bloody love

Love is more than an emotion. It is a state of mind. It can be a high. It can be a lot of things. Learning from the scriptures and the actual composition of the word in Hebrew, I’ve come to believe that in love we get a glimpse of our creator, by way of our love.

a beloved friend, David

As some of my readers have realized, I spent about two weeks up north with a friend, who was very ill, and was supposed to have a surgical operation. I came back at the beginning of this week, and some of my experiences are still reverberating in my heart, and haven’t yet been assimilated to the point where I could write about them freely. I myself have been close to death, and know the feeling of ‘I’ve lived a good life, and now I’m ready to go’. But it can be harder watching someone you love on the tenuous edge of existence than it is being there yourself. There is that feeling, ‘if only…’ if only he would do this or that… it would still be possible to save the situation. Because we ourselves are not in his situation. I was seeing what was happening from my own perspective, somewhat removed from his reality, and still motivated by the desire to hold on to someone dear. It was heartbreaking.

the cabin where I stayed

Coming back to Jerusalem was wonderful. I feel so fortunate to be living in this city that I love. And I was eager to get back to normal day to day life, which had been interrupted just a short while after the long holiday we had. Nechama, my cat welcomed me back with love and feline directness.

a friend walking away

I have known much love in my life… for men, women, children, and the aged. In each case it is different. In each case, very special. I never take it for granted… it is never a known syndrome. Each time, love is a unique experience. I have loved women with all my heart. But for me, it has never worked out to be like the ‘happily ever after’ in fairy tales or Hollywood movies. And so, it’s not surprising that in my relationship to Nechama too, there is pain and aggravation, and sometimes we get on each other’s nerves… I wonder sometimes… if it’s my choices that lead to stormy relationships, or who I am… or the way things are. I’ll let you know as soon as I find out.

Nechama watches me work in the kitchen

In any case, I had just gotten home. I offered Nechama a treat of chicken breast, and put some peanuts in a small bowl for me… poured a shot of Jack, settled into an armchair, turning on the TV to catch up on the latest news and politics… and feel at home. Nechama, after a quick check of the treat she had gotten, came running after me, and with one short bound, landed in my lap, put her arms on my chest, and pulled herself as close to me as was possible, in a beautiful welcome hug that almost made me forget the television, as I hugged her in return. We stayed that way for a couple of minutes, before she moved to the crook of my arm… and for a while it seemed that she would just settle in and enjoy just being with me.

there’s a goldfish in the pond where I go to think my thoughts

But no… that would be ‘happily ever after’… and we don’t have that sort of relationship. She rested on my arm, pinning it down to my knee, and put her front paws on my upper arm, and very slowly, purring all the time, started inserting her nails into my flesh, just a little at a time. Her claws went right through my white shirt and into my flesh with a precision that reminded me of Chinese acupuncture (though I have never experienced that first hand). With great patience, she slowly moved down my arm, puncturing my flesh over and over again… and then moved to my biceps where she inserted her claws just a little deeper. I won’t say it didn’t hurt. But there is no denying I felt her love every moment of the treatment. There was a very intimate connection between us, and I was filled with love for her as she expressed her care with passion. Finally, she pulled in her claws and lay her head in the hollow of my elbow. And we were together, peacefully.

on our walk the next morning, Nechama

It was only the next morning, when I was about to put the same shirt on again, that I noticed that my left sleeve was covered with blood. When I showed the shirt to my dear friend Noga, asking her how one removes blood stains from linen, she was aghast. How did this happen, she wanted to know. When I explained, she said, you’ll have to teach the cat that there are limits. And when the stains were reluctant to come out in the wash, I too thought that it was a nuisance. But there is something about love… even bloody love…


86 responses to “bloody love

  1. Oh dear Shimon, my heart felt all these moments. I pray for your friend. Your cat and your love between her is amazing. Nechama looks great. Blessing to you both, you know one day I would like to visit you in your town and to drink a cup of coffee… Thank you, have a nice weekend, love, nia

    • It would be very nice to sit across the table from you, Nia, and have a cup of coffee. Thank you very much for your good wishes and your blessing. It is always so very good to hear from you. We’re getting back to normal. It’s raining here. Best wishes to you too.

  2. I think it is a combination of choices, who we are and the way things are that puts us in stormy relationships Shimon, and similarly those three things that put us in good relationships. It is rare but it does happen that at times you just come across two personalities that fit so well together, like two connecting puzzle pieces. Nechama is so cute and she has a very serious look on her face.

