I had been mulling over whether or not I should find a companion for Nerah. Living in an apartment after having so much freedom as we travelled has been a challenge for her. She gets frustrated and tries to attack me. She is still a young cat, three years old, and has lots of play in her. One of the local rescue societies was pleading for people to adopt from their organization and I did want to help them out but, darn it, there are no cats on site, and the website was so overloaded with requests that I lost patience waiting for a page to load. I thought I would check back another day. Then, last week, I remembered Calgary Animal Services. I was in the area with Keaton, my little charge, and decided to stop by. Of course, I came away with a new family member. He is two, a stray picked up with no known history, unremarkable except for his friendliness. It was his lack of reaction to other cats hissing at him in the shelter and his immediate approach to me that convinced me he was the one. Through all the years I have never adopted the cat I had my eye on initially. This time was no exception.
And did I heed the instructions for introducing cats to each other? Of course not! My apartment is too small for me to be able to accommodate two litter boxes and two separate areas for the kitties. I just brought Shiloh in, opened the carrier and left them to figure things out. (I can hear the echoes of some family members saying, “Shiloh, you named him Shiloh?” I am partial to Hebrew or Biblical names. I’m a bit superstitious about names and feel that a name can have a profound effect on the one who bears it. So, I chose a name that means peace and abundance. I have great expectations!) Shiloh acted as if he had always lived here, flopped down on the couch and relaxed. Nerah was not at all impressed. I told her at least she wouldn’t be bored anymore. Now she could stalk this interloper to her heart’s content. She did spend the first twenty-four hours doing just that, but then she slunk up beside Shiloh and rubbed herself against him. The battle was over. He had been accepted. She isn’t always happy that he gets the best spot on the bed next to me, but then she never liked to snuggle with me anyway. It just warms me to see them lovingly grooming each other or tearing around the apartment after each other. Now if I could only find someone for me……
I paid the new Calgary Public Library Central Branch a visit recently. It is a work of art. The design is lovely, though perhaps slightly extravagant. The children’s area was chaos, with children running and shouting and generally having a wonderful time, a far cry from the library of my youth, where speaking above a whisper was not permitted. Not that I subscribe to that school of thought. I enjoy watching children play and interact with one another.
There are ample rooms available for quiet study and computer stations galore. This is a library of the future, with a variety of activities for young people, beyond the printed text. There are tributes to the First Nations People throughout and an in-depth history of Calgary on the fourth floor.
Unfortunately, there is no parking on site and parking in the area is prohibitively expensive. I recommend taking the Calgary Transit to the library as it stops close by. There is a ramp around the outer edge of the inner wall of the library for easy access to those with strollers or wheelchairs, besides the elevator. A cafe is located on level One M. If you are planning to visit, allow for time to explore this vast space with many more features than those mentioned here.
School has begun. My brain is in shock. She is questioning whether this was a good idea after all. I have been trying to stuff a variety of new skills and lessons into her for the past several years, and she was revolting over that by the beginning of the summer. Now I am ramming a different kind of knowledge into her. I have my dictionary at my fingertips for all the new vocabulary and terms I need to learn in psychology. I haven’t begun my criminology course yet, but I’m sure there will be plenty of big words to learn there as well. I should be good at Scrabble by the time I am finished. I do love school, though. I love persuading my brain to understand new ideas or facts and doing assignments. It is just so much fun to work hard at something and receive positive feedback for all your labours. I am happy I can do everything online, though I feel that class discussion would help to broaden my outlook. I am taking two psychology courses; one is the pre-requisite for the other, so I am the only student in the higher class. Haha! I am enjoying the second one more, less dry facts and more reflection. Anyway, we shall see how I manage when it comes to assignments. I know I can do the work, the format is where I may slip up.
I’m afraid my posts will likely become less frequent as I spend more and more time buried in books and less time experiencing life. All the time I had in the past to travel and hike and wander is now devoted to reading and reading and more reading. And I am attending training at the Women’s Centre so that I can be a peer support volunteer. In the meantime, I will just be helping out with basic needs. I feel like I might begin to get tunnel vision with focussing my world on counselling women, but becoming so immersed in this community will be an asset in the long run. I honestly am not a militant woman, or a radical feminist, which would be the correct term. I have lived a very traditional life raising my children, but I do firmly believe that my work was of equal value to any other career. I wouldn’t recommend any of my daughters to follow in my footsteps, though, as it left me at such a disadvantage when Greg died. I had absolutely nothing to fall back on. I never considered that I would need anything. I just assumed that life would go on the way it had; I would continue to work at home and Greg would take care of earning money. And then, as the children left home, I thought life would become more straightforward, more comfortable. Boy, was I wrong!
But life never plays out the way a body thinks it will. It is fraught with turmoil and pain. But there are moments of unadulterated joy and peace. And those memories are what make the struggles worthwhile.