The horse's pasture to the East...

Friday, May 22, 2015


I never know where words will take me. Writing like this has a tendency to take on it's own momentum and direction and it always surprises me. 

I'm sick. Not a serious sick, just the flu. It sidetracked me this week. I'm not used to being slowed down like this. I'm not the one who gets sick. Everyone around me does and I take care of them. Guess this is my catch up week.

Slowing down sped my mind up though. The words took over and then the need to "do" something, anything. I have this slightly flawed idea that if I'm not doing, not helping, not accomplishing or reaching for a goal then I must not count. Intellectually I know that's wrong. Of course I count. We all have an important role in the never ending story. We enter stage left (or right or center, depending on where the beginning is) and play our part. Without us there's a noticeable hole in the delicate tracery of life. And we all want our part to stand out, to be the place that counts. By just being, we count. Pretty simple. Just hard to wrap myself around that concept emotionally.

Annie's ancient in cat years. I don't know what the math is for cats (as compared to dogs or horses) but in her life span here, she is older than I had any hope that she would be. 

She's one of the cats I rescued twelve years ago as a kitten from a horrible place I stumbled in to while teaching myself the art of how to find a horse, how to make the right choice for me and the horse. None of the commitments I make are taken lightly. There is no go back, no do over for me. I'm in for the long haul, always. Annie was the first we have living here with us now. And she is still running the show twelve years later.

She was tiny, malnourished, wild as a March Hair and so fierce she had no idea that she was nearly gone from this plane. She was so weak she couldn't stand up but that didn't stop her from crying for help and hissing at anything that came too close. I picked her up from between the front hooves of an equally frightened, malnourished colt who, if I'd had access to a trailer that day, I would have taken with me too. She weighed all of about four ounces and two of that was attitude. From the beginning she was my teacher.

She's an irritating, crabby little cat who whips everyone's butt first thing. A few healthy swipes, a scratch or two and she has established her territory. She even hood winks Apache. I watched her latch on to his tail one day, growl, take a ride across the field until he stopped, exhausted. She dismounted, groomed herself, waited for him to acknowledge her superiority and then she walked home right across the middle of the field, tail straight up and attitude on with Apache following, his nose on her! Horses and barn cats have these complicated, fascinating relationships ie. the tiny predator and the huge super prey. 

In Annie's mind Apple is just another big, smelly, rude kitten. She grooms Apple, sleeps with her, follows her around and walks right up to smack Apple if she thinks Apple is breaking one of Annie's Rules. Annie always eats from Apple's bowl first, taking the best bits, and Apple sits there quietly, allowing it.

And when Annie is outside she will seek out Apache, fierce stallion of the Cimarron, and lays down on top of him. She will even call him to the fence so she can sit on top while he walks her around the field. It's a relationship that baffles me and anyone else who sees it. She still doesn't weigh much, maybe all of six pounds, and she can control a thousand pounds of willing for her, willful for others, horse. 

 How does she do it? She directs her energy. No one messes with six pounds of Annie, no one! She is very clear with her requests, pushes out this tiny arrow of energy that, somehow, grows as it gets closer. If she wants milk she comes to me, stares at me and waits. That's it. She waits. It's the perfect example of polite and passive persistence in the proper position.

And when I fulfill her request appropriately, she rewards me by ignoring me. Pressure motivates, release teaches. She has the milk and I am released to take care of the other minions. 

"You may leave my presence now." She is the queen, the divine ruler, the empress and she knows it without any doubt at all. And, so far, no one who has encountered her has refuted her position. The cat ROCKS! You know the popular phrase "like a boss"? Annie is the perfect personification. 

It's all about presence, attitude, expectations. She is, obviously, the CENTER of everything therefore everyone follows her lead, no exceptions. Talk about a teacher!

I think a lot about the power of words, the energy that we put in to the world. Annie rules because there is not a doubt in her mind that she runs the show. She isn't cruel, just assumes that you will learn when she wants you to know. I remember that when I get frustrated. When I back off, think about what I need, things begin to happen that carry me towards that goal. And I don't have to hurt anyone to get there either. The doors begin to open and I am given the opportunity to walk right through the middle of that field with my tail straight up, goal firmly in my vision. 

Every day with Annie is a revelation. I keep waiting for someone to depose her. But I don't think that will happen, not now and not here. She will go out in a Blaze of Glory and I have no doubt that she will walk right over that bridge everyone knows about, tail straight up, and right up to the gates. She will stop, look at whomever the Saint is manning the gates that day, and they will bow to her with a smile and open the gate. In she will stride with all of her confidence intact, everyone along side the road cheering and waving, perfect. And I don't have to tell you who's lap she'll end up in. " Ahhh. I've been waiting for you." And she will curl up ready to survey yet another kingdom,  polite and perfect in a passive position, happy to be home.

The trick for me is learning while she's here, remembering my role on the stage and enjoying the ride. And paying attention to the words I use, the effect I have when I "strut" across that field, tail up. 

Here's to the things that I expect, the feisty little angel who lives here with us and the power of words that heal, that build, that make us who we are. And here's to all of the surprises along the way. And here's to catch up weeks and listening to the teachers sent to lead...

I am, ever yours, Nancy, listening, thinking, sneezing and laughing at the way things go.

No comments: