I have an issue with cats which took me to places that aren’t safe to write about.  I was stymied in self-publishing because things that were second nature to me couldn’t be put in print.  I kept pushing these issues and they kept saying no.  This has taken me to a place of healing and self-understanding.  And as I move through my present landscape–life in a little one-up one-down two room “cottage” with my son’s two cats–both black and grey striped male, neutered tabbies–I am pushed to move further in understanding.  They drive me to distraction with touches of their wet noses and strikes of their tales as I am sensitive t0 being distracted by things like that and they do this naturally not meaning to cause trouble but they do.  One of them carved a place out for himself in my affections through stealth and all of a sudden I realized I was being controlled.  I couldn’t think and function here.  I almost came to the point of striking him.  Thank God, the next morning I  was baptized and God has taken over.  He is keeping them at bay.

The most salient feature of my new life in Christ, the most desperately welcomed, is the making senseof my bodily movements through the physical world.  For the longest time–over 30 years– I have had an obsessive compulsive thought/movement disorder that has crippled me.  It is very difficult to explain.  The example that I usually give is that, in the psych ward in Oceanside, California that I went to when I was staying off “older” anti-psychotic medication –specifically, Haldol–for the safety of the baby I was carrying, it would take me 5 minutes to cross from my room, across the dayroom, to the patio for a cigarette, because I froze every 3 seconds for things like my hair falling across my face or lips touching together causing a startle reaction.  Or, in the outside world, I froze in one position for about 30 seconds at the gas pump, stuck on the noises and sights and sounds around me that I couldnt process.  I was also off Tegretol.  I was one of the first patients to take this anti-seizure medication for a psych diagmosis.  Then, I was told that it was probably working because I actually did have a seizure disorder.  Then another doctor took me off of it.  It left me a mess, it caused rage reactions, which it also treated.   It left me uncoordinated and physically unbelievably confused.

Back to the cats.

They were my primary relationship as a child.  My mother’s cat always scratched me.  I would pet her on her head and back not knowing how long I should do it for or whether she liked it.

And I had a dream that all the cats would sleep together on my bed not fighting and all get along.

I wrote a song about them which they made me recite on the psych ward in Tampa that I went to when I was going off medication again when my son was 10.  I had brought our pet mouse with me to the hospital as my exhusband had called my mother down from PA to get my son and In was afraid she would harm the mouse.  They finally had the nurse who took her send the mouse  home with my ex.  In the meantime, my pet cat in PA, who had had 4 kittens, all of whom we kept, was dying, and I learned when I left the hospital that she had died.

So animals in general but especially cats have been a big part of my life.  It is important to realize this because of the serious malfeasances involved, that have held me up since I was 18.  I am a Catholic now and, with baptism, all my sins before I became a Catholic were washed away.  But the non-Catholic world might not see it that way.  But in my heart I know that I am free and that my ill deeds are forgiven.

When I was little my mother was always taking in baby wild animals, and injured wil;d animals caught by cats and the like.  She would bottle feed them and then put them in a shoebox and put the shoebox at the foot of my bed and they would die in the night.  I remember the smell.

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