having a foster cat – I

You may remember that since late October I am fostering a cat, Mona.

She has been my first foster cat and I could not be happier.

You may ask why I decided to foster.

I wanted to foster for a very long time, especially after I gave back my cat (whom I adopted a few years back and sadly had to return to shelter after 5 days… I know.. I know.. I am heartless. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. But I was not good enough and could not bear the idea of putting him in a kernel while I have extended trips. Luckily in a couple of weeks, he was adopted. Or, so I was told….).

How did I finally start fostering?

Anyways, my next door neighbour is a big fan of pets and adopting animals as much as she can. So, she encouraged me for years… So did my family… Eventually this Fall, right before I asked my doctor to prescribe me an anti-depressant, I took the step and contacted a shelter. They said they had frozen the program and would open again in a week. My neighbour said – do NOT wait. So I contacted another one. Long story short, I was interviewed in a couple of days, signed agreements, and in a week I had Mona transported to my home 🙂

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Then, she arrived.

It was too soon, but in the meantime, luckily I had prepared my home and removed the sticky bands, secured the cables somehow, and prepared a room for the cat. I was planning to keep her in the room a couple of days until she felt secure. But it did not work that way. The vicious cat needed to be let go off the carrier right away, otherwise she would be hurting herself. That was a good thing indeed – she immediately checked the place and found herself a comfy place (the top of the couch). The fact that she did not display any fear or did not hide tells me that she was okay.

She also was friendly with me and did not hiss or otherwise show any aggressive behavior. I showed her her litter box, gave food and water, and let her be.

The fact that I am not interested in showing big attention to anyone helped.

I remember the next night she placed herself on my bed and groomed herself. I remember petting her (I was afraid!!) lightly and learning right away that there was a limit to how many times you can pet a cat 🙂 (answer is that, you gotta stop after 5-6 times and if she wants, she will signal you to do it. Otherwise, be prepared to face an unhappy and determined cat).

How do I take having someone at home and arrange my life around them?

I never felt disgusted or tired of cleaning her litter box, washing her bowls, and giving her food (all wet food) or water. I continue to dump the litter everyday to keep air fresh at home, and dump the entire litter, litter box, and the scoop every two weeks. I vacuum the carpets and floors, especially the litter room, frequently and wipe with wet wipes (sometimes, but not always, with antibacterial wipes. Too much chemicals..). I play with her at least twice a day, generously scratch her head and groom her body. She often sleeps on the foot area of my bed during the nights, and during the day.

The smell of the litter / pooh made me annoyed once or twice, I had to learn to use a small amount of baking soda with litter and better aerate the house.

I was scared to give liquid medication orally by a syringe, which I could never managed to do.

I was scared when Mona got sick and needed to go to the vet.

Other than these, I am simply grateful that she is in my life. She wakes me up in the morning for meal (thank goodness, and let me pet her. I love my mornings now 🙂 I talk to her, always wishing positive things and telling her the difference she has made in my life. She listens.

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She has a great community of people caring for her. My friends gave her many gifts and often send their love in messages. My family fell in love with her. She is loved, cared, and admired.

Why fostering gave me a huge satisfaction and has a deep meaning?

I started fostering by the idea of having a cat – I admire them – in my life.

But I had never thought how meaningful and satisfactory is to actually help an animal. Mona was a stray cat and had a rough start in life. She is now in a safe place, loved, fed well, and cared for. Fostering her till she is adopted is most certainly helping another cat to be rescued from the streets, or from abusive owners. To be able to contribute to such a great aim is incredible.

  • To be continued

Wednesday morning musings

I got up very early this morning, partly because it was cold. I am glad I have done this, though, considering how peaceful, stress-free, and enjoyable the morning is.

I have been feeling quite well since yesterday evening; a big work is almost done and it feels good.

I have been on and off on work staycation in the last 6 weeks. It has been stressful to do all the work that dragged me down during this time and I was hurt along the way and exhausted, but now things are getting and looking better.

