For Kiwi “Thank You!”

Last night I said goodbye to a true friend, my precious cat, Kiwi. At almost twenty years old, she was more than ready to be rid of the body that was no longer serving her. I, however, wasn’t quite ready to let her go, but, I guess, I probably never truly would be. I loved her that much.

As a deep thank you to her for sharing my life, I would like to share a poem I wrote on July 21, 2017:

She is my trusted friend,

My confidante,

This little ball of fur.

For nineteen years,

She has shared my life,

True love, I feel for her.

Through ups and downs,

And all the changes,

Our bond has grown so deep.

We have traveled far,

And cuddled close,

My secrets, she swears to keep.

Fine memories we’ve made,

The two of us,

Together all these years.

I have cared for her,

And she for me,

But I know the end is near.

Oh precious one,

Upon my lap,

I don’t want to see her go,

A truer friend,

I could not have asked,

And that, I hope she knows!

For Kiwi, my friend. February 1, 1998 to October 26, 2017. You are free now!

 

6 things cats know about mindfulness and awareness

I have loved and been owned by cats my whole life, starting at age two. I have come to some conclusions after all these years of studying their antics.

I think we humans can learn quite a bit about living life to the fullest from the cats we share our homes with. Cats are truly mystical creatures and seem to have mastered the art of just being.

They seem to know that their presence in the world is enough. Their only responsibility is to exist and share their glory with the rest of us.

So here is my list of six things cats know about mindfulness and awareness that we humans have yet to learn:

1. Cats know how to live in the present moment.

Cats aren’t worrying about their futures or reliving their pasts. They are present, right here, right now, in this precious moment. The only moment that really matters.

Cats eat when they are hungry, sleep when they are tired and are perfectly content to be still, quiet and simply observe life as it is.

Cats know how to receive love. They are blissfully there, in the now, revelling in the act of receiving your touch. They are not afraid to show you how wonderful it feels for them. What if we could that?

2. Cats know how to forgive.

Cats don’t hold grudges. I have never known a cat to withhold her love from me because I went on vacation that one time and didn’t invite her to go along. Or because I forced him into that little crate and made him go to that place where they poke him with needles. Or because I forgot, that one day, to scoop her litter box.

Cats forgive and forget. They have the ability to move on with enjoying life because their own pleasure is important to them. What if we could do that?

3. Cats always follow their joy.

Cats love to play and amuse themselves and they are capable of creating fun out of nothing at all. They don’t require expensive toys or other beings to enjoy themselves.

A cat will chase a shadow, jump at a flicker of light on the wall or hunt and capture a scrap of paper found hiding behind the chair. They never grow out of this playful nature. Cats love to play throughout their entire lives.

If you have ever spent time watching one of these incredible happiness machines in action, you know they give their all to every playtime they create and they couldn’t be enjoying themselves any more, in that moment. What if we could do that?

4. Cats trust their instincts.

Cats do not spin their mental wheels pondering what their next move should be. They instinctively know and they immediately act on those instincts.

The mind of a cat is not cluttered with thoughts of “I should” or “what will the other cats think about me if I do that?” A cat knows what he wants, in that moment, and he goes for it.

A cat has no ego, she can only be her truest, most authentic self, by instinct. And so it is.

5. Cats know the benefits of spending time in nature.

Many pet cats these days are “indoor only”, meaning they live exclusively indoors and are not allowed to go outside. There are many reasons for this, including keeping them safe from motor vehicles, if you live in the city, keeping them safe from predators, if you live in the country or keeping birds and other wildlife safe from them, which has become a concern for some.

My cats do spend most of their time indoors, however, I find it important for them to have time outside as well, sometimes to the dismay of my neighbors.

Cats are considered to be domesticated, but I can tell you, with absolute certainty, that cats are their best natural selves when outside enjoying all that nature can offer, just as we are.

My cats are not allowed to roam whenever they want and I am diligent about having them inside after dark, but they know that even a short spell outside can contribute to their overall happiness. And they are not shy about asking for it.

