5 Things I Learned about Adopting Kittens

I have always been a cat person, even if I love corgis, huskies, and dachshunds. However, I never really had an indoor companion animal growing up since my mom has asthma.

Thank God I live in my own apartment now.

Lately, I’ve adopted three domestic short hair kittens: two off the street, and one from another cat lover. Their names are Ampy (approx. near 5 months old), Tiger (approx. 3 months old), and Meema (approx. 2 months old). You can find pictures of them on my Public Facebook Page and Instagram.

It’s only been a couple of months since I picked up Ampy from the streets, but I learned so many things about cats in general, as well as living with cats and the “cat lady” lifestyle.

"Homeless animals outnumber homeless people 5 to 1." -- dosomething.org
“Homeless animals outnumber homeless people 5 to 1.” — dosomething.org (Photo Source: Pixabay.com)

CATS LIKE TO OGLE AT YOU WHILE YOU PEE OR POO

I usually leave my kitties alone to do their business, but ever since I got the litter, my bathroom privacy has been compromised.

Picture this: I’m sitting on the throne, half-asleep, doing my business, while Ampy or Tiger come closer to me and meow for cuddle. I muster the strength to pick them both up and cradle them like they’re babies. Note that Ampy is almost 2.5kg while Tiger is 1kg. I’m carrying 3.5kg of feline cuteness while trying to reach for the tissue paper.

This behavior is quite explainable though. And it’s not because they’re attention-seeking critters. There are many reasons. Cats at any age are curious, and they’re curious what you’re doing in the bathroom. Do not bother closing the door on them as they’ll just meow and meow until you do open the door.

Even if you’re really sleepy, fight off the Sandman for a few minutes to bond with your cats. If you’re someone who works all day and sleeps all night, you could welcome this pee time as a socialization session with your cats. They’ll want to keep you company until you stand up.

Trust me; you do get used to it after a week.

"Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually." -- dosomething.org
“Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.” — dosomething.org (Photo source: Pixabay.com)

THEY WILL GET USED TO YOUR SLEEPING SCHEDULE

I’m not sure if this is a fact, or other cat parents have noticed this. But my kittens have learned to sleep when we sleep at night (which is between 11:30PM-7:30AM). They do wake up for a while, but only to drink. They never bother my husband and me when we sleep most of the time.

What could be the reason? I don’t know. My theory is that because they play so much during the day (my husband works from home and plays with the cats when he doesn’t have much to do), they eat a lot at night and sleep when everything is calm.

Cats in general do sleep when their environment is calm and relaxed. So when we hit the sack, the three musketeers sleep away, too.

NB: We don’t allow our cats to sleep on our beds for sanitary and health purposes. The cats sleep near the bathroom where they can comfortably go to their litter box anytime they need to.

"The average cost of basic food, supplies, medical, and training for a dog or cat is $600-$900 annually." -- rachelray.com
“The average cost of basic food, supplies, medical, and training for a dog or cat is $600-$900 annually.” — rachaelray.com (Photo Source: Pixabay.com)

MY CATS TAUGHT ME HOW TO BUDGET

I lost one kitten a month ago because I didn’t have the budget to bring her to the vet. She was barely two months old. Since then, when a cat needs additional vitamins, or when it’s time for their vaccination or deworming schedule, I create a budget around their health.

That is a situation I see in many cat owners. While their intentions are good, I feel that some owners are not totally responsible for their adoptees. They tend to say that they don’t have money to go to the vet and resort to home remedies for an illness that might be in its later stages. I hope that these good-hearted people make space in their budget for cat care. Some vets have affordable consultation fees, and often offer cheap vaccination and neutering/spaying rates for kittens.

Part of saving a kitten is taking care of her, and taking care of anyone or anything costs money. There are several ways to take care of your companion even on a budget. So I hope these people who adopt kittens do it not because the cat’s cute, but because they acknowledge and honor the life they’re taking care of.

“A single pair of cats and their kittens can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years” — caraphil.org (Photo Source: Pixabay.com)

CATS DO HAVE THEIR OWN PERSONALITIES

I’ve always wondered why cats are seen as meditative animals when their personalities in general are the complete opposite. I find them more as inquisitive, lively, and talkative creatures. And that they’re always hungry. While they don’t wear their heart on their sleeves, over time, they will communicate to you in ways only the two of you will understand.

For example: my husband left Ampy out one time because he snuck out of the apartment. It wasn’t until I came home from work that Ampy got in. Usually, this cat would greet me by climbing up my pants and asking for a quick cuddle, but he passed by and went to my husband. I went to the bathroom and as I was washing my face, I heard this:

“Meoooooowwww… MEEEOOOOOWWWWWWW… Meeeooowwww…”

I came out to see what happened and saw Ampy glaring at my laughing husband.

Apparently, Ampy already wanted to go inside, but my husband didn’t let him. When the kitty entered the apartment, he was angry at him and had a meowing fit. That’s a first! Cat’s got spunk.

