I did it. I finally did it! I got to meet Jackson Galaxy, Cat Daddy and behaviorist extraordinaire! He was in town this weekend for a book signing at a local bookstore. His book Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean was just released in paperback and he is going on a nationwide book signing tour. Since I read the book last fall I have wanted to talk to Jackson Galaxy and tell him how much his book meant to me. I don’t actually remember much of the conversation. My anxiety was too high, I was so excited to be meeting him and talking to him; there were so many things going on my brain just sorta went to autopilot and “survive then move on to less stimuli” mode. But it was awesome none the less!
In Cat Daddy Galaxy tells the story of how a cat named Benny saved his life and got him on the road to being one of the most well known cat behaviorists around. Galaxy write about the difficult times he had struggling to make the life he wanted as a musician and be the person he thought he was. Once he started working at an animal shelter and took Benny home for fostering his life did a 360 and cleaned his life up.
Reading his book I was so moved. I previously wrote how my life was saved by a cat. My Crash saved me from the worst of my depression and anxiety. Working with cats has connected me to something larger in the world and given me a purpose beyond myself. Yes it is exhausting work and drives me crazy at times, but it is far more rewarding. And the work with the cats is not usually the part that exhausts me; that would be the part where I interact with people. The people are the exhausting ones!
I am feeling more inspired now. I still feel like I am picking up the pieces from the flood and my latest battle with depression, but this whole year has felt like I am “picking up the pieces” from something or other. Meeting Jackson Galaxy, listening to him talk, seeing how many other dedicated cat lovers were out there, was a huge inspiration for me (and might have been even more of one had I not been under the weather). I am tired of picking up the pieces. I don’t know where I am going to be in 5 years, but I won’t make any progress moving forwards if I keep waiting for things to “get better.”
I want to do great things. I have always wanted to do great things. Perhaps I just have to stop and rethink what my great things are. I have saved countless feline lives just by TNRing the 13 cats I have trapped. Saving lives is a great thing. I have hopefully made a difference working with Tree House and Chicago Cat Rescue, as well as counseling people about behavior or food at the store I work in. I have helped give resources to others.
Knowing that Jackson Galaxy, a man who has done great things and saved hundreds of cats lives while also improving the lives of countless humans, never set out to do what he is doing is actually a huge inspiration to me. To have a concrete example of how passion and dedication can get you on a successful career path doing meaningful work has been a huge positive for me. In Cat Daddy Galaxy shares the moments when he wrote feline behavior tips down on note cards to study later. He was self taught in his trade simply by paying attention to what the cats are saying in their feline body language. I can do that! I can totally do that! I think one of the greatest moments of the night was when Jackson Galaxy was talking to the audience and told us “anything I can do, you can do.” It’s true. I can do it! Here’s to hoping the cat mojo keeps flowing and helps me find the right path.