George – The Reiki Cat – Part 1

George BloggerMeet George, Reiki Cat –
offering his opinion on my daily blog today…

As I write this post, my cat George is lying at my feet – a faithful companion, sometimes a critic and almost inevitably a happy distraction…

I run a Consultancy called LifeWork, built around supporting my clients to have the life and business that works best for them… I consult on Human Resources projects and I coach clients on a one to one basis too.

And another facet of my life is that I have a pride of three cats who share my home with me, who surround and influence me and who are an endless source of affection, entertainment and inspiration…

Sometimes, joyously, cats and coaching combine in my life…

So it was that I opened the door one evening to my newest coaching client, Linda – who was (at the time) running a beauty business. She had come to my home for her first appointment and wanted to work with me because she felt that beauty wasn’t really her ‘thing’ any more; she was now at a stage in her life where she actually wanted to do more holistic work with her clients. She was, she explained a qualified Reiki* practitioner and had a desire to increase her confidence and business acumen in this new direction of her life / business, so had booked a programme of coaching sessions with me.

As part of my own LifeWork model I don’t work exclusively from home, but do like to conduct a lot of my practice there for a number of reasons… I love an easy life and having my clients come to me, is as easy as it gets; I can create the right relaxed environment for coaching, where both myself and my clients are at ease in comfortable surroundings. All the tools of my trade are close to hand too – those awkward to carry, bothersome to hire items – like white boards and projectors, oh – and did I forget to mention that there are endless supplies of tea and coffee on tap..?

I actually do a lot of my one to one work by telephone or Skype, but always seek to engineer the first meeting face to face, so as to start building the best foundation for a productive coaching relationship.

Since I share my home with three cats, I always check with first time visitors that they are OK with having my feline family around. I will also offer to keep the cats out of the room while we are working. Linda though, assured me that all was fine and was introduced to George, the first feline to come along and inspect the newcomer who had just arrived at our cave that day.

I offered Linda a seat and a drink, and noticed how delighted George was to meet her and how he fussed over her in a way that he usually reserves for old friends. Off I went to the kitchen to make us both a cup of tea, and then popped back to ask the ‘milk and sugar’ question. As I did so, the thought floated through my mind – ‘she’s reiki-ing my cat’… Unperturbed, I returned a few minutes later with our drinks.

‘I’ve been reiki-ing your cat’ Linda said. ‘So I gather’ I replied, ‘tell me more…’

George, she explained, had shown her his bald patch and asked her to heal it. ‘What bald patch’? Was my response. George was lying at her feet and only too happy to be rolled over onto his back, by an almost total stranger. She then moved a front paw to one side and I saw no evidence of any fur missing amongst the long silken fronds that form his magnificent coat… And then I saw it, a patch of bare skin, right in the joint between body and limb, looking for all the world like a shaved arm pit.

‘Well, who knew?’ I said, ‘and we both thank you for the gift of healing…’

I thought it was a gorgeous, extraordinarily ordinary display from both Linda and George, and demonstrated how naturally she gave her gift of expertise; and how he knew intrinsically that she could help him…

Before we had even started coaching, Linda was showing me where her greatest gift to the world lay and George had been one of the very first recipients of that gift, in this strangely familiar and yet new phase of her life and business.

It was one of those glorious moments of recognition for all of us – one where you know you are witnessing a gift. You are observing someone working in their gift – doing that very thing they are compelled to do; where other souls benefit from the gift; and where it could the most natural thing in the world to hit that sweet spot of earning an exchange of money for what you have to give to the globe.

I hadn’t even realised what I was seeing at the time, for then we got into the practicalities, the ins and outs of our coaching time together. But the memory stayed with me and lingered languidly in my mind, and that perfect incident turned into an impressive influence for both George and myself, as I reflected on this beautiful little vignette of a recollection.

