The Smithsonian National Zoo’s latest panda cub, Bei Bei, had his first taste of climbing a tree. The giant panda cub had some help from his mother, Mei Xiang, after several attempts to climb the tree. The panda made a great effort before getting a helping hand back down to the ground.
What a beautiful story!
João Pereira de Souza saved the life of a small Magellanic penguin 5 years ago, and the bird has rarely left his side since. He always returns to the man’s house.
The unlikely friendship began in 2011, when de Souza found the bird, nicknamed Jinjing, soaked in oil on the beach near his house. He brought the penguin home, cleaned him up, and offered him a meal of cool sardines and…
We are continuing our tradition of posting sweet animal vids for the New Year’s holiday, to remind ourselves of how beautiful and peaceful the world around us can be, if we make it so. Last year we had a visit from Mission Impossible: Squirrel Edition – something that would make you smile. :)
Today, we have a visit from a cute otter family. This really is the most adorable video of a baby otter peacefully sleeping on her mommy’s tummy, while they both float in a river, close, but unafraid of humans.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
FUN COUNTDOWN TO NEW YEAR 2016!
How does Russia celebrate New Year – the most important holiday of the year? More cool Russian New Year’s posts coming!
2015-2016 HOLIDAY SEASON SPECIAL
This newly written story is part of my Lilechka Tribute Series. It picks up where my previous story Princess Lila and I left off. This story is also my contribution to the worldwide #LightForPets Remember Me Thursday – the pet adoption day.
Princess Lila’s Last Gift: Lola and her Kittens
Her name at birth was Tiger Lily due to her striking tortoiseshell coloring. When I adopted her, somehow, the original name fell by the wayside and I called her Lily Cat, or affectionately, Lilechka. But as she grew, in that small body, covered with soft a silky fur, a great spirit started emerging. Without any effort, she became Princess Lila. She was my loyal and loving companion and super-familiar for almost 20 years.
Before leaving us, Lilechka left some precious gifts. One was the gift of love she poured out in her last days, hanging on for an extra day and night because she saw how deeply upset I was she may leave us. She masterminded her last days and the days after she would be gone with precision, and she made it happen in the exact way she wanted to go. Behind her, she left the lingering blessing of her love.
We realized all that only after the events of the end of April 2014 took place. At the time, things were moving so fast that there was not a moment when we could distance ourselves from what was happening to think and reflect.
Another of Princess Lila’s gifts was of a much more physical nature. This story is about that gift.
The winter of 2013-2014 was harsh. Snow and ice covered our yard and driveway most of the time. We had to constantly plow and clear the ice. For the first time ever, our car skidded and got stuck in the icy hilly driveway. It took us hours to crush the ice and get it moving again.
Only by the end of March the sun finally warmed up the land enough to melt the last ice and snow. By mid-April our garden started blooming with some early blooms and the sun was again in abundance. By then, the gentle spring rays sent enough warmth so that both birds and animals started feeling the call to bask in the sun.
Lilechka, who turned 19 on August 9th 2013, stayed inside all winter. She was always a small kitty, but that winter she slowly got thinner. When we purchased the house, one of the main attractions were the two spacious covered porches – in the front and in the back. Lilechka loved staying on a porch during all seasons to get some air and survey the neighborhood. Because of our climate, covered porches were a must, so she could come out whenever she pleased, regardless of the weather.
In her younger years, Lilechka was very adventurous. As she aged, she became more and more an indoor cat, preferring either to cuddle by a warm radiant heater, or to sleep on top of my desk, on her favorite pillow. But coming out for some fresh air and to lounge on the porch remained her sacred daily ritual.
That last winter she didn’t come out once. Instead, she tried to seek out the precious little sun wherever she could find it. She had taken to sleeping on the dining room rug, warmed up by the small rectangle of a morning sun.
She also ate less, often refusing to finish her food. We fed her a balanced diet of dry and healthy wet food, as well as frequent treats of chicken, turkey and deserts of cream or cream cheese. She always liked variety. But that winter she stopped eating dry food altogether. We understood that it was getting hard for her to chew and started putting her unfinished dry food dishes out in the back porch, in case some other kitty or animal needed food. We always found the dish licked clean, but we never met the invisible kitty responsible for that.
By spring, Lilechka was often leaving most of her wet food on the plate as well. We started putting her dishes out on the back porch more and more often. Same result – they always were cleaned to a shine. By April, we were feeding her almost exclusively with very finely minced, soft chicken because she was refusing any other food. She was leaving more and more on her plate, and we started getting worried. Perhaps we needed to change her diet? While we started exploring her diet options, we were observing her closely. She was extremely sensitive to pet clinics, and she was always extremely healthy, so we decided to hold off talking to a vet, unless we really had to.
Meanwhile, we continued putting out full dishes regularly, and the food on them disappeared overnight like a clockwork.
In mid-April, Lilechka started coming out to bask in the sun, sitting on the warm garden soil, among the first spring blooms. The weather was changing rapidly to some very pleasant, temperate one, and we hoped that as the summer drew nearer, Lilechka would be feeling better and better. Indeed, her appetite seemed to somewhat come back.
Once I observed her siting in the back garden, while two neighborhood kitties approached. One kitty was a gray tabby and another black. The visiting kitties were non-aggressive and they seemed shy. They stopped at a distance when they saw Lilechka. Then, there was some sort of silent exchange between the parties. Lilechka stared at them, while they stood and stared back. Then Lilechka produced a mew. The two kitties silently turned around and left our backyard.
One day, we had the door to the back porch semi-open, while cooking chicken. As the smells of chicken wafted into the air, we expected Lilechka to show up in the kitchen, as she always did when the delicious food smells tickled her delicate nose.
Instead of Lilechka, we suddenly saw a short-haired tabby in our back porch. She slowly approached the back door and stood at the threshold, expectantly. Lilechka showed up in the kitchen and again, there was a silent exchange between the two. Then the gray kitty backed off, but stayed in the back porch.
We gave Lilechka her finely minced chicken and then, we minced more chicken for the tabby, who patiently awaited her cut. She gobbled up everything on the plate with the ultrasound speed and looked up at us. “Can I have some more, please?” was saying her whole demeanor.
We gave her more. She finished the second round just as quickly, but stayed on the porch. When Lilechka ate her fill, we gave the gray kitty Lily’s leftovers, and she finished that off as well.
She remained on the porch, looking at me with her big, intelligent eyes, still hoping for more.
“Sorry,” I said. “We didn’t count on a guest. There is no more chicken left. Come back tomorrow.”
She left reluctantly. That night I put out a full dish of dry food. By the morning it was all gone. Again, we made fresh chicken for Lilechka, hoping that the new diet would make her stronger and she would recover. Indeed it seemed the case. She was eating better, went out more and seemed to get stronger.
The gray tabby showed up again, and again we gave her some chicken and dry food. She kept coming back day after day, eating everything we gave her, be it dry or wet food, or chicken, with equally ravenous hunger.
One day, Lilechka finished her meal and decided to come out to sit in the back garden. The gray kitty, as usual, was hanging out in the back porch. Lilechka emitted a mew, meaning basically, “Hey, it’s still my property; do you mind?”
Again, there was a silent exchange between them, which I understood fully only after what happened later. Lilechka was saying, “I am still here. You can come and eat, but you cannot take over until I am gone. Remember, it’s still my domain.”
The tabby understood and backed into a far away corner of the porch, where she awaited her cut.
After I made sure Lilechka was comfortable in the garden, I turned to the gray. “Now it’s your turn.” Filling up her plate, I added quietly, “You are welcome to come here and eat any time, sweetie, but please do not upset Lilechka while she is not feeling well, ok?” The kitty looked at me with her intelligent eyes, and I knew she understood perfectly.
