Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

One itty bitty second and life changed



{Through October 20th, read, leave comment below [all comments moderated] and one of you will get a free copy of "Misfits of Love".}

October has been a hard month for me, very hard. There is such a juxtaposition of beauty and melancholia in autumn. I've always felt that way about it, even as a child. It's a beginning, but also an end - summer leaves and school starts; teenagers fly off and mothers regroup; leaves die but the dirt is nourished; winter is felt in the air but the sun still warms the face.

October is a "reminder" month for me in many ways. It is the month of many birthday's - my late father's, my old One Eyed Pug who died in April, and friends from back home who I miss. It is the first October that I have no trip planned to be with my mother who died in April. Reality has firmly set in.

It is the beginning of a holiday season that will be harder than usual this year for me. But I am working, I am moving forward and I'm looking at ways to avoid falling into a hole. So many things are shifting around me - and that is as it should be. One can't be static, I don't expect that. But shifts bring discomfort and nostalgia that the past was more serene, even though we know it wasn't. Shifts also bring growth and new challenges, new perspectives and vistas leaving one refreshed or inspired to create something brand new that would have been unthinkable before the shift occurred.

I've been on the farm almost ten years. Hard to believe, really. I think of all the animals that have come and gone, and all the fencing projects that came with it!

Three years ago a small little imp rolled into my life unexpectedly as I was driving down a rural highway. Wet and bone thin, it was a miracle the oncoming truck didn't hit her, but when I pulled over to see if I could catch her, she sat quietly on the edge of that road, cars passing by, and she squeaked once. I really did not want another house cat. And a kitten to boot. I took her to my nearby vet wondering if they might take her in, but they were full up. So I drove her home, all the time thinking of how I could manage her in the house with two other cats, and two dogs. I knew the barn cat colony would be rough on her, and she was so tiny - only one pound and skin and bones. I figured Martyn would not be too pleased. But he took one look at her and said,

"Well of course you had to bring her home."

From that moment on that cat bonded with him. To this day, she adores Martyn, and gets under the covers with him, still letting out her tiny itty bitty squeak, just like the day I found her. We get such amusement from her. She adds to the household.

So I wasn't expecting her, nor was I seeking her. But she came into my life and made it better somehow. She added to it. I am going to hold onto that thought as I go through these melancholy times. There are unexpected encounters lurking right around the corner. Who knows what they will bring into my life?

Happy three year anniversary, Itty Bitty Etta. One second earlier or later on the road, we wouldn't have met. How important the timing of a day can be, not one second can be taken for granted, no matter what state of mind one is in.

See more of Itty Bittty Etta.

25 comments:

Cathy said...

Oh, I needed to hear the Itty story retold today! I'm grateful to the universe for putting you in her path (or vice versa) three years ago.

Katherine Dunn said...

I agree! I needed to hear it again too- it never gets old remembering it. So glad you know her too! She awaits your return when you are able.

kelly said...

she is so so cute!
goodness begets goodness!!
i am smiling so big!

Katherine Dunn said...

My mother's name was Kelly. When I saw your name pop up on the comment "Kelly said"...be still my heart. I think it was a message from my mother too...

Mugwump Woolies said...

So lovely...wise words from a wise woman. Itty Bitty Etta is a beauty!
Robyn

Candace said...

I remember when you first got it. She's an adorable young lady now...animals are so wonderful, glad you have her.

Suzanna said...

What an amazing little face! Happy Anniversary, Itty Bitty Etta! Thinking of you, Katherine, in the melancholy time...

Katherine Dunn said...

Thanks for writing Mugwump, Candace and Suzanna!

Lis said...

I sit here and realize, all of the important encounters/events of my life occurred not when I was actively seeking, but when I was open and receptive to receiving. Happy anniversary!

Katherine Dunn said...

Lis- this is so very true. And I think too, for me anyway, sometimes one thinks they are 'open', but they aren't ready, on that day or time. It's when you don't even know you are open, maybe...

Vickie Scarlett-Fisher said...