    • I agree with you, Jacquie, though I wouldn’t say that stormy relationships aren’t good. I suppose they can be stormy, and still be good… if there’s love between the people. But yes, that dream of two fitting together like connecting puzzle pieces, is a beautiful dream. Thanks for your comment. And yes, Nechama is often very serious.

  3. I really enjoyed reading this blog entry, Shimon. It’s so true what you say about love and how much less painful it would be to trade places with our dear ones who are suffering, when all hope is gone. My thoughts are with you and your friend and I am sure you will treasure every memory of the happy times you shared.

    I love your cat too: she’s absolutely gorgeous. I have a dog, Sasha, whom I simply adore! Love has no limits.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Fatima. I think, when we’re younger, we do have those thoughts of changing places… I remember that I had… long ago. When people get old, you know that dying is a part of life, and there’s no stopping the process. But even so, sometimes you wish you could change the way things are going. And yes, it’s amazing how close we can get to our pets. My best wishes to Sasha. Thank you very much for your comment.

  4. What a wonderful discussion of the best emotion that we get from our creator. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. …and this is why I clip the very tips off our cat’s claws.

  6. I’m sorry that your friend is so ill Shimon and sorry for your pain. I too have been in that place you spoke of and my overriding concern was not for myself but for those closest to me. I could see how their pain was so evidently much greater than mine. I felt guilty for that.
    Nechama is a very beautiful cat and clearly a very loving and loyal one. Having her around is worth the odd shirt here and there. As you say, ‘there is something about love’.

    • I think it’s a shame you felt guilty, Chillbrook, about being at death’s door. For me, it was a pretty positive, enlightening experience. But I suppose it’s a very personal experience too, different for each person. Thank you for your kind words. And I agree with you about Nechama… she’s worth the shirt… though I am trying to teach her moderation.

  7. And, here I am sitting here reading your blog, and my cat Sassy, jumped onto my lap. Jack? As in Daniels? You have an interesting bottle collection. I am sorry to read about your friend. If you can, imagine that experience seen thru the eyes of a physician. Another sensitive post Shimon. Your words flow so easily.

    • Yes, Bob. Jack Daniels is a favorite of mine. I have often thought of how a physician sees such scenes. It seems to me that he has to maintain an emotional distance in order to do what has to be done. But even so, it must be difficult to be pitted against extreme human situations all the time. Thank you for your comment.

  8. I’m sorry for the suffering of your friend Shimon, and for yours in watching him suffer!
    I’m struck by how “right” it is, this suffering, this other side of love. There’s the euphoria and the sorrow, the gain and the loss, the inevitable and inseparable parts of loving….so that even in our sorrow and suffering, how could we want it to be different? It’s Love, afterall, and perhaps experiencing Love’s joys and sorrows constitutes the very reason we’re here…? And then I come back full circle to feeling such compassion for you in this, and gratitude that you had a cat’s affections to come home too. (and always, and wherever you go, the love in your heart.)

    • Thank you very much for your kind words spree. I agree with what you say about love… there are many faces, and many moves… and part of the great experience is to live it all. I don’t want to hide from the sorrow. Just wanted to share some of the difficulty. Best wishes.

  9. A nice (if bloody!) welcome home 🙂

  10. What a dominatrix Nechama is! 😉

    I am sorry about your friend, for his pain and also for yours. Watching somebody we love on the edge of death sharpens and clarifies all emotions.

    I think the biggest problem we have got into is that we buy into the myth that ‘love conquers all’, that it’s some kind of bandaid, some kind of fix so that our lives and our relationships are trouble-free. You post shows how love by its very nature can be deeply wounded, bleeding, brokenhearted, and we may bear its scars to the end of our days.

    And yes, I do agree, we learn from this of the kind of love our creator has for us, and we are humbled.

    • Very nice, Gillyk. I think in calling Nechama a dominatrix, you’ve hit the nail on the head. I hadn’t thought of that, but I like it. And yes, I agree with you completely, about the ‘love conquers all’ myth. We do have to learn to keep our heads, even in very difficult situations, and to ride through the storms, because they are part of the experience. And it is good to be humbled. It gives us a better perspective. Always enjoy hearing your thoughts.

  11. For me the whole Nechama episode had a different meaning. I think that she needed you and missed you but was mad as well. You went away to tend to another love and pain, and you left her without any ability to tell you of her pain of missing you. Love, often contains pain and sometimes the pain of the rejected translates into hurting the other.

