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Tag Archives: animals
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I am still working with my parents’ cat to earn her trust & bring her home. (It’s so much more humane than trapping her to bring her home. The last thing that poor girl needs is more trauma!) She is making remarkable progress, I’m happy to say. But, remarkable progress is still somewhat slow since I’ve realized she has feline PTSD. Considering the circumstances surrounding my mother’s passing, it’s very understandable. Luckily for me, I already have a cat with PTSD so I’m pretty familiar with it. I know it takes lots of wisdom, patience, understanding & love to help a cat (or a human) with PTSD.
During the very recent past, Molly has let me get close to her. I’ve taken advantage of that & shot some short videos. She now has her own playlist on YouTube containing those videos. I thought I would share the link here since many of my readers are also animal lovers. Enjoy! xoxo
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As I’ve mentioned a few times, I have a wonderful kitty by the name of Punkin who has feline PTSD. Here is his picture.. is he not incredibly handsome!?
A few months after adopting him in 2014, one morning out of the blue, he attacked our little American Eskimo dog, Dixie. She wasn’t even looking at him when he suddenly jumped her. My husband & I both hollered Punkin’s name, which got his attention fast. He looked almost as if he woke up. He looked at us & Dixie, then ran off & hid. We checked on Dixie & thankfully she was fine, just very shaken up. While consoling her, my husband & I talked about what happened, & I told him that the way Punkin looked reminded me of how I felt after a flashback. I knew animals could be traumatized of course, but I was unsure if it could develop into PTSD. I did some research & learned it absolutely can. Since I have C-PTSD, I felt somewhat equipped to deal with the situation. It’s been quite the learning experience to say the least! But, my husband & I have learned & I wanted to share it for you other cat parents out there in case you too have a traumatized furbaby on your hands.
In all fairness, I’m not positive how the symptoms show up in other animals, but I believe they’re rather similar. Our late dog, Bear, had been abused & once in a while he acted quite a bit like Punkin does. I believe he had a milder case of PTSD than Punkin has. That leads me to believe the symptoms are probably quite similar among animals, not just among cats.
PTSD symptoms in cats are quite similar to humans. They have an extremely sensitive startle reflex, so they sometimes react inappropriately to situations. If they get scared, fight or flight instincts may take over. Punkin tends to freeze- his pupils dilate & he won’t move. They can be very anxious too, which means they may be skittish, hide or potty outside the litter box. Separation anxiety can happen too. They’re hyper vigilant, always extremely aware of their surroundings. Getting angry easily can be another symptom. as can being depressed. Signs of depression can mean losing interest in things they normally enjoy such as food, playing or snuggles, They may have nightmares, which you can see by how they sleep. Most cats twitch a bit in their sleep, but a cat with PTSD will do so more often & violently. Another big clue is they avoid things that can be similar to the traumatic event. I believe due to how Punkin attacked Dixie his trauma was related to a dog. She was the only animal or person in our home he ever attacked. And yes, they can have flashbacks. If you haven’t seen someone have a flashback or if you don’t have them, it can be hard to identify. When Punkin has had them, he doesn’t look quite like himself. His eyes get huge & you see fear written all over his face. He also acts completely out of character, like when he attacked Dixie, then suddenly stops. The first time it happened, he hid for quite a while, but after that, he returns to normal in a few hours. They also make him very tired.
There are some ways to cope with feline PTSD that I have found to be pretty successful.
I talk to Punkin. I tell him I understand what he’s going through, & it stinks. It’ll be ok, though, there is no one or nothing here that will hurt him. He’s safe & surrounded by other cats & people who adore him.
I also follow his lead. Punkin is very loving, but not particularly snuggly. Sometimes when the PTSD flares up, he wants to be left alone & other times he wants me to hold him. I do whichever he wants.
When Punkin has bad days, I do my best to remain completely calm in his presence. Cats pick up on the energy of their humans, so if I’m calm, he’ll be calmer. I don’t tell him “calm down”. Instead, my energy says everything is fine, & there is nothing to be upset about.
Catnip is a life saver! I started giving it to him to try to help his anxiety levels. It didn’t take him long to learn that it helps, so he goes to it often & voluntarily when his symptoms flare up. I got some very soft, fuzzy socks from the dollar store for this purpose. I put some catnip in a small rag, tie it up, & put it in the sock. Punkin also likes jingle bells so I have some with bells inside, some without. He picks whatever he likes as he needs his ‘nip. Since it doesn’t work for dogs, I used to give Bear valerian root pills. The smell is very strong & it tastes pretty yukky, so it wasn’t easy to get him to take it at first. It didn’t take him long to realize that it helped though, so he began going to where I stored it to let me know when he needed some valerian.
Some pet parents also get tranquilizers for their pet from the vet or use other calming aids that are readily available.
If you too have a pet with PTSD, following these steps really can help. I’m happy to say that Bear turned into a very loving, gentle dog from an aggressive one & Punkin’s symptoms are managed very well. He rarely has flashbacks anymore, & his anxiety levels are much lower in general.
Today’s post is a little off the normal topics, but since many of you are also animal lovers, I hope no one will object.
As of yesterday, it’s been 4 wonderful years since our kitty Punkin entered our life & our hearts. Here are a couple of pictures of my handsome guy….
Punkin when he first came home..
Punkin with Grace not long after we adopted her in 2016. She has always adored him.
Punkin isn’t your average, handsome orange man cat. His vision is either limited or gone in his right eye, & he has feline PTSD. I’ve had traumatized cats & disabled ones, but Punkin is very different than any of the others. And you know something? I love that about him.
