The moles are back, a new batch of rabbits have been born, the chipmunks are here and the baby mice have arrived. And, they’re all in the house.

thumb_allcrittes1Thank you Carrot, the cat. Summer is here. I can tell by the small creatures that show up in the bedroom, under the sofa, in the closet, and basement. Mostly they are where I trip over them, after all, they are a gift from the cat and he’s determined that I find his offerings.

The problem is the newly re-opened cat door. When the cottage was remodeled years back the cat door was installed but Carrot refused to use it. He wanted to be greeted by a door person. Who doesn’t? So I accommodated all hours of the day and night in order to meet his demands for in and out, in and out. It took a man friend to put a stop to this after way too many 5 a.m. get up and answer the door requests. He said he was concerned for my sleep. Right. Nonetheless, he reactivated the door, trained Carrot with great persistence and consistent refusals to open the door. It worked.


That’s all fine and good in the winter. It’s now another season. So now I’ve been trained not to be alarmed to hearing squeaks, pleas, scratching, chasing and hunting around my bedroom at 1 a.m. Stepping on a dead mouse or mole in the night is, however, my greatest dread.


I love nature and now commune with it up close. I don’t, however, spend a lot of time begrudging Carrot’s freedom to be who he truly is - the hunter by nature and companion of the highest level. Is this acceptance level not the least we can do, to appreciate all the parts and pieces of ourselves and of those with whom we share our lives and our living spaces?

Carrot loves all the stages of the creative process. In his way, he is never overworked or stressed. Are we loving and enjoying in a relaxed way what we are doing and creating? Perhaps we’re not in tune with our natural rhythm or with nature itself. Our self-doubt, or unwillingness, to spend the time finding what we love, who we are and what we want to give back may need some fine-tuning.

Carrot the cat, is being who he is 100 percent. He is hunting, not for the kill, but for the gift he can offer. He’s engaged in the game he loves most - the cat and mouse game of chasing, hiding and seeking. His most recent gift of last evening is squeaking from under the baseboard in the bedroom. These offerings keep me in the moment - laughing, appreciating and connected with a humorous and light relationship with this creature with whom I share this space.

Carrot lived here in this cottage/home before I did. He literally came with the house in an answer to a prayer for a new cat to arrive in my life when I got situated in a new house post divorce. The sellers, Dan, Casey, and daughter, Mauve, needed to find a new home for Carrot. I’m still not sure if I bought the cottage because I loved it, or because I already loved Carrot who greeted me at my car door each time I came to visit. The Universe has its’ ways.

I’m awed by what I’ve learned from this guy cat. He’s not only creative, he’s savvy in his way of doing what he does best. His approach to the task of hunting offers life lessons. The first, walk gently on the earth, do not race or rush to your destination. He watches, observes, takes a nap, stretches, seems to decide what’s next but lingers nonetheless before moving on it.

thumb_allcritters2He wastes zero energy. Once rested, he sits down, eyes the object of his desire. He’s imagining his end-game. He’s taking note of his targets’ habits of rushing, scurrying and racing in and out of holes. He’s paying attention...focused and determined in the most quiet way. There is no fanfare, no extraneous moves, no pandering for attention. When he’s ready, because the opportunity has been created, the groundwork has been laid, he now takes action.

The only time Carrot seems to be in a rush is when he’s coming through his door in full bloom of pride and enthusiasm. He simply cannot wait to present his gift. He poses on the handmade rug in the living room observing his gift’s reception. Should it be the middle of the night, he announces his return from his midnight hunt with a very specific meow that I know well. He waits for a groan or some sort of noisy nod. Sometimes he has to let out another cry for his acknowledgment. Life is like that. Sometimes it takes years before anyone notices.

Then there’s the second act. He now wants to see how this particular critter chooses to maneuver in his playground where he sets the rules. Here he is the master.

For his third and final act, he makes his way to the porch to curl up for a well deserved nap. It is his acknowledgment to himself for a job well done.

We would do well to remember these offered lessons and this final step of acknowledging ourselves for our acts well done whether large or small. It is the last and final step of living life in natural flow.

Editor’s Note: Jill will be at the Chester Market on Sundays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Look for her along 4 Water Street. Jill will be exhibiting and selling her tidbit/olive oil dipping dishes coupled with Lisa Tiezzi’s, Tutti Amici, Olive Oil.