The Sacred Olive Tree

I know when Callie’s health has returned, only because she has the strength and energy to climb her beloved olive trees again. She has always loved climbing trees and I can remember when we lived in Redlands, California, and I adopted her as a stray, she would scurry up a eucalyptus tree and frolic joyfully on the roof of our rental house.

When I reluctantly decided to keep Callie, I had tried to leave her in the driveway of our landladies “grove house” in the middle of an orange grove and across the street from my house. Theresa’s family had long been farmers in the Redlands area and I thought Callie would be happier over there. So I raced across the street with Callie in my arms and left her in hopes that she would stay. I had only had her for a couple hours and was sure someone was looking for her. Such a cute little cat couldn’t possibly have been abandoned!

Well, Callie had other thoughts, and as soon as she noticed that I was missing, she started howling and looking frantically for me. My landlady opened the window of her upstairs bedroom and leaned out and yelled: “Joanie, your cat is calling for you!” Theresa had watched me assist my Jack Russel during the last days of her life and had told me frequently that I had a way with animals. She wanted to see me keep this cat. I, on the other hand, didn’t want to adopt a cat after having only recently put “Addie” down. I was still in mourning and I wasn’t ready to take on the responsibility of another pet. But Callie had other ideas, so I had to run back over and scoop her up in my arms and take her home with me to stay.

So fast forward three years later, we are now living in the desert and she can’t run free anymore. I have to supervise her playtime outdoors at all times because of all the predators that live wild in Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Our backyard is adjacent to this wilderness area and I can see foxes and coyotes hunting on the other side of the wall. They could easily scale the wall and attack her.

With supervision, climbing the olive trees is her favorite thing to do, but she can’t do it when she has bronchitis. It takes too much strength to climb and her cough stops her mid track! So today is a good day for Callie and an even better one for me. To see her joyously climbing the trees again makes my heart sing. Two more days of antibiotics and we should be finished dosing her. It has been a tough illness again for her. The Santa Rosa fires with all the smoke it produced, was just too much for Callie. The clean, dry, air of this beautiful wilderness area, is starting to do its magic and Callie is beginning to finally heal.

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