In Memoriam: Sakhara

Photo of Sakhara.

Sakhara came to me from the Humane Society on October 5, 1999, shortly before Violet returned from spirit.  She had birthed a litter of kittens there, and then nursed many others who had lost their mothers.

When I brought her home, she was very thin, having given her all to so many kittens.  I’d never have guessed the true color of her fur because only the undercoat, a pale cameo color, was there.

The Humane Society estimated her age at 1 and a half years, but one of my veterinarians thought she was at least a year older than that.

The first night we were together, I had an allergic reaction and reluctantly had to lock Sakhara out of my bedroom.

Although I was able to resolve my allergies completely the very next day with hypnotherpy and NLP, that first night seemed to set the tone of our relationship.  Circumstances chronically seemed to interfere with us creating the close bond we both wanted.

Sakhara was a very dominant cat, but her style was sweet, compassionate, and gentle. She never fought with anyone.  She might hiss and raise a paw, but you knew from her energy and her eyes that you’d better back up fast.

Sakhara was a powerful teacher of patience and kindness.  Even as a small kitten, Violet would tell Animal Communication students that she (Violet) was “top cat” in our family, but Sakhara would tell them, “I’m really top cat, but I let Violet think that she is.”  How true!

Sakhara in cuddle cup.

The most reticent cat I’ve even known.

The most reticent cat I’ve ever known, I found it difficult to have conversations with Sakhara.   She would refuse to answer my questions.  She kept her feelings about most things to herself, and when she was younger, I was not as tuned into her subtle ways.

Fortunately, she was more generous with my TWA (Telepathy with Animals) students, who highly valued her teachings.

Being ground was one of Sakhara’s most important services to me and my home.  In a TWA  course, she once showed someone an image of me floating high above her like a Macy’s Parade balloon, tethered to her for grounding.Snoopy balloon

For most of her life, Sakhara had various digestive problems.  She eventually had to have dental surgery.  Her teeth were so fragile that the surgery took 3 hours because her teeth kept breaking and had to be removed piece by piece.

When I finally got her home from surgery that night, Violet didn’t recognize Sakhara because her scent was radically changed from all the anesthesia and drugs.  Violet told me over and over,

“You brought home the wrong cat.  Go back and get my friend.”  Thwack!  Violet would cuff me.

This went on for at least 5 days, which was hard on all of us.  Finally, Sakhara “smelled” right to Violet, and I was forgiven.

About 4 years ago, Sakhara was found to be hyperthyroid and had to be on medication for the rest of her life to control it.  Although she was never diagnosed with kidney issues, I treated her as though her kidneys were failing because she drank large amounts of water for a cat on a raw food diet.

Melissa

Melissa

Melissa, our newest addition, had trouble integrating with Sakhara.  Melissa wanted to be “top cat” and Sakhara, even tho’ in ill health, refused to pass the torch to Melissa.

Melissa became more and more aggressive towards Sakhara, who began withdrawing and spending most of her time in her cat cave with Violet.

Nothing I did worked to resolve things, especially as Sakhara seemed to lack the energy to stand up for herself with Melissa.

The times Sakhara did hiss and raise a paw at Melissa, the younger cat would back off.  But Sakhara didn’t have the energy to keep doing that.  She soon became head shy whenever Melissa approached her, and Melissa, being very fast, resorted to sneak attacks when I tried to interfere.

Moving towards departure.

About 6 weeks prior to her leaving, I set up a place for Sakhara in the huge dog crate in another room so she could have some peace.  It had become impossible for her to eat or use the litter box without having to get past Melissa when she was in the main part of the house, and Sakhara no longer wanted to be there.

Sakhara readily settled into her new private space.  She was depressed and kept saying she wanted to leave her body.  Some days she ate more; other days less.

It was challenging to sort out what was going on.

Was she depressed because she was in the room alone?

Was she depressed because of how things were with Melissa?

Was the depression because she didn’t feel well physically?

If I found ways to help her feel better, would she then want to stay?

Sakhara got chiropractic and acupuncture and other alternative remedies, but nothing seemed to turn the tide.  Meanwhile, her bowel function had also deteriorated and was making her quite miserable.