For a couple more days we had a gentleman’s agreement, according to which our visiting tabby waited discretely in the front porch until Lilechka ate and went to bask in the garden sun. Then she would come to the back porch and I would feed her to her heart’s content.
We were happy to feed this kitty, who was in such apparent need of nurturing. She always ate as if she was storing food like a camel, for the future use. We felt that unspoken agreement developed between the two cats. Something like this: “Lilechka to gray: you can have my extra food, I don’t eat that much any more.”
The tabby gratefully accepted everything we gave her, but once she was full, she never lingered. I often would come out on the back porch, hoping to pet her and talk to her after her meal, but the moment her third or fourth helping was finished, she immediately disappeared in the unknown direction.
And then, on April 29th 2014, Lilechka was suddenly gone. It was a crushing blow, something for which I was completely unprepared. With sorrow and tears, the guilt settled in. What have we done wrong? What could have we done differently to keep her going? Maybe we could have done this, or that…
The guilt was a road to nowhere. We understood that intellectually, but especially at night, my sorrow overwhelmed me. Even my hubby, who wasn’t usually prone to sadness, shed a tear.
The gray tabby continued religiously coming to the back porch for her chicken fix. Her presence proved a great distraction from our sadness. She ate even more ravenously than before, and we found ourselves busy cooking chicken every day. She always consumed that chicken as if she hadn’t eaten for a month. That little kitty ate more than a grown man – bowlfuls of freshly made chicken disappeared in her belly like they were nothing.
When we were preoccupied with Lilechka, we didn’t have the time to question why this kitty ate so much. At first we choked it up to the fact that she probably liked chicken too much and that she probably had a very difficult winter. She didn’t seem thin. But perhaps the food she usually ate wasn’t as nutritious? That still didn’t explain just why she ate such unusually large amounts of food, and she wasn’t telling us.
But since her appetite didn’t abate, we started looking deeper into the reason. I already understood that Lilechka had an unspoken agreement with this kitty in need that she could stay here after Lilechka was gone, but not before. It was becoming apparent to me that our smart Princess Lila had timed everything to perfection.
Still, even I had no idea how many more surprises she had in store for us.
The gray kitty was now letting me pet her. I did that as much as I could while she was eating. It really helped me forget my sorrow. Now she didn’t rush to leave our back porch quite as quickly as before, but she still left shortly after having finished all her food. “Look at you,” I remarked to her reproachfully. “You just come here, eat and leave. It’s not so nice of you. You could stay a little longer, you know.”
We started looking forward to the gray’s visits every day. Lilechka’s fur was rich, soft and silky. Petting this kitty was a different experience. She was short-haired, with fur tough like a bristle; her coat was a lovely looking gray stripes; her face was cute and expressive, eyes steady and intelligent. In her own, understated way, she really was a good-looking cat.
A couple of days after Lilechka’s passing, as I was petting her, the gray kitty raised her head and gave me a look of adoration. As she did, I noticed something strange. There were some bald spots that looked like large red sores on both sides of her mouth, where her whiskers were. I knew something was wrong and I tried to look closer. But she didn’t want to stay still. I asked for my hubby’s help and together we were able to determine that those indeed were raw sores flanking her mouth on both sides.
“Sweetie,” I addressed the kitty. “Has someone been abusing you? Has someone plucked your whiskers out and made these sores?” The kitty looked at us, but said nothing. We decided to examine her closer to make sure she was alright otherwise. I scratched her under her chin to help her relax, and as I did, I felt a large patch of missing fur on her upper front chest. It wasn’t noticeable when you looked at her, being covered by the rest of her fur, unless you literally stumbled upon it.
I parted the fur to examine the bald patch. It was covered by tough skin and appeared to have healed. “It’s probably an old battle wound,” commented my hubby. “And the sores around her mouth could be from lack of good nutrition, and stress.”
“I hope it’s not something worse than that,” I said.
We treated her sores with colloidal silver, a wonderful holistic remedy that worked well on various infections. For years we successfully treated Lilechka whenever she would get an eye infection, which she was prone to in her later years. A small drop of colloidal silver got rid of such infection in one day.
I turned to the kitty. “Darling, if anyone is mistreating you wherever you live, you are welcome to come and stay here any time. We’ll protect you.” She looked at me steadily, and as she did, an idea floated into my mind.
“Wait a minute,” I said, trying to lift her. “I think I know why she eats so much.” She was heavy and being used to Lilechka’s feather-weight, I couldn’t hold her as she started slipping out of my hands. But I lifted her enough to see her tummy.
There were protruding pink nipples covering her entire underside. Our mystery cat was a nursing mommy.
I looked her in the eye and said again, “Sweetie, you can come here for food any time, or if you need anything else, just let us know. We’ll take care of you.”
Next morning, she showed up earlier than usual.
“You are early today, sweetie,” I told her. “We haven’t started cooking chicken yet.”
“Mew,” she replied. That was the first time I’d ever heard her voice. It was a nice, melodic sound, if a bit low. “Mew,” she said again and did something that reminded me of Lilechka. When Lila wanted us to follow her somewhere, she would mew, look at us, then jerk her head in the direction she wanted us to go and start running in that direction. It sounded like, “C’mon, follow me, I need to show you something important over there.” We loved it when she did it. It was just so awfully cute.
This cat did something very similar. I followed her as she led me to the azalea bushes in the front yard. She glanced at me periodically to make sure I was with her.
“What did you want to show me, darling?” I asked, as we approached our blooming azaleas, which covered the entire perimeter of the front porch, providing a splash of color and lots of added privacy. She silently stood facing the bushes, as if saying, “Just look inside.”
I obediently crouched down in front of the low stone wall framing the bushes and peered inside the dense vegetation. In the murky depths of our azaleas I saw movement. When I looked closer, I clearly distinguished two tiny kittens who made themselves comfortable in the roomy shelter of the bush. One was gray, with very unusual wide swirly stripes, and another black, with charming snow cap paws and a matching white ascot, similar to Lilechka’s. I looked at the kittens mesmerized, while they made themselves comfortable inside the bush, staring back at me.
“Wow, darling, you do have kittens, and they are so pretty. You are a lucky momma.” I called my hubby and we both marveled at the kittens. She listened to our superlatives with delight and smiled. As her smile got wider, I noticed that her mouth sores were starting to heal. I made a mental note to keep treating her with silver.
“Ok,” I said. “Looks like they are safe in the bush for now. We’ll figure out later where to put them. Now, how about I go cook some chicken for you. Clearly you need to eat for three. No wonder you’ve been so ravenous.”
I went back inside to make her some chicken, while she silently disappeared. One hour later, she still wasn’t in the back porch, which was strange. I went to the front to check up on the two kittens. When I looked inside the azalea bush, there were four kittens.
I examined the street to see if she was around. Instead of our new kitty friend, I saw a lady who walked up to me and said, “This gray cat has been bringing her kittens to your front yard all morning, did you know? I live at the end of the street and I’ve noticed her walking past my window, carrying them one by one in her mouth. She just carried one and dropped him on the street. He was probably the heaviest. Then she picked him up again and kept hauling him here.”
“Yes,” I said, “I told her to bring them here. They seem to need a home and they are welcome to stay.”
I went back to the kitchen, and several minutes later, she was in the back porch, hungrier than ever. After she ate, we both went to the front and now there were five kittens playing and sleeping inside that welcoming azalea bush.
