Loves and Hates, But No List

A few people have asked me if I’m planning to do a 10 things I love/ 10 things I hate post. As I begin writing this post, I have no idea. It seems daunting to me to narrow in on 10 of each. And so many bloggers described some of my own loves and hates so beautifully.

How do I decide if I want to use foods or actions or sensory moments? And how many of each–in what proportion? For each one I write I’d be forgetting 10 (or 100) others that I might love more. Or hate more.

Then there is the notion of starting with loves and endings with hates. I don’t want to leave you with the negative. So I think I’d start with what I hate just so that I can end with what I love. But if I do that, readers might get saddened or burned out too quickly and not read far enough to get to the loves!

Probably the biggest thing holding me back is that it’s so tempting to go with the “small” or “local.” The pet peeves. The comfort foods. But what about world peace? An end to all war, to poverty, to famine?

Ay Yi Yi! Oy! Holy crap!

So I’ll just sprinkle a few out here that come to my mind at this instant.

I hate that a lady dumped her kitty at the no-kill shelter I volunteer at because she was moving in with her son. For months, the stressed out cat won’t leave the door of the cat room. We’ve set up her bed, food, and water on a stand next to the door so she can live there. When other cats jump up on the stand, she hisses until they jump back down. Last week hubby and I discovered the poor kitty is THIRTEEN YEARS OLD. She still thinks her “Mom” is coming back for her, but her dear mother hasn’t even checked on her. Abby’s story isn’t that unusual, but for Abby it’s her whole life that’s at stake. And her life is miserable. If my oldest cat wasn’t in stage 4 kidney failure (with diabetes and a bad heart) I would persuade hubby that she’s our next rescue, but it’s not possible right now. And so Abby waits. At the door. For her missing mother.

See what I mean? You want to read 10 of those? Heartbreaking.

I love that I get to work at the shelter, cleaning, scooping, feeding, reading to, and loving cats in need. I love their sweet open hearts. And I love how my heart has swelled to a larger size so that it encompasses as many cats as necessary. Β The heart is an organ of infinite size in a finite body.

Randomly,Β I also love the old pop song that is known in the U.S. as “Sukiyaki” and sung by Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto. There is no music more beautiful than this song.

After I listen to the song 9 or 10 times, hubby shrieks (yes, shrieks) at me to turn it off. Β I never get tired of it. There are other versions, such as by A Taste of Honey, but Sakamoto’s is my favorite. He’s got a gorgeous crooner voice.

I also love pan fried zucchini, fresh raspberries, the smell of a rain-soaked landscape. But those aren’t as important as my family, my cats, my books, and my memories.

How do you approach the loves and hates list? Feel free to post a link to your love/hate post in the comments!


Filed under Blogging, Cats and Other Animals, Inspiration, Memoir, Writing

64 responses to “Loves and Hates, But No List

  1. I keep seeing this lists all over. I’m too moody to have a consistent list! It would have to be my list for the moment. I have to stay away from pet shelters. They break my heart. I adopted our cats from the humane society and I donate money, but I really admire people who can dig in and make a difference that way. I want to adopt all of them, as well as render some justice to the humans that are complicit in cruelty and neglect.

    • That was me with animal shelters for a long time. One day it became important to me to do it. I think I had to do it for myself, a selfish reason. Just woke up with a different idea. Then I made a couple discoveries. One is that I don’t want to bring them all home because other people come and adopt many of them. I am not the only animal lover. Woohoo!!!! It’s the seniors, the problem cats, the ones who will find it difficult if not impossible to find a home that I want to take home. And yet since I’ve been there a few of those have found homes (usually with someone affiliated with the shelter, a relative of someone affiliated with the shelter, etc.). Another thing is that I discovered that my heart changed and did a funny stretching thing where I can love all the cats and know that by helping them at the shelter I am doing what I can for them. When I go in, the cat room is dirty and the cats need attention. I’m so happy to do these things for them and it makes them so much more content. And they love being read to!
      You and I can render justice to the humans :). And we can do it with our pens ;). THEY DESERVE WHAT THEY GET.

      • My mother and grandparents have, over the years, helped at shelters. They’re dog people. My mother now has 3 large dogs as a result! I worked in the shelters and I don’t mind the work, but at the end of the day, there was always one story or one animal that would depress me for days. I just couldn’t handle it. But we can each find our way to making a difference, as you have.
        I try to remind myself of people like yourself who ease the life of others, because some days, humans seem downright awful.

