Animals as Teachers

Yochabel’s Wisdom: Securing the Bond

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Guest post by Casey Hersch

This is the second in a series of posts by Casey Hersch. Casey discusses the many lessons she learned about caring for Yochabel during her illness, including her quest to stop Yochabel’s cancer from growing/spreading, barriers present with senior cats, variations in diet including supplements and herbs, and how to focus on the individual cat’s needs. Yochabel was not only Casey’s feline companion. She left Casey with ways to cope with her own illness, and with a greater sense of acceptance and gratitude.Continue Reading

Review: Choosing to Be

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The benefits of meditation are endless: from helping us handle stress better to getting in touch with our true spiritual nature, meditation has been proven to make our lives better. And if you need more inspiration to get started, look to your cats! Cats are natural meditators. What else could they possibly be doing when they’re sitting with their paws curled under, their gazes soft, and not a care in the world? In Choosing to Be: Lessons in Living from a Feline Zen Master, Kat Tansey shares a deeply personal account of how a wise Maine Coon cat and his kitten sidekick helped her heal from deep depression.Continue Reading

Now Available for Pre-Order: Purrs of Wisdom: Enlightenment, Feline Style

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I’m delighted to announce that Purrs of Wisdom: Enlightenment, Feline Style is now available for pre-order. This second volume in the popular Purrs of Wisdom series will be published by Passionfruit Press on June 5.

In Purrs of Wisdom: Enlightenment, Feline Style, I explore our relationships with cats by offering insights into how cats can inspire, soothe and even help heal us. Based on the Conscious Cat Sunday column on this site, Purrs of Wisdom celebrates all our relationships, feline, human or otherwise. This beautifully designed book will also feature lots of gorgeous cat photos.Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: How Cats Helped Me Find My Bliss

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I’ve been on a journey of following my bliss for more than two decades now. Not surprisingly, cats have not only been teachers throughout those years, they also played a significant role in helping me guide me toward the fulfilling career I have now: writing about and working with cats.

A couple of weeks ago, I was the featured guest on Dr. Heike Jung’s weekly webinar series.Continue Reading

Therapy Cats: Sharing the Gift of Purring

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Research has shown that cats have healing powers. Not only does petting a cat lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart attack, the cat’s purr can actually heal muscles, tendons and bones. Those of us who share our lives with cats don’t need research studies to prove that a purring cat in our lap or by our side can make all the world’s problems seem a little bit less daunting.

Therapy cats share these healing powers with a wider audience than just their human family members. They bring comfort and joy to nursing home residents and others who are unable to keep their own pets. They provide a much needed break in the daily routine for facility residents and staff alike, along with the special kind of love that can only come from a cat.Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: Appreciate Life in the Face of Darkness

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In the wake of the Boston bombings, many of us are still struggling with processing the horror of what happened, sharing the collective grief of  a nation whose peace was once again disrupted by an act of terrorism, and trying to make sense of something that is completely senseless. Even people who were thousands of miles away from Boston, and who weren’t worried about family or friends, found themselves filled with sorrow and hopelessness about a world where these tragedies can happen.

How do you find your center in the middle of so much darkness and turmoil? Is it even possible?

On Monday evening, I posted this on The Conscious Cat Facebook page: “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the senseless attacks in Boston. Please keep the victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers, and hug your kitties for some comfort!” At times like this, we all hold our family and friends a little tighter, and for most of us, our cats are family. And spending time with cats is certainly one of the best ways I know to help us pull out of sadness and despairContinue Reading

Review: Crazy Critter Lady by Kelly Meister

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I love stories by writers whose life has been saved by the love of an animal, or two or three. In Crazy Critter Lady, Kelly Meister shares her stories of the animals who share her life: cats, horses, ducks, even birds, chipmunks and helpless mice.

From the publisher:

In a world where animals are often seen as impediments to progress or expendable pests, Crazy Critter Lady is the story of one woman’s determination to do the right thing for the animals around her. Kelly Meister goes out on a limb – and sometimes a half-frozen pond – to help injured birds, mice and chipmunks, homeless “Aflac” ducks, cranky horses, lost frogs and a host of others. When she’s not chasing squirrels out of the road, the author waits on her five demanding cats hand and foot. Crazy Critter Lady, a memoir, is the story of a love affair with animals. Continue Reading

Review: The Dalai Lama’s Cat by David Michie

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If I had to summarize The Dalai Lama’s Cat in just a few words, they would be “Buddhism 101, brought to you by an adorable cat.” But these few words wouldn’t do this charming book justice. While this warm-hearted story of a small kitten rescued from the slums of New Delhi through fortuitous circumstances may be a little contrived, it’s also utterly delightful.

When the Dalai Lama, who is on his way home in a limo, having just returned from a trip to America, sees a kitten being thrown into the gutter, he dispatches a staff member to rescue the kitten. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like living with the Dalai Lama, now you’ll be able to find out. Through the cat’s eyes, and narrated in her voice, the reader gets a close up view of the Dalai Lama’s inner sanctum and household. Much loved and spoiled by the Dalai Lama and his entire staff, Mousie-Tung, also known as HHC (His Holiness’ Cat), and dubbed “Little Snow Lion” by the Dalai Lama himself, encounters Hollywood stars, Buddhist masters, famous self-help authors and many others who come to visit His Holiness. The little cat soaks up the Dalai Lama’s teachings simply by being in close proximity to his light.Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: Forgiveness

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Guest post by Angie Bailey

The compassion of true forgiveness is the state of grace necessary to move forward with peace in our lives. Whether it’s forgiveness for others who we feel have wronged us or toward ourselves for self-directed resentments, nothing physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually positive can arise from grudge-holding.

Cats have taught me a lot about forgiveness and unconditional love. Some mornings I’ve watched myself racing around, running late for work, completely ignoring my cat’s obvious affection-sharing efforts. When I arrive home later in the day, he’s completely forgotten the previous morning as we settle in for a sweet snuggle. In these types of situations, I’m much harder on myself than he is on me. I feel badly for not giving him the attention he wants and think about it during the day, sometimes telling myself I can be a better cat-mom. Does this persistent negative thinking serve anything? No. Certainly we can learn from our actions, but we absolutely don’t need to belabor scenarios for which we cannot go back and re-live.Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: the power of surrender

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Surrender is faith that the power of love can accomplish anything…
even when you cannot foresee the outcome. – Deepak Chopra

I admit it: I’m a control freak. I like predictability, consistency, and routine. Maybe that’s one of the many reasons why I love cats so much. They tend to thrive on those things, too. I often waste time trying to control, plan and prevent things that I can’t possibly control, plan and prevent. My cats don’t do this. Despite the fact that they’re creatures of habit, they seem to be much better at going with the flow.

This was really brought home to me during our recent two-day power outage. While I was stressed about not having air conditioning, internet access and refrigerated or cooked food, Allegra and Ruby simply went about their usual business. They trusted that they would be fed, loved and cared for, whether the power was on or not.

Given that we live in a world that’s anything but predictable, wanting to be in control of the universe can be frustrating, not to mention futile. Continue Reading