Sakhara and Violet, July 2017

Sakhara and Violet, July 2015 – Buddies for Life

The day after Sakhara moved into her space, I carried Violet in to see her.  They had never been parted, and I knew Violet was upset.

Understatement!

Violet took one look at the situation and began screaming with rage at what was happening.

With Violet still in my arms, still yelling loudly, I withdrew.

It took Violet another two days to accept that Sakhara wanted to be in there and was getting read to leave.

Finally, on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, both Dr. Amy Matthews, D.V.M. of Frontier Wellness in East Granby, CT,  and I reached agreement.  Sakhara wanted and needed to leave, and needed help to accomplish it.  We made an appointment for the evening of July 13, 2017 for Amy to come to my home for euthanasia.

I immediately told Violet, Starlight, and Melissa what had been decided.

Their reactions?

Melissa was happy.

Starlight was sad.

Violet was resigned.

And then I said to Violet,

“Violet, you aren’t doing very well either.  You know that your body, too, is failing.  Please consider that you can leave the same night as Sakhara.  Otherwise, you may have to wait until next week, and that might be very difficult and uncomfortable for you physically.  Or we may have to go to an emergency veterinarian center, and I don’t want you to have to go through that.”

Violet just looked at me, and didn’t respond.

Sakhara left her body on Thursday, June 13, 2017 between 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. with the assistance of our veterinarian friend, Amy Matthews.  Amy came to my home so that the entire process could be gentle, peaceful, and sacred.

Starlight in cat tree with toy.

Starlight

Starlight says this about Sakhara:

I love Sakhara.  She was an inspiration to me.  Although she didn’t want to play much by the time I came, she would always make an effort while I was a kitten to play just a little.  She was gentle and kind as I was learning how to be a cat.

Now, I miss her very much.  I hope she comes to speak with me soon because I want her to know how much I still care about her and how much I miss her.

Sakhara was truly a beautiful cat, and also a beautiful being.  We have all been blessed by her presence.  Despite all the challenges, or maybe because of all the lessons she taught me, my love and appreciation for her continues to grow.

PHOTO SERIES:  Sakhara at Play 

Sakhara at Play

Love Without Judgment.

March 30, 2015 by  
Filed under 1-Export, Animal Wisdom, New Posts

Lessons from Master Teacher Sakhara

May the Purr Be with You.May the Purr Be with You.

Over the last few days, Sakhara has been showing me a few things and allowing me to feel them and think about them on my own.  Here’s what I’ve been learning about.

RUN LIKE A CAT.

In one lesson, she suggested I run like a cat.  Since I didn’t have a cat body, my thoughts became a barrier.

“Just do it!” Sakhara chided me.

So I imagined getting down on all fours and trying to run.  Soon I was running like a cat, with a tail streaming out behind me.  It was a surprising experience.  Cats run with such ease, and once I got my mind out of the way, so did I.

What does this mean about all the times in my life when I’ve held myself back because I refused to just jump in and do something new?

THE DIVINE ESSENCE.

Sakhara took me to the top of a hill and we looked out across a valley towards another hillside.  It was dusk and as the dark was coming in, I could see lights below me.  At first I thought these were electric lights or lanterns or even candles.  Sakhara shook her head.

“This is what cats see, ” she said.  “We see the light essence of all beings.”

I keep looking, and then realized that some of the lights were humans, some were animals, and some were trees and bushes.  All the lights appeared to be golden, some brighter and some fainter.

“This is not the aura?” I asked.

“No.  It’s the essence.  It’s the divine spark within all things,” my teacher continued.  She told me to contemplate this, and I have been doing that.

What would it be like to see someone’s Divine Essence with our physical or psychic eyes whenever we meet another person?  What would this tell us about them?

Which is maybe why I got the following lesson today.

LOVE WITHOUT JUDGMENT.

Sakhara showed me a mother cat nursing her new born kittens.  First, she asked me to observe.  As the momma licked her young and cleaned them thoroughly with her tongue, Sakhara said, “Love Without Judgment.”

