Listen

 

Silence is rich. It is dark and viscous and it flows on waves of nothingness.  Silence begs to be filled and filled it must be. It is lonely and demanding and chill to the touch but it tastes smooth like the breeze. Silence is an opulent black pearl and one of the rarest gems on Earth.

There is a simple profoundness that can be found in the absence of sound. The emptiness that silence provides often gives rise to thought–the deep kind. The sort that give birth to leaps of logic and flights of the imagination. Silence is the canvas on which beautiful art can be created. It sits and waits patiently.

Silence isn’t in a hurry. It doesn’t need to explain itself or impress anyone or anything. It just is. It is the essence of cool. 

I love silence. I crave it even. It is sorely needed in this noisy world that we have created. Life passes far too quickly for proper reflection but the quiet gives our minds time to relax and reflect.

Of course there is no true silence, even in nature far away from the influence of man, there is sound. And it is these sounds in the silence that I take time out to explore.

Being a city dweller, the sounds I pick up are a mix of city hum and the song of nature. I have learned to appreciate the sounds I hear for what they are. Which I would have to say mostly traffic and birds…well let’s just say I try to focus on the birds and not the traffic so much. 

hope light in leaves
Credit: SBI

I will often go into the backyard, especially on days when I can find the smallest sliver of sunshine. I will sit in the golden light and close my eyes and listen. Listen to each and every individual sound I can possibly hear.  

This is not only relaxing, it is mind expanding. It is as if I am floating…

Each day is different. Today it is the caws of crows. They fly from treetop to treetop calling to each other. I can hear one and then another and soon a chorus rings out. The sound comes from high in the sky in all directions.  The atmosphere is alive and quick and I can feel their energy in my spirit and the warmth of the still-warm late October sun on my happy face.

Someday I will escape the city if only for a day and I will go to a random field or an empty beach or a hilltop among a grove of trees and listen and take it all in, keeping it with me always.  

For today though, the caws of crows do quite nicely.

Strawberryindigo.

crow in gray sky how times flies
Credit: SBI
“I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.”
― Chaim Potok
UNIQUE PICTURE: Earth as seen from the outer S...
UNIQUE PICTURE: Earth as seen from the outer Solar System (Photo credit: Icarus Kuwait)

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Trick or Treat Me

I am at the grocery store and no one knows I’m here. I am about to confess my secret shame; I’m here to buy replacement Halloween candy. Somehow the bags of candy I bought for the trick-or-treaters has disappeared.

The bored woman at the cash register gives me and my purchases a knowing glance. I know she knows and she knows I know she knows but doesn’t care that I do know.  I grab my bags and get out of there.  I’m not proud of myself but…

Who can stand up to all this candy temptation at this time of year? Every time I go shopping lately to get “healthy” food for my family I am bombarded, bombarded I say, by store aisles all overflowing with bag upon bag of delightful Halloween candy–fetchingly decorated in the festive brown, black and orange of the season. I can’t be the only one who has found this whole situation a tad bit tempting, well…a lot tempting!

I suppose I could go out and buy all the bags of candy I wanted and eat it all in the parking lot of the store before I get home–as fun as that sounds–it wouldn’t be the same.

Okay.  I admit it. I am jealous of the whole thing. I am a big kid and I miss being one especially on this, my most favorite day of the year.  I love the whole idea of Halloween. I love the scariness about it, the ghosts and the vampires and monsters. I love the drama, the dressing up, the festiveness and most of all I love the candy!

I wish I could and I have yearnings to dress up in some wildly colorful costume,  definitely something with wings and cruise the neighborhood going door to door just like the other kiddies on Halloween night scoring free goodies and treats; delightful little bite sized bits of sweetness.  Why should the fact that I am a 44-year-old woman stop me really?