        • Michelle, I can understand that it would be too depressing for you. But we sure can do we can do. You have the courage to speak up about things and the talent to write well about it, so you can give the jerks of the world their due whenever you’re up to it!
          Also, if you ever think humans are just terrible (I too tend to think that too often), think about the people who volunteer at so many places for so many hours for so many years. Their dedication is so astonishing and wonderful. They inspire me so much.
          On another note, I used to be a dog person and then I became a cat person. It happened gradually, I suppose, and maybe for a variety of reasons. But the Luanne who was a dog person is the same as the Luanne who was a cat person, if that makes any sense.

  2. I think these lists are amusing to read. They really give an insightful look into someone. Like you, I would stress over what to put on the list. I shall abstain for now and simply absorb other people’s lists.

  3. Mine change day by day. I don’t want to post them for fear of commitment. I used to love cigarettes, now I hate them. I used to love dry wine, now I hate it. I used to love diet Coke, now it tastes awful. I used to hate salads, now I can’t get enough of them and get real creative with them. l once hated my tempur pedic bed, now I don’t know how I ever lived without it. I hated waking up to glaring sunlight, now I sit and watch for the sunrise in wait of it. Even my passions change with my moods (a problem most bipolar people have).

    • That is a really good point. I’m not bipolar, but there are things I used to love that I hate or no longer love. Diet Coke and cashews are now to be eschewed and replaced by Mountain Dew and almost any other nut. I loved Liebfraumilch when I was in my 20s. Now I wouldn’t touch it, but prefer Chardonnay. But my main preferences are still in order, over the decades.

  4. Poor kitty. At least they took her to a shelter and didn’t dump her on the streets. Yes, people do that to old cats. Why don’t people understand that pets are a lifetime commitment? Obviously I couldn’t write any lists without a good dose of Valium!

    • Valium, yes, that sounds good. I can’t imagine dumping off a family member. It is beyond anything I can even contemplate. And when you think that they have no idea what will become of their cat or dog! I hope she stumbles upon my blog and realizes her cat is still waiting at the door for her, all these months later.

  5. Ah…come on and admit it, LOVE CHEESE! πŸ™‚

  6. I will never understand anyone who would abandon their pets. It’s like abandoning your children. As for Kyu Sakamoto, what a coincidence that I, too, played this song to death when it first came out and I still love it a LOT. I’m already on the second replay of your clip as I type this.

    • I love that you love the song! Maybe it’s addictive ;)! I don’t know what it is about it, but I can’t get enough of it.
      How can someone abandon an animals that has been a member of the family and so innocent? Grrrr.

  7. You think too much πŸ˜€.

    I LOVE your ‘infinite heart in a finite body’. That, dear Luanne, is going in my Quote Book.

  8. Oh, poor Abby. How traumatic that must be for her. I hope she finds a home soon. If she does, that will make my happy list.

  9. You are so right that it’s hard to structure and even think of a list of ten likes and ten dislikes. And what about the things that you partly like and partly dislike? Do you ignore them or try to untangle them? For me the world is mostly made up of tangles. For instance, I like where I live but dislike rules that forbid me to have a small rooftop Mohu antenna. I like that more neighbors are adding Monarch-friendly plants to their gardens but dislike that we can’t turn our yards into prairie–or vegetable gardens, for that matter. “Move to another neighborhood” is more easily said than done and would doubtless lead me to more tangles. After all, I was born under the full moon.

    • So often you know how to pin down the nuances that I sense, but am not close to articulating. Yes, untangling is more like it. Everything is so complicated! Your examples are perfect, too. Were you? Was I born under a full moon or a new moon or a blue moon? Or the one I recently learned: strawberry moon?

  10. Pingback: 10 things I love/ 10 things I hate in reverse | Nothing Gilded, Nothing Gained–Books & Writing at Middlemay Farm

  11. That cat story! You really got me there. And how many other little creatures there are waiting for homes. Sigh.

    You made me think and write about stuff I like to keep private today. Thanks a lot Luanne. πŸ˜‰

    • So true, but they do keep being adopted. There are a handful, though, that I worry will never get adopted. Or that will come back if they are adopted. That happened to our dear Betty. She was returned after one year and now lives primarily in a large 3 story cage. When she’s let out she gets stressed and actually asks to go back inside. πŸ™ But so many of the cats get adopted, so that is a wonderful thing. I just heard of a few weekend adoptions a little while ago!
      I can’t believe you wrote that long, intense post after reading this this morning. How did you do that so fast?!