I still have lots of stuff to do but I have a list that shows which works are done in the last 6 weeks and I am glad that I went thru this time; lots of work is done! In my profession 6 weeks is a short time, and all the things I have done are great things. It was a great decision to do this this year. I am very satisfied with my decision and performance.

At what cost, you may ask? And you are right, stress and exhaustion are not worth it within the big picture of life. But I know if I had not done what I had done, things would have been worse for me and I would be looking for a much longer period of agonizing time to finish everything. Finding this positivity and being satisfied with everything are priceless. And feeling well is above all of these; I am very grateful.

This week is the last time that I am able to take vacation time off this year. That means until the holidays in December I will have occasional flexibility to work from home. I should be okay with this, but somehow reacting to it. It tells me that I enjoyed or benefited from working at home. Another positive thing  to be grateful for!

On my personal life side, this intense work period was also good; I socialized a couple of times and hosted friends at home. More importantly, I broke my routine, even though I longed for my routine life during the last 6 hectic weeks. Life is interesting. Everything has its own proper time I guess…

I have great plans for today! I will complete some more tasks that have been dragging me down. I am looking forward to finishing them and adding them to my tasks-done-list! What a treasure 🙂

I hope you all will have a gorgeous day filled with positivity, satisfaction, great opportunities and solutions 🙂

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joy journal – May 25, 2016

1. I am grateful for waking up feeling alright 🙂 This is a rare occasion and I fully appreciated it. I am so very grateful for this feeling 🙂

2. I am grateful for taking the bus this morning. Weather was awesome and i went to work by wearing a jacket rather than winter coats! 🙂 is that not great?

3. I am grateful for working well. I was distracted by a couple of meetings here and there, but all worked out well. One of my team members and I are working on a challenging project. he moved it quite a bit but then like any other things that are done for the first time, we needed to in detail check our approach, methods, and the assumptions/limitations. It is no fun and both my team member and I were quite annoyed but also somehow excited. Once this “confidence building” phase is over, then we will be able to move really fast. I must explain this to my team member better as he is frustrated that we are still not clear about our approach. Fortunately (!), this is a necessary part of the process and we will be done with this phase soon. It is good to have experiences! 🙂

4. I am grateful for my coffee – what a blessing to be able to have an office that allows me to brew coffee whenever I wish 🙂

5. I am grateful for walking back to home early afternoon and continuing to work at home.

6. I am grateful for seeing the nice flower that bloomed in my yard today 🙂

7. I am grateful for chatting with one of my neighbours while I spent time in my yard.

8. I am grateful for my back feeling better and being pain free.

9. I am grateful for not eating too much today 🙂

10. I am grateful for spending the evening and the night relaxing and also reading and writing about my work plans – things are getting clear as I continue to reflect on them. And as they get clear, I also realize how much we have progressed in our projects – that is a great feeling, very satisfying and encouraging. I also realize that I am in a better shape than I thought I was 🙂 talking about self-confidence!

11. I am grateful for being excited about a report at my hand, which I plan to finish in the coming two weeks or so. I really would like to end it before I leave for my vacation so that once I am back, I can focus on new stuff. Finishing things and having its satisfaction are awesome, so are starting new things and experiencing their excitement 🙂

12. I am grateful for it raining today – I did not have to water my seeds 🙂

13. I am grateful for tomorrow being one more day close to the weekend, when I am planning to shop for my yard 🙂

14. I am grateful for the water that quenches my thirst, the food that I can afford and nourishes my body, and my home that provides me a safe shelter.

15. I am grateful for being grateful and finding the opportunity and time to write my joy journal today 🙂

the psychology of saving

I am not a psychologist, but I strongly believe in the role of motivation and feelings while implementing a budget and saving.

I kind of know myself and how my motivation picks up or go down. I dislike over-spending my weekly allowance for example. It bothers and annoys me. Big time….

