Hi. My name is Benedict Patterson Judd , and I am the guest blogger for today.  Oh, and I should mention that I am a cat.
In case you’re wondering how I got such a fancy name…well. When my human and I met at the shelter, they told her I had been a stray for probably a year or more and that  my name was Patterson. But she wanted me to have a name that began with “B.” That’s because her most recent cats before me were named Barnum, Bailey, Bonkers, Bixby, and Bonnie. Bonnie was still living in my forever home, so my human chose Bennie for my name.
Now a few days after she brought me home, my human saw on the news that Pope Benedict was visiting in the United States. She also read in the paper that The Pope was a huge cat lover and was only sorry he couldn’t take any of his cats with him to The Vatican. My human had been thinking that Bennie didn’t sound special enough for me, so, voila, I became Benedict. Most of the time I am Bennie, but officially I am Benedict Patterson Judd.

How my human and I met: Her cat named Bixby had recently gone to that great catnip field in the sky, so after a decent length of time, she went to the Humane Society to look for a cat. They showed her into a room full of  about 38 cats. Did The cats were all different colors and combination, but I was the only orange Tabby. I knew right away this was the human for me, so I went  over to her and stretched up my front legs on her jeans and looked right at her. She actually thought I was saying, “what took you so long?”

Did I already say I am an orange tabby with beautiful markings and golden eyes.  Interesting fact , I have mostly  white whiskers but four black ones.  In addition to being particularly handsome, (so they say) I am very smart. I understand English, and my human first figured this out when she would say, “Time for bed, ” and I would race in and jump up on the bed before she got there. Now I have also learned “Time for a nap.” Here is something really clever though: my human loves to lie on the couch in the sun, pretending it is the beach. After a while she would say, “Bennie, let’s go to the beach” and I would run fast as anything and jump up on the back of the couch. Of course it didn’t take me anytime at all to learn the word catnip which she gives me each morning. If she ever forgets, that is the only time I follow her around and meow.

My schedule: I get up when my human gets up, and we go to the kitchen. While coffee is brewing, she puts food in my dish and water in my bowl. Oh, and I also have a water thingamajiggy that plugs in and keeps recycling some water with a little splash down a ramp. She got me that automatic water thing because I would try to lead her into the bathroom to turn on a trickle of water in the tub. After breakfast, I look out the front window for a while, checking the yard and then I go in on the bed and take a very long nap. I sleep a long time, and then it is time to check the yard again. I particularly like watching the squirrels. My next move is to the living room where I lie on the back of the couch and either get the sun or again watch the yard.
If my human is home in the evening, I love to sleep on her lap, in fact I get in her lap whenever she sits down. I got so I really liked watched “Jeopardy,” and my human got a perfect picture of my doing this. She sent the picture to Alex Trebek who sent back an autographed picture that said, “To Benedict, my most loyal feline fan.”

I go to bed when the humans do, but being a cat, I often get up in the night and wander around.  In the early morning, even if it is still dark. I will sit in a side window for an hour or more, just watching what I can see by the light on the house.

Habits: if anyone so much as puts a hand on the doorknob into the apartment, I race under the bed. and stay there until they are gone.That is my safe spot. In fact, when we moved, I stayed under the bed for two weeks.
Also I have a habit my human can’t figure out. When I am fast asleep, in her lap or on the bed, or on the very top level of my very tall cat tree I will wake up, jump down, go to my dish, eat two or three pieces of dry food, and then go back to wherever I was and go back to sleep.

Oh, and in the night I like to open the doors of the closets; they are bi-fold and a cinch for me.

Sometimes I hear my human say that if it were allowed, she would love to get another cat or two. I am awfully glad she can’t because I don’t think I’d like sharing attention. I mean Bonnie was all right, but I don’t miss her at all.

My human keeps telling me I am the best cat in the world. I think she’s pretty special too. We were both in luck that day at the shelter.

Dorothy C. Judd  (c) 2017
Next post: Monday, May 1.


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Anne Lamott:

You are probably familiar with her as she has written many books and magazine articles and often appeared on television. Her latest book, “Hallelujah Anyway” is described by Gloria Steinem as being a book about how you can find mercy and also be merciful.

Lamott is in unconventional person who writes in a flip, pithy style that some regard as sacrilegious. She often has a way of simplifying the complicated, of helping people see situations, themselves, and others in a new light.

What is mercy anyway? It seems the two main components of mercy are forgiveness and compassion, with empathy a third. The best way to find mercy is by being merciful.

How can you be merciful to yourself? Perhaps you are doing something in your current life that you know is wrong for you. Perhaps  for a long time you have been carrying around guilt about something you have done. Forgive yourself. For real.  Don’t judge yourself so harshly. And don’t push yourself so hard. Take time out of busy-ness to feel joy, experience calm.

How can you be merciful to others? Regard them – both individuals and groups –  with forgiveness and compassion. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Don’t be so judgmental. And reach out in small ways: a smile, a kind word, listening ear.

The book title, “Hallelujah Anyway”, comes from an old gospel song of that title by Candi Staton. Through the lyrics she encourages people to remain positive despite disappointments, hurt, and discouragement. Say “Hallelujah Anyway!”