You never know,  I still look young…perhaps if I wore a mask and walked slumped over…I might pull it off? Why just the other day a drunk guy mistook me for a high school student…from about 50 feet away (it’s my shoes)

I wonder what people’s reactions would be to seeing a chocolate-crazed middle-aged woman in a fairy costume trying to pass herself off as a child to get candy on Halloween? Would they say “go home old woman”?  Would they laugh? Would they call the police?  More importantly would they give me candy?  And if so, how much and what kind?

I mean, so what?  So I want to get dressed up in some ridiculous get-up and go to strange people’s doors and get candy. I want to do this on Halloween; on this Halloween and all the other holidays for that matter.  Whew…I said it. Now you know.

I told you I wasn’t proud.  But it is what it is. I never really grew up and I really like Halloween. Of course, I’ve had my fantasies about this very thing while being a mom taking my kids out for years, having to stand at the foot of my neighbor’s front steps with a flashlight looking pathetic in the dark waiting to be asked if I want some candy too.  Or offered shots of Espresso and homemade donuts in some nice person’s warm and homey kitchen.

What about the adults on Halloween, what happens to them?  I know that many spend this fantastic holiday at various parties in skimpy costumes getting wasted.  I’ve done that, but these days throwing on a pair of butterfly wings and donning a purple wig while I gorge myself till I’m sick on candy really appeals to me–Right on!!!

Who wants to join me? The more the merrier….I know most of you do not live in my city but wouldn’t it be worth the trip?  Seeing me and weird Portland all while getting free candy…I’d let you treat me to a Chai Latte afterward.

Well that’s the way I roll friends. Will I really take the plunge and risk making a total fool of myself for some cheap thrills and candy? Or will I chicken out and return to the store for more bags of Recess Cups? Only time will tell…

 

Strawberryindigo.

Me in years past
Me in years past

I think if human beings had genuine courage, they’d wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween. Wouldn’t life be more interesting that way? And now that I think about it, why the heck don’t they? Who made the rule that everybody has to dress like sheep 364 days of the year? Think of all the people you’d meet if they were in costume every day. People would be so much easier to talk to – like talking to dogs. ”
― Douglas Coupland

 

halloween candy pile

The Sexy Gardener

 
 
 tulips gavota-560_86731o
 
 

It is a sunny afternoon in mid October. There is a slight breeze. I can hear the sound of birds and the occasional airplane overhead. I am engaging in one of my favorite activities; Gardening, It makes me happy, especially today–today I am doing one of my most favorite of favorite activities; digging…

 

…Oh how I love to dig…

dirt hand photo(2)

 

 It is primal, it is physical. It gets my blood pumping and pulse racing.  It is natural and it penetrates my soul…it is almost akin to having sex.  It is the mindless and mindful coexisting, together as one.  It hovers on a higher plane and rewards in obvious and not so obvious ways. It is almost spiritual and definitely enlightening. I can do it for hours and become quite invigorated. In that token digging is sexy and so are the people that do it.

Yes, I’m still talking about digging. 

Being a gardener, this thing for digging is a good thing. I am drawn to nature and to the very soil itself.  I suppose that is the way with us gardeners. The soil plays such a vital role in our lives and in life in general. For there wouldn’t be life as we know it, without it.

I love the feel of the fresh good earth–it feels so alive. It is soft and luxurious, fertile as the day is long, this stuff is almost akin to magic.

Gardening is sexy–don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. All that fresh air and exercise, not to mention all the “naturalness” can really get the heart pumping. 

Gardening is good for you.  It is a unique form of exercise that allow you to do something calming, creative and fun while working various muscle groups….gardening can keep you fit.

Women in general can burn up to 300 calories with an hour of moderately strenuous gardening activities like digging, cultivating or using a spade. Men typically burn around 400 calories per hour while doing the same activities.

Being in shape can enhance sexiness…

love-passion-kiss-shadow-photo-70160

OO-la-la…

And what about dirt?  Can dirt be sexy too?