“You are so smart, aren’t you,” I said to her. “You first made sure we realized that you were a nursing mommy. Then you brought us two of your cutest babies, to make sure we liked them. I notice that the first two kittens are also the smallest, so they were the easiest to carry. You played your hand carefully and made sure we wouldn’t object. After you saw how happy we were to see them, you brought the rest. I admire your strategic talents, sweetie.”
She sat and looked at me, smiling mysteriously. And at that moment her name popped into my head. I knew that she should definitely be called Lola.
From that moment on, Lola and her kittens stayed with us. At first we were unprepared for such an invasion. But the days were lovely, and getting warmer, and the six cats really enjoyed our front porch.
Lola and her five kittens sleeping on our porch:
For years, Lilechka remained our only kitty. We were completely unequipped to deal with six cats. While we were thinking where and how to best accommodate them, the playing kittens and their momma on our front porch attracted a lot of attention from the neighbors. Mobs of people began ogling them standing by our low front stone wall. People climbed up onto the porch to take their pictures and to leave them some food. Someone started dropping open cans with cat food into the bushes, probably thinking they were starving, thus polluting our property. More than once we had to clean out those cans of dirty food from the bushes.
No question, the kittens and Lola were adorable. But it was really getting out of control. We were forced to hang a sign: “Private property, no trespassing!”
To get away from the curious crowds, we got busy organizing a play pen for Lola’s brood in the back porch. We also continued cooking daily for the nursing momma-cat. As she continued nursing, she ate so much that at one point we made her chicken three times a day. The kittens were starting to eat regular food as well. We welcomed being constantly busy. It took our minds off our sudden loss. Only at night the sorrow for Lilechka came flooding back.
I started spending more time playing, taking pictures and shooting videos of the playing kittens, who grew happy and were getting more and more adorable by the minute. Lola was happy too, seeing her kittens well fed and playful.
As I observed them, I started giving them names that went with their personalities and looks. The very first kitten Lola brought to us became my favorite. He was the best adjusted of all, the most playful and the cutest. I named him Tigger for his cuteness and bold swirly stripes.
This is Tigger:
The second kitten she brought to us became Yin-Yang for his striking black fur and contrasting white ascot and paws.
This is Yin-Yang:
More pics of Yin-Yang and Tigger, who loved to hang out together, and Lola the mommy cat:
Then there was Shadow, who was completely black, undoubtedly taking after his daddy.
This is Shadow:
The last two were very close in coloring. They were definitely momma’s boys. One had striped markings similar to Lola’s, but his fur had a grayish-peach shade. I named him Peach. The last kitten – the one that was the heaviest, and whom Lola dropped while carrying him to our home, had a pretty bluish-gray shade to his fur. He also had very striking blue eyes. All five kittens had gorgeous blue eyes, but that one stood out. After much hesitation, I finally settled on calling him Blue.
All five kittens sleeping together on our porch, Blue and Peach are upfront:
Lola nursing the kittens. Right to left: Peach, Blue and Yin-Yang are on top:
We sometimes gathered on the front porch and watched the kittens play with each other, or eat, or simply rest huddled together, in one big fluffy fur ball.
One day several people walked up to our porch and told us Lola’s story. They lived a block away. Their neighbor had a cat who had a litter. Lola was one of that litter. When the woman moved away, she took her cat with her, but left the litter behind. The poor kitties had to fend for themselves. These nice people let Lola stay on their porch with her kittens. But their house was already full with their own several cats and a dog, so they couldn’t let her inside.
Generally, their quarters were cramped and not in very good condition. No wonder our smart Lola chose to move to our house.
“She is much better off here,” said the man. “You have no idea how crowded it is on our side. Everyone has at least a few cats. They are vying for space and food. But here, there is so much more space and privacy for them.”
As we were talking, the kittens played on the grass. “They are happy here,” he added.
“They’ve moved up the social ladder,” his wife joked.
As we talked, a car pulled up to the curb. A woman came out, explaining that she had been bringing food for the kittens. I thanked her, asking her not to do that any more as they were fully taken care of.
The cat lady explained that she was helping stray kittens to be neutered and adopted into good homes. After Lola stops nursing, she said, her kittens and herself need to be taken to the vet and neutered. And I can help them get adopted as well, she added.
She would help pay, she said, to take Lola and the kittens to the vet. They needed to do some tests to see if they had worms.
“They have no worms,” I blurted out. “I guarantee it. I would have felt it if Lola or the kittens did. She is generally very healthy,” I added, “except for those terrible mouth sores.”
I explained that when Lola first showed up she had raw sores around her mouth, but after we treated them with silver, they vanished within two days. She looked at me incredulously. It appears she had never heard about colloidal silver, or that sores could be gone so fast.
I thanked her and took her number. Still mourning Lilechka, at that point we were uncertain how we wanted to proceed. We knew that Lola was a precious kitty, who could make anyone very happy. The kittens, especially my favorite Tigger, were adorable, and we didn’t see any problem finding them loving homes, if we had to.
The six cats were a handful. They kept us busy all day as we moved furniture and re-purposed our huge back porch as a cozy playpen for the kittens and our dinette as their feeding area. But keeping ourselves busy and being around all that young, pulsing energy let us forget our sudden loss.
We were extremely grateful for the distraction, realizing now full well our Princess Lila masterminded her last gift of Lola and the kittens. Lilechka knew we would be heartbroken losing her; she anticipated we would need a distraction, and she obviously wanted to help Lola get a better home. The young and playful energy of Lola’s kittens, and Lola’s calm and grateful demeanor did a lot to make us feel better.
We stopped feeling guilty, irrationally second guessing ourselves about what we could have done differently to keep Lilechka alive a bit longer. We now understood that she knew it was her time to go and that she went in the exact way and at the exact time she had wanted.
As the always hungry five kittens and their nursing mommy kept us working, we noticed that a healing of the recent wound started taking place. Again I marveled at how amazingly everything fell into place. If not for Lola and her kittens, the wound could have festered a lot longer and with much more pain.
We also marveled at how well Lila and Lola organized the whole thing, how gently and gradually, only when we were ready, Lola broke the news of her kittens to us.
We toyed with the idea of keeping Lola and Tigger, while getting the rest adopted. As all six started feeling quite at home in our house, wandering around and exploring, I couldn’t stop being amazed at how smart Lola was, almost Princess Lila smart. She would silently ask me to take a tour of the house, jerking her head in the direction of the second floor and looking back at me – are you with me? As she walked into a room, she would look up at me as if saying, I could see myself in this room. What about you?
I really wanted to. Yet, every time I looked at her, I saw Lilechka.
It was still too close, and too raw. I would never look at Lola on her own merits, I realized. This rare feline, so beautifully calm, intelligent, caring and brave, deserved more than just being Princess Lila’s shadow. Lola and I often had silent conversations. She was good at silent communication – that I noticed since her stealth psychic exchanges with Princess Lila. I was pretty sure Lola knew how I felt.
We also knew that within a couple of years we would be moving again. Our many moves were always hard on our Lilechka, but she bravely endured them, for us. I didn’t want to do this to Lola and Tigger.
We finally decided to foster them while Lola was nursing, and then give them all up for adoption to good homes with the help of the nice cat lady we had met. We got attached to our six kitties and we knew we would miss them terribly. But it was the best and most reasonable thing to do for all.
Clearly, the Cat Goddess, assisted by the fairy godmother, Princess Lila, was looking out for our Lola and her kittens. This, once upon a time abandoned, homeless kitty, who had to survive on someone’s dilapidated porch even in the coldest of winters, had experienced a complete turnaround.