"People who own cats live longer, have less stress, and fewer heart attacks." -- caraphil.org
“People who own cats live longer, have less stress, and fewer heart attacks.” — caraphil.org (Photo Source: Pixabay.com)

CATS ARE LOVE IN ACTION

Ever since adopting my three fur babies, I’ve come to realize that they are not pets at all. They’re not something to show off to other people. They aren’t trophies or playthings that you can throw away when you get bored. Animal companions (and my husband) are teaching me that love is an action, and it is always in action.

Of course, the love I give to my cats is of a much, much lower level than what I give to my husband, and what I receive from them is different from the love I receive from my husband. But cats give off this warmth that seems to heal the mind and soul.

I’m not talking about the healing power of purrs. I’m talking about the energy that they give is full of love. They have so many ways to show they appreciate you, from nose-to-nose kisses, to bunting, from running towards you and greeting you when you come home, to playing with its tail around your presence. They tell you that you are comfortable to be with, and that you are good, and that you are in a safe place. They tell you that you are wanted, and you matter.

So adopt a cat today and feel the love, from the bathroom to the bedroom. Cats rule.

* Adopting an animal companion saves lives-both the animal’s and your own. CARA Philippines and PAWS (Philippine Animal Welfare Society) have regular adopting events for both cats and dogs that can make you feel all the feels I’ve felt. Visit their websites to find out how you can adopt and be a furrent like me. If you can’t adopt for any reason, you can always donate to these organizations so that they can better take care of the strays they’ve saved.

** If you would rather adopt from a private individual, you can join the Adopt a Cat Philippines Facebook Group. There are many people who have found cats that they would like have you adopt them.

How to Improve Focus during Meditation

We sit in guided meditation in a circle, and our teacher tells us to focus on one point in the middle of our eyebrows. Our eyes gaze up, and we try to focus. Many times, we open our eyes because of some physical strain or we hear a noise… and it’s hard to go back to that focused state.

But that doesn’t mean that we fail. It only means we can do better.

It also means we should stop focusing on focusing.

If this doesn’t happen, it’s fine. The 70s came and went so there shouldn’t be any psychedelic vibrations right now. Only peace. (Source: pixabay.com)

That’s the problem with a lot of us these days. We focus too much and not get anything. It becomes difficult because we attach an end result to the practice of meditation. How about trying something else? Something new?

Why not just close your eyes and look at your thoughts passing by? Why not just close your eyes and not have an end goal to “feel at peace” or “find clarity”? Why not just close your eyes and stop thinking about connecting yourself to the divine?

Let’s face it, focusing is difficult to do. I mean, I’m talking about meditation a lot and even if I do so, it’s hard to not feel pins and needles 10 minutes into the practice. But a constant practice is important.

But you can’t just say “focus” and poof! Instant meditation right there.

If you want to learn how to focus, you have to forget that you’re focusing and feel your focus. Even if meditation is like mind training, the effects are more or less felt than thought of.

This lotus is meditating and not really focusing on anything. Let’s be like lotuses. (Source: pixabay.com)

Ready find a more enjoyable way to meditate? Try these:

  1. Feel expansion. Feel something good inside you… like clarity or peace… and imagine expanding it outside your body. The problem (in my opinion) about finding such core values is that we already know we have them within us, and thus it’s better to share these out instead. Beginners can use this still as a way to meditate, but as they grow, they should know that what they are looking has been with them this entire time.
  2. White light. Imagine white light emerging from your third eye chakra and spreading throughout your body, and then towards your seatmate, the room, the house, etc. Feel it envelop the entire world.
  3. Breathe. One of my meditation teachers encourages us to practice the Hong-Sau method of breathing. Each inhale is hong, while each exhal is sau (pronounced as “saw”). You are not wishing or desiring anything. You are just breathing. Saying “hong sau” means you acknowledge that you are one with something greater… and your breath connects you to that higher being.
  4. Practice sitting longer
  5. … Or practice walking slower. Walking meditation helps you be more mindful of your steps and keeps you aware of the present moment.
  6. Concentrate on something. Meditation is all about one thing: peace. Or, it could be music. It could be a sunset too. Hey, it could be your baby sleeping soundly in her crib. Direct your attention on something so beautiful that nothing will take your gaze away from it.
  7. Counting. 1… 2… 3… 4… pause… and exhale… 1… 2… 3… 4…

I use all of these on different occasions, and they do have different effects. Even without looking for anything, without desiring a result, I am able to get what I want. Have you tried one of these to improve your focus? Which ones do you like best? Do you have other ideas to suggest?

Let me know in the comments below.

Namaste!

4 Easter Messages for 2017

I’m back! I promise to write more often now since I already have my own laptop. I have so many topics to publish in the next few months and I hope many of you will join me in this special journey of healthy and positive vibrations.

