Meditate with me, my furry friend
Rudy paused on my partner Adam’s shorts, looked at me and opened up his bladder. I sat in disbelief for a moment, staring at him, and then jumped off the bed screaming, “stop, stop, stop.” I scooped him up as urine dribbled down my leg and onto the floor. He frantically jumped from my arms and raced down the stairs out of sight. I was so frustrated, why did the cat have to pee on everything?
Ok, so at least the shorts could be washed easily, he had already ruined three meditation cushions, those being his preferred target. For nine years of his life he had never urinated anywhere but in the litter box and then suddenly he was peeing on Adam’s things and most importantly the meditation cushions, leave him alone with one for a minute and it would be ruined.
We had recently moved to a new house but Rudy really liked the house and the urinating hadn’t started right away. I had also done a whole work up on him and nothing was wrong physically that would cause him to urinate.
We had a theory that he was objecting to a new meditation practice that Adam was doing but we weren’t certain. Until we figured it out, Adam had stopped doing that practice, but it was something he really wanted to do and had rearranged his schedule in order to have the time for it. As it turned out he had done a few minutes of that practice when Rudy urinated on his shorts. Our theory had been proven correct, the new practice literally scared the piss out of him.
We often meditate in our household and while this was the most extreme reaction we had seen from one of our cats, it did not surprise me that he had responded so strongly to meditation.
Our other cat Melody had been very timid when Adam first moved in with us. At the time Adam was starting a meditation practice called Werma, which was about confidence among other things. She loved to go into the meditation space when he was practicing and would sit with him every day. Slowly we saw her change and become much more confidant. She no longer would back down to anything or let anyone push her around. Our cat Ziggy, who used to bother her, would now get an ear boxing and she would chase him out of the room if he upset her. She also would come up to anyone who came in our home and gently tap them on the leg while looking up at them with her big blue eyes until they would give her pets. That confidence has stayed with her even though Adam no longer does that practice regularly.
In my own work, I treated a beautiful collie dog a couple years ago who would only let me work with her if I would sit and meditate calmly between needles. If I tried to make her sit still against her will she would get sick from the acupuncture and if I followed after her with needles she would only move faster. However if I only put one needle in at a time and sat quietly between needles she would let me treat her. After all the needles were in place, she would only relax if I would sit and meditate. She taught me more about patience than any other being I have worked with.
My large twenty-pound cat Basil also likes helping with meditation and I have found that on the days I am feeling particularly ungrounded, he will sit in my lap when I meditate. There is nothing to help ground you like twenty pounds of Zen cat.
I think animals like the calm energy that we create when we meditate, if you have ever been in a meditation center you know how calm and good it feels. That being said some meditation practices that are designed to stir up energy can agitate our furry friends as in Rudy’s case.
In the end it took a Shamanic journey with a local Shaman back to another place, for him to stop being afraid of Adam’s practice. However that is story which I will share at another time.
We are always connected to those in our home, including our animals, who pick up on our stress or our calmness and respond to it. Sometimes looking at our animal companion is like looking in a mirror at ourself. My dog Jake is often my emotion detector, if he is stressed often I am and when he is calm I am usually as well.