I realized last night that I’ve lost contact with my cats.  I love my dogs, but I am so much more in tune to cats.  I got upset about something (or should I say someone) last night and broke into tears and Gel climbed into my lap.  He’s a bit big to be a lap dog, but he tries.  Right at that time Helene from Canada called.  I was crying so hard I told her I’d call her back and went out to water my garden.  The dogs went with me, but they went off to do their own thing then laid down in the shade.  The dogs are not allowed in my garden because they do not respect the plants and will walk on them and crush them.  The cats, however, cannot be kept out, but they are perfectly respectful of the growing things.  Several of them were in the garden with me as I watered, just doing the cat-thing, watching me out of their slitted eyes.  Probably thinking to themselves, why be upset, it’s only a man and you’ve lived this long without one, why worry about this one?

Of course, with their feline wisdom, they are quite right.  They are so much closer to the earth than dogs are; as they should be given they are truly not domesticated.

Men!  Maybe some are from Mars, but this one, not sure where he’s from or where he learned how to treat women, but what he’s done just isn’t right and as much as I care for him, I’m about done with him.  I do owe him a lot and will forever be in his debt for what he’s done for me, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to continue to put up with having my feelings hurt.  I think he’s inhaled too much hay seed and it has affected his brain.  Either that or he’s sniffed too much cow manure.

It would be easy to be angry, but anger is a coward’s way out. 

I still have his calves and it will be very interesting to see when he circles around and calls again as if nothing happened, as if he didn’t stand me up yet again.  The last time he did it I had a full meal planned and almost cooked.  I was smarter this time around and didn’t cook when he didn’t return my phone call the day he was supposed to come over.  It didn’t make it hurt any less, but at least I didn’t waste food.  I honestly have to wonder if he speaks a different language than I do and there is some sort of massive miscommunication going on.  Maybe he’s a ghost or not of this world and only comes around during a full moon.

I know where he’s coming from, if only he knew how well I understand.  When you’ve been as severely burned as he has been, you don’t allow yourself to get put in the same position again.  My “burning” happened a long time ago, close to ten years ago now, and the pain lessens with time.  It’s all coming back to me now though.  Best to stay on safe ground and immerse myself in my animals and my good friends and leave it at that. I so want to send him this quote by Rainer Maria Rilke, but for now, he’s not hearing anything from me:

“Do not assume that she who seeks to comfort you now, lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. Her life may also have much sadness and difficulty, that remains far beyond yours. Were it otherwise, she would never have been able to find these words.”

When I think about what I could do when I first moved to Lincolnton and what I can do now, I know I’ve grown extremely self-sufficient.  I do things now that I would have never considered even trying a year ago.  For example, there was a problem with the freezer portion of my refrigerator.  When I used the ice maker, it sounded like it was going to come through the door!  Then I noticed the door wasn’t closing tight.  Not good in 90 plus degree heat, even with the A/C on in the house.  I was on the phone this morning with the appliance repairman’s wife discussing the gasket (the seal around the door).  I told her I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it, but that the door wouldn’t stay closed.  As a simple fix I had put a cinder block in front of the door to keep it closed, but there was still leakage around the top of the door.  After I scheduled an appointment, I inspected the gasket closely, opened the door and tried to figure out why it was not closing tightly.  I moved the ice maker around and discovered it would pull right out of the freezer.  Cool!  Then I discovered the problem:  ice had formed behind the ice maker which had pushed the ice maker out of place and that was what was keeping the door from closing properly.  Cool!  I just saved myself at least $50.  I cancelled the appointment and left the ice maker out to defrost and clean out.  I’ll put it back in the freezer tonight.

Who needs a man?

Even though it’s in the mid-90’s I have every intention of riding the bike tonight.  I’ve been drinking a lot of water throughout the day (I drink a lot of water anyway) and will stop by the bike shop on my way home and pick up another water bottle.  I love how I feel after a hard ride and know it eases me mentally.  Hopefully the back field will be cut today so I can start to take the dogs out to work them again.  It’s really too hot to work sheep or cattle anyway.  The dogs got a good run this morning and have spent the day in the fenced-in area.

When I finished watering the garden I came back inside and had a wonderful conversation with Helene.  She’s a special person and I’m glad to know her.  Check out her Blog, it’s well written and interesting.  After getting through the “men suck” portion of our conversation, we went on to more substantive conversation like self-sustenance, trialing our dogs (is it worth it?), homeopathy and so on.  I felt much better after I hung up the phone and slept quite well.  I feel much better today than I did yesterday.  I will get through this and be all the better for the experience.

Speaking of self-sustenance, I’ve been thinking about raising pastured rabbits.  I don’t know if it will be viable or not.  Maybe I should build a tractor  and practice first with chickens and then try rabbits.  Perhaps I’ll buy some rabbit cages and keep a few rabbits in conventional cages and feed them more species-appropriate food (in addition to pellets) and see how that goes.  My rabbit supply sometimes dries up and it always seems as though that happens right at the time the cats (and dogs) decided they really like rabbit.  They do the same thing when my venison supply dries up:  we want venison; when a month ago they were turning their noses up at it.  I have a wether to butcher, but it’s going to be too hot this weekend to do it.