Punkin thinks & acts differently than other cats. PTSD does that in humans too, so it’s not a surprise. And, sometimes it can be tough to deal with, like when he has flashbacks. He also gets over the top anxious & panicky sometimes, & is distrustful of most people. Learning about feline PTSD plus having C-PTSD myself have enabled my husband & I to help Punkin manage it. One good part of him having PTSD is we understand each other & can help each other when the symptoms flare up. Plus with his vision problem, Punkin doesn’t have the depth perception healthy cats have. He has to get creative on figuring things out sometimes, & he does very well with it. He’s just different than your average kitty. Thankfully, Grace picked up on his uniqueness immediately after we adopted her. She keeps close to Punkin’s side (as you can see in the picture), helping him calm down when he panics or grounding him during flashbacks. She just instinctively knows what he needs, when he needs it.
Punkin is also very appreciative, loving, snuggly, playful, fun, intelligent & sensitive. He’s an absolutely wonderful kitty.. he simply has a couple of challenges that we have to work with.
Lots of people pass by cats like Punkin. They want to adopt healthy cats who require food, water, a litter box & nothing more. Those cats are wonderful, of course, but so are special needs cats. In fact, many special needs cats are even better pets. They are more appreciative of what their people do for them & loving towards their humans. Plus, because of their unique needs & dependency on their human, it’s easy to form an especially close bond. Caring for someone, be they animal or human, opens that door.
If you’re looking to adopt a cat, please take some time & get to know the shy or skittish ones, the ones with health concerns, the ones who may not have the shiniest or fluffiest coats or who have lived on the streets. Those cats need & deserve loving homes just as much as any other cats. Besides, you may find out you’ve adopted the most wonderful cat you could have asked for, like my Punkin.
I have friends who follow the Pagan religion. Naturally, they follow Pagan pages on Facebook. Often they share things that inspire them or that they like. It’s not often “join our religion, it’s awesome!!” type posts. In fact, that is rare. 99% of the time what they share are stunning nature themed pictures. A white owl, baby foxes playing, a pretty path in the woods, a wildflower meadow, a starry night… beautiful scenes.
It just crossed my mind that the Christian pages I follow don’t share such images. They share lovely & inspiring things, of course, but I haven’t seen anything like what the Pagan pages share- simple beauty in nature.
I understand that Paganism has entirely different fundamental beliefs than Christianity. That’s why I’m Christian & not Pagan- Christian beliefs make sense to me, Pagan ones don’t. That being said though, there is one thing that I think Christians need to learn from Pagans. They appreciate & respect nature. They enjoy its beauty & what it has to offer. They understand that herbs & plants have healing properties & use them. (True, they can be used for spells & such, too, but simply to enjoy the healing benefits, there isn’t any magic involved.)
Why don’t more Christians do that same thing? I mean, we obviously believe God created everything- why don’t more Christians take the time to appreciate what God has created? Why aren’t more Christians concerned with animal abuse? And, why do so many object to herbal remedies when they are often much safer & more effective than pharmaceuticals?
It’s sad to me how few Christians think that way. I actually unfollowed one Christian page on Facebook some time ago because so many said terrible things about animals- how stupid they are, we don’t need them, “the only way I like animals is barbecued” & other awful things. And, those who professed to love animals were mocked & shamed.
Personally I don’t see anything at all wrong with appreciating & respecting nature. I love staring at the sky on a clear, starry night. A full moon is also one of my favorite sights, as is the colors of changing leaves in the fall. I also love the sounds of a thunder storm or quiet beauty of a blizzard. Obviously, I love animals- I brag about mine plenty! lol I also use valerian root capsules & lemon balm for anxiety & St. John’s Wort capsules for depression rather than prescription medications, & have mentioned that in several of my books.
Doing such things hasn’t compromised my faith in God one bit. In fact, it makes me feel closer to God when I stare in awe at the moon & stars. Taking in the beauty of nature helps keep me grounded, calms my anxiety & makes me very grateful for the wonders around me. Being close to my furkids makes me grateful that He has seen fit to bless me with these adorable critters. They bring me an incredible amount of joy. I’m also grateful for the natural remedies to help my mental health, especially knowing I don’t run the risk of awful side effects so many prescription anti-anxiety & anti-depression meds have.
Dear Reader, I hope if you haven’t considered these things before, you will now. God made the Earth & everything in it (Psalm 24:1). What could possibly be wrong with using & appreciating the beautiful, useful things He has made, even thanking Him for them?
Job 35:11 Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven? (KJV)
One of God’s greatest blessings is animals. I’ve always loved & appreciated animals, but the older I get, the more I love & appreciate them. Animals love deeply & unconditionally, they are fun, they are very intuitive & intelligent. What’s not to love?!
In 2001, my husband & I lost Bubba, a very gentle, sweet, special orange tabby cat I’d had since he was only 4 weeks old. I was absolutely convinced losing Bubba was going to kill me, my grief was so strong. In spite of the pain though, God showed me something interesting at that time- I could communicate with animals.
The day after Bubba died, I let the cats out into the backyard for some supervised fun. I went to Bubba’s freshly dug grave for a moment of grief. I told him how much I loved him & missed him, & always would. A small voice spoke to my heart saying, “It’s OK, Mommy. I feel much better now!” (Bubba suffered with feline AIDS & emphysema for about 4 months before he died) I wasn’t sure I heard this right at all, & quickly came back to the part of the yard where the cats were. Spitfire, the queen of the castle, looked at me with great concern as I came near her & I heard, “Something is wrong with Mommy.” I told my husband what happened, & he said he could believe I could hear them. After all, I was extremely close to all of our cats.
The following day, I turned on some music while I was doing housework. When Lynyrd Skynyrd’s song, “Freebird” came on, I heard what I’d thought was Bubba’s voice again, as I heard it the previous day. “Mommy, this song fits me. Listen to the lyrics.” By this time, I doubted my sanity. Once I was done my chores, I prayed, asking God what was going on. I felt no answer coming, so I opened up my Bible. It came open to the book of Job, & my eyes fell on this Scripture: Job 12:7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: (KJV) Immediately, I knew I heard Bubba & Spitfire. I wasn’t crazy!