So good to read this at this time in our (Zoey the cat and our family), it put a smile on my face. Our cat picked us at the animal shelter 1 yr ago. She kept reaching out to us through her cage. She is so loving and so much fun. Then 2 weeks ago we almost lost her. She was having stomach problems and the vet did surgery on her but 2 days after surgery she passed a blood clot and luckily the tech came in early to check on the animals over the weekend. She revived her with paddles and called the Vet and he walked her threw everything till he got there. I am so thankful for this tech and vet. And that we have such dedicated and loving people. They are still surprised she made it through all the complications and were so happy to see her on her follow up appointment this week. She is still recovering but doing great! It is such a wonder how a cat can change your whole life but ours has and we are so thankful to have her. Got to love furry pets!!!

barbara@sparrowavenue said...

any connection to Etta James?

An itty bitty voice would be the antithesis.

Kat-Alex ni'loughlin said...

The best lessons & greatest blessings come when I am not looking for them. I've had an amazing life, thus far, just dancing through. Happy Anniversary too all of you! My life has been greatly enhanced by one rescued cat & one (unwanted & mistreated ) "re-homed" dog, when I was really the one being rescued.

Katherine Dunn said...

VIcki- well, that is so wonderful that vet tech walked in at that moment!Barbara- her name has multiple layers, as does she. Etaa is after Etta James. But after we named her Itty Bitty ETTA, we soon realized she is two cats, or one cat with an inside Itty life, and outside, she becomes Big ETTA. SOmeday I'll write a story on it..

Katherine Dunn said...

Kat, I know what you mean. I look at the animals I've adopted and see what they brought to me- which is a definate part of the "Misfits of Love" book coming out - garish plug.

deborahh40 said...

I think she was waiting for you to come by that day. Some souls need to be in our lives and they will risk life and limb to make it happen. You have a collection on the farm of animals that have the unique combination of strong spirit and weaken body. I think you have the patience and skills to help them heal so they can stay here or leave feeling more balanced. You have a gift and the universe knows it. Now that you need some healing I am so proud of you for inviting in some animals that have young strong bodies who can help you heal and stick around awhile so that you do not need to grieve anew. Sending love and healing thoughts your way.

Katherine Dunn said...

Oh, Deborah - I'm sitting here working on a writing assignment and this message just makes me teary - I so appreciate what you say! And that you recognize my need to have some youth here for me...Thank you for such kind words, it means a lot right now.

Jessika Gerondale said...

My cat Lewis had been dumped off in the post office parking lot in McMinnville just about 2 years ago. I was walking my 2 dogs by early in the morning and he called out to us. On the way back by on my home, he called out again. I told him if he would let me carry him along with my dogs he could come home with us. He has added so much to all of our lives. He's the most happy go lucky, go with the flow cat I've ever known. I admire what you have done so much. I hope to be in a place one day to have my own band of misfit dogs.

Katherine Dunn said...

Jessika- isn't interesting when he clearly - with intent- tell them what we need them to do so we can help them - they abide. Reminds me of Lyndyn Baines, a wandering rooster- but I digress, that is another story. I'm so glad you offered to carry Lewis.

Anonymous said...

Etta is one lucky Kitty. I have also carried home a stray and rescued four more from a feral colony. The last one only getting permission to stay after she attached herself to my husband. They bring us such joy every day.

Anonymous said...

Etta is one lucky kitty. I have also carried home a stray and rescued four more from a feral colony. The last one only getting permission to stay after attaching herself to my husband. They bring us joy everyday. Bantam Studios.

Katherine Dunn said...

Drumrole...the copy of "Misfits of Love" goes to...Suzanna! {Hoof stomps and goat ruminating heard in background}

Suzanna said...

Thank you thank you, so much!!! My donkey self is doing a little jig and singing a quiet song (so as not to bother the neigh-bors)!

Katherine Dunn said...

You're welcome, Suzanna. Can't wait to send out the book in November!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely girl. I've always sent the Etta posts to a friend who was so touched by the story, but isn't a blog-reader. Etta's French friends send salutations!

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~