Living and Working With Cats

For the last fifteen years, I’ve been fortunate that cats have not only played a fundamental role in my home life, they’ve also been a significant part of my work life.  And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

It all started with two office cats at the veterinary hospital I managed.  First, there was Virginia, who I fell in love with at my initial interview despite the fact that her introduction to me involved claws and runs in my stockings.  She ruled the office with an iron paw, assisting me with paperwork, often by sitting right on top of it, and kept me in line with frequent swats at my mouse hand.

Several years after Virginia went to the big office in the sky, Buckley took over as office cat.  In addition to supervising my work and making even the less glamorous aspects of my job more fun through her joyful presence, she had another job at the clinic—to provide comfort to the animal patients and to distract their worried owners. There were times when she disappeared from the office, and when I went looking for her, I found her on the bench in the waiting room, next to a client waiting for news about a sick pet, cuddled up to the person, asking to be petted, and making them smile through their worry. Other times, she curled up next to a recovering cat or dog in the treatment room.

When I left my job at the animal hospital to start my Reiki practice, Buckley came home to live with me and Amber.  She quickly took on the job of Assistant Reiki Practitioner and helped me with the (human) Reiki clients I saw in my home office.  She became an active participant in the healing session. She would get up on the Reiki table and often curl up next to or on top of the client. I realized after a few sessions like this that she intuitively knew where extra energy was needed. I often skipped treating the areas Buckley laid on during a session and concentrated on others instead. I knew my little healer kitty had it covered.

Amber provided a contribution of a different kind to my home and work life.  She was a wise old soul in a feline body; she was my touchstone.  Her peaceful presence provided love, comfort and grounding for me in ways that no one or nothing else could.  When I began to think about starting a blog, she provided the creative spark, and The Conscious Cat was born.

And now it looks like Allegra is continuing the tradition.  She recently took on the position of Assistant Reiki Practitioner Trainee.  As you can see in the photo above, she takes her job very seriously.  At just over a year old, she’s still a little too rambunctious to be allowed in the room during treatments, but she helps me get the room ready.  She enthusiastically greets my clients and provides kitty therapy by letting them pet her and giving kitten nose taps, so that by the time they get on my table, they’re already a little more relaxed than they were when they first walked in the door.  She loves being in the Reiki room after a session and really seems to gravitate toward the energy.  I think as she matures, she will carry on Buckley’s legacy.

Sharing your life with cats, doing work you love, and doing it with the cats you love – it doesn’t get any better than this.

7 Comments on Living and Working With Cats

  1. Bernadette
    September 19, 2011 at 11:41 pm (8 years ago)

    I’d hardly have a job without mine!

    Reply
  2. Esme
    October 22, 2010 at 1:02 am (9 years ago)

    You are right-I am so grateful for Buttons showing up on my doorstep as a stray and introducing me to kitties.

    Reply
  3. Ingrid
    October 20, 2010 at 12:37 pm (9 years ago)

    I’m not sure cats would enjoy going to work with their humans all that much, Karen and Gerard – it’s probably why there’s not a “Bring your cat to work” day yet 🙂

    Mason, I can’t imagine a life without cats.

    Marg, we’re both very fortunate, aren’t we?

    Rita, I’m sorry you’re facing such challenging health issues, and I’m glad you have your cats to help you through it. I’ve always felt that cats are natural healers on so many levels.

    Reply
  4. Rita Dean
    October 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm (9 years ago)

    I love my spouse and family and wonderful friends, but my three cats really get me thru each day – usually with a smile. After a lifetime of chronic illness, I’ve learned in the past month that a double lung and heart transplant is in my future. It’s hard to think of anything else, but the cats do their best to keep my mind occupied with their antics. They seem to know when I need a good laugh, or when it’s best to have some quiet time. I’ve also enjoyed having a large dog in my life, but realize now that I just cannot keep up with the physical needs of a dog. That was a hard adjustment, but my three amigos are the best company anyone could ever hope for.

    Love your blog. Rita

    Reply
  5. Marg
    October 20, 2010 at 10:37 am (9 years ago)

    It is the greatest life anyone could have to have cats around all the time. I have been very lucky to have been able have that since I have always lived where I worked. Our vet here has two cats that greet everyone.

    Reply
  6. Karen and Gerard
    October 20, 2010 at 6:20 am (9 years ago)

    You have a wonderful life! It would be great to be able o work with cats too, but unfortunately for me, I can’t bring mine to work. I love that some vets have cat greeters in their offices. Over the years, I’ve been to two who did.

    Reply

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