Since that time, I’ve gotten better at communicating with animals. I don’t often hear them as clearly as I did Bubba & Spitfire, but I still communicate with them constantly. What’s so interesting is the more I wanted to communicate with them, the more they wanted to communicate with me. Our late chow chow mix, Bear, taught me that when he barked once it meant yes, twice meant no & three times meant I love you. Vincent, my granddad’s cat that we ended up adopting in 2008, told me one day his great great great great grandfather was a purebred Abyssinian cat. He was very proud of his heritage apparently. Minnie Rose, our dilute tortoise shell cat, actually tries to form words with her meows, so there is never much trouble figuring out what message she is trying to get across, especially when she says, “Yea” or, “NOOOO!!”. Punkin is our orange tabby with feline PTSD. He is very vocal & very clear at communicating whatever he wants me to know with certain facial expressions as well as meows.
I’m always impressed by how if you just pay attention to them, animals will make sure you know what they want you to know. You just need to be observant.
Also, not all animals are overly interested in communication with people, so if you try to communicate with some animals, they may have absolutely no interest, no matter how hard you try. Some seem to put up a mental wall.
Be careful reading about communicating with animals. Some who discuss animal communication claim it is some sort of psychic ability instead of a gift from God. They make it sound almost occult in nature. I have asked God to help me to communicate with animals His way, & with whatever animals He wants me to communicate with. I believe keeping God involved keeps anything bad out of what really should be God’s gift to His children.
Several years ago, I wrote my first book on the topic of animals. I even included some about things my animals & I have discussed. If you would like to check out this book, it is called, “Pawprints On Our Hearts”, & is available at this page on my website, simply scroll down : http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Books-For-Sale.php
Ecclesiastes 3:19 “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.” (KJV)
I realize many Christians will disagree with me, stating that humans are much more valuable than animals. I respectfully disagree though. God loves the animals He created. Reread the Scripture I opened this post with: Ecclesiastes 3:19 “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.” (KJV) The Scripture states. “that a man hath no preeminence above a beast,” so obviously God believes humans & animals to be equal.
Other Scriptures speak of the value of animals:
- Genesis 3:20 “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (KJV)
- Job 12:7 “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:” (KJV)
- Job 35:11 “Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?” (KJV)
- Psalm 50:10-11 “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.” (KJV)
- Proverbs 12:10 “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (KJV)
- Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (KJV)
Animals are a wonderful blessing to people! They offer us companionship, unconditional love, help us with chores (such as on a farm), & if we pay attention, teach us a great deal. I’ve had pets since shortly after moving out of my parents’ home at age 19, & pray there never will come a time I don’t have any! Mine have blessed me in more ways than I can count! They have made me laugh or comforted me when I was upset, defended me to people who were nasty to me, & taught me many things, including how to be a good mom.
I hope you, Dear Reader, aren’t one who thinks animals are “just dumb animals” like many people do. If so, though, I pray you’ll consider what I’ve written, & reconsider your position!
And, if you’re an animal lover like me, but never thought about such Scriptures, then please, also consider this post. Maybe pay a bit more attention to your furkids- they are wonderful teachers, & you can learn so much from them. Don’t forget to let them know how much you love & appreciate them, too! They appreciate hearing such things just as much as you do! 🙂
This past Thursday, we lost a beloved & very special member of our family. Our cat Pretty Boy passed away suddenly of unknown causes at just over 14 years old.
I’m not sharing this for sympathy. I’m sharing because I want to remind you fellow pet parents out there to enjoy every moment you have with your furbabies. The time together can end in an instant, so make it a point to treasure every moment you have with them. Pray for them regularly. You may be surprised how much your furbaby likes it when you pray for them. Pretty Boy had diabetes for 5.5 years, & I regularly prayed for him. When I prayed for him in his presence, he purred & cuddled me. It can be a bonding experience, praying for your furbaby.
Also, I have asked God to help me to understand & communicate with my furkids. As a result, we are all very close. And, I think this also has helped them to become the wonderful little creatures God created them to be. It’s not just me that thinks they are wonderful either. I’ve had several friends over the years who have said almost exactly the same thing- “I’m not normally a cat person, but there is something special about yours. They’re so friendly & loving.” I had one friend who was terrified of cats.. until he met my first cat, Magic. Magic became his buddy in no time. This friend also was no longer afraid of cats after spending time with mine.
Communicating with animals is possible, & God will show you how to do it. It is beneficial for you as well as them, & draws you closer to the furbaby. I wrote some about it in my book, “Pawprints On Our Hearts” & will discuss it in a bit more detail in an upcoming blog post. Job 12:7 says, “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:” (KJV) God will allow us to communicate with animals & be blessed by it. It is truly a glorious gift He has given us, to communicate with these wonderful creatures He has made. By communicating with mine & becoming so close to them, I have been blessed more than I can say. In fact, one of those blessings has come in the form of music. As my cat Weeble, was dying in May, she told me that the song “Angel” by Jon Secada reminded her of me. I still have trouble listening to the song since losing her was so recent, but at the same time, it gives me comfort. Also about a year ago, I was listening to Queen when the song “I Was Born To Love You” came on. Pretty Boy & I were snuggling when he stopped & looked at me, giving me the slow blink cats do when saying they love you as the song came on. Immediately I knew he was saying this was our song.
Just because… here is a picture of Pretty Boy. RIP, my angel boy. I love you with all my heart & will see you again one day soon..