    • I like your interpretation of the episode with Nechama. I’m not sure that you’re right, but it certainly is a reasonable interpretation of the event. Actually, she has pricked me at times with her nails, very lightly… and I always knew it was an expression of love… mostly because she was purring while she did it. This time, she was purring too. But there was something more deliberate about it all. And in general, I think it a mistake to imagine we understand another completely. Your explanation may very well be correct. Thank you, Rachel.

  12. Peace to your homecoming and to your friend, Shimon. Nechama seems a profoundly mysterious companion, and in that way, a perfect partner. “Happily ever after,” to me, feels like a childish wish for life to be always sweet. I prefer gray days to be mixed in with the sunny and death blended in with life…it reflects more honestly the world as it is, and the life the Creator intended, it seems. Pain and suffering are teachers. I’m not always ready for, or welcoming, towards their lessons, but I’m, eventually, grateful for their deepening. Maybe “gratefully ever after” works better for me. Or “uniquely ever after,” because, as you say, each relationship that calls forth our love calls forth the other’s response in unpredictable ways…

    Thank you for this rich reflection, Shimon. I enjoyed the photos and the honest threads of your essence woven integrally within it. I am gifted by your words and the honesty that fuels them.

    • You are so right, Catherine, about accepting this world as it is. Always sweet can be choking. And certainly, as you say, pain and suffering are teachers. Glad that you enjoyed the post, and understood it as I intended. And I do like the idea of ‘gratefully ever after’. It is always a pleasure to hear your thoughts.

  13. We don’t escape our love affairs and relationships with other humans unbloodied, either…as you know…and hopefully only in that allegorical sense. Thank you for your words, Shimon…always a pleasure visiting with you….

  14. Lovely post. I’ve also had a great deal of love in my life from parents, children, friends, my ex-husband. My relationships with men have also been stormy and I’ve asked myself the same questions. Is it my choices, is it me or is it just how it is? I feel your pain regarding your friend. I’ve also been there.

    • Thank you very much, Jordan. I’ve seen others enjoy the bliss of constant sunny days, understanding, and easy partnership… but it could be that my own personality is not really like that… and of course, there is the issue of choices. I’ve though about it from time to time… but I can’t say I know the answer. Still, there can be the pleasures of love, even in the stormy weather. Appreciated your comment.

  15. Ahhhh, what a lovely post Shimon. I totally understand how you feel about your friend, it is dreadful when you have to part with someone you love. I felt the same watching my father decline, at times it was so awful I could hardly breathe.

    Yes, there is no happy ever after with love, irritation is a part of life, we can’t get along with those we love all the time, unless we are saints and there are few of those.

    I loved hearing about you and nechama, you share such love and respect each other. I know what you mean about even relationships with animals being hard at times, I feel the same about our young dogs, I love them but at times they certainly test me!!!! XXXXX

    • Yes, I am far from sainthood. And I’ve learned to live with the stormy weather, and the ups and downs. I was very lucky, in that it was an inspiration for me, watching my father die. The sort of death I would wish for myself, and those I love. That is yet another mystery of life… And I did think of you, Dina, when Nechama was carrying on… wondering how you would have dealt with such a thing. Meantime, everything has returned to normal, and we are enjoying the rainy weather. Thanks for your comment.

  16. At the moment I am having some difficulties fully accessing my blogspot blog, and on the back of that my gmail accounts. Here’s hoping it will get back to normal functioning soon.

    I read your post with great interest. There is a difference in being loved, in being pawed, and in being clawed. Noga is right, there are limits. Nechama tested you, now you must resist her excesses. Boundaries are important. When you do find out the answer to overcoming the complexities of mood and relationships, do tell.

    Re. washing out dried bloodstains. Proteins are hard to remove at the best of times. biological washing preparations usually do the trick. There is a product called ‘Astonish’ here, it can be bought as a small tub of powder, or as a soap bar. The powder usually is included with a machine wash. It is the easiest method and usually works. If it is a white shirt that has stained, the easiest method is to soak it in a solution of bleach, then put the garment through a rinse and a full wash.

    • Sorry to hear about your difficulties with access to your blog, Menhir. It could be a problem of recognition. In any case, I noticed that you’d gotten back on, and I hope there will be no more problems. I think in relationships of love, we have to suffer being pawed and clawed some of the time, as well as being kissed. She got past that, though, and we are back to living in great harmony once again. Thank you very much for your down to earth advice about the blood stains. Since most of the products are in Hebrew here… I am not sure if I’ll find Astonish, but I’ll check out if we have something like that here.

