January 2022

We can’t keep them safe

Today one of the deaf lady’s strays got hit by a vehicle right outside our driveway. I went over to her house to let her know and she followed me. When she saw the kitty, lying still on the road, she cried out, gently scooped it up, and carried it home.

How does she bear it? She must see this all the time. She cares for a lot of cats, so, while there are lots of births of new kittens, there must also be lots of deaths as well.

This woman feeds all the strays in the neighborhood. The strays run from everyone else, but they know her. They gather around her, snaking their way in and around her legs. They know when feeding time is and congregate outside her doors in expectation. There are cats that look hearty and well, cats that look skinny and mangy, cats that have goopy eyes, there are the kittens who soon learn to run and hide. I no longer see the blind cat, but he lived a remarkably long time outside in spite of being blind. The deaf woman loves all these cats, that is plain to see.

We also cared for an outside feral cat for a few years. But I didn’t think I could take the stress and worry anymore I wanted to keep D’Ni safe. I didn’t want to find her lying on the street. So we gave her no choice and, in spite of her howls, inside she came.

But can we ever keep them safe? We can’t. Even indoor cats die. And it is hard to see that. We can eliminate some dangers, but we cannot eliminate death. Death is part of a great circle.

By Rev. Andrew Linzey in his book, Animal Rites: Liturgies of Animal Care

Pilgrim God
who journeys with us
through the joys and shadows
of this world

 be with us
in our sorrow
and feel our pain;

help us to accept the mystery of death
without bitterness
but with hope.

Among the shadows
of this world,
amid the turmoil of life
and the fear of death

you stand alongside us,
always blessing, always giving
arms always outstretched.

For this we know:
every living thing is yours
and returns to you.

As we ponder this mystery
we give you thanks
for the life of (Name)
and we now commit him/her
into your loving hands.

Gentle God:
fragile is your world,
delicate are your creatures,
and costly is your love
which bears and redeems us all.


Garden in the Dry Summer of 2012


This year’s garden (showing what I planted and where I planted what I planted).

What this does not show is what is actually in the garden. I used the seed I had, some of which was pretty old. By the time I did my planting, it was already pretty hot and pretty late. So not everything germinated. Some beets did germinate, but none of the cabbage. None of the peppers came up. A few edamame did come up and I have a full row of green beans, which our local resident rabbit is finding very tasty. Last year, the rabbit (maybe even this very rabbit) ate the leaves of every single bean plant that sprouted. I’m hoping that it diversifies its diet this year.

The radishes, which should have been planted during the coolness of spring, are, nonetheless, making a valiant attempt at growing. A few winter squash look like they are going to make it. There is a volunteer plant which I am not sure of, so I’m letting it be, and I will someday discover what it wants to become.

The tomatoes were planted from plants and are doing well, in spite of the heat, or maybe because of it.

As you can see, we are in the midst of a drought. The grass is brown and crunchy. The soil is dry and hard. But I have a natural tiller going through my lawn and garden, rooting through the dry earth and popping out every so often to check its handiwork.

The potatoes either are drying out from the heat or they are getting done (I’m a little afraid to check at this point.) The kale, which looked a bit pathetic after being neglected during all our trips in June, looks like it will recover nicely.

But it has been hot here. Very hot. And very dry. Temperatures this week were up past 100 in the shade. The cardoon does not really like the hot weather and the plant itself looks quite withered. But its flowers are gorgeous.