There have been studies as of late indicating how exposure to the bacteria found in healthy soil, whether it be from the food grown in it or just by working the soil can raise serotonin levels which boosts your immune system and elevates your mood.  There has been numerous studies linking the act of just being out in nature to good health. These indicate a direct correlation between our health and happiness and the exposure to the soil itself. We all know that general happiness and satisfaction with oneself is the key to sexual attractiveness.

Come on, tell me dirt is not sexy.

dirt plant hands

 

I do feel more connected with the Earth out here and I am compelled to seek this connection. There is a force inside us that needs to express this somehow. There seems to be a theme behind all this random chaos. We are intertwined with all of creation in a symbiotic dance of existence on planet Earth. We are driven to spread forth and propagate. We share this drive with all other life.  This too, is sexy…

egg and sperm

 

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself, 
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” 
― Walt WhitmanLeaves of Grass

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Have a great day,

Strawberryindigo.

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Soil bacteria is good for your mood (environmentalgraffiti.com)

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Flowers use scent to advertise different rewards (bbc.co.uk/)

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The therapeutic benefits of gardening and getting your hands in the soil (jtoddring.com)

 

Musings on TIME and other savory things

“How did it get so late so soon?”

― Dr. Seuss

 

We are beholden to time.  It gives whatever fate has determined for us to be a fair measure. It is always there.  It is quiet. It sits like a spider in its web, waiting in a seldom used corner of a dark room…

It can be patient, this time.  At other times, it is as quick as lightning. It can be a soft trickle of water that slowly cuts through rock and stone or the tidal rush of mad ocean that can fill a mighty canyon in minutes.

I see the lines that time has left in my face; places where smiles have once been, crinkles around my eyes, the inevitable forehead furrow that comes from deep thinking. I suppose I have earned these, although knowing that doesn’t take away the feeling I get. It still surprises me when I look into the mirror and a 40-year-old looks back at me when when I still expect that 20-year-old to.  I  look like me but different. I know a hell of a lot more than the 20-year-old did. The sparkle in my eyes are the same–maybe even brighter than when I was younger. I have found one doesn’t have to be under 30 to have a spring in one’s step.

I have been on this planet long enough to witness some time pass. One can see a lot in 44 years of life. It is not nearly enough in my opinion. To me it seems my life is just beginning.  There is so much to do, to experience. I think I am finally starting to catch on.

And while one is figuring it all out..it just sits there dispassionately and ticks.

Ouch. You can’t reason with time. You can’t sweet talk it. It is incorruptible. It stands firm, no negotiating. It goes on and that is that…

…and it demands we deal with our own mortality. Damn that time.

black hole of my imagination

A human lifetime is but a mere blink compared to the age of this planet…or age of the universe for that matter. To think in those spans of time requires one to walk among cold things, unblinking things…things we will never know or understand.

Even I don’t want to know everything.

It is much better to feel everything. Experience everything we can.  Every single damn moment can be an eternity if we enjoy it enough.

coffee

And I am off to enjoy those moments…
and savor them slowly.
Like a warm cup of dark coffee on a hopeful sunlit morning
smooth and rich, uplifting…happy.
enjoying each moment fully and then letting go.
Moments like chocolate and hazelnuts
Sweet and inviting. ..alive

🙂

Wishing you happiness my friends,

Strawberryindigo.

Girl-Holding-the-Sun-Sunrise__32633-480x320

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

― Mother Teresa

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***OTHER STUFF***

TIME by Pink Floyd  (YouTube)

Time Travel; Theories, Paradoxes and Possibilities (space.com)

Shine on you Crazy Diamond

Six Savory Shortbread Recipes to Pair with Soup this Fall (thekitchn.com)

Musings on time. (broganknight.wordpress.com)

The Behemoth

pine tree morning

Have you ever had a behemoth in your life?  Did the elephant in the room ever come sit on you? Has there ever been a big thing that plopped down on you and grabbed you and now is sucking the light out of your life or in this case your yard…