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On this day in 2014, my husband & I lost one of our special cats, Georgie. We adopted him & his brother, Pretty Boy, when they were only about 4 weeks old. They were adorable tiny, fluffy black powder puffs, born to a stray living in a local lady’s yard. She said she was going to have animal control take all of the cats later in the week. Rather than let them take their chances at the shelter, we decided to adopt the brothers. After all, we had lost 2 cats in a short time prior, & another one was dying from cancer- we knew she had very little time left. Kittens always help to cheer us up (they’re so fun & silly!), these two were in need, black cats are the least likely to be adopted & also my personal favorites. It seemed like everything was saying we needed to adopt these two precious little boys.
That was in 2002, & in the 12 years we had both boys, we had a lot of laughs, mostly because of Georgie. He was mischievous & ornery, where his brother is much more serious. In spite of their very different personalities, they were inseparable. Georgie was always Pretty Boy’s protector- if another cat went to mess with Pretty Boy, Georgie intervened, even if the other cat only wanted to play. When Pretty Boy was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011, Georgie was always there to comfort his brother, especially when he came home smelling like the world’s most horrible place, the vet’s office.
Then on April 16, 2014, I realized around 10:00 that I hadn’t seen Georgie since the previous night. I texted my husband who said he hadn’t either. I thought maybe Georgie sneaked outside (as he had a couple of times before), or was hiding somewhere napping. I searched the house & couldn’t find him. He didn’t come when I called, which was very unusual. In a panic, I asked my husband to come home & help me find him. He found Georgie in our bedroom closet. Apparently he passed away in his sleep, why we don’t know.
Pretty Boy was devastated, & as you may know, stress & emotions can play havoc with one’s blood glucose levels. For a month, Pretty Boy’s already sensitive levels could jump 600 points or sink 600 points in a 12 hour period. Thankfully, his glucose levels started to level out after about a month. Pretty Boy has not been the same since losing his brother. He became even more serious, but at least he has developed closer friendships with the other cats.
Losing a furbaby is excruciating for people, but we aren’t the only ones who suffer. Their furry family suffers too. Blood related or not, if you have more than one pet, chances are good that they are bonded to some degree. Maybe they don’t show their love as openly as Georgie & Pretty Boy, but there is a bond there. I have had 27 cats in my adult life, & have lost 17 to date, plus had 3 dogs & lost 2 of them. I can tell you that the survivors always grieve. Not all grieve as hard as my Pretty Boy did for his brother, but there was still a great deal of pain when others passed on. I have seen it over & over
If you have lost a furbaby, please remember this! I know you are suffering, but so are your surviving furbabies. You need to help each other through the grief process. It will help you both to get through & bond you even closer.
How do you help when you feel like you’re falling apart? First, pray. Ask God to help you to help your furbaby. Pray for your furbaby- lay your hands on him or her & pray out loud. I have yet to have one pet not like this. They understand what you are doing, & they do appreciate it! Mine certainly have.
Offer your surviving furbaby extra love. Lots of snuggles & saying “I love you” truly help you both a great deal. Don’t think animals don’t know what you’re saying, only the tone of voice- they understand exactly what you’re saying! And, like humans, hearing a heart felt “I love you” is always welcomed, but especially when they are hurting. This helps you too- when you receive snuggles in return, it helps to lift your spirits.
You can take your baby for a walk- not only dogs enjoy walks, but some cats do as well. In fact, some cats enjoy walking with a harness & leash, believe it or not. If your kitty isn’t a fan, they make pet strollers that safely protect your cat in a netted cage of sorts, allowing her to enjoy the fresh air & remain protected at the same time.
Playing is always a good bonding experience with your pet, & it helps to elevate both your moods. I have yet to meet a dog who didn’t love a good game of fetch or tug of war. Most cats enjoy cat nip, chasing a piece of string or rope & some even enjoy jingle bells or small crinkle balls. The experience also helps to cheer you up because it’s such fun watching your furbaby have fun.
Losing a pet is a painful, horrible experience, but never forget, it also hurts your other pets. They need you now more than ever, & you need them.
Tomorrow is a day I can’t forget. On January 21, 2007, I lost my sweet cat, Magic. He died quietly in my arms after over three years of dealing with heart problems, which was twice as long as vets expected him to live.
Magic was very special. Not only was he my first cat, but he was also my soul mate. He was extremely in tune with me. He defended me when people were cruel to me. He comforted me when I was sad & snuggled me when I was happy. He was extremely intuitive, intelligent, fun, caring & a wonderful surrogate daddy to the other cats & dogs. It’s hardly a surprise that after his death, he was still special..
One day not long after losing Magic, I was listening to the soundtrack from the TV show, “Touched By An Angel.” Wynonna’s song “You Were Loved” came on. God spoke to my heart & said, “This is your & Magic’s song. He wanted you to know that.” Even now, I cry when I hear the song, remembering that precious moment.
That wasn’t even the first time something like this happened. In December 2001, I experienced my first kitty death. My sweet boy, Bubba died from FIV & emphysema at only age 9. God gave me Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird” two days later. In 2002 after Sugar died suddenly & completely unexpectedly, God told me the same thing about Lonestar’s “Not A Day Goes By” There have been other songs too. In December 2010 when Vincent died, on my way back from burying him, the song “Someday We’ll Be Together” started going through my mind. God told me that was Vincent’s & my song. A similar thing happened the following year when Jasmine passed, except the song was Aerosmith’s “Angel” & in 2014 when Georgie passed with Steelheart’s “I’ll Never Let You Go.”
My point in sharing all of this with you, Dear Reader, is to reassure you. Not only people go to Heaven or Hell. Animals do as well! Mark 16:15 says to preach the Gospel to all creation or to every creature in every single translation I’ve seen. This tells me that animals also can accept Jesus as their savior. This means they can go to Heaven & we will see them again one day!
I also firmly believe that death doesn’t mean that they no longer think of their humans once they are gone. I have no doubt they think of us & miss us as we think of & miss them. Otherwise, why would God have told me they wanted me to know that these songs are ours?