What I like is saving. That feeling is pleasurable and very much enjoyable. Plus, when I save, I do not need to feel the annoyance coming with over-spending. I believe I need to associate my budgeting and frugal-land journey with pleasure. Never with annoyance. Thus, I love to save 🙂

Knowing this, first, I keep my weekly allowance high, not low. It is currently $200/week and contains my daily little expenses (such as coffee here and there, grocery, and other little items). I,  60% of the time spend less than this amount, which is great. It gives me a sense of satisfaction and hugely motivates me.

Second, I get more motivated to save if I do see a substantial and tangible increase in my savings. For example, I consider the followings as savings and note them in my budget Excel sheet for every week;

1. amount of money I save from in-store deals; my store now notes them on the receipts.

2. coupon values as well as the discounts I get from loyalty cards; one of my loyalty cards let me get a $10 discount nearly every two months

3. expenses I was tempted to do but did not (such as dining out, breakfasts)

4. expenses I would normally do prior to start of my budget, but did not (such as taking the cab to and from work)

5. money left from my weekly allowance

6. I pay myself for house maintenance activities around the house ($40/hour; examples are painting or staining the deck, caulking, mowing). My justification is that I could be paying others to do these. If I do them, then I am saving.

7. when instead of me, others in the socials pick up the cheque and contribute to their portions or to the tip.

One or more of these happens every week, leading to a substantial amount saved; the fact that I save $90/week by only not taking the cab can tell you how much I enjoy doing this. Yep. There were times that I saved around $300/week. That is a huge amount of money… When at the end of the week or the year I see the amount I save, I am awed… I could easily spend it but I did not. That requires celebration and appreciation of one’s self.

If you are like me, you will join me in saying that this is why it is very critical to document our expenses and savings at the same time.

Third, I have another, maybe peculiar, motivating factor; I have gotta find a valuable experience or a need met with the money I save. Maybe it is a trip now I can take with the saved funds. A new pair of shoes or a new (needed) service I can buy. I may cover for increases in mortgage payments or insurance premiums that bug me. Or, I can lift my chequing account up and start making bigger mortgage payments, both of which feel good.

Whatever it is, I feel a lot better when I know how specifically the saved funds are helping me and improving my financial, physical, or mental health and life overall. That brings, believe me, a new level of empowerment!

So, in my case, not only recording the expenses but maybe more than that recording my savings motivates me big time. In addition, knowing what I can do and I do with the saved funds gives me peace and satisfaction beyond what I thought I would get when I started this journey.

Wishing you a great frugal journey, too! 🙂

random thoughts

It is Friday!! 🙂

Oh, yes. And it feels good 🙂

I am so grateful for my job, which has flexibility when comes to working hours or being at home or in office.

Yesterday, I worked from home to finish some work and some errands in the afternoon. Today, I spend only around 3 hours at the office and then walked back home. My cold, sneezing and runny nose continue; but today I also started to have headaches. In addition, walking or sitting for long hours is not helping the muscle I pulled at my back. But more that that there was a 2-hour meeting in the afternoon I kind of dreaded. So I sent my comments and suggestions by email for the meeting, came home nice and easy, went to the cafe to work a little bit and got some ideas while walking back, worked on a critical document and finished it (yay!), sent some slides to some people, and finalized another set of slides for a presentation next week.

yes, I have done well today 🙂

I do not know how it looks to someone from outside if they see me not being in my office. Do I look like taking advantage of my work? Not working? Enjoying my time with other lovely and leisure activities?

I think to some this is what it would look like.

To me, working home is a great alternative; less distraction, more comfort. You have seen the amount of work I have done in 6 hours above. I am very pleased with all going so well, despite the frequent sneezing and the runny nose. The headache and the pain at my back are manageable for now, if not I have medication to help ease them. So all is well on my side 🙂

I am so happy that today is Friday and tomorrow is the weekend. I plan to take it easy this weekend, but will work on another document that I have not finished in the last few months. It is time that I complete it and submit. I will clean my home and do the laundry tomorrow, but I am not worried about them too much. Then, I will get prepared for my trip next week.

Life is good 🙂

have a great Friday night everyone!

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