  17. We had a lovely little black cat who slept on my lap in the evening.If I loved she would nip the back of my hand with her teeth.She was a real narcissist.
    But she was beautiful and playful and loved to come out to post letters with me.She was the cat who used to sit on my bike seat in the porch watching the world go by..
    How she got here…… she had no home.. she climbed on the bike seat and knocked on the front door with the brass could anyone resist?
    Yes, their love is very physical….but what you had was a bit too much..
    I shall have to phone Nechama.Kindly put her mobile number here on your blog after the Sabbath and I shall give her a little ticking off .Emile would not behave like that but then he does have Stan’s mistress there when Stan is away.So you need a mistress if it’s legal… otherwise I am unsure.
    Joy and woe are woven fine
    A clothing for the soul divine.

    Some people never ever love… and that is worse by far.

    • Wonderful to hear about the black cat who climbed on the bicycle to knock on the door. I would have invited her in myself. And as much as I don’t care much for phones, Nechama is even more extreme. Doesn’t use the phone… and never browses on the internet. If she didn’t have those mouse dolls, I don’t know how she would amuse herself. As for having a mistress, I’m sure it’s legal, as long as you don’t work for the CIA. Liked your comment on joy and woe, Kathryn. And I agree with you completely, better to have been loved and scratched than never to know love.

  18. When I put above,”when I loved she nipped by hand”I meant when I left or tried to leave she nipped my hand.

  19. Life, love, sickness, death…..they all mark us in different ways. Nechama has a way too 😉

  20. I know what you mean about life and death and your cat … more than you’ll ever know, and more than I’ll ever express publicly, my friend Shimon … thank you for sharing … again … so much appreciated … maybe some day I will be as strong as you and find the words to put it … Love, cat.. (For now, I will be doing some travelling for the most of November) … don’t forget me, eh? …. I will never forget you …. Always, cat.

    • I wish you pleasant travels, cat. Traveling can really wake us up to what matters in life, and renew our appreciation of this world… even when we live in a place we love and enjoy. It’s always good to hear from you, and I look forward to hearing something of the adventure when you return. Thanks for the comment.

  21. Oh, Dear Nechama. She is a wicked one! You and I are old, Shimon. We wear natural fibers and drink simple Jack in a world of synthetic everything. Remove blood stains by pouring hydrogen peroxide on the stain. Since blood is a protein, peroxide “eats” it. You have to use the peroxide before you wet the stain, however. If not, it doesn’t work.
    Our young readers probably don’t realize that this “bloody love” drew blood primarily because old skin is thin. It breaks and bleeds easily! Rita’s nails pierce my skin easily too. Are old hearts as fragile as old skin?

    Have a good weekend. Hugs for Nechama. Her portraits here are elegant.

    • I used to use hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash, years ago. I’ll have to see if it’s still available. Thank you for reminding me. You’re quite right about old skin. As for the heart, I like to think that with the years, we’ve learned to ride out storms without getting as upset as we used to, but I do think that as long as we’re alive, there are always surprises in store for us. Thank you very much for your comment, George. It’s always good to hear from you.

  22. What an interesting post Shimon. Striking for all that it contains. The contrasts, depth (now dive a little deeper until your lungs begin to hurt) and nature of relationships. The pain and richness of feeling and life that can underly it. Always appreciate the well-written window into your world. I wish you the very best Shimon.

    • Thank you very much, Chris. Glad you enjoyed the post. And it’s true that the pain is very much a part of the knowledge of life… how could there be the heights without the depths… if we wish the joy, we have to be ready for the sorrow too. I enjoyed your post about your youth at the edge of the great lakes, and it is a great pleasure, this getting to know one another.

  23. Shimon, this was very compelling. I feel like I know you so much better now. The blood in this story is symbolic to me–if we didn’t love, there would be no pain. But sometimes it is worth the pain to experience the goodness. I can’t remember who first said that having a child is like letting your heart run around outside your body. Romantic love can be frightening too. In that way, I have always been cautious. Before giving my heart to someone (not to have, but to hold), I had to feel certain he would take good care of it.

    I am sorry to hear of your friend’s illness, and glad that you have Nechama to comfort you.

