This afternoon I was sending Reiki to a lovely dog in India. That phrase alone makes me smile because it is really exciting to be able to serve as an animal communicator and energy healer for animals around the world. As if that weren't magical enough, my cat son Merlin positioned himself directly behind me as I sat down for the Reiki session and he remained there for the full duration of it. I had the distinct feeling that he was acting as my protector (energetically) as well as grounding me since the energies coming through for the healing were of a very high vibration. After the session I arranged crystals around Merlin so he could enjoy a "crystal bath" and he loved it! He shifted comfortably and stayed for about three hours! I tried to move one of the crystals once because I was worried it was about to fall off the pillow, and he reached for it so I wouldn't remove it.
I also feel my cat daughter Gracie Belle often is grounding energies for me and she is very diligent about helping me clear myself and our space. She and her brother both help balance me by playing and snuggling but they also lift up my heart and my vibration because theirs is naturally so pure and high. Merlin does not always sit behind me but he does almost always come into the room anytime I am about to communicate with an animal or sending Reiki. They are also very good at clearing their own energy and part of this for them is having access to fresh air and sunshine. Since they are indoor-only we have a catio (a screened in room with cat shelves for them) and a playpen so they can still enjoy the elements, and it is very apparent this is something they need to remain balanced & grounded themselves.
I have done quite a few sessions where I communicated with animal companions of people who do energy work and different types of healing work for clients. I find it interesting that many of these animals tell me that part of their "job" is to help their human parent/companion to do their job! Sometimes they help the clients directly if they are in the space during the sessions and other times they assist their humans by protecting them energetically - or by giving them inspiration! Many animals are the reason their humans begin to explore alternative healing. I took my first Reiki class to help my cat son (in spirit now) Jarvis, and that started all of this for me. Most animals already communicate with their humans and they encourage them to learn which ways they most easily can receive their messages, whether by visual (mind)images, hearing, feeling, sensing or even in dreams. This also often continues after a beloved animal crosses over, they may continue watching over their humans and assisting them in finding their life's purpose or path or expanding their possibilities if already on it. Some enjoy becoming guides for us. In my case Jarvis wanted to take an active part in assisting me with the intuitive work I do with animals.
There are many animals that seem to be connected to energy from the stars as well as to angelic energies and they do so much to help us with our energy work both personally and professionally. I know Merlin and Gracie Belle and so many other companions are operating on levels beyond what I can possibly comprehend as a human. I can sense that they are doing this, but that is about it. I am grateful and I hope if this resonates you might consider the many ways your animal companion assists with your own energy work, whether they are helping during personal meditations or with healing work you may do for others.
For today's "shifting perspectives" series, where I highlight "unpopular" species to try to shift some of our dislikes/prejudices, I am discussing the humble cockroach. The photo in the middle I took of a jungle cockroach (way bigger than the ones here in Georgia) and other images are from a book I read many years ago called Cockroaches by Joanna Cole. The page on the right is what made the difference for me so that I was able to shift my feelings. It states:
"In its own personal habits the roach is a clean insect. It spends hours cleaning itself. If you get a chance to watch a quiet roach, you can see it washing its feet like a cat. Then, reaching up with a front leg, it will pull an antenna down into its jaws and wash it by letting it slide through them. "
The part about washing like a cat is what I think did it. This image allowed me to think of the roach as more than an occasional unwanted visitor to my home. It made me look past the "ick" and think about how these tiny beings that are despised almost universally spend hours carefully grooming themselves, just like my beloved cat children.
I am not suggesting anyone roll out the welcome mat. I don't like it when they come inside our house either. But I live in the American south and we have had a rainy summer, and no matter how spotless our homes are, they do find a way inside once in a while. It's an inevitability in this part of the world. There is even a local nickname for them here, Palmetto Bugs, because they often hide under the big leaves of our coastal palm trees in this region.
What I'm asking for is to see them as a being that deserves to live. Consider taking them outside and setting them free. There is no need to kill them. It is very easy to catch them with a plastic cup/container and a flat paper plate or piece of cardboard. Place the cup over them, then gently slide the paper plate under (cut the plate so it is fully flat.) The roach will walk unto it and then you can release him or her outside. When I do it I give them a little reiki & assure them they will be ok & I am only taking them outside where they will be safer, because my daughter Gracie Belle is a skilled huntress.
Please consider that if you have an interspecies family, your dog & especially your cat will most likely hunt and possibly eat a roach that gets inside. This is another powerful reason to refrain from using pest control chemicals because the poison that kills the cockroach will end up in the cat's stomach when they hunt them.
Cockroaches have little faces, like the cute insects do. We think grasshoppers are cute & lucky, why not roaches? They have souls too. Again, I also fully prefer they live outside the house, but it is fairly easy to take them out without having to touch them. I realize this will not be a popular post, but I'm sharing it because I received the most wonderful compliment the other day. Someone who attended my Intro to Animal Communication last year (part of the give back program at the Love & Light Institute) told me that ever since that class, she has been taking all the insects she encounters in the house outside instead of killing them. This may seem small, but it put a giant smile on my face to know that perspectives can shift with a little understanding & compassion.
