While reading a recent post by Ande Waggener on Up From Splat about the guidance of animals, When Guidance Trots, Slithers, Crawls, or Flies Up To You, I started thinking about the amazing power of animals to help us spiritually and physically. I know that mine have most definitely been a big part of my healing from a serious brain injury which I sustained from a suicide attempt almost four years ago. (Almost six now.)
At the time of the brain injury, I was a one cat, one dog household. Soon after trying to kill myself, I lost custody of my children and was alone for the first time in my life, as well as mentally impaired and emotionally, and badly in need of companionship. After visiting the local animal shelter, I brought home a little gray and white kitten who had chosen me with his affectionate antics. Appropriately, I named him Smoky. The dog is Bandit.
Smoky fit right into our home. Incredibly affectionate, he soon became my lap cat and shadow. Smoky had the loudest purr I’ve ever heard – I mean rattle-the-windows loud – and slept with me every night. Positioning himself on my pillow, curled around my head, he would purr us both to sleep that whole first year of my recovery.
I was amazed to later find out that there are many indications that the vibrational frequency of a cat’s purr could provide healing and perhaps even health protection benefits not only for cats but for humans as well. A cat’s purr is typically between 25-150 hertz. This range has been shown to aid in the healing of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles as well as providing pain relief and decrease breathing problems. In studies, low decibel frequencies, similar to that of a cat’s purr, have been proven to speed healing.
It is widely believed that cats purr to show contentment, but cats also purr when giving birth or frightened or injured suggesting that it has some kind of survival and healing benefit for them as well.
Later, a psychic intuitive told me that Smoky manifested some of my brother’s Chris, who had died a decade earlier, energy. I reveled in the idea that maybe Chris had found a way to comfort me and be a part of my healing process both emotionally and physically.
Smoky disappeared, and I never found him despite an exhaustive search. I like to think he came, did what he needed to do, and left, when he knew that I was OK and could handle it from there.
Over the next year or so, I acquired five more cats. Yes, five. My friend’s cat had a litter of kittens and I promised to take one. ”How about two?” she said. So, two calico sisters, so tiny they both fit into one hand, joined my family. About a year later, I made the mistake of going into a Petsmart on a Saturday morning when they were having an adoption fair. Spying an adorable Garfield kitten look alike, I motioned that “I’ll take the orange tabby.” The volunteer worker replied, “He goes with the black and white one.” Thinking to myself, “What’s one more when you’ve already got five?” I took a big breath and said “OK.” They are best buds, and I’m so glad I brought the second one home.
Then, not even a week later, I was walking the dog around the block in my neighborhood, and this little, gray and white kitten saunters out from under a bush and walks right up to my dog and I on the street. She had no collar, but was not malnourished like a stray and wasn’t the least bit timid. Despite putting up posters and contacting shelters and nearby vets offices, no one claimed her. So, I got her a collar and her shots, and she joined the menagerie.
I certainly didn’t need another cat, but how could I turn her away? I named her Smoky II. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but I do think she is in some way the reincarnation of the first Smoky. The way she came to be with me is just too uncanny. She is the craziest and spunkiest cat I have ever known. She is more like a dog and keeps me laughing.
I’m now up to six cats and one dog, and we’ve all been together for four years. I think the title of the crazy, cat lady has a certain eccentric charm and flair! :)