Cats and the Expression of Existential Angst

As an early Valentine present, at the time of posting, the author of this blog – Sandra Peachey, published the gorgeous book ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ 2 years ago… To celebrate, the cost of the Kindle edition has been reduced to just £1.99 / $2.99 for 3 days starting from Tuesday 11 February 2015. At the time of posting there is just a few hours of this promotion left, before the book returns to it’s normal selling price of £6.00. For the UK click, for the USA or check out your nearest Amazon site… And have a very Happy Valentines! 

cat angst

George, puss of this parish, sometimes stands at the top of the stairs in our house / cave yowling loudly, long and insistently… I mean really loudly, for a really long time and so, so insistently…

Why does he do this? I have several theories…

If I am feeling prone to anthropomorphizing and romanticising, I like to surmise that George is on old human soul, doomed to return to this corporeal world – shrunk down into feline form and clothed in coat of fur; locked into a new linear life where he tries to tell us that one act of mere magic will release him from this animal form, to be for ever free…

Or: George is a truly wise being, who understands everything; a creature who knows what we mere humans have no concept of – this being that we do not live out our full truth and joy, and in not doing so, we are doomed to pain; so on our behalf he eloquently expresses our suffering – swallowing in our sorrows and breathing them dissonantly out of his body, in his own free form of existential angst; cursing our condition and bemoaning the fate of the world…

Or: Something terrible has happened; there is clear and present danger and so he needs to warn us, to save us and for us to rescue him in return…

Or: He wants me to come up stairs and let him into the bedroom…

Speculation aside, it would seem that George has little to complain about… His needs are all met – since he has food, shelter and love. He has freedom. He is handsome. He was born with an instinctual and smug sense of self, of knowing his mind and living according to his whims and desires.

And still, he complains… What would he know??? Because, excuse me, but as the human Head of the Pride I’m the one with the hard life: I am the provider, the huntress, and the toiler. I am the one who lives a complicated, extricated, inter-woven life out there in the jungle, away from the sanctuary of our lion cave. I am the one who has to pay bills and do chores. It is my relentless remit to ensure that everything runs smoothly – that house work is done, that the garden is maintained. And not only all that, but I get sick sometimes too. And I don’t have enough help. It’s not as if a cat will help… “Make me a cup of tea” I will say to any one of my so called feline friends, and they just ignore me… I should be the one complaining…

OK, so I do complain – I get caught up in a dirge like drama of life’s treadmill and trammel, with a thousand and one dark thoughts, which, like marshalled moths, are for ever flying raggedly round and round a maudlin moon. And yet you, George, a pampered pet, are sounding your discord, your discontent, your cares, your worries and your demands.  But why, when you have it all so easy

Well… there is that saying: ‘we all have a cross to bear’, I guess that I just can’t see the George Cross.

Instead I am caught in a constant cycle of negative thoughts, which means that I create a living reality of negativity; my very own well of wallowing hell, happening right here, between my ears… It is a vapid vortex which feeds and fattens itself on happenings in my word, on many things – tiredness, or the level of menopausal hormones rampaging through my system, or being middle aged; being crowded, being alone, being bothered, being blah, blah, blah…

At least George gets it all out of his system; instead of ruminating on his woe, he yowls and howls it out, and in doing so hurls it away; and then, all spent, he trots down stairs, back to me – to be adored, to fall asleep, to purr and so to move on.

I should take a leaf out of his book – and let it all go, let it out, then just move on.

And… I’m a coach – you know, one of those people who’s life mission it is to support others, to help them blast through blockages, make a difference, have what they want, be happy and fulfilled…  So I should have my shit together, not be flinging it around!

And suddenly I remember my mother… She would resentfully bottle things up over time; then out it would all come, the crap and capriciousness, loaded with complaints and caterwauls; slowly building up to a hissing head of steam, and then bang! She would explode, yelling and rampaging her frustration against… us, her life and the world… Oh, my mother… now I am an age when I sense I have somehow caught up with her, I really feel for her. She simply did not have the support, emotional education or resources to do any thing other than rail… And my heart aches, but that was her life lived. So of course I am my mother’s daughter, but still I am my own woman too. I understand the frustration and see the rage, and then I pull back, take stock, and strike to make a change.

The change is effected by the single biggest tool in my coaching box, and it is a gorgeously simple one – the constant practice of gratitude… I see the best, celebrate and give thanks for all that is in my life. I turn curses in to thank you’s. I pause to list things to be grateful for, sometimes through gritted teeth, but always with a determined positivity. Next I will list out: what I am and how I will be, on this day… ‘I am a coach; I am strong; I am a completer/finisher; I am energy; I am contentment; I am / I am / I am…’

And as for complaining, I turn that into coaching, and then turn to my own coaches too for support – to shine a light, to help me to spin back around to a more healthy sanity. And always, there is George – who comes to me and I stroke him, and the soft touch makes us both content, and he purrs – his own delicious declaration that all is well, for now… And now, for both of us is all that matters, this mini moment of happiness.

So, the next time George feels like yowling his furry head off, I could just join in, or I should just pick him up and cuddle him instead. And then neither of us would have any thing to complain about…

PS: Remember that there is a special Valentine Gift promotion on the book version of this blog! The cost of the Kindle edition has been reduced to £1.99 / $2.99 for just a few more hours (at the time of posting, Friday 13 February 2015). Happy Valentines from the author and her cats! For the UK click, for the USA or check out your nearest Amazon site…


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