Who is the REAL Rescue? Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Kitty Mom's Day

tO aLL the offiCiaL and UNofficiaL mOmmies out there who make room in their lives and homes to rescue, care for and LOVE our UNofficaiL four-paw babies! Where would this world be without their unconditional acceptance and love. Happy Mother’s Day!

Love, Bernadette and aLL her meSSy mEOws! MiKeY, THeo, ReeSie, WeeBie … and the ones that now have FoReVeR HoMeS elsewhere. XOXO

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Shades of Picasso

Shades of Picasso


So, today was supposed to be a writing day for the Messy Room blog and I realized, about an hour ago after the “rescue-kitty” dominos fell, that my ideal for the day wasn’t going to happen. As I maneuvered through the maze of closed doors to make the cat introductions – again – and set the pecking order ground rules – again – I thought, “Why do I have this mess in my house?”

No, Ray hasn’t moved out. WE still own this house. I say “my house” because the drama between these cats in this house is mine. And their infringement into my writing consciousness is mine. (Ray is happily painting in the studio of his house  – with Reesie, our somewhat feral kitty.)

I’m sure there is a classroom in here but not so sure about getting a passing grade on this one. I don’t know that I will ever overcome my predisposition to be “distractedly” overprotective when it comes to cats. (All right, people too.)

After a few frustrated tears and lassoing Ray on his way to refill his coffee cup, it hit me; this is exactly why I re-purposed this blog. Exactly why it is now “Musings from the Messy Room.” I don’t have to wow you with insights and such. I just have to show up with my mess. So here I am.

If you have a moral to the story – or a mess of your own to share – PLEASE jump in! And don’t trip over the cats.

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Four-Paw Feng Shui. Thank You, Mama.


Teachers come in all shapes and sizes. Mine, often with four legs. A petite black cat was such a teacher.


I met Mama Cat in the summer of 2001. She came with our fixer-upper and was a feral through and through. The first couple of months she tolerated our invasion, watching our activities from a distance. She slept in an abandoned wicker chair on the far end of the front porch. The house had not been lived in for a long time and, according to our neighbor, Mama’s residence had been consistent enough to produce several litters in the crawl space under the house. She looked well fed so I assumed she was a good hunter or great scavenger. Turned out, a gal across the street had taken it upon herself to feed the neighborhood strays that were smart enough to find her front porch. Mama was one of those.

The three of us (me, Ray and Smitty the kitty) were living out of one room so making our old mill house livable – while tending to our livelihoods – took up the better portion of my attention. Mama was a silent presence as we carried in building materials and hauled out scraps. I didn’t give her much thought. That is until I glanced out our kitchen window one Read more

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The Power of Meow

in loving memory of Smitty the Kitty


Bernadette & Smitty

You all know that I often process life through writing. I am posting this excerpt from my journal for our little guy, Smitty, and the 20 years he shared with us. He grew from a strong-willed rebellious little character to a very loving snuggle bunny with a wisdom all his own. He graciously survived Mommy and Daddy’s separation (almost divorce) and their gypsy wagon era and happily settled on Wheat Street for 7 years. The longest he got to live anywhere.


Journal Entry, Friday Morning, October 24, 2008

Every morning Smitty and I sit in The Power of Meow. (Smitty’s version of Eckhart Tolle’s book, “The Power of Now.”)

This ritual started a good while back with Smitty standing at the cardboard partition between the living room and the back of the house. A partition that controls unescorted wanderings into the living room where occasional kitty dementia challenges his litter box manners … Smitty would “meeoownow” loudly, peeking over this partition his aging body does not let him jump, making his desire to be with us known – most particularly in the mornings (like now) when I am in my quiet time; reading, writing, or meditating.

These days, Smitty doesn’t meow so much. He waits patiently in his newly chosen Read more

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Smitty the Cat’s ‘Find Your Spot’


Ray and I have an 18 year old kitty who informed us that he has a few things to say about why it is so important to good health and peace of mind to Find Your Spot and claim it.

Smitty used to be fat. He gained a lot of weight when we moved to Los Angeles. He contends the earthquake tremors pushed him into stress eating. He also contends that LA is not his spot and that he doesn’t need a website survey to tell him that. He is happy to report that he is doing much better since we moved back east – where he was born – and is very grateful that “Mom & Dad” came to their senses. He says cats know a lot about finding their spot and if we humans would just follow their example we could learn a few things.

Eighteen years ago, Smitty’s spot was on the roof of our front porch. Specifically in the morning just before “Mom” left for work. He found this to be a good attention-getter in his quest to make our home his. He claims he actually levitated to secure his spot. (There were no trees that he could climb so we can’t really dispute him on that.) His favorite way down was to jump into a box held up to the overhang – meowing pitifully of course.

Smitty says persistence, ritual, and a flair for the dramatic gained him his spot. He says, once you find your spot, you should do whatever you must to claim it and that you should not give up – even if others don’t catch on right away.


“I found my spot in Daddy’s heart.”


Read more

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