Dorothy C. Judd  (c) 2017

Next post: Monday, April 24th




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March 20, 2017   First day of spring

Friday, March 24   5 inches of heavy, wet snow  Driving requires extra care  Many activities cancelled

Friday March 31 into Saturday, April 1   7 inches of snow    Disruptions, same as above              We were lucky. Just south of us got more than a foot of snow in each storm.

And this  is only the snow that has arrived since spring “arrived.” Before that, week after week there were delayed openings and snow days. There were never the huge snowfalls of some years, but there were lots of snow storms.

The snow reminds me of the old fairy tale which in its several variations has a salt mill that won’t stop producing salt, a pot that won’t stop spitting out porridge, or a bucker that keeps overflowing with water. Here we have skies that keep dropping snow. If only we could remember the magic word that would make it stop.

I for one am suffering from TMS Syndrome: Too Much Snow. I need to see the green grass,  plants pushing up through the soil, a robin or two. I would wave the flag of surrender, but who could see it in the snow?

  Dorothy C. Judd  © 2017

Next post: April 10th

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Spring!  What’s so special about spring? Well, just about everything although fall is still my favorite season. I think, though the spring brings hope and renewal. We associate it with baby lambs and chicks. Even the Bible weighs in on the coming of spring. “For lo, the winter is past…the flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” [Song of Solomon 2:12] I wouldn’t know a turtledove if I heard one, but I do know the sight of a robin-red-breast is the most welcome sign to me!

The oldie but goodie: Spring has sprung the grass has riz. I wonder where the birdies is?”  Around here the grass is still buried under more than a foot of snow, but we have the hope that it will be visible soon. The birds are holding off on their return, but a great gray owl was spotted. Every once in a while a squirrel goes running around the yard to find a bare spot, often under a tree,  where he has hopefully hidden a nut.  And a mother bear and her three cubs are scouting back yards and driveways in search of food. We are cautioned to remove bird feeders and cover trash that might contain food. But college kids are less concerned about that and so attract the bears who find this a generous food supply. I thought I smelled a skunk, another sign of spring, but then I read in the paper that it is probably the smell of the male fox’s urine, used to mark its territory. 

As a kid, spring meant jumping  rope and playing hopscotch. Not sure kids even do that anymore. There’s always baseball, softball, golf, and tennis and the many running by my window will soon be dressed in t-shirts and shorts rather than hats and layers. For me I declare it is spring  when I can  throw open the windows [funny term that] or go outside without a coat or jacket!

    Dorothy C. Judd © 2017

Next post: March 27th

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Big snow on the way-maybe. I say maybe because around here the forecast hasn’t been accurate in forever. And as for amounts, it’s like you are on a tilt board tipping from one side of the map line to the other.  Hard to tell where you are in all of this.

It always amuses me how grocery stores become crowded with people buying bread and milk: people who haven’t had a drop of milk in years and wouldn’t eat a slice of bread if you held a gun to their heads.  But toilet paper, shouldn’t that be on the essentials list?  My own list has always been potato chips -maybe some dip – and wine and books, always books.

When I had a fourth grade class I must have confined in them that my worst fear was that I would be marooned in a classroom with no food. I didn’t think chalk would be too tasty. So the next time a storm was predicted one boy brought in two dozen donuts. “Here,” he said. “At least we’ll have donuts.”

Now that I live in an apartment, I no longer see dollar signs when the plow pulls into the driveway. But I am on the first floor, so if we really have 20 inches, the snow might be level with my windowsill! But the snow won’t fall in drifts all at once, just flake by flake, and each one is beautiful.   And besides, my mother used to say that if it snowed in March it wouldn’t stay on the ground that long!

Dorothy C. Judd.    (C) 2017





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Cat’s Meow

You no longer have to risk the stigma of drinking alone. Drink with your cat. There is a start-up company which bills itself as the original cat winery. It offers Catbernet or Pinot Meow which appears to be catnip water. My cat, Bennie, is addicted to traditional catnip and makes sure I give him some each morning.but at $11.95 for an 8 oz. bottle, I’m not sure I want him to try it even if he could share cocktail hour with me. And I definitely won’t be buying him 12 oz. of Meow and Chandon for $14.95 from yet another cat winery!

Dorothy C. Judd. (C) 2017

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Never ever

Never Ever…

Never ever would I drive even a few yards without fastening my seatbelt.
Never ever would I stir my coffee with a knife. (Stir with a knife, stir up strife.)
Never ever would I step on a crack in the sidewalk.
Never ever would I smoke another cigarette.
Never ever would I dog-ear the page of a hard-cover book.
Never ever would I forget my family and friends who have gone to their eternal rest.
Never ever would I lose my Boston accent.
Never ever would I  say no to a potato chip.
Never ever would I be able to parallel park my car.
Never ever would I own a bird.
Never ever would I disclose something told’ in confidence.
Never ever would I go without breakfast.
Never ever would I get over my dread of the dentist’s chair.
Never ever would I understand how women can walk in five inch heels!
Never ever would I believe in never ever.

Saw “never ever” in a blurb in O magazine and couldn’t get it out of my head.
Try it.You may surprise yourself.
Dorothy C. Judd.      (C) 2017

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