Lola and Tigger were adopted together by the cat lady’s friend, who had a big yard and lots of space for them to roam around. Yin-Yang and Blue were adopted together by another family, for their little girl and boy. Shadow, the black kitten, was adopted right away as well. Peach lingered the longest, but later he was also adopted by a nice family.
Lola’s terrible mouth sores had completely healed and we spoiled her so much with all that chicken that in the end she couldn’t look at it any more. The vet who neutered her gave her a clean bill of health. No worms, no sores, no problems. The kittens were as healthy and happy as they could be. How did you do it? The cat lady and the vet asked us. It appeared they expected worms and other problems.
We thought we didn’t really do anything special. Perhaps we just poured out on Lola and her kittens all the love that was once reserved for Lilechka.
And love heals all.
This is part of the story of Princess Lila and her many gifts. I hope you enjoyed the inspiring tale of Lola and her five kittens. One day, I plan to publish a book about Lilechka, whose working title is PRINCESS LILA’S LAST GIFT.
We expect to be moving again next year. It will be a big move and we’ve decided to hold off on adopting a kitty till after we’ve settled down. My hubby wants an orange kitty (he has always been secretly in love with Garfield). I am dreaming of a white kitty. Two would be nice, so they can play with each other, but maybe we’ll also get a black kitty as well, to remind us of Princess Lila’s cosmic spirit as a giant Black Panther (read about that in Princess Lila and I).
Three kitties are even better than two, don’t you think? ;)
We are keeping our options open, while keeping our eyes and ears open as well. We know, our life will lead us to the right kitties at the right time.
For now, when we go for our long walks around the city, we meet a lot of beautiful cats of all colors and breeds. They usually run to us and we get to pet them to our – and their – hearts content. These precious kitties would run to me and my hubby, their tails up in the air, with a little curl at the tip (a sign of respect); they would roll on the ground, exposing their belly and asking to be petted. They would snuggle against our legs and jump on our lap. The city where we live is kind and welcoming, and local house kitties feel quite at home on its shady streets. On our walks we also meet a lot of beautiful dogs and get to pet them, too.
It always amazes me how much unconditional love animals have. They pour out all that affection on us, humans, asking for very little in return – that we love them back.
#LightForPets #cats #animalrescue #animalprotection #petadoption #love #compassion
Copyright 9/24/2015 Lada Ray
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As a big animal lover, in my books animals and pets play a prominent role.
STEPFORD USA is a charming and humorous mystery. It’s in big part about a smart cat named Princess Lily and brave dog named James.
Princess Lily makes a comeback in the Amazon/Kindle bestselling sequel mystery thriller GOLD TRAIN (Accidental Spy Russia Adventure).
My short novelette, CATHARSIS (Legend of the Lemurians), in a mystical story of a great cosmic journey, and it’s also about hope and faith against all odds. But in big part, it is also a warning against destructive human behavior, containing a description of what can happen when humans have the wrong priorities and when they completely stop caring about animals.
Last, but not least, THE EARTH SHIFTER is a consistently top-rated spiritual and mystical tale of the Earth Shift, through which we all are going at this time. Most of the animals in this novel are the power spirit animals, helping the chosen ones to fulfill their destiny. However, the book also includes a touching real story of the two lost Siberian tigers.
animals, anti-war, awakening of nature, beauty, flowers, holiday, inspiration, International Women's Day, lily of the valley, Love, March 8, mimosa, nature, peace, photos of flowers, sacred feminine, spring, tulips
There are lots of beautiful holidays in the world. March 8 is one of my personal favorites. To me it’s associated with spring, smiles, and the intoxicating fragrance of tulips, delicate bells of the lily of the valley and sweetness of the mimosa flowers.
On March 8 the world celebrates the International Women’s Day. This holiday started over 100 years ago in Russia as a celebration of women’s rights and anti-war movement. Years later it became popular the world over as a holiday for women of all ages, when mothers, wives and daughters can kick back and allow themselves to be treated as pampered goddesses, letting men do the chores, bring them flowers, lavish them with massages and tickets to sold-out shows.
Find out how this holiday is celebrated in Russia and beyond from my eternally popular piece on Lada Ray Blog, combining history, reflections, memories and rare images: March 8, Happy International Women’s Day! (Note, as the International Women’s Day has been maligned and misinterpreted terribly in the US and some other Western countries, I highly recommend you read the above piece. It will put lots of things in perspective. Also read comments, in which people from various countries relay their experiences.)
To me, March 8 is the contemporary way of honoring the sacred feminine. But first and foremost, this is the holiday of the awakening of spring and the celebration of beauty and peace.
I don’t know about you, but on March 8, my house will be full of my favorite tulips, despite the dreary cold and snow piles outside. Too bad lily of the valley isn’t available in North America. But who is to say we can’t have a virtual March 8 celebration right here, on my blog!
I am wishing you lots of joy and flowers, love and beauty, and happy smiles this spring and always.
More than anything, I wish you PEACE. I wish you inner peace and strength to be yourself in all that life presents to you. Shine your light, love and understanding – today, the world needs it more than ever.
I also wish peace to your home, especially, if you live in an area stricken by a gruesome war.
Dear women, please enjoy all the flowers in the world!
If I weren’t located so far away, I would have adopted this precious kitty in a second! And I would have never let her go.
On January 10, 2015, the beautiful long-haired cat called Masha became world-famous. Masha’s story went viral on the net and off. Masha is a community cat adopted by an apartment block in the small city of Obninsk, located in the Kaluga region of Russia. She lives in a box in a private corner of the lobby, and neighbors take turns caring for her. Masha loves her freedom of coming and going as she pleases and she enjoys visiting various apartments to say hi. Masha is a very kind and gentle kitty.
On January 10, a retired lady from the nearby apartment heard Masha’s loud mewing, which surprised her as normally Masha was quiet, and moreover, she would come to her door to say hi. Thinking that perhaps Masha was hurt, she and others rushed to her box, where they discovered their favorite kitty cuddled next to the 2.5-month-old baby to keep him warm.
It appears someone placed the baby, who was well-nourished and well-dressed, along with extra clothes, food and diapers, in Masha’s box. Masha, who would soon be a mother too, kept the baby warm for several hours, while mewing to attract attention.
When the ambulance came to take the baby to the hospital, Masha, like a doting mother, kept circling around, making sure the baby was well taken care of. She wouldn’t calm down until the ambulance left.
The baby is doing well and thanks to Masha, he has not suffered from exposure at all. The investigators are looking for his parents. His name is unknown, but the hospital gave him the name of Ivan Petrovich Obninsky (after Obninsk, the city where Masha saved his life). Video report in Russian.
Many people have offered to help out and to adopt both the baby and Masha. Masha is now both local and world celebrity, but she longs for the privacy she used to enjoy. The celebrity status means dealing with cameras all the time. It seems for now Masha decided to stay with the kind people who always took care of her.
Video of Masha-the-cat and the retired lady who discovered the baby in her box. The lady says: It’s ok, Mashen’ka… she wants to go out. She is a bit agitated from all the attention. She’s been filmed even outside. I’ll come join you for a walk later, Mashen’ka.
Russia: Meet the hero cat who SAVED an abandoned baby
One more video about Masha with English subs: Hero cat rescues baby dumped in street by climbing in box to keep it warm in freezing conditions
acceptance, calibrations, chi kinesiology, COMPASSION, courage, david hawkins, energy kinesiology, enlightenment, humanity, inspiration, joy, Lada Ray, Love, New Thought, peace, reason, scale of human consciousness, spirituality, vibration
Universal Scale of Consciousness
(life-affirming, life-enhancing and life-creating calibrations 200-1000)
This is the continuation of ProjectEarthShift 1: Universal Scale of Consciousness (life-diminishing calibrations 0-199)
Today we will talk about the truly exciting, life-enhancing and life-creating calibrations of human consciousness. My Universal Consciousness Scale is based on the scale proposed by Dr. David Hawkins in his groundbreaking bestseller Power vs. Force. In his work, Dr. Hawkins used kinesiology test to answer simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and to calibrate the ‘truth’ and ‘falsehood’ of a subject or question.
