Glorious 61, Cats, Family, Friends, and Horses

30, 40, 50, 60…Typically these are milestone birthdays, not 61. But for me this year, when I turned 61 last month on September 26, it was a milestone, because it’s a day I’ll never forget. Maybe it’s because last year when I turned 60, it was rather anti-climactic. It’s not that I wanted pomp and circumstance and a big celebration, but Covid thwarted everything anyhow, making the day a quiet hurrah as I celebrated at home with Dan and the cats. Not that there was anything wrong with that, but the day didn’t have the impact I thought 60 would bring.

That’s why this year was so special. Not in a grandiose way, but special in the wonderful way of just spending time with beloved family and friends and relishing in the gratitude of having them in my life. My mom, my boys, my son-in-law, my grandson, and my dear friend, Christine Michaels of Riverfront Cats all came by for the evening. We drank wine, we ate pizza, we laughed, and we just reveled in the joy of interacting with one another. Covid had us nearly numb from isolation and the cautious venture back to life was exhilarating.

Without a doubt, the greatest birthday gift of all is my grandson, Calvin.

My grandson Calvin was the icing on the cake – he endlessly entertained all of us with his silly antics and his impressive grasp of mimicking and comprehending what we adults kept throwing his way. He’s a sponge for sure and even the cats were thrilled to have some commotion in the house. They also equate Calvin with food, patiently waiting for him to drop a crumb of whatever he’s chomping on at the moment.

Jazmine is patiently waiting in Calvin’s chair, knowing full well some sort of morsel will be coming her way.

Christine spent the night (yes, even in my 60’s you’re never too old for a fun girl’s night!) and the next day the celebration continued as we made plans to go horseback riding, something she and I enjoy doing together whenever we can. We both are known for our love of cats, but we also both have a passionate love for horses (and really, all animals).

As fate would have it, when we arrived at the stable, the first creature to greet us was a friendly black cat and as it turns out, there were numerous barn cats on the premises. I immediately felt at home – I bonded with the horses with Christine jokingly calling me the horse whisper as I communicated with them, earning their trust.

We haven’t even met the horses yet, but are greeted by a black cat! Photo credit: Christine Michaels

Meeting several more barn cats – they are very people (and horse) friendly. Photo credit: Christine Michaels

Just hanging out with a couple of my cat buddies before we saddle up. Photo credit: Christine Michaels

I was also constantly being followed by the barn cats (all properly spayed and neutered) and Christine joked that I was like Cinderella with all the woodland creatures surrounding me! Honestly, that’s just how it is with me. Cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, and more – I’ve always been at ease with animals, more so than people, and I have a natural affinity to them.

Getting to know some of the horses before we go riding. This beauty really took to me. Photo credit: Christine Michaels

The feeling was mutual – I felt the bond with him, too. Photo credit: Christine Michaels

This little pony and I had instant chemistry! Photo credit: Christine Michaels

Just reflecting on life and how blessed I am for what I have. Photo credit: Christine Michaels

We had a glorious day – bright and sunny – and I’ll never forget how happy I felt at that moment. Everything – all the stress of my day job, Covid, personal deadlines for my cat life, and so much more just faded away. Do I have the same dexterity I had in my youth when I rode? No, of course not. But when you’re surrounded by those you love, doing what you love, age is nothing but a number.

Riding with Itchy. Not a glamorous name for a horse, but fun nonetheless! Photo credit: Christine Michaels

Christine and I enjoying our ride.

Yes…always with the leopard print. I am who I am. Photo credit: Christine Michaels

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  1. Ingrid King says:

    Happy belated Birthday, Deb! I’m so glad you had such a wonderful celebration!

  2. Jo Singer says:

    Happy Birthday to begin with.. 61. WOW..congratulations!

    Horses are magic animals, and like cats, they are highly intelligent (do not ever think that horses are stupid only ignorant humans who know nothing about the equine species believe thiat horses are stupid) and also highly empathic. Horses”feel” us. They “read” us and instinctively know those who they can trust and those who are not that trustworthy.”The Horse Whisperer” is just one example of a horse that underwent more than physical healing after a tragic accident- but to rely on his innate ability to trust, to aid in his healing. I must have read that book so many times…learning more about equine nature , during the time I was blessed to be a guardian for a remarkable quarter horse. The only thing that was very weird about her was how frightened she was of cats..I never could find out what caused her terror.
    Have many more splended Birthdays.Marty sendsj his Birthday wishes too.

  3. Kitties Blue says:

    Happy birthday, ????Deb! You are just a youngster. It looks as if you had a marvelous two days. Best wishes for a wonderful upcoming year. Hugs, Janet

  4. It looked like the purrfect birthday!

  5. meowmeowmans says:

    What a wonderful way to celebrate wonderful you, Deb! Happy birthday, friend!

  6. jmuhj says:

    Happy Birthday Deb! Looks like you had a memorable and joyous one. What prosperous-looking cats, and beautiful horses — I especially love the little pony! We are alike about animals — cats are, of course, the nearest and dearest to me, but I love them all except the canidae. Your grandson could be a child model! I love the leopard — it is always in style (and yes, even on your hat!)

    *Hi @Jo Singer! Long time no see!*

  7. Happy Belated Birthday! I am glad you had a wonderful day. And you don’t even look 50. XO

  8. Brian Frum says:

    Happy belated Birthday from all of us, sure looks like a fun time. Tell Christine we all sent a howdy.

  9. Mary McNeil says:

    Happy Purrthday – glad you and your friends had such a good day !

  10. Bernadette says:

    What a great way to celebrate a birthday, especially after isolation! Much better than dinner and a movie! Happy Purrs Day!

  11. Happy birthday Deb ! We’re glad you had a wonderful celebration ! You’re so right, age is just a number. Purrs

  12. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    happy belated birthday Deb; you are correct, age is “just a number”
    I’m glad you got to get together with family and friends…Calvin is adorable;
    absolutely !!! and being able to do what you ENJOY….AWESOME ♥♥♥
    here’s to the next 61 and as we say in TT; a yeer a head filled with
    happeez and healtheez ~~~~~~~~~~~ ♥♥♥