Archive for Schipperke

Cat visitations and repeating patterns

Posted in Animal communication, Animals, Ghosts with tags , , , , , , , on August 2, 2015 by cheshirecatman
Snowman and Puck, in the 1990s

Snowman and Puck, in the 1990s

I had two visits from my late cat Puck recently. The first time was last month. I was resting on top of my bed, facing the wall, when I felt the distinct sensation of a cat paw touch my leg. I turned, fully expecting to see Luna looking at me from the edge of the bed, but nope. She was sleeping near the foot of the bed, on the opposite side. Smiling, I said, “Hello, Puck.” Then I was inspired to write this blog post.

Then yesterday, while I was sitting at my computer desk, I distinctly felt a paw bat my elbow. Again, I looked down expecting to see Luna, who was nowhere in sight. I think Puck was reminding me that I still hadn’t edited and posted this.

His first recent visit got me to thinking about cats, breeds of cats, and how I’ve come to have the cats that I  have now.

The first really special cat that came into my life was Clive, a hard-of-hearing flame point Siamese. We were brought together via another cat in my life, a domestic gray and white shorthair named Jay. It was Jay who became friends with Clive, and I would see them playing together in the backyard of the triplex I lived in with my mother. Eventually, I became friends with Clive. He was eccentric and highly intelligent—he understood the concept of doorknobs, for instance, but could not quite get enough of a grip on the thing with his two paws to actually open the door.

Sadly, I only had him for a few years. I came home from work one day to find him dead on the bedroom floor. I had him autopsied (and kudos to the wonderful vet and vet tech who stayed late to perform the procedure, and never even charged me–yup–they did it for free) and the culprit was heart failure. I missed my eccentric blue-eyed boy for a long time.

Flash forward a few years and Anne and I are living together for the first time. We are sharing a crappily built mother-in-law unit in Queen Anne. We have our first Schipperke (the scary territorial Lucy) and I realized I needed to have a cat again. However, Anne at the time was severely allergic. So, after some research, I narrowed my possible choices down to either a Sphynx or a Devon Rex.

Not too long afterwards, a Devon Rex kitten was posted in the classified ads of the local paper (this was before I had a personal computer or internet access at home). As fate would have it, the breeder was a customer of the company I worked for at the time. He brought baby Puck into the office.

Baby Puck was not at all what I had visualized my future cat looking like. I’d hoped for either a black or a white cat, and he was sort of a pointed champagne color, and very skinny looking because his adult fur had not grown in yet. But the moment I held him, I was in love. I asked a co-worker who was also a cat lover if she would like to hold him, but when I went to hand him to her, Puck leaned back into me as though he did not want to leave my arms. That moment sealed the deal–he was mine.

Moving forward a few years, and Anne and I were living in separate apartments in the same building. I was at a different job, and took the bus up north to Bothell. On the way home, my bus traveled right by a small pet store and, lo and behold, in the window—flamepoint Siamese kittens! I still missed my Clive and so made it a point to stop there the next day.

And that’s how I found Snowman. I think he may have been a kitten mill cat, as he developed health problems early on. Personality-wise, he was not much like Clive. While he shared Clive’s high intelligence and talkative nature, he was not particularly goofy. Snowman was loving but also very no-nonsense and stoic. After some initial bickering, he and Puck became the brothers they were meant to be. It was with these two cats that I realized how much I loved these two particular breeds.

Flash forward again to 2008. I lost Puck to cancer, and it was heartbreaking. Perhaps I should have waited longer, but I decided to begin searching for another Rex after learning from my animal communicator that my next cat would be a female. I find Luna, and although her personality is not as outgoing and in your face as Puck’s, she and I gradually developed a bond that is just as deep and intense (I think of her as Puck’s little sister now). Luna and Snowman developed a love/hate relationship–I think they did care about each other but Luna was a young goofball which irritated the no-nonsense older Snowman. Then, in 2013 I lost Snowman to cancer. I resolved that, because I am not a man of great financial means, I would stick to just one cat.

But then in late 2013,  I got a message from Tracy, my animal communicator, asking if it was me who had said I was looking for a Siamese. I told her no, it wasn’t. And then she shows me a photo of Casper. Casper is built like Snowman but something about his eyes reminds me of Clive.

I was sorely tempted to say yes but decided to wait, telling Tracy to see if others were interested in him. When no one came forward, Tracy generously offered to drive Casper from Gig Harbor to my home. He was very bold and immediately stepped out of his crate, looking around our condo like he owned the place. There was a lot of friction and some all-out scary fighting between him and Luna at first, but they are gradually getting more used to each other.

The interesting thing to me is that, in spite of my plans to stay with one cat, Casper found his way to me. And now I once again have a Devon Rex and a flamepont Siamese. I think of them as my alien and my mini white lion. And we have a Schipperke again too, the much nicer Stella. And so the pattern repeats itself.

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A tale of two dogs

Posted in Animals, Dreams, Legba with tags , , on September 7, 2011 by cheshirecatman

Lovely Stella

My girlfriend Anne and I first lived together back in the early 90s. We wanted a dog, and got a purebred Schipperke from a breeder in Washington state. Lucy was a cute puppy, the runt of the litter. Due to poor training, socialization and possibly some inbreeding, she grew into a tiny terror. During the 14-1/2 years that I knew her, she bit just about everyone who ever loved her, including both Anne and me. Her behavior (along with Anne’s enabling of said behavior) caused some  major rifts in our relationship, and when Lucy finally passed on five years ago, I felt an immense sense of relief.