6. Cats embody the concept of self-love.

Cats know their worth and demand that the world take notice. You will not find a cat with self-esteem issues.

The one-eyed cat acknowledges his beauty is equal to that pure bred Persian down the street. The three-legged cat knows his power to be equal to the four-legged felines next door. And the stray, homeless kitty knows she is just as worthy of love as the pampered pet inside your home.

Oh what we can learn from our feline friends. I hope you enjoyed this post.

Smiles and hugs.

A cat lovers guide to Loving without condition

My son and I share our lives and home with three furry felines. We consider them to be part of our family, therefore they are very spoiled and highly loved. Each cat was adopted and has a very distinct and different personality. Just like most of the people I know, their individual traits have been shaped by both their genes and their environments. And just as I believe that every human is equally worthy and deserving of love, so too are these felines.

Unlike dogs, cats cannot be trained to be a good companion. When you adopt a cat it can be difficult to know exactly what you are going to get as far as personality goes. As with anything in life, it must be entered into with an open heart. I love and respect each of these animals for exactly what they are. Each is a divine and unique creature, as we all are, deserving of comfort and care.

The oldest is a fluffy calico female. She is all sunshine and light, has been her entire nineteen years of life. This one loves humans, other cats and dogs. She was very close to a dog I used to have and they would lay around together and groom each other.

She does not growl, hiss or bite. She purrs loud and pretty much whenever there is another life close to her. She is unaffected by the attitudes or behaviors of her housemates. She allows one cat to hiss and growl at her every time she walks by without a second glance. The other cat is allowed to obsessively play with her tail, without retribution. He has been doing this for over three years. She is not critical of my son for handling her too much or of me for shooing her away because I do not wish to be groomed.

This cat is inherently happy regardless of those around her. I have been blessed to have her as my companion for all these years. What an inspiration for the rest of us!

The middle fur child and also the most recently adopted is a gorgeous purebred Ragdoll with stunning blue eyes. I found this beauty at our local humane society. She is much more dark and shadow than sunshine and light. Simply saying she has an attitude would be completely understating her personality. This cat is vocal, demanding and stand-offish. Sometimes she is downright mean.

Her demeanor has improved greatly in the three years she has been with us. She will now occasionally seek out attention and she allows unsolicited petting as long as it is brief. She will always give a warning before she lashes out. It wasn’t always this way. I bled many times before earning her trust. She has come to know that we will not hurt and we will show her love and kindness that does not require any specific behavior on her part.

The other cats have accepted her as well. We adopted her at seven years old and no information about her life before she joined our family. We are just very thankful that she is with us now and receiving the love she deserves.

My youngest kitty is a black and white male. His coloring exquisitely depicts his disposition. This cat is the absolute perfect balance of light and dark tendencies. He is by far the sweetest cat I have ever known, yet he is also joyfully naughty. He is energetic, curious, intelligent and playful. Hmmm. I might need more human men like this in my life.

This cat is my lap warmer and the source of most of my daily hugs. I like to press him to my ear to listen to and feel his purr. My son can handle him as much and in any way he chooses.

True to his nature, however, this cat does what he pleases, which includes walking on tables and counters, running through house as if he is on fire and trying to “pet” the fish. He will cheerfully antagonize the other cats by showing his perceived dominance, and in the next moment submit by rolling over to expose his belly or cuddling up for a nap.

The day we adopted this precious feline, we had gone to foster home to see his sister. My son plopped down on the floor after we arrived and this cat immediately crawled into his lap and got comfortable. He chose us to be his family. It was meant to be. And I can’t imagine life without him now.

So what do you think? Could you love each of these fur balls unconditionally despite their very unique nature? Do their purrsonalities remind you of any humans you know? Do you or can you love these humans even if they don’t follow your path, knowing that they have been shaped their own genes and experiences which certainly differ from your own?

It’s all about perception. How do you view the people in your life? Choose love.