At the time of writing Linda now lives a life that is quite recognisable and different to the one she lived back then (several years ago), inside and out. As with all my clients, I couldn’t possibly take any credit for that. She had started a new journey and George and myself were on a very small part of that with her, and were catalysts (pun intended) that got to share our time and gifts with her.

And here is why I find coaching such a superbly selfish thing to do, in unknowing return, Linda gave George and myself such a gift that day and beyond that day, as all my clients do. She in turn became a catalyst for change in our lives and to my amazement, the next ‘catalytic’ chapter was very soon to be opened wide, bringing together so many connections in my life that showed me, that all of us – Linda, George and me – were all on the right LifeWork path…

PS: Did you know that a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, cats and all?  I’m completely biased of course, but it makes a purrfect present, for you or the cat lover in your life… You can buy it from book websites any where in the world, including Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

* Reiki, Google tells us, is “a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.”

Letter to Sophia

Hey Little Squitler

Well here you are… an idea made flesh and fur… Quite simply you are a squeaker, a looker – kitten and button cute; maddening, emboldened and a feline force of nature.  You are a complete and composite cat joining the Peachey Pride, so that our litter grew from two, to three.

I had wondered dreamily, about bringing in a third cat for years… I looked, I missed, I forgot – as life is…  Already I have two cat companions, both middle-aged male meowlers, and I wanted to bring female kitten energy in to my life and to the mix; to greedily create the next generation of company and purring and responsibility.  Yes, that was the idea…

So what Universal Law of Laughter decreed that when I said, no NOW is not the time for the next leonine instalment, did someone literally turn up on my doorstep with a kitten in cage???

Was it simply Sophia’s time and nothing to do with me?  You see, many cat people I know, (yes, even the pragmatic ones), tell me that the cat always, mystically, chooses you

And she came with her name – discovered as she was, with her mum and siblings in an old sofa in someone’s garden.  And Sophia, definitely suits her…

My visitors are fascinated by her multicoloured coat – she is grey, with patches of peach and dark stripes down her spine.  She has a Tortoiseshell mum, along with one Black and one Ginger brother – and somehow, all these genetic colour ways conspired into one pussy package.  And who ever saw a peach coloured cat??? Surely she was pre-destined for little old Peachey me!

Well here she was, in my life.  The cage was opened and the cat was out of the bag and into my life – immediately at home, skittering around, only 8 weeks old; new to this living dimension, yet facing it with such catlike confidence and an almost terrifying temerity.

I was simultaneously enraptured and in shock!  Within minutes there was mayhem – a squeaking, skittering creature on the loose in the house.  The adult cats were distinctly and hostilely not impressed.  A growl would mean George was in the vicinity, and a hiss would herald that Taz was within range of the grey furry force that was the tiny ‘Sophie Kitten’.

Sofia was no respecter of boundaries, too young to understand commands and to be fully house trained.  She literally tore through the house: ruining the curtains, crapping in crap places and shredding my skin.  She had a particularly horrid habit of running over my bare feet, with her claws embedding themselves deep into my pink flesh – my poor appendages looked like they had been run over by motorised a cheese grater…  And when ever I wore thick protective socks she would leave them well alone – oh she knew – the little madam!  And next I would find soil flung out of plant pots and onto my carefully manicured cream coloured carpets.

The most intense periods of naughtiness are first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  There is a distinctly wicked glint in those greeny grey eyes, and she switches into a terrifying, troubling trance; ignoring every one and everything in her wide awake wake; and skeetering and careering and trashing everything she meets along her tail trail.

The beautiful balance of the household was dangerously tipped.  The boy cats unhappy, me frustrated and stressed, then in the middle of it all – Sophia, oblivious to the maelstrom her kittenish presence was creating.

When she arrived in our lives, I was at the thick edge of a long period of illness and rued the disturbance her furry presence caused.  I mourned the quiet routines me and my boy cats had fallen into over the years, and the loss of their company, as they voted with their paws and left me alone with my grey bundle of boo.