I occasionally dream about Lucy, and more often than not, the dreams are pleasant. Over the years, I’ve even talked with her via my animal communicator, Tracy Ann. And although Lucy is still her self-important little diva self, she is no longer confused, growly and insecure.

In one recent dream, I was outside somewhere looking at some stranger’s two Schipperkes. They were both female dogs. One of them was growling at me as I looked at her, but the second dog had her ears down and was looking up at me sweetly. After I woke up, I assumed the two dogs represented the two sides of temperamental Lucy.

After moving into our condo, Anne knew she wanted to have a dog again. The last couple of months she has been diligently checking Craigslist, petfinder.com, and various rescue and breeder websites, hoping to find a small dog that would be good with the cats. She wasn’t sure exactly what type of dog she wanted. She prefers the Spitz-looking breeds (dogs like the American Eskimo, Pomeranians, Schipperkes, etc.), but was also trying to be open to mixed breeds as well. She thought she would try to get a rescue dog first, and then go with a breeder if all else failed.

A couple of months ago there was a Schipperke named Lila up for adoption in Burlington, WA. Anne was very interested in meeting her, but I was less enthusiastic. The website said that Lila could be aggressive if she felt cornered. I have met a few nice Schips over the years, but Lucy had really soured me on the breed, and I was not up for another decade of dealing with a problem dog. However, I decided to be open-minded. We rented a car one Sunday and headed out to the shelter.

When we arrived, Lila was out in one of the yards with other potential parents, so we busied ourselves looking at other dogs. By the time she came back in, we were standing at the front counter. One of the shelter workers told us that Lila had arrived, and an elderly woman (a visitor, not staff, although this was not clear at the time) handed Lila’s leash to Anne. Anne was busy filling out an application, so she handed the leash to me. I knelt down and offered Lila my hand for  a sniff, which she did but without much interest. I stroked her lightly on the back. When I glanced up to see how Anne was doing, Lila suddenly decided to bite me twice in the arm. Obviously, this adoption was not going to happen. What was even worse was the indifference of the staff. No one other than Anne asked if I was all right or if I needed a bandage. Instead, a staff member and one of the visitors began telling me how I have to let Schips approach me on their own. Hello, that’s what I thought I was doing. Not a Schip newbie here. All in all, an aggravating experience to be sure.

So last Saturday, when Anne and I went to meet another Schipperke who was posted on Craigslist, I was even less enthusiastic. Her caretaker (a nice guy who was rehoming her for a friend who had taken a job in Hawaii) introduced us to a 10-year-old female named Skippy (not the best name for a Schip, by the way).  Skippy let out two soft barks when she saw us, then fell silent as she took to checking us out scent-wise. We stroked her glistening black fur and Anne was quickly smitten. I was a bit more cautious, but since Skippy did not exhibit anything even remotely resembling aggressive behavior, I left it up to Anne to decide if she came home with us. Of course Anne said yes.

Skippy, who we renamed Stella, quickly made herself at home in our large condo, and by the second day had pushed herself into my heart too. When I returned from a breakfast outing on Sunday morning, she greeted me like a long-lost companion, leaning against me and whimpering softly as I massaged her. Later that day we took her to the vet for what we thought was a skin condition; turned out she had a rather bad case of fleas. When the vet examined her, Stella tried to pull away. I had to hold her with both hands to restrain her; she’s a strong dog for her size. During the entire time, she never growled or snapped at anyone. She was also friendly and curious to the various people and dogs in the waiting room. During the days that followed, Anne was able to move Stella’s dish while she was eating and confiscate a pork chop bone Stella had snatched from the garbage. Never once did she growl or show her teeth.

If someone watched the three of us through our window, they would think Stella had lived with us since her puppyhood. I thought back on my dream about the two Schips, the first growly, the second sweet. They seemed to symbolize Lucy and Stella, or perhaps Lila and Stella–as if telling me the first Schip would not be the one.

Prior to meeting both Lila and Stella, I asked Legba for his assistance in finding the right dog, Legba being the consummate dog person. While I did not enjoy getting bitten by Lila, I was grateful that we saw her true nature before bringing her home. She might have injured one of the cats. At the very least, we would have had to drive  her all the way back to Burlington. Sometimes we receive the answers we need, just not always in the way we would like to. I never thought we’d have another Schipperke, and certainly not one with such a loving and gentle temperament. I was grateful for Legba’s help, and wanted to buy him a new dog statue for his altar. I ended up buying a wolf statue instead; a miniature version of the Roman wolf statue that was mentioned in the film “Blood and Chocolate.” I felt it was appropriate, as Stella seems to nurture both Anne and me. Anne is happier now that she has a dog again.

As for me, Stella is replacing my prior bad experiences with the breed with very loving ones. Over the weekend, I felt a shift in my solar plexus chakra, as though an old negative energy had been released. Since Stella’s arrival, the entire condo is infused with joy.

My spiritually oriented friends always tell me that there are no accidents. Two other people were supposed to meet Stella before us, and both of them were no shows (unbelievable, considering she was listed in the ad as AKC and free to good home). We still can’t believe this wonderful little spirit now lives with us.