Easter brings all the dogs to the yard… Source: pixabay.com

With that said, I’d like to great you all a very happy Easter time! For Christians around the world, The Lord has Risen! For druids and witches, spring is truly here! Whatever religion you adhere to, be happy for we are in a good time. Despite Trump… but that’s another story. 😉

Easter is many a person’s favorite time of the year, more so than Christmas, simply because someone rising up from the dead isn’t an everyday feat. Personally, it’s my favorite time to celebrate as well (second to Halloween, of course), but at a more meditative experience. When you look deeper into the traditions that we have, like Easter Egg Hunting and going to Church with the family, these stem from much older rituals even before the time when Christians loaned such practices and made them their own.

While I am a practicing Catholic, I like to incorporate different belief systems into my own to make my relationship with God and the universe closer and more personal. This involves a lot of reading (or researching on quotes!), and talking with the faithful (note: note the religious, or the “scholars”). Throughout this journey into understanding and celebrating my life, I’ve come to love celebrating Easter beyond its religious connotations.

Note that I’m going to focus more on rabbits and not eggs for the sake of my vegan readers.

Wake up, Easter bunny. Jesus has risen! (Photo: pixabay.com)

Easter gives emphasis to birth and bunnies

Oh yes, there is a connection between all these things. Jesus Christ, bunnies, and eggs? There were no bunnies at the time Jesus got up from his tomb. And certainly he didn’t get up to look for eggs.

Let’s not look at the Easter story too literally, and let’s refer to some wisdom from animists and pagans. Rabbits are known to be intelligent animals that can out-wit his enemy. These huggable little furballs know when to move and know when to stop. This makes rabbits great spirit guides in a person’s life: much like Jesus is to many a faithful.

And what does a rabbit do when there’s a predator hot on its… uhm… paws? It runs for cover in a hole, and the predator goes off, tired and defeated. Hmm… What did Jesus do? He “hid” (so to speak) in a tomb for three days before he returned after thwarting the greatest evil of all: ignorance. There is some on-the-surface similarity, don’t you think?

What else do we know about rabbits? They’re known for their symbol of fertility because they can reproduce at a crazy fast rate. That’s because they’re often preyed upon by carnivorous animals like wolves, foxes, and eagles. So they need to consistently be “reborn” to be able to live.

The rabbit is a symbol of transformation, and you think about it, Christ was reborn on the third day. He died, and then lived. His human ignorance died and allowed his divine self to live, still in a physical form. Transformation? Maybe so…

I dig holes, not graves. (Photo: pixabay.com)

Easter fills in the empty “tomb” in our hearts

An excellent theme for Easter Sunday is how Jesus showed us how we all are in a tomb, and we have tombs inside of us. Our journey in this life is to empty the tomb within us, and move out of the tomb we are trapped in.

Jesus was one historical person (he did live, but let’s give creative license to the gospel writers as they might have exaggerated one or two parts of their accounts) who defied all human limitations, not because he was the Son of God, but he was a human who believed that limitations are just thin borders that are meant to be crossed.

He defied death and showed us that we can defy our own death too. It doesn’t have to be too literal as dead-dead. There are times in our lives that we feel like there is no life in us, and we just see the world caving in. We create the tomb that traps us, and the tomb within us has “corpses” of anxiety and suffering. Jesus tells us to move out of our self-made tomb and empty out the tomb within us. Jesus is telling us it is safe to be alive, and that we are protected by something more powerful than a grave made of stone and suffering.

Jesus is telling us we ain’t dead yet. And so is he.

Easter is the time for celebration! Not a time to needlessly “buy a bunny.” (Photo: Pixabay.com)

Easter reminds us that we are all chosen

I strongly believe that Easter shouldn’t be kept within the confines of Christianity anymore, much like how we Catholics go to yoga and chant Sukhino Bhavantu during Jivamukti class. The message of Easter Sunday, that God is always here for us, is not just for those who believe in Christ. But rather, it is a promise to everyone who lives that they are not alone.

Of course, this is easy to say, and much easier to type. I’m thinking about everyone in Syria right now, and other places around the world where Easter Sunday is just another day for them to get by. It is hard to get those in war-stricken areas to believe that there is something better. But there is always hope.

I recently read a study by World Vision International about how different children around the world still want to have careers, return to their home countries, or believe in a peaceful world despite all that has happened to them. I see the hope and promise of Jesus in their words and spirit.

Truly, the miracle of Easter is alive.

 

Save me from animal testing! Give us the promise of Easter, too! (Source: pixabay.com)

easter focuses on divine love in human form

Jesus is the personification of hope and love. He isn’t some blind obedient dude who felt privileged to be the Son of God. He wasn’t a tool either. He doubted God but loved Him dearly. He despised humanity’s weakness but still embraced the sinful. When he died on the cross and rose up from the dead on Easter Sunday, Jesus came back in human form and spread a most divine love.

That is his message, I guess, to us. That must let our ignorant selves die to give hope to our new selves.

Jesus is the great remover of darkness, the guru. And Easter is his greatest lesson for us.

Let us learn and live its messages.

Namaste.