This is one of the hardest things I’ve decided to write- it is about one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. It is difficult for me to share painful & sad news and I’ve been trying to post this for about a month but kept feeling not ready-so finally-in the hopes it may help someone who reads this-it’s a long one-here it is:
As some of you know, we welcomed a new girl kitten into our family at the beginning of March 2017. It was a joyous happy occasion and no different to us than the adoption of a human child. We named her Clary Sage. When I met Clary I had an overwhelming soul recognition moment and I believed this to mean she would be my daughter.
We lovingly prepared a room for her, carefully choosing toys we thought she might like and making it as cozy as possible. We did the kitty introductions between her and Merlin and Gracie Belle (our 3.5 year old cat kids) completely by the book. Carefully following all instructions and advice, we spent a week leading up to when they would first meet. We had baby gates blocking their access to each other but the first sight through the baby gates Clary charged toward them aggressively. We believed it was just fear. I spent many hours each day that first week with Clary and fell more in love with my new daughter each day. I gave her Reiki energy healing, and she absorbed it like a sponge. She had been spayed recently and her tiny belly was still shaved. Reiki helped her heal beautifully and also allowed her to relax enough to accept love and snuggle in my arms. I told her how much I loved her and how she was home now. I treasured moments in her room, it was sort of a bubble, a cocoon of cozy and love.
Then came the first evening they met in person, and we expected her to be fearful, growling and hissing. What we didn’t expect is that she would chase Merlin and Gracie aggressively. Most of the literature talked about the new cat being scared and the resident cats having to establish/assert their status in the hierarchy. I broke down in tears after the 45 minutes or so she was out and felt something deep down was wrong, but again believed it would get better in a few weeks/months. The kitties all did begin getting used to each other-there were no instances of a serious physical harm, so that gave me hope. I could sense that Gracie Belle especially was very stressed and I did not feel comfortable leaving them all out together in the house if I wasn’t there. Merlin and Gracie both tried to assert their dominance but Clary Sage never backed down and continually chased them and was determined to be the boss/dominant cat, which as a kitten coming in was not the norm. She would pounce on Gracie and fight Merlin on the top of their tall cat tree, again never backing down. When she was with me or my husband she would be curious and sweet. I felt constant stress, which I know was partially me sensing Gracie & Merlin’s stress. There would be calm moments when all 3 would fall asleep in the same room and those moments gave me hope for days. But inevitably it went back to Clary trying to be dominant and Merlin & Gracie are so mild mannered they would retreat eventually. Still, I had never before experienced kitty intros first hand, so even though it was stressful I still hoped it would get better.
I was so convinced that it would get better that even though I was sensing their emotions, I kept thinking it would be ok. There was not a single part of me that consciously considered it might not work out. After 4 weeks I received messages through a reading that confirmed the deep down feelings I was unable to face. That Clary Sage was an amazing cat, but that Merlin and Gracie were too stressed and that their energies were not a good match for hers and that it would not get better because it was a personality difference rather than a matter of time. This hit me like a tidal wave. It was like this veil got lifted from my eyes and I felt the truth of it and it was devastating to accept. I desperately wanted to believe it was going to get better-but deep down I now understood it wasn’t going to. I went home and I cried the entire night. I was still awake and crying when the dawn came. My heart physically hurt accepting this truth, which I felt in my whole being. I simply could not believe this was happening and that our dreams of a happy peaceful family with our 3 kids someday snuggling together would never come true.
Just to feel triple sure, I asked for help from another wonderful animal communicator, who also confirmed all of this. Even though I am a communicator myself, I was too close to the situation and my emotions were getting in the way of full clarity. I also received the message that Clary was feeling confined and that she loved being here but she felt ready for her next adventure and being at our home was sort of like when a plant outgrows their container and feels a bit root bound. We had been trying to keep her separate which meant she was spending more time in her room which was not ideal. I made sure to spend as many hours as possible with her and to take Merlin & Gracie out in their playpen so Clary could have the run of the house & the catio for a few hours each day too. I felt completely divided, and time sort of stood still. I couldn’t get much done because I was constantly split –when I was in the room with Clary sometimes Merlin would cry for me to come out. When I was with him & Gracie I was worried about Clary Sage being by herself. I would go in with her for a few hours before bed time and sleep there then go upstairs to sleep in our bed with Merlin & Gracie but wake up early so Clary could come out of her room. I was barely sleeping and the stress level was not sustainable.