I have taken this amazing system substantially further.
In addition to voice explanations, the videos are accompanied by written clarifications; they include beautiful imagery, with people, animals and nature, famous quotes and other enhancements designed to facilitate comprehension. Lots of hands-on examples of calibrations are included.
This is Part 2 of the series. Part 3: What is Chi Kinesiology is to follow. Please make sure you watch this part together with Part 1 for a full picture. (Part 1 video is here; My original post about Part 1 ishere.)
Here are the life-affirming calibrations we will discuss in this video segment. I bolded the additions and modifications I’ve made to the original scale:
NAME – CALIBRATION VALUE
LEVELS of REASON – 200-499
Courage – 200
Neutrality – 250
Willingness/friendship/cooperation – 310
Acceptance – 350
Reason – 400
Humanity/compassion – 480
LEVELS of MASTERY & MAGIC – 500-1000
Love – 500
Joy – 540
Creation – 580
Peace – 600
Enlightenment – starts at 700 to 1000
WATCH full screen in HD!
If you enjoyed it, please remember to like my video on YT and comment! Thank you!
This video makes me smile, while tickling my heart with the softest down of true love! This little orphan foxy has so much love and he shows it in the sweetest way! We need all the love we can get in our world today! Blessings to the little fox and people who care for him! May his life be always filled with much love. Blessings to all!
Thanks to Maddie Walsh from 1EarthUnite.wordpress.com for pointing out this video!
#dogs, #animalrescue, #China, #kindness
For a week in the city of Guyan, in the south-west of China, local citizens have been feeding a little dog that mysteriously got trapped in a city drain. Despite their attempts, they were unable to free the poor thing. After a week-long ordeal, the dog was finally freed up by a worker who was sent to help.
В городе Гуйян на юго-западе Китая собака застряла под землей в одном из дорожных водостоков. В течение недели жители города кормили ее через решетку и пытались вызволить из ловушки. Однако освободить животное смог только подоспевший на помощь дорожный рабочий.
1980 Moscow Olympics, Alexandra Pakhmutova, Alla Pugacheva, Bulat Okudzhava, cheburashka, contemporary Russian songs, Farewell of Slavianka, friendship, Katyusha, Lev Leshchenko, Love, Muslim Magomaev, peace, Russia, Russian culture, Russian movies, Sochi 2014 Olympics closing ceremony, Soviet music, Soviet Union, USSR, Viacheslav Tikhonov
Reblogged from FuturisTrendcast
That’s it! I am sick and tired of all the negativity, confusion and fighting going on between people and countries in this world! I declare a CHI-RAISING POSITIVITY DAY!
This is the post that will remind those who have forgotten, and open the eyes for those who have never heard it before. Simply put, below are some Soviet songs that are beautiful and famous in their own right, performed by some of the best voices you’ll ever hear. But there is something else about these songs that catches the eye: by their very existence they UNITE people, cultures and countries. The unique culture I am proud to have been born into had succeeded in performing a miracle no one else had been able to accomplish. At least for a short while we managed to unite different cultures in friendship and cooperation, instead of hatred and war! And that, in my book, IS the highest accomplishment this entire human civilization was ever able to achieve!
Since the Russian realm is such a UNIFYING force in the world, this is exactly why the West/NWO is itching to destroy it. Don’t believe me? Read and listen below – and judge for yourself! Perhaps those of my readers who are non-English speakers will easily recognize these gems from their childhood. The reason I am also confident my many English-speaking readers won’t know the songs below is because there always was a full-scale blockade of the Russian culture in the West, also referred to as the Iron Curtain. The reason the Iron Curtain was necessary was because the Russian ideas of friendship and cooperation were always too popular for the liking of the West. If such ideas took hold and people all over the world suddenly stopped fighting, how would they divide and conquer?
Warning, this is NOT American pop – this is live, positive, highly calibrated singing! Note: designation “Song of the Year” was given in the Soviet Union to the best songs written that specific year in the entire Soviet space.
In the Soviet Union, the ugly civil war based on pathological hatred taking place today in Ukraine, or in Nagorny Kharabakh (between Azerbaijan and Armenia), or such as was the 2008 war between South Ossetia/Georgia, or the frozen conflict between Moldova and Pridnestrovie, would have never happened. And if someone tells you that Russians oppressed other nationalities in the USSR, don’t believe such complete and total BS. I was there. It was, in fact, the other way around – Russians promoted every possible and impossible national minority, well before it became politically correct to do so in the US and EU. Sometimes, Russians did it to their own disadvantage.
But don’t believe me – just listen to the songs and watch videos below. Once you do, everything will become ‘crystal clear,’ as they say in Russia.
MEGA PARADE OF POSITIVE RUSSIAN SONGS THAT HAVE THE POWER TO UNITE!
Our Parents’ Home (the beginning of all beginnings) – ‘Родительский дом, начало начал.’ This is one of the lyrical gems from the 1970s. Performed by the famous buttery voice of the Soviet/Russian stage,Lev Leshchenko, originally from Ukraine.
Nightingale Grove – Лев Лещенко, Соловьиная роща. (Nightingale is the national Russian bird). One of the famous songs of the 1970s. Older, but still popular, Lev Leshchenko singing in 2008. Russian lyrics
Echo of Love – Song of the Year 1977. Эхо любви – Performed by Polish singer Anna German and Russian singer from Ukraine Lev Leshchenko – Анна Герман и Лев Лещенко
Lyrics: “And even in the land of the crawling darkness, beyond the circle of death, I know we won’t part – we are an echo, we are an echo, we are each other’s eternal memory.”
Hope – Надежда, Song of the Year 1975 – Polish singer Anna German, who was equally loved in Russia/USSR, singing the famous Russian song. Анна Герман…
Visit my Russia pages for more
I HAD to post this unbelievably hard-breaking and amazing dog rescue video. I cried, looking at this poor little terrified doggie abandoned in LA. The neighbors said that the owners moved away a year prior, and just left him behind on the street!
God bless the angels who rescue innocents and protect those in need! This equally concerns animals, plants, people, and our planet Earth.
Eldad Hagar runs a famous dog rescue center in Los Angeles – where the dark energy cloud is always hanging over the city, which is ironic considering the town’s name. I was in LA and Beverly Hills once, and didn’t survive there for long, being very sensitive to energy. I was happy to leave and don’t plan to ever be back. While most of California is quite nice, I see LA as a giant hole of doom. No wonder there is so much need in animal rescue there. This is not to say that animal rescue is any less crucial in any other part of our planet. Animal cruelty and neglect are super-important to expose and counter everywhere; it is super-important to help all those who are in need.
Please share and help Theo, the rescued doggie, find a home! Go to Eldad Hagar’s YT channel, or to HopeForPaws.org, for more on how to donate to help him in his life-saving efforts! He has many more heart-breaking and inspiring dog rescue videos.
Those who CARE about justice and protection of the innocents, can also go to FuturisTrendcast, where I have several posts about atrocities committed by the #Kiev #nazi junta in #Ukraine against their own population in the east of the country. These eyewitness posts contain English translation for my Western readers, who are bombarded by non-stop politician and media disinfo and lies, and have no access to the truth about what’s happening in Ukraine.
