cats

Fluffy Little Monks Lesson One: Authenticity

“I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.” Eckhart Tolle

 

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Have you ever noticed how cats like to sit back and observe the world around them? They are experts in surveillance and silence. They make their way through the world at their own pace – unhurried and unconcerned; true to themselves and to their nature. Cats do not compromise who they are in order to conform to what others think they should be; you will never see a cat pretending to be anything other than a cat. While this may be frustrating for the cat’s owner/slave,   I’m fairly confident it’s one of the main reasons so many of us find these fluffy little monks so appealing. After all, who could resist a creature living its life so authentically?

So why do we find this authenticity so appealing in our feline friends, and yet so difficult to live out in our own lives? Why do we admire their monk-like peace and yet seldom take the time to emulate it?

When was the last time you were satisfied with just being yourself; no pretense or play-acting?

When was the last time you found a nice, warm, comfortable spot, and just sat and watched the world go by; ignoring the urge to do and simply be satisfied to be?

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If your answer was: not nearly enough; then why not start today? Embrace your inner fluffy monk – know that who you are is good enough – find a quiet comfy spot and just be for a while.

Karen Mulvey

 

 

 

 

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas (with cats)

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

The cat’s running wild, in pursuit of a mouse;

The stockings once hung by the chimney with flair,

Fall to the floor as fur flies through the air;

The children once nestled all snug in their beds,

Now screaming as cat’s claws run over their heads,

And Mamma in her onesie, earplugs in deep

Had just settled down for a well deserved sleep.

When out in the hallway there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the doorway I ran like a flash,

Trod on some Lego and tripped over the cats

The moon shining in on the carnage did show

That the cats had decided the mouse it must go;

Then, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, how did it get in here?

The tiny old driver, so nimble and quick

If the cats caught this guy they’d make breakfast of Nick.

More rapid than eagles I suddenly saw

It wasn’t a mouse but the man they abhorred

“Now! Ginger, now! Fluffy, now! Creampuff and Jason,

“Leave the old man alone, and stop with the chasin'”

To the top of the sofa! To the bench in the hall!

With his sack on his back, not a present did fall!

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the rooftop St Nicolas flew,

With the sleigh full of toys — the cats after him too!

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The scratching of claws and each magical hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

The cats in pursuit and now covered in soot;

A bundle of toys was flung on his back,

And he looked like a madman as he ran from the cats:

His eyes — how they twinkled! Countenance alert,

Breath coming fast from the chase did exert.

His droll little mouth was fixed in a line,

Determined to outrun the miniature lions;

The top of a bag ripped open with teeth,

As the cats they encircled the man like a wreath.

From his hand like confetti cat treats he did toss,

With food as a weapon the man he was boss.

He was chubby and plump, but light on his feet,

As he lay down the presents there under the tree.

A wink of his eye and a quick friendly nudge,

Soon let me know that he held no grudge.

He spoke not a word, and continued his work,

And patted the cats who’d acted like jerks;

And then all was quiet his job now complete,

He wished me good night and said get some sleep.

He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew, while I gave Fluff a tickle:

And I heard him exclaim, as he flew through the fog —

Merry Christmas to all, that’s why I own a dog.

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Human It’s Cold Outside

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I just want to stay; no wait I’ll go outside.

I want you to play; no way, I’ll run and hide.

Now please leave me be; been hoping that you’d pet me.

Now go away, I’ll scratch your hand if you stay.

 

If you touch me you will be sorry; hey don’t walk away, what’s your hurry?

Think I’ll just be pacing the floor; no, I’ll sleep here while the fireplace roars.

No really I think I’ll scurry; get me some food now hurry.

Maybe just a half a dish more, careful don’t you step on my paw.

 

Please let me outside; no wait I’ve changed my mind.

I’ll come back inside; no wait, I’ll go outside.

I wish I knew how – you’re getting quite testy now –

To open doors; I’ll sit in your hat, it’s mine not yours.

 

I ought to say go, go, go; mind if I move in closer?

At least share the chicken you fried; what’s the sense in hurting my pride?

I really can’t stay, human don’t hold out.

Ah, but it’s cold outside.

 

I’ve got to go roam, but human I’ll freeze out there.

I’ve got a fur coat; I’ll do as I please out there.

You’ve really been grand; I think I’ll bite your hand.

Why don’t you see, it’s always gonna be about me?

 

There’s bound to be talk tomorrow; think of your life-long sorrow,

If you don’t share the chicken you fried, and I starved to death and I died.

I really must stay; but I want to go out!

Ah but it’s cold outside

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The Twelve Days of Christmas – Cat Style

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On the first day of Christmas

my kitty brought to me

a nest he knocked out of a tree

 

On the second day of Christmas

my kitty brought to me

two torn up doves

and a nest he knocked out of a tree

 

On the third day of Christmas

my kitty brought to me

three dead hens

two torn up doves

and a nest he knocked out of a tree

 

On the fourth day of Christmas

my kitty brought to me

four mauled birds

three dead hens

two torn up doves

and a nest he knocked out of a tree

 

On the fifth day of Christmas

my kitty brought to me

five chewed up things

four mauled birds

three dead hens

two torn up doves

and a nest he knocked out of a tree

 

On the sixth day of Christmas

my kitty brought to me

six toys for playing

five chewed up things

four mauled birds

three dead hens

two torn up doves

and a nest he knocked out of a tree

 