    • I like that quote about having a child. Beautiful. And I agree with what you say about love. Perhaps, because I’m a man, I have not been cautious in relationships… or in life altogether. But looking back, I don’t regret the mistakes I’ve made. Eventually, they always added to my understanding and appreciation of what life is all about. And I’ve learned to accept the ups and downs, as part of life itself. I am blessed with love, with humans and animals, both. Glad you liked the story, Naomi.

  24. I totally agree with your very first paragraph about love and a glimpse of our creator…..
    Am so sorry you have been having such a bitter sweet time with your dear friend and been through such pain in being there for and with him…. and glad Jerusalem nourishes you on your return. As for Nechama…ouch!!! Hope the wounds mend quickly and either the shirt cleans up … or perhaps you could frame it as a testament of her love for you? 🙂

    • You know, as you English might say, I’m not the sort to wear his love on his sleeve. But it wasn’t really such a bad experience. I was more bothered by the shirt than I was by my tattered skin. But fortunately, things have gotten back to normal, and we are enjoying rainy weather together… looking out at the winter scenery. Bitter-sweet is the right description… and I do enjoy this life, as much as I can. Sending you my best wishes, Rosie… always.

  25. I really like this piece of writing. Faith, death, love – these are all great mysteries. Sometimes we learn truths about them in times of crisis, like your friend’s illness, and sometimes the truths are glimpsed in our daily lives while we are doing the most humdrum things.

    • I agree completely with what you say, yearstricken, about glimpses of truth. One of the things I like best about cats, is the way they can sit somewhere, or even lie down… and it looks like they’re half asleep. And then when something or someone gets close, they very suddenly move with great passion. That’s the way I try to relate to the meaning of life. Glad you enjoyed the post. I consider you a model of elegant writing.

  26. It is good to return to the familiarity and comfort of home after being on such a visit. It is hard to say goodbye to a dear friend that we do not wish to let go. Love does indeed take so many forms as it weaves it way through our lives. Right now one of my cats, Chloe, is on my lap sinking claws into my thigh as she softpaws, just as Nechama did to your arm. For them it is an act of love, and of remembering their relationship with their mothers. We have to keep our cats’ claws trimmed, since they are not outside enough to do so, and yes, those little needle sharp claws sinking over and over creates a painful pattern of tattoo on the skin! You were so glad for her warm greeting that you didn’t notice it much. Life… and love… do most often come with their share of pain. This was a a gentle, reflective post and I liked it very much Shimon.

    • Yes, I see you know cats well, Josie. That softpawing, as you call it, is something that Nechama does often. And usually, I enjoy it. I think she just got carried away this time. But no matter, we are back on even keel again. And since she enjoys free exit and entrance to our home, I don’t worry about trimming her claws. I’m very glad you enjoyed the post. And yes, it is good to be home again, in the place that I love and close to dear friends. Thank you very much for your comment.

  27. There’s something magical about cats that only cat-lover can appreciate. They can make you forget the hardest burdens and make your heart melt during the darkest anger.

    Nechama is beautiful by the way! And remember, only the love of an animal such as Nechama is unconditional, no matter what you do, she will always love you 🙂

    I hope your friend will be ok!

    • I don’t think I agree with you on the love of cats, M. It could be that the love of dogs is unconditional… but cats are judgmental, as far as I have seen, and they can turn against you if they don’t like something. Personally, I’ve had very good relationships with cats… and lived with them all my life. But I’ve seen the way they relate to one another, and it seems to me that they often have a certain reserve… even if they really love you.

  28. I’m sorry Shimon for your friend. It is difficult to watch the ones we love go through pain. I’m sure you being there meant the world to him. Stay strong. Oh and cut Nechama’s claws.

    • Thank you very much for your comment, Edith. Don’t worry, though I’ve grown old, I’m still pretty strong. And as for Nechama, I like her just the way she is, claws and all… I might have to restrain her at times, but I couldn’t bear to trim her nails. Thanks.

  29. I think you’re a sweet man and very sensitive.
    A hug that I hope will be of comfort.

    • Thank you very much for your kind words, Vento. I have visited your blog, and I wish I could understand it better… but unfortunately, I barely know your language… and so I am forever an outsider, looking in. But even so… there are moments when your poetry, born on a light breeze… comes by… and it seems as if I’m able to catch a taste of it.

  30. Hahaha oh cats, they can be terrible for that. I’ve had blood drawn more than once myself! From what you’ve described it sounds like she may have been “milking” – sometimes cats never get out of the habit of pawing things for milk, as they do when they are kittens. It’s painful and kinda sad really but I’m sure she appreciates your company. I hope everything is ok with you.