Just like that poor innocent dog, these people are also cruelly bombed, killed, or driven out of their homes. Millions in #Donbass, eastern Ukraine now live in ruins, have no running water, electric and gas; many children and women have to flee across the Russian border, while Ukrainian snipers are awaiting them in the shadows.
It is truly shameful, in my opinion, that only Russia helps the refugees, children, women, and peaceful citizens of eastern Ukraine, while the WEST fully supports the bombings by the Kiev junta!
A picture of the east Ukraine child, blown to pieces by Kiev junta military, and still alive and crying from pain, went viral all over the internet. It is too horrific to post on my blog, but I am sure you can google it. Another child just died in Donetsk. Doctors struggled for 5 hours to save a little boy, but it was impossible to remove 30 bomb pieces stuck in the child’s head. Eyewitness report about the dead child and his dead mother. Ukraine army just shelled the RUSSIAN border patrol checkpoint, shooting across the border! One Russian wounded. These news in Russian here.
This is an awesome interview by Lilou Mace of The Juicy Living Tour. For those who don’t know, Lilou is a wonderful interviewer and a beautiful soul. She has interviewed the likes of Wayne Dyer, Dolores Cannon, Drunvalo and many others. Visit her website: http://juicylivingtour.com/.
This interview is full of light, love and positive energy. Mirabai Devi has practical advice on praying, raising frequency and “roasting out” karma NOW! Why wait? After all, it’s all well within our power! We live at the moment of great quickening on Planet Earth. It is the time when veils between dimensions are thinning, and disappearing all together.
I especially love these gems:
1. The prayers are living words; they are matrixes. You have to plug the healing formula into this matrix in order to clear the dis-ease, the disconnection from the Source. Continue reading
Andre Rieu, Author Lada Ray, Barcelona Spain, earth shanges, earth shift, Free Hugs Campaign, joy, Love, New Earth, Ode to Joy, Osho, peace, Second Waltz by Dmitri Shostakovich, The Earth Shifter, Zorba the Buddha
In my recent interview with Jason Sullivan on Different Outcomes Blog as part of THE EARTH SHIFTER Virtual Tour, we’ve discussed how we are SHIFTING to the new spirituality and the new community on planet Earth, the one that is joyful and open, the one Osho called “being Zorba the Buddha.”
I know, our world is far from perfect, and every day there is violence and threats to peace, every day global ambitions or secret agendas of a few threaten lives and well-being of all. We’ve talked about these grave subjects in my previous posts and interviews. But we have also discussed the importance of staying positive and looking into the future with hope.
Today’s post is dedicated to the PURE LOVE and JOY, and to the effortless sense of community that is the trademark of the newly budding earthly society the birth of which we are presently witnessing with our own eyes. All over the world, individuals, businesses and organizations experience the “Eureka!” moment as people come together to celebrate.
I’ve put together a compilation of videos that demonstrate this point fully. If a picture is worth a thousand words, than these clips are worth millions of views, as seen on Youtube! These truly are Zorba the Buddha moments; these are rare glimpses into the future so many of us have dreamed about! Why wait? Be a part of the New Earth and immerse yourself in LOVE and JOY today!
animal rescue, Author Paulette Mahurin, Book Review by Lada Ray, Booker T. Washington, bullying, ebook, gay and lesbian, historical fiction, Kindle, Love, Monroe Doctrine, Nevada, Oscar Wilde, prejudice, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, United States
Emphatic FIVE STARS! Powerful Message!
Paulette Mahurin’s The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap is an eye-opening book with a very powerful message, and I read it with great interest.
First, an admission: I am a diligent history student because as the greats of old would tell you, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” This is why all my books have a thoughtful and meticulous historical underpinning seamlessly worked into the narrative. Paulette Mahurin masterfully weaves into her book the historic references of the late 19th century. Oscar Wilde’s trial for gross indecency in Great Britain is the main reference throughout the book, but also mentioned are the controversial Dreyfus conviction for espionage in France, Booker T. Washington, The aggressive US Monroe Doctrine expansion to South America and as a mere wisp, prejudice against Jews in both Russia and USA.
All these historical acknowledgments are much more than mere nods to well known past events. They serve to bring the entire world into the small Nevada town, which is the center of book’s action, and they also serve to underline that prejudice, ignorance and small-mindedness have no borders and are equally suffocating and harmful whether they are directed against a famous writer, a simple woman, a race, a religion, or against entire nations. Nothing happens in a vacuum, and so, this small Nevada town gets involved in raging world affairs through telegrams received via local post office, while playing out their own quiet drama, where gossip and malicious persecution of someone different becomes a sport.
I was impressed by the character of Mildred Dunlap. She is hardly a good-looking woman, with money and a wonderful heart, who helps her neighbors financially despite being the subject of constant gossip and black envy throughout her uneasy life. Mildred allows herself only one indulgence – her long-time secret love affair with her female cousin Edra. But the aftershock of the Oscar Wilde conviction in Britain threatens to change the status quo as the two women start fearing that they may become the subject of persecution themselves. I found the book development done exceptionally well and I found myself rooting for Mildred.
The author is part of the medical profession and I was very impressed how accurately various medical conditions were worked into the story line and how much they enhanced the book. The shocking and memorable culmination of the story is also about a medically-related mistake costing someone their life – but no spoilers!
The story also underlines the karmic consequences of one’s actions as in the end everyone reaps what they’ve sawed! Highly recommended!
P.S. Paulette Mahurin, the wonderful, compassionate and loving soul that she is, donates all profits from the book sale to the animal rescue. In her own words: “All profits from The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap are going to animal rescue, the first and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County, CA (Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center).” Please consider buying her book and supporting the animals in need!
You can purchase the book and you can read my review here:
animal lovers, beauty, Buddhism, Cat Ugly, City of Voronezh, dog, humanity, Jesus, Love, Powder the movie, Russia, Russian movies, Soviet movies, spirituality and enlightenment, White Bim the Black Ear
The story of the stray cat named Ugly, doesn’t let me go. There is so much more to say… Memories and thoughts flood my mind.
WHITE BEAM the BLACK EAR
Commonly (but incorrectly) translated into English as: White Bim the Black Ear, this is the title of a famous, multi-award winning 1977 Russian/Soviet movie (Russian: Beliy Bim, Chernoye Ukho) about a very intelligent dog, whose loving owner was hospitalized, leaving the dog in care of a neighbor. Beam (Bim) has unusually colored black ears, which is considered a blemish and an ugly, inappropriate feature for his normally all-white breed. The ailing, lonely writer and WWII vet, Ivan Ivanovich, rescues Beam from imminent death at the hands of a breeder and takes him in. When Ivan Ivanovich is hospitalized, the dog, not accepting his separation from the man he loves, runs away to search for him. It is a heart wrenching story of a loving, forgiving and intelligent dog, his grueling journey, encounters with various humans, their ignorance and prejudices, as well as some kind and loving people, especially children. Much like the cat Ugly in real life, Beam (Bim) in the movie serves as a powerful litmus test of sorts, bringing to light the good, the bad and the ugly of the human race.
Beam and the man he loves never meet. Hungry and exhausted, left inside a freezing dog catcher truck overnight together with another unfortunate dog, Beam dies the night before his owner’s arrival. The ending is bittersweet: Ivan Ivanovich returning from the hospital, adopts the little doggie whom Beam gave his last warmth during that chilly night; the dog catcher get pangs of consciousness and quits his disgusting job; the man, who once attempted to leave Beam to die in the forest, makes amends and asks forgiveness of his little son whom he deceived into thinking that Beam had run away; and come spring, the young puppy named White Beam the Black Ear, together with his loving owner, joyfully runs around, as both the man and the dog go to visit Beam’s grave where white flowers are in bloom once again.