If you have lost lost a precious pet, please be reassured that your baby still loves you & thinks fondly of you. And best of all, you’ll see him or her again one day. I know it hurts more than you can describe when you lose a furbaby, but knowing you’ll see them again one day is very comforting.
The songs I’ve gotten are also quite comforting. Granted, not every single furbaby & I have a song, & I don’t know why that is, but the ones I do share a song with? That song comforts me & helped me to get through the initial, devastating pain of losing them. If you haven’t experienced this, it may be a good idea to ask God about it. He certainly won’t object to it! And, who knows? Maybe you were too caught up in your grief to notice God gently trying to tell you about a song. It’s certainly possible to be grieving so hard, you don’t listen to God. I’ve done that myself.
If you have experienced the pain of losing a furbaby, please know I understand. It’s devastating!
I’ve always been an avid animal lover, especially cats. In 2009 after losing my 18 year old tabby cat Sneezer, I thought I’d study what the Bible has to say about animals. It was very eye opening! I learned enough to write a full book on the topic, “Pawprints On Our Hearts”
The Bible has so much to say about God’s love for the wonderful animals that He created. Two verses though really spoke to my heart about how valuable animals are:
Job 12:7-10 “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” (ESV)
Job 35:11 “Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’” (ESV)
I’ve always known that animals can make wonderful companions, but they also are wonderful teachers. After reading those verses, it began to click in my mind just how good they are at teaching.
My first cat, Magic, taught me how to be a good mom to my cats. He was always loving & patient with them, even the neediest young kittens. He knew exactly what they needed & how to meet those needs.
Vincent taught me to appreciate the little things & people. One day I was walking him outside & he stopped to let the cool fall breeze flow through his fur. The look on his face was sheer bliss. When it stopped, he looked at me, then grabbed my hand & kissed it, I believe to thank me for allowing him to enjoy the experience of being outside.
Jasmine inspired me to never give up. She had 4 strokes in just under 2 years, & fought incredibly hard to recover from them, even when a vet told me I should put her down.
If you just pay attention to the animals in your life, you can learn some really amazing things. I have asked God to help me to learn from my furbabies. They are also some amazing teachers, always willing to teach you.
I also talk to them just as I talk to people. Animals are very intelligent, & they truly understand what we say to them, not only the tone of our voices as some wrongly believe. They also find ways to convey their messages to you. I remember one time before my dog, Bear, passed.. he had arthritis really badly, & one day he needed a pain pill. He came into the kitchen as I was washing dishes & looked at me. I could tell he was hurting by how he walked, & asked if he was ok. He looked at the fridge, then me. I asked if he needed a pill & he barked once as if to say “yes!” I gave him his pill, & he gave me a kiss in return.
Animals are truly a blessing & a gift straight from God. If you aren’t enjoying them or enjoying them as much as you could, I urge you to give them a try. Get to know them. Ask them questions. They’ll find a way to answer. Most of all, love them & enjoy their friendship. It will bring you great joy!
I’ve been noticing something disturbing lately. So many Christians openly hate animals. This bothers me terribly, because there are so many Scriptures that show God loves the animals that He created & wants people to care for & appreciate them. Some examples are:
- Proverbs 12:10 “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (KJV)
- Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 “I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. 19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. 20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” (KJV)
- Job 35:11 “Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?” (KJV)
- Psalm 145:9 “The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” (KJV)
These are only a few examples. There is much more in the Bible on the topic of animals. I found enough for me to write a book on this topic several years ago.
It hurts my heart that so many devoted Christians openly hate animals, hunt only for sport or even think humans are so much better than animals. Ecclesiastes 3:19 clearly shows people are not better than animals. Read that verse again: “19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.” (KJV) (emphasis added)
How can anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian truly feel this way about animals after reading that Scripture?? Yet, many people do every day & harshly criticize those of us who feel differently.
It’s simply wrong. Obviously, God loves animals. After all, He created them. Hating them is no different than hating other people. Personally, I’m not fond of bossy people, but that doesn’t mean I hate them or wish them harm. If I did, I would be criticized for it. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” people might say. However, if I hated animals, hunted them only for sport, called them “just dumb animals”, etc. most Christians wouldn’t bat an eye. Do you see how wrong this is?
If you are one of these people, I urge you to reconsider your position. I’m not saying you need to become a vet or stop eating all meat. Instead I’m suggesting you give animals a chance. They are intelligent, caring, empathetic companions. Get to know some animals, maybe friends’ or relatives’ pets. I have 10 cats, 1 dog & 1 finch, all of whom make my life better each day. This morning, for example, I sat on my bed. I’m having a very bad day, & I just needed a few minutes to refocus. My cat Zippy joined me, showing me a great deal of love while purring loudly. He often is the first one to show he cares if I am upset, sick or even having a flashback. In fact, after becoming very sick in February, he has become my shadow. Once I got home from the hospital, he didn’t leave my side for a good 2 days. Since, he stays close to me at all times, watching me closely.
Animals can teach you so much, too. I learned how to be a good pet parent from my first cat, Magic who was a naturally loving father. Vincent, my granddad’s cat, taught me not to take the little things for granted, but to appreciate them instead. Jasmine, my snowshoe siamese, had 4 strokes in her final 2 years of life, & watching her fight to regain her faculties after each one was an inspiration.
God has blessed humanity with a wonderful gift in animals. I would like to encourage you today not to take that gift for granted. Instead, appreciate it & have fun with it! Animals truly are a gift from God in many ways.
As many of you know, I absolutely love animals. I’m currently the very proud mama to 9 cats, 1 dog & 1 finch. If I can brag a bit, they are all very well behaved (not perfect, but pretty impressive anyway!), happy, affectionate, gentle, sweet & very caring. I think they’re pretty awesome, & am happy to say that people who meet them seem to share my opinion.
