cats

Why animals make meditation look so easy

Animals make the best meditation partners. It’s true! Their natural, calming presence helps to anchor us “in the now,” and they approach life with unconditional love, a real challenge for us humans. Next time your cat rests with its eyes closed, or your dog takes a snooze on your lap, don’t just think about how cute they are (because, of course, they are), but think, too, about what we can learn from them to improve our own meditation practice. Animals are natural meditators, with peaceful, nonjudgmental minds and open hearts. They remind us what we should all strive for whenever we meditate …

Incredible photos of animals loving Reiki you need to see

One of the best things about Reiki is how deeply it relaxes animals, even those that are incredibly anxious, depressed or sick. Witnessing firsthand so many happy, calm and blissed-out animals following my Reiki sessions keeps me motivated every single day.

Below are a few of my favorite photos and videos of animals loving Reiki. Most of these were taken at BrightHaven, a holistic hospice for animals in Santa Rosa, California, where I’ve had the honor to teach monthly Reiki courses for more than 12 years …

How to know if you should adopt another cat

What is your perfect number of cats? As a child growing up, I never had less than two, but sometimes we had up to four (a real clowder—that is your new word for the day 😉 ). Of course, my parents realized early on that having three daughters meant three was the absolute minimum. That way, we each had one to call our own: Cassy (mine); Cassy’s daughter, Pinky (born in our garage in the days before we knew about spay/neuter and kept by my sister Charlotte); and Tux, a cute stray we rescued from being tormented by neighborhood boys whom Maureen persuaded my parents to keep. These special kitties all lived until our college days.

Today I don’t have a cat (we have allergies in the family), but both of my sisters have one. And they sometimes think about adopting another one, but it can be hard to know the right time, don’t you think? Life feels perfect as is, but sometimes it can feel as if something is “missing.”

It’s a big decision a lot of us think about—especially when we encounter a really cute one as a stray, at a local shelter or while “just browsing” Petfinder.com (everyone does this, right?).

But when is a good time to introduce a brand-new feline into your household? Here are some signs you’re finally ready to bring another cat into the fold …

When will declawing finally be outlawed?

I’m just wondering: Why hasn’t the U.S. banned declawing cats? The inhumane practice was once common and even accepted, but times are starting to change. There’s been a national debate on the subject, and most of us now understand what declawing really means—and how traumatic and barbaric it is for the cat. Thankfully, the once-popular practice is now on the decline. Many vets now even refuse to perform the unethical procedure.

But we need to do better …

3 simple ways Reiki helps animals with cancer

Here are some sobering statistics for you: In companion animals, about 50 percent of all disease-related deaths are attributed to cancer. One in four dogs will develop cancer. And cancer strikes about 30 to 40 percent of all cats.

Some of you may be struggling with this issue right now. Know that you are not alone. In fact, May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness and funds in hopes of one day curing this terrible disease.

My dog Dakota suffered from cancer in the last months of his life. Though it was a painful time for our family, I learned something invaluable: that my daily Reiki meditations gave me the strength to cope even when I started believing I had no strength left. (My meditation practice also helped me on my personal cancer journey, which I’ve written about here.) Now that I’ve had time to reflect, I’ve realized that it’s because …