Every day is one little life!

There are those life certainties that can trigger all sorts of complex emotions. One of these is getting older. No cream, no injections, nothing can subtract years from us really. It can be disguised, delayed – maybe distracted for a while with a sign that could read, ‘move on, not welcome here!’ Age tends to get around those resistances. It’s a right pest and persister. Like hide & seek, ‘ready or not it will find you’. I never really worried about getting old(er) and even my friend’s reaction yesterday, ‘Oh S&&t,’ when I told her what age I will be next week – well, it leaves me totally unphased. I’m fine with getting old; it’s akin to getting out of bed early in the morning: I don’t want to but I have to get up and get on with it! Acceptance in key.
But getting old has begun to worry me for a host of other reasons. Lifting bales and holding on to unhandled horses – well I’m managing it (for now); I’m just not sure if my back can take many more years.
Yes, rescue work has moulded me and conditioned my mind in ways I never would have foreseen. I no longer change 20 times a day to only return to the first outfit of choice; from Sunday to Thursday it’s choosing what ever comes first out of the ‘rescue wardrobe’. What I wear matters so little to me now; fashion is just a term. I never get time to ruminate on the ‘whys’ that consumed my younger self: ‘why doesn’t he like me? Why has he not called? Why didn’t I get that job? Why is he unfaithful? What’s wrong with ME?’ Yes, the questions arise, they hurt but rescue work pushes the button called ‘next’ constantly and the word ‘I’ moves from the centre of my world and with that movement comes a life (ironically) less stressful and less selfish. Irrational thoughts are often generated by the ‘I’ word. Rescue work requires a heap load of common sense and solutions.
But then there are kids and the ageing issue! Yesterday, myself and a friend stood in a field surrounded by kids, and horses – lots of them. I can’t move here without a kids chorus of ‘Catriona, can you…’ I’m a softie and ‘Yes, I can…’ is nearly always the answer. The wish to give them what would make them happy is huge. They don’t ask for much! Just the wellies off my feet!! This field started off as a ‘I don’t think I can go in there’ field to ‘we’ve gone in and done what we set out to’. It’s a good feeling knowing that there is a mare with a foal able to walk again. Her overgrown hooves were going to kill her. We managed to separate her and her foal from the herd – still unsure how we managed it in an area of at least 15 acres. And the farrier arrived and worked his magic after Pascal managed to catch her and halter her.
Back to the kids: another certainty as you grow older as a woman is the decreasing chances of ever being a mommy. But again, lately when I’m distracted by mommies and their daughters hand in hand, the phone will ring or beep and the lingering maternal feeling of ‘want’ is extinguished by any of the following ‘they need….hay, wormers, the vet, you…’
I guess there are other ways your maternal or paternal instinct gets fulfilled. Like when you nurse a kitten in your arms – who just wants his own mommy. Yesterday morning, Little Toby passed away. Found all on his own outside a vets, he was taken to SCAR. Seeing his tininess in a run made me bring him home. He went from playful and vocal to still & silent. And I knew like all the other kittens who can one day be full of life and the next day be still and silent that Toby’s hours were numbered. But he was taken to the vet who made the kindest decision for him. No, you never get use to it, nor do you get use to the cruelty and sheer disregard for welfare of animals. Toby was born because somebody somewhere did not neuter their cats! If we don’t want to become pregnant we get a choice whether we want to have a baby and if we get pregnant we get the choice whether to terminate the pregnancy. Animals have so many choices removed from them: who owns them and the care they are given. This morning Toby’s crate is in the garden to be disinfected and all his favourite colourful mice are not being played with. I can’t bare the thoughts of him never being cuddled again or never getting old. Getting old is denied to so many of us and animals and yet we resist it – it’s a curse for some – but maybe a true blessing in disguise we need to be grateful for.
Being part of many rescue & welfare groups on FB – what struck me yesterday was the constant beeping alerting me to new conversations. These conversations are so energised, so spirited, so eager to rescue. These women (yes, mainly women) from morning till night face down so many challenges and they network at high speed in order to get homes for unwanted animals or animals at risk. I’m in awe of them.
These mornings I wake up thinking about a dog who so badly needs a human to help him. Last night I fed him late and in the dark I couldn’t see him through the rickety gate as I pushed his food under, but I could feel his nose as he leaned on my hand – so desperate for human contact. He rapidly licks your hand to try keep you there. Such a loving dog deprived of all he needs. Rumi said there is power in touch. This beautiful big dog wags his tail again the minute he is petted.
This week I’m so grateful to everybody who helped me. Pat and Pascal for donating endless hours to the animals and reminding me ‘all will be OK’. They put up with my firey side which is easily ignited and is not so easy to deal with. If they ever leave me and the animals, I would have to put out an advertisement with a long list of qualities they have. I will just leave out one or two maybe!!! Very grateful to Rhona from An Cat Dubh who is a great rescue friend and for taking care of the pigs we rescued from the woods. Martina from BabyDog rescue who again helped me with food for some dogs in town that need feeding and for being a endless source of knowledge regarding animal welfare. Deirdre for giving me land for some rescues. And FHI for taking care of a very special rescue called Hercules! There are so many people that help – always help!
So, here’s to getting older and wiser (hopefully!). Here’s to Toby, who got 6 weeks in this world and I was blessed to share 6 days with him. I just wish it could have been 16 years. Some wishes just will never come true! x

One thought on “Every day is one little life!

  1. I turn 40 next week.
    40!! How did that happen? When? Surely my maths is wrong. Most days I feel 20 (ok so some days I feel 80, but not too many) and yes, I do sometimes think about how ill cope as my body gets older while my mind stays young. But then one of the kids comes along and fills hay nets, or mucks out stables and I stop worrying. See as long as we are teaching kids the right way, it doesn’t matter that we get too old to lift and carry, they will pick up where we leave off.
    I was blessed at a young age to have the foresight and courage to have my family. I wanted to be a young mum, I knew this and now I have my 4 kids, the oldest is 21 and I go to concerts with her and we go and get tattoos lol, my youngest is 12 and I play on the trampoline with him and jump in muddy puddles. The two in the middle I can go for a coffee with and laugh at Facebook posts.
    But if you don’t have your own, just borrow other people’s 😂 share your kindness and compassion with as many as possible. I know you do anyway.
    Each day is a tiny life. Wake up, be thankful, don’t worry about yesterday, it’s gone. Don’t fret about tomorrow, it hasn’t unfolded yet. Live for today.
    Life for some is heartbreakingly short.

    Some lyrics from one of my favorite artists.
    Well if you can’t get what you love
    You learn to love the things you’ve got
    If you can’t be what you want
    You learn to be the things you’re not
    If you can’t get what you need
    You learn to need the things that stop you dreaming
    All the things that stop you dreaming

    Love from all up here.
    We aren’t over the hill yet girl, but the view will keep getting better x


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