I never got a chance to see this movie while growing up in Russia. But one evening in Princeton, NJ, when everyone in the house was asleep, I noticed it being shown on one of the Russian US channels. I can’t put in words the profound effect this movie has had on me! Two hours later, having cried half of the time, I went to make some tea. I hadn’t slept all night. The next morning, when everyone woke up, I was a changed person.
In Buddhist texts the effect that I felt would be described as “becoming enlightened.”
You’ll be able to find lots of praise for this masterpiece in so many places – just Google it! The common advice is to find this movie and watch it! But be prepared to cry while doing so.
Monument to White Bim the Black Ear in Voronezh, Russia. The inscription on his collar reads: “His name is Bim, he is waiting for his master’s return, he knows the way to his home. Don’t hurt him, people…”
Watch the whole movie (w. English subs!) on this wonderful blog by Kyle Keeton. By the way, this blog also contains a wealth of information about Russian life, culture and customs.
Remember the movie Powder about the unusual and gifted teenager, who looks powdery white and posses mysterious powers? Because of his strange white face he is constantly bullied and ridiculed by others, but he doesn’t respond, until he sees a deer being killed by the father of the same bully who’d always taunted him at school. Only then Powder springs into action, using his formidable powers to teach the killer a lesson.
As the wounded deer thrashes on the ground, and the hunter teaches his son and his friends how to best kill for sport, Powder places one hand by the deer’s heart and with his other hand, he grabs the man’s hand. All of the dying deer’s agony, all his fear, anguish and pain pulses through Powder’s body and into the body of the hunter. When the hunter tries to free himself from Powder’s grip, he can’t. Powder doesn’t say a word, but he won’t let go even as the man starts thrashing on the ground himself, feeling everything the dying deer is feeling. Powder only lets go after having made the hunter experience the full impact of the dying animal’s agony.
It was a very powerful scene. Had the shock therapy worked? Did it teach this man and his bullying son any lessons? I don’t know. But I hope it did.
UGLY, BEAM, and JESUS
One of the original post‘s comments compared the little kitty, called Ugly, with Jesus. When Jesus was put on the cross after being cruelly mistreated and beaten, just like Ugly, he didn’t lash out, but responded with love and forgiveness. The same applies to White Beam the Black Ear. He never attacked, nor even growled at any humans who treated him so badly. He never lost what we so misguidedly call HUMANITY. I know, certain religions do not consider animals equal to humans, as they are not supposed to possess “a soul.”
Me — I am with the Buddhists on this one. All life is precious and sacred, and no one’s better or worse. And those who think they are better, are in fact worse. Look around and see the manifestations of this everywhere. From animal cruelty and bullies, to wars in the name of “national interests” and “democracy”, to those who think they know more than others, when the opposite is actually true. This is the real message of this story.
“FIRST DO NO HARM”
These are the words from the Hippocratic Oath, created by Hippocrates in Ancient Greece and taken by all modern physicians. A similar concept of first doing no harm exists in the Native American, Siberian Shamanic, European and Chinese Naturopathic traditions.
The children in the USA are taught the Oath of Allegiance in kindergarten and school. Sure, it’s great to express one’s patriotism for a country. But I can’t help but think how much more important it is to first teach people to be responsible and benevolent citizens of our planet.
Just imagine how much better life on Earth would be, if the first words everyone learned in school were: FIRST DO NO HARM!
The heartbreaking story of the loving and forgiving stray cat, named Ugly, is something that resonates deeply with me. Read the original story here:
What is it that makes people act indifferently or cruelly towards others, be it an innocent animal, Earth’s nature or another human being. Ignorance? Closed-mindedness? Fear? All of the above? Parents who live in fear and with their minds closed then instruct their children, and perhaps even pets, like the dogs in Ugly’s sad story, to live and act in the same way.
Who hasn’t had experiences with bullies in their childhood? But what if a bully grows up and becomes this? Remember the terrible story that happened in New Jersey a few years ago, that of a young gay man, whose roommate at Rutgers University posted videos of him having sexual acts on the internet? This deliberately cruel act led to the young man’s suicide. The story received a lot of publicity and the guilty person received punishment. But what about so many other despicable acts and attitudes that get swept under the carpet? Do they just disappear? Do they teach a lesson? Do they leave a mark? Or do they escalate into something monstrous?
Where there is ignorance and closed-mindedness, there is prejudice followed by irrational fear, and even violence to “protect” the “threatened way of life.” In Ugly’s story, humans hosed down the poor stray and shut his paws in their doors. But on a global scale, these attitudes lead to wars, or attempts to start wars, as we are presently observing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran. What always struck me is that people who have started the war in Iraq haven’t the faintest idea on how to correctly pronounce the name of the country, nor do they care to know how people in that country live and what’s important to them.
But it always starts small; it always starts close to home.
In the old days, pigeons delivered urgent and important messages. Postal pigeons brought hope and saved lives. They carried correspondence from war zones and hard to reach places; they delivered messages from stranded or imprisoned people, leading to their rescue. Intelligent and gentle birds, they have been considered messengers of the gods. And along with the dove, their close relative, in Europe they are a symbol of peace and love.
Pigeons are a fixture on European squares, with people feeding them and kids chasing them, which pigeons don’t seem to mind. Humans and pigeons have always peacefully coexisted in the most beautiful cities of Europe, and some consider them an enhancement to the scenery. In Italy and some other countries it is actually considered great luck and a sign from God when a pigeon poops on you. In Odessa, where I grew up, children built pigeon lofts on roofs of apartment buildings, where they fed and played with pigeons. Although people in Europe LOVE feeding pigeons, authorities are not amused, aiming to limit the pigeon population.
Pigeons in Red Square, Moscow.
Pigeons in St. Mark’s Square, Venice. Authorities don’t like it when people feed the pigeons. Some cities even impose a hefty fine if you do. This photo’s inscription reads: “They sure missed the sign that says, don’t feed the pigeons.”
One of the many beautiful fountains of Odessa, this one with city pigeon sculptures.
A few days ago my husband and I have rescued a young pigeon, who appeared to have fallen out of the third story attic where lots of local pigeons resided. The building in question is located on Main Street, a short walk from our house in the Catskills. My husband noticed the poor bird sitting motionlessly on the sidewalk, as cars and huge rumbling trucks passed by. He was not fully grown, but not a baby any more either. He might have flown out of his flock’s nest on top of the building for the first time, but grew tired and was unable to fly back up.
The little thing puffed up his little body in fear and had a very dejected and ugly look. We were afraid something might happen to him so close to the traffic and started slowly directing him along the nearby driveway into the inner courtyard. The pigeon stood up and reluctantly walked into the courtyard on his unsteady little feet. We followed to see where he would go. At first, the pigeon went all the way to the back as if trying to blend with the wall, and stood like that, his back to the door of one of the courtyard’s small stores, which was closed for the moment.
My concern was that someone might open the door and squash him. As if hearing my thoughts, the pigeon slowly emerged from his “hiding spot” and settled himself in the middle of the parking lot with the same dejected look, with cars around him coming and going. People would walk to their cars right past the pigeon, and drive out without giving him a second look. At times he tried to fly, but couldn’t.
We knew if we didn’t do something fast, our little pigeon would be squashed by one of these cars in no time. I went inside of one of the stores located in the courtyard and asked the owner whether they had the key to the attic so I could put the pigeon back where he would be safe.