Except for my narcissistic mother & mother in-law.
Before my mother in-law met them (& she met them only one time), she told me I had too many cats & needed to get rid of them. She also told my sister in-law the same thing. The one time she met all of the cats I had at the time, she looked at them with such disdain. In fact, when she entered the room, they all gathered close around me very protectively. Magic, the head of our family at the time, sat on my lap, swishing his tail angrily & looking at her with the evil kitty eye until she left us alone. Magic met her one more time, in her home, & promptly pooped on her carpet. Needless to say, Magic was my favorite cat I’ve ever had..lol
As for my mother, the cats don’t like her & with good reason. She insults them. This one is too skinny is she sick, the other one is so rude & too pushy with wanting affection, the cat she used to have weighed 13 pounds & that one over there is obviously way more than 13 so he is way too fat & needs to go on a diet! Although many people think animals don’t understand words, only the tone of voice, mine are proof that is not true. Each time she has insulted them, they give her this look like they’re thinking “Well screw you then, Lady..” & walk off, refusing to give her more attention. It got so bad, I told her repeatedly that if she can’t be civil to my pets, she is no longer welcome in my home. As a result, she didn’t set foot inside my home for over 3 years. I guess insulting my pets is really important to her.
Do these scenarios remind you of your narcissistic mother?
If they do, I want to urge you today to pay close attention to how she is with your furbabies & protect them! The same hurt you feel when she insults you, they feel when she insults them. It’s not fair, especially since they can’t fight back like people can. They are completely innocent victims, & deserve your protection. As the pet parent, it is your job to protect them from any & all dangers, & that includes your narcissistic mother.
Doing this isn’t easy at first, I know. My mother completely ignored me time & time again when I told her to knock it off- don’t talk to them that way. I figured out why though- I was livid with her & didn’t mind showing it. She fed off the fact she upset me, just like any narcissist does. Me being upset only made her mistreat my animals more & more.
The secret to dealing with a narcissist is to stay calm- don’t let them see you’re upset! Remain calm & collected in their presence. (Once they are gone, rant & rage all you want though!) Calmly state to her that you won’t tolerate whatever it is she is doing to your pet. Never admit that it upsets you, however! Just calmly state that you don’t let people talk to your pet that way or you don’t allow your pet to eat that type of food or whatever the situation is. Offer no explanations at all- it is simply something you don’t tolerate. If she continues, remind her of what you said. If she still continues, walk over to her, pull your pet away from her & keep him or her at your side until your mother leaves. If she tries to call your pet to her, tell her no- the pet stays with you. She may at some point say something about you being oversensitive, she was just teasing, she just thought your pet would like that treat, etc. Ignore the innocent act & stick to your guns. Let her know that certain things are not tolerated & if she insists on treating your pet the way she thinks he/she should be treated instead of how you know is best, then she won’t be welcome in your home any longer.
I know this may be hard at first, but do it anyway! Your narcissistic mother is trying to hurt you by using your pet. If she can’t hurt you directly anymore either by beating you or by insulting you (eventually we all develop a pretty thick skin to her insults & become like an insult Navy seal..), she’ll look for new ways to hurt you which is where your pets come into play. Don’t let her get away with hurting you or your pet! It’s not fair to either one of you! Protect your furbaby just as much as you would protect a human baby- they are equally innocent & undeserving of abuse!
Good afternoon, Dear Readers!
Although I usually write about narcissism & its traumatic effect on others, today I want to take a break from that topic. Since many of my fans love animals as much as me, I’m sure you won’t object.
Last night, I watched the show, “My Cat From Hell.”. It’s a great show! The cat behaviorist on there, Jackson Galaxy, is very wise & helps many cats. Sadly, sometimes the cat parents or vets he deals with aren’t so wise…
I became livid last night while watching this show, because although the cat parents tried, their vets failed them miserably!
A couple had a 14 year old cat who would fling himself around in his sleep! They were afraid, & rightly so that he could hurt himself! Their vets said he was fine. Yet, a feline sleep specialist immediately realized kitty had a stroke, & his brain was damaged in the area that affected his sleep. At this point, kitty was shown walking away, & I recognized that wobbly walk as my own kitty Jasmine had the same walk after her first stroke!
How did vets not recognize that distinctive walk?? How didn’t they recognize his eyes acting oddly either? It broke my heart!
For some reason many vets don’t recognize or properly treat strokes in cats!
My Jasmine had 4 strokes before she passed away. After her first, the vet told me to ” just put her down. It was the only humane thing to do.”. I knew he was wrong in spite of his fervor, so I walked away from him. My girl lived 2 more happy years with only a sway to her back legs a clue to her strokes.
Thank God for His wisdom! He showed me how to treat Jas at home, & introduced me to a good friend who is an amazing vet technician.
Feline strokes are often similar to human strokes. Symptoms can include:
Lethargy. Loss of interest in things once enjoyed, like special toys or foods.
Eye issues. Jasmine’s eyes darted side to side. Some cats also experience uneven pupil dilation.
Facial paralysis on one side.
Inability to move.
If your cat experiences these symptoms, get her to the vet immediately! If you feel her diagnosis is wrong, listen to your gut feeling!! I did & am forever grateful I had 2 more wonderful years with my Jasmine!!
As far as treatment, many cats recover completely a few weeks from a stroke with no known cause. Others may have kidney disease, hypertension, hyperthyroidism or another cause for the stroke. Those cats need medication to properly treat those serious illnesses.
No vet told me this but after Jasmine’s second stoke, I put her on one 81mg baby asprin twice a week (more can be toxic to cats) & massaged her often to keep blood flowing. I believe God showed me she needed this the day of her second stroke. She had trouble walking & her left rear leg was cold until I did these things. She recovered quickly from that stroke.