I had to go to the trouble, damn it, of kitten proofing the house, of making changes to long established routines, as well as buying toys and special baby cat food.  It was all building up to a steam and bang of stress and pressure, and I thought I simply could not cope.  So I decided she had to be returned to her nest, for this Peachey household was not to be her for ever home – the sacrifices were simply, too great…

And the days turned and I ran around busily, stepping over the kitten, concerned with my daily doings and goings, and preparing for my impending, long dreamt of holiday…

So I went sailing away from our lion cave for a week, and while I was gone, the kitten was well looked after by my calm and mindful house mate.  Time moved on and I started to feel healthier in body and mind.  And somehow I had grown used to the idea of a little Sophia in my life and found that after all, I was determined to make this expansion to our world, work.

Having had the companionship of cats for most of my life, I thought I knew them and could wrangle and coax them to my co-operative will, but Sophia was a different pussy proposition.  So I read (up on cat lore) and reasoned, and then relaxed.

The ‘Little Squitler’ came into my life two days before my 50th birthday.  Friends said ‘what a perfect present’ and of course, she really is a gift.  So let’s drop the doubts, and ponder what this present of a puss gives to me…

I have a little creature to mother and I love that.  She is bonded to me and squeals her delight when she sees me.  She has such a steady and ready purr – it is quite delicious and decidedly loud, and it changes in sonic intensity as she exhales and intones her copious pleasure.  She loves to cuddle up and as her reward I scritch her skinny rib cage and scratch her chin, and no creature on this planet could possibly be more deliciously and delectably, delighted…

She chats away constantly – chirruping and berrowing where ever she goes.  She is still mastering the art of meowing, so the sounds that leave her tiny body emanate as high pitched squeaks of greeting, or complaint, or hunger, or loss, or love.  Shut her out on the wrong side of a door and she does the most piteous cries of ‘please-please-please let me in’, that I have ever heard in the animal world.

Her uncle cats are still not impressed.  My big black moggy Taz has practically moved into the garden.  He pops indoors quickly to eat or for fuss, and then the little interloper runs excitedly up to him and he is gone, being either in fight or flight mode.  George I always knew would be braver – despite his soft pedigree good looks, he is an alpha male and made of sterner stuff.  He is also bonded tightly to me and wants to be around me constantly.  And at first it was for minutes if she was there, and then more minutes, and now sometimes hours…

Sofia absolutely adores George and on seeing him, rushes up squealing her delight.  In return she receives a gentle warning swipe and a long, low, deep growl…  George will only tolerate her if she is still and silent, so if she creeps up to him while he is sleeping and snuggles in, that, strangely, is allowed.  Though the second she wants to play or squeaks or reaches out, it’s game over and he is gone, escaping any where she is not.

Sophia knows her name now, is occasionally responding to commands and loves her furry little life.  So a few days ago, when she was sitting on my lap, looking up at me purring, blinking and adoring, I wondered what lessons we will learn together as we pad and walk our journeys through life.  Her name ‘Sophia’ actually means ‘wisdom’, so time, tide and fur will surely tell.

We’ll work it out, since we girls are good at that, and the boys will work it all out, in their own feline way and with my intermittent human interference, too.

This is it then, the intention is now set: let’s all expand the Peachey Pride into a happy, harmonious and, of course – ‘purrfect’ one ;-).

With tickles and treats

S xxx

PS: See my ‘Love Letter to catkind’, along with more ‘Love Letters to Life’ to the people, phenomena and happenings that make up my Peachey Life. You can get hold of your copy here…  or else from Amazon (in both Kindle and Paperback formats) and from all good book shops…

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                                    Sophia, ‘helping’ me to unwrap my birthday presents…

Letter 21: To God’s Creatures

21 February 2012

Dear Creatures

For all our involvement, for all the power we try to wield over this planet, mankind is, in many ways, in the minority.  We share it all this creation, this never ending motion, with God’s Creatures … the beasts, the animals and the pets.

As I write this letter, my elbow is resting on the haunches of George – a cat, a named pet, a creature on loan to me, a gift from God.