      • I’m glad to hear that there’s a lot of cat adoption success stories πŸ™‚

        This weekend two things happened. I stumbled upon a very bitter post about virtue and felt such an overwhelming sense of sadness for the writer and commenters who hated Christianity with such gusto. There was a time when I was just like them. (though I did not share their desire to censor Christian speech).

        I then listened to a brave woman share her testimony. She didn’t seem embarrassed or afraid she might offend someone by sharing her faith. I’m a bit of a baby in that regard, but it struck me that I was living a lie by always avoiding mentioning my faith.

        When I read your post (which I enjoyed very much for its own sake) it put me in the frame of mind to be a little brave and share a more personal side of my spiritual life.

        You sharing your life so honestly prompted me to share mine. The 10 points made it easy to write fast. (Plus my husband is away on business so there’s no distractions! haha.

  12. I had no idea this meme was circulating among bloggers. It is difficult to confine all our loves and hates into a list – glad you took the time to start with what you disliked and ended with what you love.

    • I know–impossible, right? And I feel a little superstitious for some reason–as if I make a list and whatever I exclude from my loves gets eliminated from my life or something LOL. I don’t think I thought it out like that, but there is a little of that in the mix of how hard it is to come up with a list.

  13. I didn’t know it was a thing to write posts about loves and hates. Gosh, I think all my posts are about things I either love or hate. I sort of did that today–actually wrote two posts to cover both aspects. πŸ™‚ I don’t really see the point in making lists about loves and hates.

    The kitty story made me so sad. It’s funny that my daughter and I were just talking about this topic. Someone I know emailed me about a woman who has to give up her two 9 year old cats because she’s moving. I don’t know the details, so I don’t want to judge, but that made me sad. My daughter said she heard stories like that all the time when she worked at the shelter.

    • Hah, I laughed at that bit about all your posts being about loves or hates. I don’t want to judge about people abandoning their pets either, but I will: I just know that 90% of them could be avoided. I will avoid a rant, but UGH UGH AND UGH. We had 4 dropped off by someone who was moving across country: 3 were adopted within a couple of months, but one poor guy is still there. He’s a gorgeous brown tabby, but it’s his bad luck to not be adopted and to have all his “siblings” gone now.

  14. This is such a warm sentence, Luanne. It speaks volumes. ” I love how my heart has swelled to a larger size so that it encompasses as many cats as necessary.” We spent an afternoon at a shelter when my youngest was a wee tad and desperately wanted a cat. We couldn’t bring one home because two in the house are fiercely allergic. We brushed those who let us and just hung out. She didn’t want to go back after that because she was unhappy that we couldn’t bring a kitty home.

    • Sue, thanks so much. That seems like such a good idea to volunteer at a shelter if you can’t have a cat, but I’m sure it was very sad for her that she couldn’t have one of her own. πŸ™

  15. Oh Luanne looking in those kitties eyes breaks my heart. So many sad pet stories. I just took on my fourth cat. Usually my husband brings them home and they all have a sad story but now she is fat and happy and fits in well. Im glad you did not do ten things negative, I prefer to think of the positives in life.

    • Yay for 4 cats! It’s such a perfect number of cats. I could write about the positive animal adoption stories from now to forever! Those are really the positives in life!!!!

  16. Carla

    So beautifully stated, Luanne. Your thought process in the entry is the most interesting part! Hoping that Abby will find a home and healing from the trauma.

  17. I hate it when people abandon animals (I can’t think about it too much or I’ll blow my top). We have two beautiful cats at the farm that were abandoned as kittens (people think they go far enough into the country and dump kittens and no one will notice). Now we have a big orange Tom cat hanging around that has obviously been dumped here. I can hear him calling out in the shed at night. I’m going to try and trap him and take him to a shelter. Poor thing needs a home. Anyway, I’m about to blow my top so I’ll talk about something I love. I love animals and love watching and taking photos of them πŸ˜€

    • Yes, I’m not a good photographer like you are, but I love photographing animals anyway! My favorite is to take cat “head shots” for some dumb reason. I like the closeup of the faces. And then stalking birds and bunnies and snakes ;). Good luck with the orange cat. You know, big male orange cats make the best pets because of their very big and expressive personalities . . . . (insert little devil here).

  18. Oooooh I have always loved this song too! Of course I first heard that Taste of Honey version back in the day, but the melody is just so beautiful in ANY version!