I moved into this house 13 years ago. Back then it was quite a different place, besides of being denied of my whimsical vibes and general weirdness, the house and surrounding yard lacked the appropriate plant and animal life.  The backyard lies on a double lot. In the far west back are big bushes of the still unknown variety.  A very tall pine tree stood in the center like a behemoth.  This tree was too big for the yard and it’s influence was greatly felt.  The tree rendered 90 % of the yard dark and pine needly, what little grass that grew was patchy and only grew to shaggy and straggly near the outer parameters of the yard—the only place the sun was able to shine. This was where the tallest of the strongest weeds grew. They stood like sentinels seeming to be guarding the yard from interlopers.  This yard had been neglected for some time. There was nothing; no odd wildflower sprouting up, no old forgotten rosebush in the corner overgrown with weeds. Nothing to show that someone who loved flowers was once there. I have a fondness for old neglected gardens, finding the traces and leftovers of a plants that at one time were planted there by someone and cared for and enjoyed them. To me it sort of feels like walking back through time. And I try how to image how the place once looked. To me gardens have always felt like the person who once loved them.

It has always been a fantasy of mine to move into a place with a yard like that. Where I would have the joy of discovery of  finding and resurrecting once overlooked wonderfulness. an opportunity to nurse it back to former glory with equal parts love, devotion and hard work.

Well this yard had none of that; no hidden charm or gem. Just pine needles, grass and a few weeds and an overgrown hedge.

There was nothing to save and resurrect because there was nothing there.  The tree took in all the life-giving light for itself and didn’t share. Nothing was left.

I tried to make the best of it. I have always been a gardener at heart. I have this need to be surrounded by plants. I probably got this trait from my mother who lived and breathed plants too.  My childhood was filled with memories of the outdoors; of soft green grass, and miniature roses, big green trees with arching limbs, blue skies with big puffy clouds, a chorus of birds chirping and singing away happily. To me nature has also been magical and gardens a way for us mere mortals to create a bit of our own magic.

I much as I love trees I knew that if that if that behemoth didn’t leave we would never have a decent backyard, besides it was dropping needles like crazy, probably not a good sign. We knew what had to be done. We got three bids and went with the lowest one and the behemoth was gone 3 days later.

backyard stump
We decided to save the stump. We had it shaved off at about three feet. It reminds me of the one the Lorax stood on in the Dr. Seuss classic. There it remains today.

Once the behemoth was gone, the yard was instantly transformed.  It was if summer had finally come after a long cold lonely winter. My mind starting whirling with ideas on what to do next. I picked a corner, started digging and never looked back.

I wanted this place to become an extension of me– “my little kingdom” and I spent hours and hours working…sometimes 6 or 8 hours a stretch with no break out there digging in the mud, planting, raking, pruning, mowing. digging, lots of digging…

I really enjoyed the work which surprised me. I was never good at sports or anything physical but I enjoyed this gardener’s workout.  (it’s not as easy as it may look)

Over the years, a little this and some more that. I couldn’t afford a bunch of plants at once, so I would add little bits here and there; more and more each year. I saved many seeds and learned to propagate, adding more and more plants. As time went on the yard looked better and better. I started to feel good about this and started to feel good about myself.

I didn’t much feel good about myself back then so this was a really good thing. I lacked self-confidence and wasn’t too sure of myself. I was shy ( I still am) this simple act of working hard, achieving a wonderful result that others and yourself can enjoy is absolutely wonderful. It makes a person such as myself feel all warm and toasty inside. This gave me a dose of confidence and more importantly made me realize the other behemoth in my life. The one’s who mighty shadow I was standing in and to an extent still do

This huge dominating force is not a tree, but it has taken root in me–planted there a long time ago. This behemoth is called fear. Unlike a tree I can’t just hire someone to come cut it down. But living in its shadow has rendered me a late bloomer I am afraid to say.  I am also afraid to say it still stands but it is no longer a behemoth; just a big weed now. I will probably always struggle with fear to some extent. I highly doubt that I am the only one…but, I have cut it down to size and now my own personal garden in thriving in the light and is home to thousands of bright happy things.