Feline strokes are terrifying of course, but often they can be managed. Keep a close watch on your kitty if he has a stroke. Exercise wisdom. Talk to several vets if need be. Try not to panic, as hard as it can be! Pray & pray often! Remember that your baby needs you to care for him, & God entrusted you with his care.
I’m sorry for vanishing.. it’s been a very painful few days for me, & I haven’t been up to writing in here or in the new book. On Wednesday, my mother’s birthday, we suddenly lost one of our beloved kitties, Georgie. I’m honestly not sure what happened. I am guessing his heart. He passed away quietly in his sleep. Here’s a picture of my sweet little guy..
Since his death, all of us are grieving a great deal, but perhaps no one more than his brother, Pretty Boy. They were extremely close. Since there is no way to eliminate grief, all I know to do is comfort the little guy as much as I can. I came up with an idea that I think is offering him some comfort. I made him a new collar, & put a tiny vial with some of his brother’s cremated ashes in it on the collar. He showed his appreciation immediately by offering me lots of purrs & snuggles. One thing I have learned about animals is they do truly appreciate when we make them a gift. I think it’s sweet. 🙂 If you think of it, please pray for our little family. Every one of us is hurting tremendously right now from our loss. Thank you. I’m hoping to get back to blogging & working on the new book within a few days. As if grieving isn’t hard enough, it’s even ore difficult with C-PTSD. It’s making the usual depression, anxiety & muddied thinking even worse than usual. Thank you for your patience & understanding! xoxo
Good morning, Dear Readers!
December is a rather challenging month for me. I have lost 5 kitties during the month of December since 2001, & my kitty Jasmine had a stroke on Christmas day, 2009. Naturally, they’ve been on my mind a lot lately. Not only missing them, but thinking about the good times, & the things they taught me. I’d like to share some valuable lessons they taught me before their passing.
December 11, 2001- I lost Bubba to feline AIDS & emphysema.
Bubba was a very laid back, gentle soul. We met when he was only about 4 weeks old. From that moment we met, he purred loudly every time he saw me. Needless to say, he had my heart immediately.. 🙂
During Bubba’s short 9 years of life, he taught me the value of being patient & understanding with others. Even when he was sick during his last few months of life, he showed patience with me giving him his medicine (which he hated!), & with his best buddy, Squeaky, who still wanted to be by his side every moment. He understood we loved him deeply, & wanted to do what we believed was in his best interest. His sweetness was very inspiring to try to understand why people do what they do, even when it isn’t what I would like. It helps me not to be angry or frustrated, but instead appreciate that they are trying.
December 13, 2003- I lost Bob to cancer.
Ahh, Bob.. named after Bob Dylan the singer, due to his odd meows. He was truly a character- loved to play fetch with tiny jingle bells, would put his paw on your mouth if you blew on him, & was always a chatterbox. Such a sweet, fun boy!
Bob taught me to fully enjoy comfort. Granted, most cats love to be comfortable, but Bob seemed to take comfort to a new level. Once comfy, you could NOT get that boy to move! It made sense to me, so I’ve learned to appreciate comfort more. A comfy pair of jammmies, my cozy, warm bed on a cold winter’s night, an afghan made from especially soft yarn- these little things are heaven to me! They help me feel good & relax.
December 16, 2009- I lost Doofus to causes unknown.
Doofus was such a fun kitty. A very big, loving, gentle, laid back tuxedo kitty. He rolled with the punches, never getting upset. He helped me to realize that in life, one thing never changes- change happens! Might as well accept it & go with the flow. I have trouble doing that sometimes, but I try to remember, if Doofus could handle going from the king of the cats in our old neighborhood to a content housecat once we moved into our house, I can handle less drastic changes.
December 21, 2010- I lost Vincent to causes unknown.
Vincent was a very special member of the Bailey family. He was my Granddad’s best friend until he passed in 2003. Vincent even shared his personality. Strong, stubborn, loving, loyal, intelligent & dignified.
I was blessed to have Vincent his last 2 years of life, & in that short time, he stole my heart. He obviously missed Granddad, but in spite of it, he was happy living with me. In the fall before he passed away, I took him outside one brisk day. Since he had been an outdoor/indoor cat with Granddad, I tried to indulge him in outdoor time periodically. (It was too dangerous to allow him to roam unsupervised around my yard, what with the wildlife & living on a major highway.) This one day, Vincent taught me about how to appreciate the little things. He stood perfectly still, allowing the cool autumn breeze to caress his face gently. Once it died down, he grabbed my hand & covered it in kisses. That moment inspired me to write my book, “Lessons From The Heart: What Animals Have Taught Me About Life & Love.”
December 22. 2006- I lost Delta to unknown causes.
Delta was a very special little girl- she was born with only 3 legs. Her left rear leg stopped just below the knee. Upon adopting her, I noticed she did her best to hide that leg, always wrapping her long, fluffy tail around it when she sat, so as to cover up the “stump.” It didn’t take her long to notice that no one in the house thought of her as different. She was just one of the family. She began to make her feelings known with said stump after a while- sitting & tapping it when irritated, or standing then tapping it when she wanted her favorite treat (whipped cream in a can). She taught me that something others see as a handicap doesn’t need to be. It can be used in a positive way.