    • Yes, I think you’re right, SighYuki. She does that often… the milking, and I’m familiar with that. And sometimes she just lies on my lap, and extends her nails to just barely touch me… to let me know that she feels close or is thinking of me… and I’m familiar with that too. But this time she got really carried away. Since then, we’ve had some really intense times, and she’s completely back to normal, so I don’t worry about it anymore. Thank you very much for your comment.

  31. For any stains wash in cold water and use normal hand washing soap or make a thick paste of washing powder and apply and rub gently.Our pets are very sensitive and notice when there is a change in our routine or mood.

    • Thanks for your advice, GB… and sorry it took me a while to answer your comment. Eventually, they did manage to take the blood out at the cleaners. And yes, I know that pets can be very sensitive.

  32. i hope all is well in your world. it seems things are not going well right now.

    • Thank you for your message of concern, Rich. I have just now come back to my usual world… and I will try to write about it soon. You’re right… things are not going that well, right now. But I’ve grown used to the fact that life is full of ups and downs… a roller coaster ride…

  33. I haven’t been reading my favorite blogs for quite a while as I buried myself in a new project, Obsessive as always. But came onto WordPress to check on you, worried by the news we’re having now about unrest in your country. Safe in Hawaii, I feel guilty.

    But this wonderful post reminded me how much I miss by not following every one of your pieces. This one so rich in love … for an old friend … for all the people which are a part of your own life tapestry … and for Nechama. Only someone who has truly loved a pet can understand the depth of love and consolation that relationship can be. And that there is a connection which is almost telepathetic … and goes beyond the limitations of speech.

    I realize as i grow older that love becomes somehow “purer” as we age … that we forget about disappointments and imperfections and remember the best moments we’ve shared. Edna St. Vincent Millay once wrote …. “Just because it didn’t last, need we say it wasn’t love …”

    Now I understand the truth … and comfort … of those words.

    Be safe …. prayers are on their way to you and Nechama …

    Nikki Ty

    • How nice that you are so involved in a new project, Nikki. I am happy for you and look forward to hearing more about it. Glad you enjoyed the post, and it is always good to hear that you’re visiting, and good to get a message from you. What you say about friendship with an animal is quite true. I have had great friendships with pets. I don’t know if love becomes purer as we age… but it does seem to me that we become purer and more distilled as we grow older, and perhaps this is reflected in our love. Since the beginning of this year (speaking of the Jewish year, of course), I’ve been living through some pretty wild storms… and just now, I’ve returned once again to my familiar world. Thank you very much for your prayers.

  34. Shimon! Take care. I worry!

  35. Your words are beautifully crafted…as I consider my own cat Peanut Meister…I too, have experienced this…just as you write it. And love…well…love, even bloody love is wonderful.

    • Thank you so much, Painter Lady… Yes, I know that such experiences are part of a relationship… and as much as one can experience with a cat… so too, with a fellow human being… I have had my share of pain with women too… but far more joy… and so, the pain isn’t always remembered…

  36. This is so very touching….I’m so glad that when you returned home, you were greeted with love….even Bloody love.

  37. Oh! I was so glad to have your visit to my post just now!!!! I have thought about you and said prayers for you and all of your family for the last several days. Stay safe!

    • Thank you for thinking of me, and for your prayers, Angeline. I have gotten back, after a very different sort of week… and am trying to write about it… but everything seems to work slower these days. I do hope I will get something on the blog soon.

  38. The high regard of a cat feels like an honour, not a due. Beautiful sentiments and images as ever Shimon. Be safe in your beloved home. Top tip for laundry and life – milk consumes blood… the enzymes literally eat it.

    • Thank you very much, Rubychoo… for the tip for laundry and life. I will remember that. And for your good wishes as well. It is really great to hear from you. I’m very pleased you continue to read my blog. Things are quieting down now… and I look forward to getting on with life.

  39. Such beautiful and lyrical, loss, pleasure and pain..truly touching..

    • Thank you very much Andrea. I am very glad you enjoyed this post, and that you find the blog interesting. When I was young, I did a lot of traveling just as you are doing now. And though I was a serious scholar before and after, I consider the time in which I got to know people in other cultures, and societies that were very different from my own, the most fascinating of all my studies. I wish you great adventures, and look forward to reading your impressions, as you continue to widen your horizons.

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