Strawberryindigo.

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Did you ever have a behemoth in your life? What was it and how did you overcome it? 

lemon rose cu

“People where you live,” the little prince said,grow five thousand roses in one garden… yet they don’t find what they’re looking for…

“They don’t find it,I answered.

And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water…”

“Of course, I answered.

And the little prince added, “But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”
― Antoine de Saint-ExupéryThe Little Prince

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Free Hugs

I came across a picture today.  It was a drawing made by a someone I don’t know. I saw it online, I think it was in my Facebook inbox.  The artist’s name is written in the side. It is basic but genuine and to me conveys the most achingly beautiful sentiment.

and it sparked something…

I will sometimes get an idea for a post, but I won’t know actually how it will turn out.  It starts with a message I want to convey, whether it be simple or complex. Sometimes it can take days, weeks, months even. it just rolls around in that crazy head of mine waiting for something… a spark?  Something to give it life. Incidences will happen; little things, really of no significance but then one day–wham! It all fits together. This picture was a catalyst.

Love will show us the way by Art the System on Facebook

We share a collective consciousness. The good, the bad, the everything contained therein.

The best and worst of us is inside us all. We share so much. One important need is to give and receive love. We are an empathetic species that thrives on mutual understanding and cooperation. We need togetherness.

Newborn babies can die if denied love, it is ingrained in us, the need to reach out and be held. It is a basic and human need we first receive usually from our mothers and fathers. And it this need to touch to be touched lasts through our lifetimes. It is beyond sexual desire which in itself is powerful. It is grounding, it is humbling and uplifting.

The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety.  Hugging relaxes muscles; releasing tension in the body. They can take away pain and soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.  Hugs balance out the nervous system and boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.

“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”

~ Virginia Satir

FREE_HUGS';_Tokyo

Hugs are wonderful. They are warm and innocent expressions of affection.  To me hugs are magical events.

free_hugs_2_by_dastalisa-d3adynw

They are hopeful. They are happy. They spread happiness.

'FREE_HUGS',_Notre_Dame_de_Paris

We have a human need to be wanted and valued and accepted. A hug is a demonstration of that.

There is much to be said about the power of a hug. I have noticed a trend as of these last few years of people with signs giving out free ones. It is a novel thing. it creates a bit of a spectacle and maybe it isn’t all that serious but it does make people happy. and it sends out a terrific message.

I have noticed with the passage of time that hugs are becoming more freely given and socially acceptable. When I was a child one rarely would see two men hug, these days it is commonplace. This is a wonderful thing.

It is such a wonderful thing and so is a kind word, a pat on the back and a smile.

Sometimes we don’t know the burden another may be carrying and cannot fathom how one simple act of encouragement from someone; a stranger even and what sort of positive impact that it can have.

If we all made a point of doing this;  reaching out to others even sometimes going  the extra mile to tell another person you care; whether it’s just an ear to listen.  Sometimes all people need is a release; someone to talk to and a little sympathy.  Sometimes it is a stranger, a person you will never encounter again, this does not lessen the quality of the interaction. Every positive interaction we have with another person makes them feel good and makes us feel good. it’s all good!

And just like rabbits these positive interactions spread and before you know it the room is of full of rabbits.

Try it you’ll like it. Hug someone today.

Strawberryindigo.

