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Squeaky’s Christmas Tree Climb

Hi, Squeaky the cat here. You know I like Christmas time. This is because I get to climb the Christmas tree Laura puts up every year. I also love the smell of fresh pine upon awakening as I walk into the front room to plan my daily climb. However, it bothers Laura because she doesn’t share my passion for climbing trees. Yet, she keeps putting up a real Christmas tree every year knowing full well I’m going to climb it. So what does she expect, for me not to climb the tree? Get real! Cats were born to climb trees, it’s in our genes.

Now since I am a tree climbing expert I’d like to explain the similarities and differences between Laura’s Christmas tree and the tree in the front yard. The similarity is both trees have wooden trunks which are best for sinking my claws into when climbing. The difference about the outdoor tree from the Christmas tree is, the outdoor tree is several feet taller and has a thicker trunk with no branches. This allows me to climb right on up to the branches within a few seconds. This comes in handy when I have to flee from a dog chasing me.

On the other hand, the Christmas tree trunk is shorter and skinnier. Plus, there are a lot of branches sticking out in an unorganized pattern from bottom to top. This slows me down because I have to squeeze myself through the branches while going from side to side during my climb. Not a good thing when I have to climb fast before I’m caught by Laura.

Also, another difference between the outdoor tree and the Christmas tree is, all the perfectly arranged presents around the base of the tree. Laura always makes a big deal about wrapping the presents in green, gold, and red paper.

Every year I watch with amazement as she counts the presents and places them into different piles according to size and shape. She then makes out the name tags… then measures and cuts the wrapping paper… and then spends at least two hours wrapping everything. I get tired of watching and go take a nap instead of waiting for her to get done.

Later on when I wake up that’s when I go back to attempt my climb which requires stepping on the gaily wrapped presents to get to the tree. Of course, my claws will occasionally cause a few slight rips in the wrapping paper which makes Laura have a fit and yell at me. Well, sorry! I’m a cat who climbs, what does she expect?

And did I mention that Laura’s Christmas tree has a lot of big round shiny and lighted balls that spin around and play music hanging on the branches. Plus, there is also thirty six sweet smelling red and white stripped wrapped hooked canes hanging on the branches. Sure it looks pretty, but it makes it difficult for me to see the trunk size through the branches in order for me to map out the fastest route to the top.

The other problems are that no matter how carefully I climb the tree, the lighted balls, and those hooked canes bang into each other and make noise. This brings Laura running into the front room faster than my being chased around the backyard by Rex. I usually only get about half way up the tree before she has her hands poking through the branches trying to pull me off the trunk.

Even though I know that her arms are being scratched by the branches, I still don’t take kindly to being yanked at and I just dig my claws in deeper and hang on. This makes her mad and she calls me a ‘damn cat!’ Well, because I’m not a damn cat, I just end up clinging on tighter than a feline holding down a mouse. So between her pulling on me as I’m hugging the trunk, the tree starts shaking. This causes the balls and canes fall off the tips of the branches and make a clunking noise when they hit the carpet. This by the way reminds me of a story I once heard Laura tell Elizabeth while they were hanging the shiny large balls.

Laura said when she was a kid, all they had were three boxes of round glass balls, and that her momma wouldn’t let Laura and her sisters’ hang them on the tree. This was because she and her sister’s dropped and broke too many balls. I guess they were told to stand back and be quiet.

Now, let’s get real. You got four little human’s standing there wanting to help their momma put those shiny balls on a tree, but are told no. Can we say a disaster waiting to happen? That would be like taking an open can of our cat food and setting it down in front of Rex and telling him, “No Rex, you can’t eat it!”

Of course Laura said she and her sister’s wouldn’t listen and started picking up the glass balls and it wasn’t long before one broke. Then her momma would get mad and yell ‘you damn bratty kids, leave things alone!’ She would then call for Laura’s dad to come get the kids out of the front room. Her dad would yell at Laura and her sister’s to go to their rooms and stay there. Good thing Laura doesn’t do that to Elizabeth and David.

