I have journeyed with my relationship with cats…probably more so than with any other creature on this planet. As an 8 year old, my neighbor and the equivalent of the SPCA hired my best friend and I to catch the tribes of feral cats (over 30) who had come to occupy their back yard…I have often asked forgiveness for some of our tactics used, as the lesson learned was these feline souls are folks too!

I am a dog lover. My first dog, Tippy, was adopted from my stepfather’s shop, but my second dog, Lucky was a champion. We were living in Germany and came upon Lucky, whose mother was a wolf and father 1/2 timber wolf and 1/2 German Shepard. He grew to be 110 pounds and 5' on his hind legs. Lucky was my buddy…had his own tennis shoes, shorts and suspenders. There were other dogs in my life, but Durango might have been my favorite, as she came into my life as an adult. Durango taught me how to use poop bags and I appreciated the reciprocity of my front lawn was without dog poop. I took Durango with me to work at Saint Mary’s College and befriended several of the Christian Brothers…in fact one put his collar on DooDoo (as she was affectionately called).

I appreciated dogs over cats, as they would listen and remember “rules.” Cats always seemed aloof and would take ownership over ALL space….then I encountered “obedient” cats and am learning from the feline corps.

The wisdom, the choices, the silence….while we have a dog in line for joining us this fall, I am in-joy of my relationship will our cat Lilly who I daily ask, “Who, What, Why and Where.”

Lilly’s answers to my questions are not always audible, so they inspire me to think and after all…contemplation is the new revelation and salvation from where I don’t want to go.

I thank Robert Sijka for these fabulous images and wish you a cat-happy day!

Dr. H.M. Joy aka Diem Jones

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