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“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” 
― Albert Einstein

English: 'FREE HUGS' in a marketplace, Chile
English: ‘FREE HUGS’ in a marketplace, Chile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

References and Related Articles

Why we need at least 8 hugs a day (mindbodygreen.com)

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5756/10-Reasons-Why-We-Need-at-Least-8-Hugs-a-Day.html

5 Ways to Hug  (wikihow.com)

 Miracle/soulmate (helioshub.wordpress.com)

Life with a Celebrity Cat

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.” 
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

cheshire cat 5

Warning

The following post holds no significance whatsoever. It wasn’t designed to make you think or question anything. It promises nothing. It exists solely to make no sense at all so…if you enjoy a little nonsense now and again 

keep reading...

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If this sort of thing isn’t your thing and you are looking for some deep philosophical discussion you will not find it here, not today anyway.Check out the archives; pick out a subject from the top of the front page and dig right in. You may be surprised. 

 and so for those of you that are staying: THANK YOU.

SBI Presents   **************************************************

LIFE WITH A CELEBRITY CAT

Mario my famous cat
Mario my famous cat

I have received countless letters and emails over these last half-dozen months asking me about my famous cat Mario–inquiring about his adventures. Are there are any new loves in his life? Are there any upcoming movies he’ll be in or new albums he will be recording? Questions on his stance on the political issues of the day, you know, common stuff… he is quite the popular cat. This is not surprising, but what it surprising is that many of the letters have been directed to myself personally; asking what it feels like to live with a celebrity such as he.

Sure there are the fans, the crowds wherever he goes. Forget about going to a restaurant or to a club, he gets swamped with paparazzi and multitudes of hangers on.  All this fame isn’t easy.  It’s endless phone calls from dignitaries and captains of industry, the top people in science and medicine and of course, the well-known patrons of the arts.  We have been so busy trying to keep up with all the correspondence we hired a staff of 6 people and one really smart squirrel to handle it all.

Despite Mario’s privileged upbringing and consequent fame Mario has stayed amazingly down to earth. He enjoys the simple things in life; like sunsets and long walks on the beach, poetry and napping.

mario in box

You can just feel his charisma can’t you!. His appeal reaches through the screen and grabs you, just like that. I know.  What goes through a mind like that?!  Look at him here.., You can tell from his picture….those deep penetrating intellectual eyes.  He is poetry in slow motion–see how he stalked, hunted down and overran this common cardboard box.

Mario has claimed it for his own and has been napping in it ever since.  What prowess

I like to call him lovey boy in front of MM just to annoy him, Mario purrs extra loud and we get a great laugh out of this. That and card games. I don’t know if it’s well known but Mario was quite the card shark in his day. He played the Vegas circuit many times. He once even was kicked out of -the Bellagio for card counting.  It was then he decided to never to gamble again and devote is free time to pursue a career in film and music. Much to his credit he has not gambled since and all he ever plays for now are cat treats.

Although Mario has constant demands placed on him because of his popularity he still finds time for this napping; devoting at least 19 hours a day to this his most favorite of hobbies.  But the center of his universe remains his food dish and there I suspect it will remain.

One would think that living with a celebrity cat would be more exciting. I have been holding out hopes that some of Mario’s famous friends like George Clooney or Oprah  would drop by for a visit…

…but so far he hasn’t been up for visitors.  He amuses himself by following me around while I clean the house, do the laundry and make dinner. This is not the glamorous life I was promised…

Don’t get me wrong. Its not like we don’t have good times because we do, I mean he is not famous for nothing. He is quite the entertainer and what a master of the art of conversation. He has perfected what we call around here: The Silent Mew. It is timeless and it is amazing, oh what form he has. He is suave and graceful and lots of fun to be around.

He can be fussy and whiny and also seemingly aloof and then instantly demanding. He is a handful alright, but he is my cat and he’s alright with me.

Strawberryindigo.

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“In ancient times cats were worshiped as gods; they have not forgotten this.” 
― Terry Pratchett
This is a Mario-stand in. The actual star of stage and screen was not available for pictures the time this was taken.
This is a Mario-stand in. The actual star of stage and screen was not available for pictures the time this was taken.

***YouTube****

Stray Cat Strut by The Stray Cats

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