thoughts and perception of self from hate to love after I read the first book listed here. With her ecouragement through the books, I became more proactive in learning about alternatives to Western medicine and as many coping strategies and techniques as people would teach me.
Fast foward more than 10 years, and I am refreshing myself with her and her co-authors’ wisdom:
- Learn to love and accept yourself as you are
- Be open and willing to change
- Practice affirmations and positive self talk in front of a mirror (i.e. talk to yourself in a loving manner)
- Be curious, ask questions, and seek help from others
- Listen to your body; pain, discomfort, etc. are ways your body communicates with you
- Eat whole foods as often as possible
- Move, live, enjoy life with yourself and your support network
I am not perfect. I struggle with a lot every day just like many people.
But overall, I feel happy and healthy more often than triggered or stressed these days.
My support network is small, but full of people I can rely on and have in the past. They’ve done the same – leaned or relied on me -too.
So if you are in a place where life feels overwhelming, maybe try out some of the resources here. None of the links are affiliate links. But they are here if you want to check out reviews or learn more.
Thanks again for your support and for sticking with me through all the changes.
Love and Rainbows,