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My Journey

Lessons From Our Cat Nic

Monday, December 22, 2014
Written by:
Christy Johnson, Ph.D.
Image of tortoiseshell cat in a sink

Last Thursday we said farewell to our sweet dilute tortoiseshell kitty Nic, whom we adopted with her sister Nac at a shelter in 1999.  I hope my grief at the loss of my dear soul companion gets tempered in time by my gratitude for the many years in her presence as well as the gifts and wisdom she brought, some of which I’ll share here.

Follow Your Instincts: Like most animals, Nic trusted herself. She knew what she wanted and she did it without second guessing. Life flows more easily when you follow your intuition and trust “you know what you know.”

Don’t Worry What People Think of You: Nic behaved however the spirit moved her.  One time she dragged a stack of mail from the mudroom, through the breakfast nook, and down the basement stairs trying to get a rubber band.  She shredded cardboard boxes bit by bit with her teeth, breaking off part of a canine tooth in the process. Her relentless curiosity forced us to put childproof locks on our cupboards, to tape boxes shut, and to hide rubber bands.  She modeled authenticity, never modulating herself to please us.

Neither Your Gender Nor Your Appearance Matters: Nic, a fearless and nervy female kitty who possessed virtually no feminine traits, modeled boldness for me. She also transcended her crooked one-tooth grin, her shaved belly which never filled back with fur because of her medications, and her steroid-induced floppy ears.

Be Vocal: Nic often jumped on top of our upper kitchen cabinets and meowed loudly for attention. She also sometimes meowed outside my healing space wanting to join a client on my massage table.  Luckily she provided a quiet healing presence once she settled on or next to someone.  If you don’t ask, how will people know what you want?

Nap When You’re Tired: Fighting sleep wastes energy. Get a few zzz’s and come back fresh.

Life Gets Richer When You Live in the Moment, Letting Go of the Past and Not Worrying about the Future: Like all animals, Nic lived in the now, a great spiritual model for those of us who “served” her.  She also taught us about giving and receiving unconditional love.

I only realize now how much Nic taught me and gave me. What lessons have you learned from your pets? 

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