The woman said that only the landlord had access to the attic. I asked if she had the landlord’s telephone number. Here is what the store owner responded: “I don’t want to bother the landlord for something as insignificant as a pigeon.” I replied that it was a living thing, just like her or me, but she firmly reiterated: “I won’t bother him for a pigeon.”
Meanwhile, my husband ran back to our house to look up the instructions for pigeon rescue.
Turns out that if a pigeon sits without moving, if he can’t fly and allows you to handle him, it means he is tired and in need of a few hours of rest. We made a few holes in a cardboard box, I put on leather gloves, just in case, and placed the little pigeon safely in the box. He allowed me to handle him and my husband carried him home.
On the way to our house, we met a woman walking two adorable dogs. My husband proceeded home, while I stopped to pet them, as the woman started telling all about her beloved pets. I listened to her, thinking that it was great to meet another animal lover.
“We just rescued a little pigeon,” I shared with her.
The woman’s attitude changed immediately. “Did you know that pigeons carry lice?” she said.
“Oh,” I responded, “I wore gloves, see?” And I showed her my gloves, which I took off to pet her dogs.
“And lice can get in your hair,” she went on. “Just letting you know.” She jerked on her dogs’ leashes and quickly left.
My husband laughed when I told him the story. “I have news for her,” he said. “Dogs carry lice just as much, if not more. And according to my research, there is no substantial evidence that pigeons carry lice. It’s more of a tale than reality.”
I believe my husband. He is good at research.
We placed the box with our little pigeon in our shady back yard to allow him to rest and calm down. A couple of hours later, I took him out of the box and let him wander around the yard. We also gave him some bird feed and water. He ate and drank and again sat in the sun, resting. We were a little concerned about our cat Lily’s reaction to the pigeon. Lily loves basking in the sun in our back yard, which our little princess considers her domain. But, as if knowing that it would not be a good idea on that specific day, Lily (this famous mind reader) slept in the TV room all day, which was highly unusual for her on such nice, sunny day.
Meanwhile, the little pigeon started recovering. When we first saw him, he was all dull and puffed up from fatigue and fear. Now his black body started acquiring an irridescent glow. His little feet, which seemed pale pink when we found him, now acquired a distinctive red coloring. His neck, which was initially puffed up to a degree that I thought that perhaps something was wrong with him, now stretched and became slim and graceful, as he calmed down, ate and rested. His body was very pleasantly warm to the touch and he turned out to be a very beautiful little pigeon.
The pigeon wandered back and forth around the back yard and the driveway, and eventually headed to the front. I caught him again almost on the sidewalk and put him back deeply into the back yard, where he continued his exploration. Although his wings seemed fine and he was now well rested, his attempts to fly were still unsuccessful. I left him alone, deciding that he would be okay in the back and because I had lots to do. I retreated to my study, asking my husband to watch him from the window of his study.
When I came out several hours later, my little pigeon was gone. Turns out, while I was at work, he got his wings back and flew off, no doubt to new adventures.
I’ll miss him. But wherever he is today, I wish him a safe and happy journey!
It’s easy to love that, which is beautiful. But it seems, beauty in this world is impossible without ugliness, and sometimes the biggest beauty is hidden in what appears ugly. All you have to do is look beyond the surface.
The post below is reblogged from Joseph A. Gier via Ayanna Nahmias http://ayannanahmias.com/2012/08/12/animal-rights-story/
I don’t often reblog other people’s posts, even the ones I enjoy very much, since my own blogging schedule is so tight. After my last post about the Sunshine Award, I was planning on basking in the Sun for a few days before publishing 3 brand new posts about the beautiful Golden Ring of Russia and the magnificent Russian churches. These posts, complete with gorgeous new pics are literally standing in line, awaiting publication.
But I am putting all that on hold, because THIS POST is much more important and I want as many people as possible to read it! It’s not an easy read (I cried while reading it!) but it teaches something that very few things in life can teach with more humility and poignancy, namely: LOVE, COMPASSION, FORGIVENESS and KINDNESS.
Unfortunately, I don’t know who initially posted this story, but I want to thank that person, as well as all those who reblogged it. This post is a MUST read for all. Please tweet, FB, reblog and mention it in all your favorite social media!
I am also planning parts 2 and 3, where I’ll share my own experiences and thoughts on the subject.
Love, Compassion, and Ugly
(This post is reblogged from the source in its entirety)
This is not written by me .. but felt move to share it…I have no reason to believe it is not true.
Everyone in the apartment complex I lived in knew who Ugly was. Ugly was the resident tomcat.
Ugly loved three things in this world: fighting, eating garbage, and shall we say, love. The combination of these things combined with a life spent outside had their effect on Ugly.
To start with, he had only one eye, and where the other should have been was a gaping hole. He was also missing his ear on the same side, his left foot has appeared to have been badly broken at one time, and had healed at an unnatural angle, making him look like he was always turning the corner.
His tail has long since been lost, leaving only the smallest stub, which he would constantly jerk and twitch. Ugly would have been a dark gray tabby striped-type, except for the sores covering his head, neck, even his shoulders with thick, yellowing scabs.
Every time someone saw Ugly there was the same reaction. “That’s one UGLY cat!!”
All the children were warned not to touch him, the adults threw rocks at him, hosed him down, squirted him when he tried to come in their homes, or shut his paws in the door when he would not leave.
Ugly always had the same reaction. If you turned the hose on him, he would stand there, getting soaked until you gave up and quit. If you threw things at him, he would curl his lanky body around feet in forgiveness. Whenever he spied children, he would come running meowing frantically and bump his head against their hands, begging for their love. If you ever picked him up he would immediately begin suckling on your shirt, earrings, whatever he could find.
One day Ugly shared his love with the neighbors huskies. They did not respond kindly, and Ugly was badly mauled. From my apartment I could hear his screams, and I tried to rush to his aid. By the time I got to where he was laying, it was apparent Ugly’s sad life was almost at an end.
Ugly lay in a wet circle, his back legs and lower back twisted grossly out of shape, a gaping tear in the white strip of fur that ran down his front. As I picked him up and tried to carry him home I could hear him wheezing and gasping, and could feel him struggling. I must be hurting him terribly I thought.
Then I felt a familiar tugging, sucking sensation on my ear – Ugly, in so much pain, suffering and obviously dying was trying to suckle my ear. I pulled him closer to me, and he bumped the palm of my hand with his head, then he turned his one golden eye towards me, and I could hear the distinct sound of purring. Even in the greatest pain, that ugly battled-scarred cat was asking only for a little affection, perhaps some compassion.
At that moment I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I had ever seen. Never once did he try to bite or scratch me, or even try to get away from me, or struggle in any way. Ugly just looked up at me completely trusting in me to relieve his pain.
Ugly died in my arms before I could get inside, but I sat and held him for a long time afterwards, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray could so alter my opinion about what it means to have true pureness of spirit, to love so totally and truly.
Ugly taught me more about giving and compassion than a thousand books, lectures, or talk show specials ever could, and for that I will always be thankful. He had been scarred on the outside, but I was scarred on the inside, and it was time for me to move on and learn to love truly and deeply. To give my total to those I cared for.
This story makes me think of my favorite flower – lotus. Incredibly and strikingly beautiful, it is also the flower universally considered in the East to represent the divine perfection. Do you know why? Lotus grows out of the mud of a swamp to bloom into the gorgeous flower we all admire. To the Buddhists this represents the ultimate spiritual paradox: the divine beauty growing out of what appears ugly.
This lotus is for the beautiful cat named UGLY!