Introducing Bolt . . .

Bolt

Bolt

It has been over 18 years since we’ve had a kitten in our lives. It’s also been that long since we adopted an animal solely as a household pet, and not a “working” pet as part of Teaching Creatures. For almost a year, our son has been asking for a kitten, having only experienced older cats, and wanting something youthful and exuberant to play with. Our sweet cat Small turned 18 in August, and prefers to spend his days quietly lounging on the furniture, nibbling a few morsels, and getting snuggles, NOT playing.

I am a firm believer in serendipity, and many of my animals have come to me in fateful ways. Bolt is no exception. Our first opportunity to adopt Bolt came back in early September, shortly after our cousin found him under her deck in Brooklyn, NY. The pictures she posted on Facebook were adorable: He was a perfect mix of two of our beloved cats, Slyder (8/17/1992 – 3/29/2010) and Small. It seemed meant to be, but in the end we decided we weren’t ready for a new kitten yet, and Bolt was adopted by another family.

Small (l) and Slyder (rt.)

Small (L) and Slyder (R)

Slyder and Small shared a special bond.

Slyder and Small shared a special bond.

Fast forward three months. Once again, our cousin posts pictures of Bolt on Facebook, explaining that the family that adopted him discovered an allergy and need to give him up.  Kismet!  This time, there is no doubt in my mind that Bolt is meant to be ours.  And so our Christmas this year has been blessed with a wish come true in the form of a little black and white ball of energy and fun. Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Bolt and Small. Happy Holidays to all!

Bolt and Small. New bonds to be made!

Bolt and Small. New bonds to be made!

 

 

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Turtle Time

A couple of years ago, a good friend gave me this beautiful photograph of a hatchling snapping turtle, framed with a quote from Lao Tsu: “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

I was reminded of this today as I slowed my car down to watch and carefully pass a large flock of European starlings and brown-headed cowbirds that kept flying down, in graceful concert, into the road in front of me. The woman driving the car behind me immediately moved to pass me, and though she decided against it, I watched her throw her hands up at me in exasperation and impatience.

Nesting leatherback sea turtle - Culebra, PR 1987

Nesting leatherback sea turtle – Culebra, PR 1987

The holiday season can bring out the best, and sometimes the worst, in our species. For many, it is a time of frantic hurrying, piqued anxiety and immeasurble stress. I myself get caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all, and when I do, I try to remember  to take a lesson from the slow, sure, steady lives of the amazing turtles I’ve worked with over the years. I take a deep breath, and find comfort in the knowledge that it will all get done eventually.

In the words of the wise old turtle Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda, “Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” Here’s to slowing down and enjoying the moment this holiday season!

Douglas, the ornate box turtle Oct. 2013

Douglas, the ornate box turtle Oct. 2013