So anyway, here I am still hanging onto the tree trunk in a battle of wills with Laura. It’s my will to hang on until Laura lets go and it’s her will to knock me off the trunk to crash to the carpet below. Finally, I give in and release my claw grip and start scaling back down to the bottom. Laura lets go and pulls her arms out and I know she’s going to swat me when I get down. However, she won’t get down on her hands and knees to swat at me under the tree because of all the presents.

So to avoid getting swatted I maneuver around to the back of the tree. This makes my escape easier because there’s only one row of presents I have to run over. Despite that, Laura still tries to kick me. I feel a swooshing of air above me as she misses me every time. She also doesn’t chase after me, but instead stays behind to hang up the shiny balls and canes I knocked off. Oh well, no harm no foul, as the tree survived for another day of climbing, or so I thought.

Later on when it was safe to venture out from behind Laura’s waterbed into the hallway, I see all the presents stacked up on the couch. When I walk into the front room I see Roger wrapping some kind of wire fencing around the edge of the tree stand. After he’s done, Laura wraps a green cloth around the fencing and then stacks the presents around the fencing leaving no space at the top of the pile and the bottom branches.

So, the next time when I tried to climb the tree, I couldn’t get close to the trunk. I even tried climbing onto a branch but the branch was too thin and I could not stay on. Sadly I thought my climbing days were over for the year. However, I got another chance the day after Christmas.

With the presents gone, I went up to the fencing and was able to jump up onto a bottom branch closest to the trunk. Since no one was home I took my time climbing which caused minimal tree shaking. Most of the canes had been eaten by Elizabeth and David and the few that were left stayed on the tree. Also none of the shiny balls fell off. I felt so free and vindicated when I reached the top.

The following year when it was time for the tree to go up Roger brought in the tree stand and placed it in its usual spot by the front room window. I sat in anticipation waiting for the beautiful Christmas tree to make its glorious entrance. Instead, Roger carried in a white box with a picture of a Christmas tree on it and sat it down in the middle of the room.

He then took out his folding knife from his pants pocket and cut open the box. I was expecting that the stuff inside was going to be tree lights or more of those shiny balls, but instead he pulled out a long green metal rod and anchored it into the tree stand. Laura then began pulling out these long green things that look like straightened out toilet bowl brushes she called branches and stuck them into the small holes in the metal rod.

When she was done I could not believe my eyes, it was a fake Christmas tree! Roger then wrapped lights around the tree followed by Laura doing the same with a shiny rope. Then everyone hung the shiny balls and striped canes on the branches. I was dumbfounded. How in the cat world was I going to climb this thing? Cat claws don’t hook onto metal. And forget about climbing onto one of those flimsy fake branches! They would bend from the weight of just one paw!

I was just beside myself with the humiliation of being defeated by a fake tree. And the sad part is my human family never put up a real tree again. Some Merry Christmas! What a farce! Oh well, at least I still have the tree outside, the carpet and furniture to scratch.

squeaky-3-painted-2

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Money is not the Root of all Evil

Back before I spiritually woke up, I belonged to a 10,000 member Baptist church. The minister used to preach how money was the root of all evil… it was a sin to love and chase money… it was the devil who made rich men greedy… it was shameful and sinful if you didn’t tithe your ten percent to the church so the work of the Lord could be done… and so on.

So because of what I was told, I felt ashamed and guilty if I happened to put much value into my hard earned money. I actually used to believe I didn’t deserve to have too much money or be rich because that would be sinful. And when something is sinful, we have to answer to Jesus when we faced him on our judgment day.

And while I was wallowing in my guilt ridden beliefs on money, the minister loved how his congregation’s tithes supported his lifestyle. I guess loving money wasn’t sinful in his good book… because according to him, he was working hard for Lord and deserved to live a good life style.

He was living in a mansion in the hills of the city. He had a nice motor home to travel around to do the work of the Lord. And, of course, he had a retirement home, all courtesy of the tithes. He also was on some Baptist Foundation board of directors and managed to convince many of the church members to join and put their life savings into the Foundations retirement plans.

