Dreamz And The Mind Of A Cat
Dear Spirit to Spirit friend,
I was reading Best Friends magazine the other day and this was the opening piece written by Julie Castle CEO of Best Friends Animal Society. I'm sure that every person who is "owned" by a cat and reads this will resonate with what Julie is saying.
Having been to Best Friends Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah many years ago to teach staff and visitors how to be in deeper relationship with animals, I can tell you that it is very special place where each animal is seen and valued completely for who they are.
“Any of us who has lived with a cat has probably wondered what she sees that we don’t or what is on her mind as she sits, poised like an Egyptian cat goddess, contemplating… what exactly? The question popped into my head when I spending an afternoon in Cat World at the Sanctuary. My eye was caught by Dreamz, a fluffy multi-colored girl who was sitting in her outdoor “catio,” gazing out at the Sanctuary grounds.
Dreamz didn’t look much like a cat goddess when she arrived here. She looked rather sad. She drooled a lot and just wanted to be left alone. Before coming to Best Friends, Dreamz had been living in overcrowded conditions with 31 other cats.
It didn’t take long though for her to reclaim her inner cat goddess. As soon as Dreamz had recovered from her trauma and from some much needed dental surgery, she settled in at one of our cozy buildings for older cats. You could find her sitting high up in her catio, fully focused on, again... what exactly?
Cat lovers have long wondered what's in the minds of cats and their mystique is a mojor element of our fascination with them. Perhaps it's their absolute mastery of their environment- an effortless leap from counter to couch, from railing to a tree, in the quest for the perfect patch of sunlight. Maybe it's the way they seem to see in the dark or the coiled serenity when they are waiting to pounce. Poets and philosophers have written
about cats for centuries but they have yet to discover what exactly constitutes their mystery. If it were definable, I guess it wouldn't be that mysterious to us in the first place.
We humans have always been ambivalent about our relationship with felines. Ancient Egyptians loved them and worshipped them as dieties. Medieval Europeans, by contrast, often accused them of being agents of witches and dealt with them accordingly. The 17th century philosopher Rene Descartes is infamous for the cruel experiments he performed on cats and dogs in an attempt to prove that they had no soul. All he really proved was that he had no soul.
Today, cats are more popular as companions than at any time in history. They have been internet stars since there was an internet, and, in the past year, they were among the most essential of workers for millions of locked-down people.
Dreamz was soon adopted into a home where, I'm guessing, she spends most of her time quietly gazing out the window. What thoughts cross her mind? Does she revisit her past with its painful memeories as we humans so often do? Does she plan for her future, as we might do, and obsess over whether feline life has meaning and purpose?
Or is she simply content to live in the moment, savoring her world and being who she is? If so, many of us might wish for a more cat-like existence oursleves, especially as we navigate our increasingly complicated world. That many not be entirely possible for us humans, but cats still have a remarkable ability to bring us back into the present moment and ground us in the things that truly matter. That's because when we welcome a cat or indeed any other homeless pet into our lives, they welcome us into theirs. And while we may never know exactly what's in the mind of a cat, we can still look out the window together and share a few tranquil moments."
In Gratitude & Love, Joanna