Fluffy Little Monks Lesson One: Authenticity

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




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?


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)



‘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.



Human It’s Cold Outside



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



Catvent: It’s Advent with Cats! Day 2

christmas stat 1

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


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)

Crazy Love for Crazy Cat Lovers


Loving a cat is hard work – have you noticed that? When you want to cuddle, they don’t; when you want to sleep, they’re wide awake; when you want to play, they get all bitey. At least that’s how it is with my cats, and yet I continue to persist – my love undimmed and my spirit undaunted. I am always there for them – even when they’d prefer I wasn’t; my watchful eye is always on them – even when they think I can’t see them.

It’s like the way God watches over you and I – he is always there – infinitely gracious, loving us with a love so outrageous we simply cannot comprehend it. A love so far removed from our human experience that many have difficulty believing such a love could even exist. Fortunately for you and I the reality of God’s love does not require our belief or our understanding – it just is. From the very beginning of time he knew you, he saw you and he loved you – he still does and he always will.

People often think that cat lovers like you and I are just a little bit odd; they can’t understand how or why we could possibly love a creature that is independant and aloof, but we can and we do – and so does God.

Can I go anywhere apart from Your Spirit?
    Is there anywhere I can go to escape Your watchful presence?

If I go up into heaven, You are there.
    If I make my bed in the realm of the dead, You are there.
If I ride on the wings of morning,
    if I make my home in the most isolated part of the ocean,
10 Even then You will be there to guide me;
    Your right hand will embrace me, for You are always there.
11 Even if I am afraid and think to myself, “There is no doubt that the darkness will swallow me,
    the light around me will soon be turned to night,”
12 You can see in the dark, for it is not dark to Your eyes.
    For You the night is just as bright as the day.
    Darkness and light are the same to Your eyes.

Psalm 139:7-12 (The Voice)



I Think My Cat is Trying to Kill Me!

Last December I celebrated my 50th birthday. My husband wanted to get a gift that would have special significance for me. So instead of choosing diamonds or other such baubles, I chose a pair of roller skates. Now I know this is probably not the type of gift every women craves, but I had wanted skates since I was a little girl. So being the fantastic guy he is he bought me some, and I got to learning how to skate.

We are blessed with a home that has lovely wooden floors and rooms spacious enough for me to skate around in, so I assumed – incorrectly it now appears – that this would be the ideal place for me to practice.


While being able to skate at home has it’s advantages,  it now also appears to have it’s disadvantages. On the one hand – or I should say foot – I can practice whenever I want,  on the other it means I have to manoeuvre around my cat. This was not a factor I had taken into account when I imagined myself gliding gracefully around.  You see my cat Lestat is extremely lazy, and I have often thought that a sloth would move more often than his is likely to. Well all I can say is, never underestimate the speed and stealth of a cat that is jealous and is plotting against you. He’s got that killer look in his eyes – kind of like De Niro in Taxi Driver – and I’m beginning to get a little worried.

I suspect Lestat has been watching too much TVLet me tell you, there is nothing guaranteed to cause your life to flash before your eyes quite like having a cat dart out in front you while you’re trying to keep your balance on skates.

When I confronted him about his behaviour he feigned innocence, and actually appeared offended! He’s aware that he’s got me wrapped around his paw so I am clearly at a disadvantage.


Anyway he can pretend all he wants but it’s pretty clear to me that he’s got it in for me – at least when I’ve got my skates on. Anyway I’d better go now because he’s giving me the look, I suspect he knows I’m writing about him. I don’t want to provoke him further. Who knows what he is capable of!


Photo of Robert De Niro from the film “Taxi Driver” Image may be subject to copyright