However, something wasn’t kosher, and I kept my money in the bank. Good thing I did, because the foundation went bankrupt and many depositors lost all their money. The minister of the church was investigated and not charged, but he did resign from the church, and moved to another state. Shortly after that I quit the church and since then have never joined another church.

So as the years moved on and my spiritual awakening evolved, I learned our thoughts manifest our reality. Today, I no longer think money is evil, and believe it is good and cool. I also don’t have a mindset of lack anymore. Every day I thank God, my angels, ascended masters, and guides for providing me the money to live a loving, peaceful, fun and abundant life style. And because I think positive thoughts about money, it flows to me. Nothing sinful about that, because, after all, I am worthy and deserving of all the riches of the universe. Amen!

The Poet’s Choice

Like many people, I like to write poetry and have posted my poems on my blog. They have received likes and I thought it would be great to have them published.

So I submitted a short query letter and samples of my poetry to a mainstream literary agency in New York. This agency represents world renowned authors and poets. The literary agent I submitted to was kind enough to respond with an enlightening and informational personal note.

Dear Ms. Smith,

Thanks for your query. Unfortunately I don’t represent poets unless they are very well established, and I don’t believe there are many agents who will.

For poets, I’m afraid it’s a do-it-yourself world. You have to submit your own work to magazines, journals, websites and small presses–that’s the time-honored way.

If you are looking for ideas about where to submit, the best resource I know of is the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, which has an online directory: http://www.clmp.org/directory/index.php.

But I do appreciate your query, and wish you all success with your work.

Sincerely yours,

(agent’s name)

(Literary Agency name)

Now on the other hand, I once asked a New York Times Bestselling author of over fifteen books if he liked cats.

He said yes and I asked him if he would like to read my self-published cat books. He agreed and I sent him copies.

A month later, he mailed me a letter back that read…

“Dear Laura, Thanks for sending your cat books, great fun! All the best! Sincerely, (author’s name).

So I guess I’ll stick with writing stories.

The Kept Woman

I have never seen the benefits of being a kept woman.

Back in the day when I was a kid my mom was a housewife. Her day was filled with cooking, cleaning, and dealing with six kids and my dad. She was not allowed to spend money without my dad’s permission, was told what to do, and when to do it. If she disagreed with him, he hit her or verbally degraded her.

And because of what I saw as a kid, I made a resolution to never be a housewife, or what is now called a stay at home mom. I am too dependent and strong willed.

Hence, I have always worked and made my own money. I’ve never had to depend upon any man for my livelihood. Even when I had my son and daughter, I went back to work as soon as possible.

Over my lifetime, I had two men who said they would take care of me. They wanted me to quit my job so I would be there for them all the time. When I refused, they dumped me.

Of course, they had no problem finding women who complied with their demands.

Throughout my life I’ve had friends who were kept women. And like my mom, I heard how my friend’s husbands controlled the money, and how they couldn’t do this and that. Eventually, most of my friend’s divorced their husbands.

And even though women have celebrated advances in their independence, education, and careers… I’ve notice those same women will quit working to stay home with the kids or…

They don’t want to work but instead want to be home for their man. Oh please.

When I hear that I ask the woman ‘what if your man wanted you to work so he could stay home?’

“I would never be with a lazy man like that.”

“Bingo.”

Now of course, there will be the kept women out there who will argue I’m wrong. They will claim that their man lets them spend whatever money they want and that they get to do what they want.

Sorry, but whoever makes the money is the one in control. The women who claim the aforementioned are fooling themselves because their boyfriend or husband is allowing it. As soon as the woman no longer serves their man’s purpose, the money will be cut off.

That’s when the women end up calling a lawyer to get their fair share. Of course, the man knows how to hide his money and the battle is on.

But instead of continuing on with my opinions, I shall allow the kept women to think and be who they are… For in the end they will have to deal with what choices they have made.

Myself, I praise God and his spiritual team for giving me the wisdom I need to live the life I want.