I haven't been hearing Sir Yowlsalot since I I left water the other day. But about about nine last night he started mewling so, after donning a pair of socks, my shoes and my coat, I headed out cat trap and chicken. The weather was chilly, but in the pleasant way winter can be just before spring-- a fog of cat pee was in the air. After setting the trap I mewed until I saw a shadow slither under a car...
Back in the day ( "the day" being 1980 to 2005) I was all horse crazy. I mean obsessed with emphasis, as opposed to my current state "wishing you were here" with you being a horse. I'd keep one in the apartment if it weren't for the four flights of stairs.
But it didn't mew and it didn't come out. I returned to the apartment and waited. It wasn't long before I caught the wrong cat, big old Tom crisscrossed with scars that had never been close to people his entire life. I tried again and I caught another wrong cat. I probably caught more feral cats last night... well, lets just say, according to the TNR people, getting one cat in the trap is supposed to difficult, let a lone a whole colony. I considered keeping one and having it neutered but the cats I caught the more I realized a few things: There must be about thirty tom cats living behind my apartment building, I would go broke trying to TNR these guys, and neutering just one was an act of cruelty to that cat who would then get really beat up by all the other toms.
Sometimes we want to do the right thing, and sometimes our perspective of the right thing is shaped by others, but isn't necessarily possible, or, if it is possible, it's not the right thing...
Leaving names unnamed there is a no kill dog rescue in Korea that rescues dogs from city shelters. The dogs live in his care for years and .... the conditions are not terrible, but they're not good either. When I first learned of him, he was passionate about what he did. Now he laments the personal cost to, the inconsistency of support after foreigners leave Korea and how he can't afford better facilities. His joy in what he does had been replaced by frustration.
I've been in his shoes, well not exactly in his shoes. Back in the day, I took up the cause of getting people to stop attributing human motives to their horses and punishing their equines for "intentionally" being bad. I expected others to hop on board and they just didn't. It wasn't just a matter of approach. Other people had success and are still having success.
Take writers for another example. We hop on board our stories and expect other people to do the same, but they don't because it's not right for us. In the video below, Will Smith talks about bricks. The larger story of the smaller brick story is "Be the master of your own success." I've been down a thousand roads in life and if there is of thing thing I'm certain, why one person is successful and another is not, doesn't just come down to working harder. Nor does it come down to luck.
I'm waging an internal war about about destiny, which is to say one's "right" path. However, destiny were really part of it, then how come there's no one making prophesy for the best shoe sales person in Albuquerque? Okay, I was trying to be funny with that one and failed. Lets move on, shall we
I can't answer when something is right for us or when it is completely wrong, but this cat thing led to this thing (this thing being my blog) and thinking about my moderately moderate success in writing. It has not been easily won. If I were to measure the effort to the gain (as I did with the cats), the the rational thing would be to quit. But artistic pursuits, hobbies and what brings us joy, is not always economical. When it's right, it just is. When it's wrong it just is. And because life is never simple; what was right before can also be wrong now. Rinse and reverse. Perhaps the secrete of life is knowing when to hold onto your proverbial pussy and when to let it go.
Mariel R. is an ESL teacher, horse trainer, writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. She lives in South Korea with two cats, three horses, a German Shepherd and 17 chickens.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Goldy in English) R.I.P February, 23, 2018