On the seventh day of Christmas

my kitty brought to me

seven strings for swatting

six toys for playing

five chewed up things

four mauled birds

three dead hens

two torn up doves

and a nest he knocked out of a tree

 

On the eighth day of Christmas

my kitty brought to me

eight hacked up fur balls

seven strings for swatting

six toys for playing

five chewed up things

four mauled birds

three dead hens

two torn up doves

and a nest he knocked out of a tree

 

On the ninth day of Christmas

my kitty brought to me

nine field mice wriggling

eight hacked up fur balls

seven strings for swatting

six toys for playing

five chewed up things

four mauled birds

three dead hens

two torn up doves

and a nest he knocked out of a tree

 

On the tenth day of Christmas

my kitty brought to me

ten bugs a’crawling

nine field mice wriggling

eight hacked up fur balls

seven strings for swatting

six toys for playing

five chewed up things

four mauled birds

three dead hens

two torn up doves

and a nest he knocked out of a tree

 

On the eleventh day of Christmas

my kitty brought to me

eleven fleas a’hopping

ten bugs a’crawling

nine field mice wriggling

eight hacked up fur balls

seven strings for swatting

six toys for playing

five chewed up things

four mauled birds

three dead hens

two torn up doves

and a nest he knocked out of a tree

 

On the twelfth day of Christmas

my kitty gave to me

twelve cicadas humming

eleven fleas a’hopping

ten bugs a’crawling

nine field mice wriggling

eight hacked up fur balls

seven strings for swatting

six toys for playing

five chewed up things

four mauled birds

three dead hens

two torn up doves

and a nest he knocked out of a tree

by Karen Mulvey

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The Gift of Being Oblivious

“Mum! I’ve finished putting fur all over everything, you can fold it up now.” Pandora

Have you ever noticed that sometimes the smallest things can cause us to lose our happiness? You know, you’re having the best day – feeling like you could smash through any obstacle – then suddenly, without warning someone says something or does something, and all that positive energy that five seconds before was pumping you up leaks out, and you’re left as deflated as a popped balloon. Sound familiar?

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from life – and believe me it’s taken me a long time to learn it – it’s that allowing trivial, insignificant words and actions to steal my happiness changes nothing, and is also a pretty dumb thing to do. While I fume and doubt, my mood and my day ruined, the purveyor of insensitivity and downright stupidity sails on through their day, clueless and oblivious. So the next time you’re in the supermarket and someone has 13 items in the 12 items or less queue, or someone asks you if you’re sick (no, I’m just not wearing make-up), or one of your kids spill food all over the floor, or perhaps your cat gets fur all over your clean laundry – Brush it off (the fur and the attitude) – get some perspective and move on. Life is too big and too wonderful to waste time worrying about the small stuff.

Anyway I’ve got to go now, I’ve got a load of washing I need to get on

Catvent: It’s Advent with Cats! Day 2

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Have you ever noticed that cats are never busy, and always seem to be navel gazing? Or at least they would if they had navels. Anyway, I’ve noticed and I believe it’s an amirable trait.

Cats know how to simply be.

Unlike us humans, who can get so caught up with doing “stuff” that we can often miss the miracle. I think that might have happened to the innkeeper all those years ago in Bethlehem on that very first Christmas. The bible tells us that there was no room at the inn. Hardly surprising really, when you think that people would have been flooding in for the census.

That innkeeper had an opportunity to welcome the son of God into his inn, but because of all the crowds and hustle he just didn’t have room in his busy life, or his inn.

I wonder how many times I’ve missed the divine because I’ve been too busy doing “stuff”? I wonder how many encounters with the Son that I have missed, because my schedule has been too full? Perhaps like the innkeeper, the miracle has been right under my nose?

And so the son of God was welcomed into the world he’d created not by the innkeeper and his guests, but by simple animals, animals who know how to just be – I like to think there were even a couple of cats present.

So as we all hustle and bustle our way through December, it is my prayer for you that you will not be so wrapped up in the mundane, that you miss the miracle of Christmas.

 

 The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. John 1:14 (The Message)

Catvent: It’s Advent with Cats! Day 1

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I often act as if I have no need of you,

You enfold me in your arms, I struggle free.

Your overtures of love are met with coldness,

In spite of all of this you still love me.

 

When I’m scared you’re always there beside me

Watching over me throughout the longest night.

Your love is right there waiting when I need it

The darkness overwhelmed by your light.

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those cat ladies – you know, the crazy kind – who likes to speak to my cat and then answer in his voice. So when I wrote this poem about Lestat’s relationship with me, I was kind of surprised when I realised just how much his relationship with me, parallels my relationship with God. It’s a sobering thought, particularly as we are entering the Christmas season and I contemplate the enormity of the gift that God gave us.

At this most special time of year, I am once again reminded of God’s incredible, unfathomable love. A love so all-encompassing that the king of heaven was prepared to put aside everything, in order to walk the same dusty, dirty road of life that we do. Imagine that for a moment. It’s pretty incredible isn’t it? As I sit and watch Lestat stare open mouthed at the sight of a bird on the wing, I am reminded of the words of the Psalmist:

I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, Moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?*  and I realise that my jaw has also dropped in amazment.

photo(10)Psalm 8:3-4 (The Message)