Last but certainly not least, Jasmine’s story…
Christmas morning, 2009, my husband woke up before I did. He found Jasmine unresponsive, but alive. Being Christmas day, no vets were open, so we had to wait until the following day to take her in. The vet said further testing would reveal for sure, but he believed she had cancer or pancreatic issues. He said she would live 1-2 days, tops, & it would be best “just to put her down.” I don’t believe in euthanasia, however, if I knew that Jasmine would have wanted that, I would have done it for her. However, the look she gave me when the vet said this was one of sheer terror. She obviously did not want that, & besides, my gut feeling said don’t do it!. I told the vet no, I’ll take her home. The vet scolded me, telling me I was doing the wrong thing, putting her down was the only humane thing to do, etc. I walked out on him. I am so glad I did. Jasmine started to improve once we got her home. During her recovery, I was searching online trying to figure out what was going on, & met a vet tech. She correctly diagnosed Jasmine as having had a stroke. Within about a week, Jasmine was walking again, although with a small swagger to her rear half. Until her death 2 years later, Jasmine had a total of 4 strokes, & after each one (except the final one), she fought so hard to regain her faculties. She barely allowed me to help her recover from her strokes, as she wanted to do it all herself! She was a fighter with a never give up attitude. Jasmine was a true inspiration! She was strong & passionate, until her final breath in August, 2011.
God uses animals to teach us humans, if we are only pay attention! Job 12:7 says, “ But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:” I encourage you today to pay attention to the animals in your life. You’ll be surprised with what you can learn!
Good afternoon, Dear Readers!
I know my blog topics jump around from subject to subject sometimes, & I am sorry for that. I just write things as I feel God places something on my heart. For a while, I’ve been writing mostly about abuse, but today I want to discuss animals.
Lately I have been reading some very disturbing things regarding our animal companions. So many people are getting rid of their pets for stupid reasons. One story I read was of a 22 year old cat, whose owner had her for her entire life, & surrendered her to a shelter because she said she was having “personal problems.” It breaks my heart so many people act like animals are disposable. You can’t get rid of a child because of “personal problems”- why is it acceptable to do this with a cat or dog? I have cared for my pets during terrible times in my life- through sickness, nervous breakdowns, divorce, losing loved ones & more. Now that I have Complex PTSD, I still take care of them, including my cat with diabetes who requires constant testing, monitoring & insulin shots. I’m not saying this to brag- only saying it because as a pet parent, we have to take proper care of our furbabies, no matter what! If for some reason we are unable, then we need to find someone who can help us until we can resume our duties once more.
I also don’t understand why it’s acceptable to put an animal down when they are an inconvenience or sickly. I never have. The Bible says “Thou shalt not kill.” (Exodus 20:13) It doesn’t say it is acceptable if an animal is sickly or an inconvenience to his owners. I know people argue for euthanasia & some have even called me inhumane because I am not for it. However, since an animal cannot verbalize if they wish to die for whatever reason, I don’t think it is right for a human to play God, & decide when & how the animal should die. I have not once put down any of my pets when they became sick. Instead, I ask God to take them before they suffer much. It has worked out well. Not one of mine has suffered for long after they became sick.
I read something especially disturbing the other day.. Bestiality is on the rise, & becoming more socially acceptable. There are even animal brothels in some countries! Animals are being tortured to death for the sexual gratification of some perverse, sick individuals. Exodus 22:19 clearly states, “Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.” This tells me that God has some very serious, definite opinions on such a thing.
Sadly, I have learned recently too that there are many Christians who believe animals are unworthy of care & love from people. They believe people are so much better than animals. Many are also avid hunters. While I realize the Bible says there is nothing wrong with eating meat (after the great flood- before, people were vegetarians), I don’t understand why so many people don’t care they are taking an animal’s life! There is so little or even no respect or compassion for the animal who is dying to provide them with food! I wonder if these people are reading the same Bible I have read..
God loves animals so much! These things should not be! Proverbs 12:10 says, “A righteous man hath regard for the life of his beast, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” And, Ecclesiastes 3:19 says, “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.” (emphasis added).
I would like to encourage you today to remember these Scriptures well & to tell others about them. Please help others to understand how wonderful our animal companions are! It is our duty as humans.
Good afternoon! I have a very urgent prayer request for you today.. please pray in agreement with me that my friend’s cat, Magick, will come home soon, safe & sound. He was stolen 1 week ago. (Definitely stolen- he isn’t the running away type…he’s a homebody). Also, please pray God will give her wisdom when dealing with insensitive & cruel people. She has come across many in this past week who make snide comments like, “It’s just a cat.” “Get over it.” Maybe Magick is “just a cat” to them, but he is her heart. He is a very special boy, who my friend lovingly named after my cat, Magic, who passed on in 2007. Both are black shorthairs with very distinct personalities- highly intelligent, loving, devoted, caring & amazing fathers to the other animals in the house. Although my Magic died & her Magick was stolen, I still feel her pain of losing such a special creature. It leaves a huge hole in the heart only a Magic can fill! I’m sure you fellow animal lovers will understand this completely..
Thank you for your prayers, Dear Readers!! I’d love to share a picture of Magick, (I always like to have a face to put with names yanno?), but I didn’t ask my friend if she would mind if I shared his picture. So, instead, here is a picture of my Magic with Georgie in 2002. Both Magic & Magick look identical, so now you know what the kitty you’re praying for looks like..
I recently read something that disturbed me. It was written by a Christian, & many other Christians claimed their support. Some even attacked those who disagreed with the original post.
The post was on the topic of animals, saying something like “Humans are humans, but animals are dinner.” Many fellow Christians were in support of this. Another Christian lady said that animals should be treated with love and respect. She was attacked for her beliefs. “They’re just animals.” “They’re here for us to eat!” & other similar comments were made.
This absolutely broke my heart.
God loves animals. He made them the same way He made human beings! (See Genesis 2:7, 19). Ecclesiastes 3:18-20 states that mankind “hath no preeminence over a beast.” Luke 3:6 says that all flesh shall see the salvation of the Lord.
I do not understand how a Christian can see these Scriptures, yet fail to love & respect animals!! I’m not saying we all need to be vegetarians- the Bible does not say that. (“For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.” Romans 14:2-3) I am, however, saying that we should love & treat animals well. Proverbs 12:10 says, “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”
What are your views on animals after reading what the Bible has to say about them?