  19. I like your priorities in listing negatives first. That is really a sad story about the cat grieving for its mother. I can see why the cats at the shelter respond to you. <3

    • You know what else cats like, Viv? They like to be read to! It’s the most amazing thing. Even the scaredy cats will come out of the corner and approach closer to listen. They all calm down and “rest” while I read.
      The problem is that there have been so many kittens lately that my time is taken up with cleaning instead of reading.

  20. I want Abby, although I don’t think she would be happy with our other cats πŸ˜‰ I really admire you for volunteering at the shelter. I know it would be very hard for me. If I rented and couldn’t have pets, then it would probably work because I’d have a ready and true reason not to bring another cat home. As far as love/hate lists, I don’t even want to get started. A big part of the hate list would be my pet peeves about my workplace, or my commute to work, or … it would be boring to anyone but me. My list of loves would be short and simple: my husband, my family, my cats. Yoga. Our Prius. The fact that Bernie Sanders is running for President even though he doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning the election. Okay, maybe my list would longer and a bit odd πŸ˜‰

    • Marie, what a great list! You’re right that it’s easy to want to bring cats home, but it’s mainly the ones I worry won’t get adopted. But then I get surprised. I didn’t think certain ones would ever be taken–and then they were! I am not the only person who appreciates these harder-to-adopt beauties.

  21. Luanne, please no more hates about cats being dumped after 13 years – I can’t bear it. I don’t know how you have the strength to volunteer there, but I seriously admire you for it. Bless your heart, as Granny Selma used to say.

    • It makes me feel better to help out with the kitties. I feel as if they are all mine, in a way. Not in a grabby way where I don’t want to see them adopted, but as in I am part of a community looking after them for now and have their best interests at heart. The ones that get me down are the few older ones who have been there awhile, but each one of them is a more difficult cat. That doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate the attention, care, and lovin’ we give them!

  22. What state are you in? I can at least share your post on Facebook. I can’t stand people who can’t make the lifetime commitment to their pets. I’d like to share this so at least others may share too and someone might make a home for Abby. : (

    • I’m in Arizona. The shelter is in the Phoenix area. We would especially love it if someone could be found who doesn’t have cats, but maybe just a dog, would want her. But she might be fine with other cats. How do we know when she’s this unhappy? I think she needs a patient person willing to let her develop the trust she needs after the shattering of the trust she had in her old human. Thank you so much!

  23. I really feel bad for this 13 year old deserted cat. She looks young and she is feisty from what you described. I would have told my son the cat comes with me. A package deal. For Heavens sake, what kind of a person would do this?
    Luanne, you see you were right. I focused on your first part and have not moved on!
    I like fruit, especially raspberries. Family, art, music, books, friends, nature and relaxing by a body of water. I copied some of tours to show we have a few common likes/loves. I don’t follow the “game plan” too often. I respect award nominations but mostly, probably won’t do the 20 list of loves and hates.

    • Did I not hook my reply to your comment? Did you see it or not? Here it is: A package deal is right! Abby is a dear. I wonder if she would like my cats. The other volunteers think not, but I do wonder. After all, I am willing to be patient and keep her in my office (bedroom) for a couple of months to acclimate her. But I can’t do it while Mac, my oldest cat, is so sick and inching toward the end.
      Raspberries are so special and so beautiful. Good choices, Robin!

  24. A package deal is right! Abby is a dear. I wonder if she would like my cats. The other volunteers think not, but I do wonder. After all, I am willing to be patient and keep her in my office (bedroom) for a couple of months to acclimate her. But I can’t do it while Mac, my oldest cat, is so sick and inching toward the end.
    Raspberries are so special and so beautiful. Good choices, Robin!

  25. Sometimes I think the suffering of animals or children affects us more because we can’t “explain it” to them, as if there is an acceptable explanation for the failure of love. So sorry about the abandoned kitty. And no, I’d never do a love/hate list. I don’t want to engrain things I hate. It would have to be a love/love list, then where’s the duality in that? Lord, did you catch me in a mood today! πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for the work you do at the shelter. It is your type of generous spirit and courage of doing that gives me hope. <3

    • Ellen, YOU are my inspiration!!! What you do is so wonderful. Yes, the suffering of animals and children is especially hard for me to take. Maybe that is the reason. They seem so helpless in so many ways. I have always appreciated that the way the ASPCA began was to protect both children and animals!

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