I reached out to friends trying to find a new home for her but nothing was available, and after another 4 weeks knowing we would not be able to keep her as our daughter, we made the decision to take her back to the rescue group we adopted her from. This was something I never wanted to even consider and it was only once I saw no other option and could not continue to put everyone through the unimaginable stress that we did. It is a wonderful cage free place, no-kill of course, with beautiful bright rooms, lots of environmental enrichment and adoption events like cat yoga. They actually have a contract stating they always want their cats to come back to them unless other arrangements are made with their knowledge, which I believe is a wonderful policy.
This is where my personal judgements came into play. I knew we were doing what was best for her. Clary Sage truly is a magical wonderful kitty and she deserves a home where she can be the queen of her castle, with a human who can be with her, love her and not be divided & stressed. The best place for a potential adopter to find her would be there. We were definitely doing what was best for Merlin & Gracie. Gracie had reached a point where she wanted nothing to do with Clary and just had to hide. She was upset she didn’t get a chance to do energy work with me, felt she couldn’t do her “job” with Clary around. Merlin was worried about Gracie and about Clary pouncing/attacking when I wasn’t looking. And I was emotionally and physically beyond exhausted. Still, even though I knew it was the best option we had, I was seeing the image of a Victorian orphanage in my head and could not get past the promises I made to her that I would not be able to keep. I wanted to be her mom forever. Clary felt like my daughter. I loved her and always will love her.
We made an appointment and the day came. I spent the entire night before with her. I explained everything and how much I loved her. I cried and my eyes were swollen again by morning. Putting her in the carrier and driving her there was truly one of the most painful & difficult things I have ever had to do. Leaving her there, even knowing she was in good hands, it broke our hearts. We left a pillow with her that my mom had made by hand and some of her favorite toys. It was truly devastating for us. I never thought something like this would ever happen to me. I tried not to, but I had a lot of judgements around people giving up animals. I could not imagine doing this. I still don’t think it is something that should ever be done casually, but I do “get” that there are circumstances that sometimes warrant it now. But giving up a child is never easy, no matter what the circumstances are.
I do understand that this kind of thing happens, and several people reached out to me telling me about situations where they tried to adopt but had to re-home the new animal because their resident animal companion did not accept them. I suppose I maybe should have entered into this thinking of it as a trial run, or a fostering situation, which is what it kind of ended up becoming, but I didn’t. I dove in fully and thought of her as my daughter immediately. I WAS her mom. I taught her to accept love & nursed her to health. I gave her antibiotics for 3 weeks & cleared up an ear issue (she let me rub ointment on her ears every day for a couple of weeks.) I played with her and most importantly I loved her with all of my heart. I still love her & miss her. But love was not enough, loving her would not change the fact that she and Merlin & Gracie Belle were not compatible. I have seen too many situations where cats are forced into a tense living situation by well meaning people and how the anxiety and stress affects them, especially if it is long term. I could not subject the 3 of them (and my husband and I) to this.
While I have encountered much love & support I felt like it was too hard to talk about this. There are close friends I still haven't told because it hurts too much to talk about, it's even painful to write about. I think because it is something I always thought of as a “bad” thing. This is why I decided to write about it, and maybe help someone else going through it, or who has gone through it. It has been almost 2 months now. Merlin and Gracie Belle have been so relieved. I could tell by their almost immediate change in demeanor and emotional state I did what was best for them. And I know in my heart Clary Sage needs the one thing we could not offer her-to be the one & only cat in the household. The hardest part now is trusting that the universe will take care of her and protect her since I can’t.
I received a Reiki session to clear some of the stress I went through during all this, and during this session-I heard Clary speak to me clearly, telling me “thank you” & “I’m ok.” I was also told that our souls have had many past lives together which explains why I felt that soul level recognition and felt I had to bring her home. Also that this was a soul contract between us, and our souls were so happy to see each other. And that she was meant to shake things up for me & help me release old belief & thought patterns. She absolutely did shake up my life and that of my family. It was a difficult and emotionally devastating lesson, but I know I have grown tremendously from this experience and I am grateful for the time, love and connection we shared despite the stress.
I do not regret bringing her home. I know we helped her get healthy & if she had gone somewhere else she may not have gotten treated quickly enough. I’m grateful Clary Sage is healthy and received a strong foundation with us – she learned how to accept being loved and treasured. I am grateful for the kind & loving support I received from dear friends & family through all of this- I so much needed it-you know who you are- thank you. I am now grateful for the peace that is present in our home again. I am working on moving forward, trying to acknowledge that it will take my heart time to heal from this separation.
A final bright note is that I received a lovely tarot reading where the card for Clary indicated she will be the “empress” of her own home soon!
Yesterday Clary Sage was adopted!!! I am so thrilled and relieved that she will truly have her very own family & home now and am imagining her happily snuggling with her new parent(s) and exploring her new home and knowing she is the "empress" of her home!
-This is a photo from Good Mews before her adoption-I was so glad to see how comfortable she looks. There is a similar cat tree in our living room and she always wanted to be in the circular enclosed bit like this, so I know she must have been very satisfied to claim it there. (This excellent photo is by Rebecca Pruett Photography)