At some point in its evolution, cat-kind left the jungle and became enmeshed in the world of man and womankind.  Its descendants pounced on our vermin, kept us company, then shared their fleas and their purrs.

The domesticated cat – a recognisable cousin to its wild counterparts, now resides alongside many of us and for me that particular co-habitation started early on.

I’m told we had a cat when I was a small child, though I have only one hazy memory of this creature, called Corky, curled up on a blanket.

My solid memories start later, with the kitten bought for me when I was 12.  That was the year my brother left home … so we substituted him with another boy, my lucky black cat ‘Whiskers’.  The love was instant … I met a tiny ball of black fluff who was curled up on my living room chair, who then got up, yawned and stretched luxouriously, found his own way in to the next room for dinner, then availed him self of the litter box.  I was amazed at the confident temerity of this little creature: his self assurance, how at home he already was, how he knew what to do, where to go and next I discovered that he loved to play and he loved to give and receive love and from then on I was hooked on feline kind …

This creature immediately became part of the family unit …  I discovered, unknowingly that my father had an affinity for the feline; in fact he had a special language, reserved just for the cat, (which he in turn had absorbed from his own father) and he would compliment his companion, in fun of and homage to his own lost dad and the cat received these blandishments with quiet, blinking gratitude.

And when I left home 6 years later again, I packed all my belongings away, dry eyed and finally cried at long last when I had to say good bye to my creature friend; as if he some how represented all that was soft and childish in me and embodied the loss of all that I was now leaving behind me, in order to walk towards my adulthood.

I had to bide my time before I was quite grown up and static enough to have my very own cat creature.  And when the time finally came, I chose another black boy, to substitute my child cat, to practise my parenting skills on, to add warmth and dimension to my life; and bought him into my new home, shared with my fiancé – a self confessed cat hater …

Now I did have his permission to bring a cat in, but he was less than impressed at his first meeting with the ‘little rat’.  Then without my bidding, the feline magic was worked … he gave the creature a human name (Dougal) and his affection; he realised he had a live toy, a companion, a subject of endless fascination and conversation and so his own love story with cat kind began …

I left the man and he kept the cat and a little later the next creature came in to my life and so on through my time.  Then there was one man later on who was made sick by my cat, so the cat went and the man stayed … for a short time … Never again I said.  And never again I did.

My next cat – a large ginger tiger tom named Muttley – was a challenge.  He was intelligent and self possessed and kept himself to himself.  I had adopted him as an abandoned adult, so who knew his story before then?   So I learned to love unconditionally, getting little in return for my food and shelter.  Instead I made cat-kind an object of study, I read, I revised, I learnt … all about their physiology, psychology and genetics, and I also studied my own boy – his body language, his voice, his ways and I gave him love by food, by shelter and by soft voice.  Then over years, he returned the favours and the love and later again, when he was run over and his pelvis was crushed – I sobbed sadly and loudly.

He survived the experience – the treating vet telling me that these creatures of God have the best self healing musclo-skeletal system of all animal kind and though his pelvis formed a new shape, the tiger returned to his habitat, changed but yet intact.

And there have been more and more creature companions, and I have seen the love story happen to others, again and again … and for some it becomes a feline obsession …  An endless fascination of conversation and occupation.

For me, the lure is that we are bound by love to these creatures.  They come to us for food of course, but then they stay with us for love.  They seek our company, they desire our affection and so it is love that ties us together.  We receive their company, and are part of a primordial relationship, one that is closer to nature than to man’s machinations.  And at times they are domesticated pets and at times they are wild creatures and it is their very differences – between themselves and ourselves – that is part of their inherent allure.

And that for me is love.  So I am now sending that love out to you – from me and from George and Taz – two of my favourite gifts and most definitely God’s Creatures.

      Yours purringly and adoringly, Sandra x

PS: For all these letters and more, you can buy Peachey Letters as a book – follow the link here to find out more…

Me, George and Taz, all God’s Creatures …