“How is that different from Love Without Conditions?” I asked.

“Always so full of questions,” my teacher exclaimed with a shake of her head and a swish of her tail, as if asking questions were a crime.

“A mother cat will kill a baby that is deformed, unhealthy, or in danger.  She make no judgment.  She does this act lovingly to prevent harm to them, to prevent them from suffering.  This is Love Without Judgment.”

I still didn’t understand.  “Humans don’t believe in doing this,” I responded.  “Humans born with physical deformities and other limitations that are not a completely healthy body and mind are allowed to live.  We love and nurture and take care of them.  And some of them turn out to be geniuses and artists, and make amazing contributions to human society.”

“Yes,” agreed Sakhara.  “But I’m not teaching you about humans.  I’m teaching you about Cats.   This is not instinct.  It is deliberate, conscious choice in the cat.  This is how the mother protects her young.  She has no doubts whatsoever that the kitten’s spirit will not be harmed by her choice.  Humans spend too much time thinking and too little time loving and knowing the truth of things.”

It’s not wise, I have found, to argue with a teacher when the point of view they are sharing doesn’t match my own.  Clearly cats believe that what they are doing is correct.  Sakhara was asking me to move out of judgment – to not assume that what is appropriate for one species is appropriate for another – to accept that the ways of life are infinite and perfect.  A very challenging lesson.

The Higher View.

March 25, 2015 by  
Filed under 1-Export, Animal Wisdom, New Posts

Lessons from Master Teacher Sakhara.

May the Purr Be with You.May the Purr Be with You.

Sakhara informs me that the reason cat’s like to be up in trees, on top of refrigerators and bookshelves, and generally as far “up” as they can get is not just a matter of height = power.

Sakhara:

It’s a human thing to assume that since we’re higher we can hunt better.  And this is true, but does not go nearly far enough.

The real reason we prefer to be on top of things is because we seek the spiritual view that we gain from raising ourselves above the mundane experiences of daily life.

By climbing as high as we can, we learn to shift ourselves out of the limiting vision of being on the ground.  We experience many different perspectives, on the way up … while on top … and on the way down. 

Cats, as a group, have higher vision.  We’re very spiritual beings.  Those who know us well know that most of us meditate daily and leave our bodies to travel in other realms.

Perhaps, if you master patience a bit, I’ll take you on a journey to a higher plane so you’ll have an experience of what I mean.

Sakhara believes that the higher perspective will always give you solutions to problems.  It gives you different way of understanding what’s going on in your life.  It offers new ways to think and feel about something that you might not notice if you’re on the ground.

Sakhara suggests:

Take a walk and climb a hill.

Better yet, climb a tree.

Look out over the valley of your life and your situation. 

What do you notice that you didn’t notice before?

What options open for you as your vision expands?

This approach makes any situation look smaller and more manageable. 

You can even meditate while you’re up there.

Give it a try!

cat sleeping on branch2Do you think this cat is asleep?

Sakhara insists this cat is in deep meditation.

Who am I to argue with the Master Teacher?

Why not ask your cats about Sakhara’s teaching.  They may have something to add, and you can share their messages in the comments section.

Patience.

March 24, 2015 by  
Filed under 1-Export, Animal Wisdom, New Posts

Lessons from Master Teacher Sakhara.

May the Purr Be with You.May the Purr Be with You.

“It’s time for you and me to have a few lessons,” Sakhara announced.  “I’ve been waiting patiently for many years to teach you.  Any other Master would have kicked you out by now.”

I was startled by this announcement, but I do understand about the relationship between the student and the Master, so I continued to listen without protest.

Sakhara continued, “It’s time for you to learn patience.”

Patience is a Cat hunting.  The Cat is still, quiet, immobile.  The Cat is so grounded that even the Earth doesn’t feel the Cat’s presence.

The Cat is so quiet that its whiskers don’t dare move in a breeze.  Its ears don’t twitch if an insect lands there.  Its tail must be perfectly still.  [Sakhara admitted that this was still a challenge for her, as she’s a “tail talker.”]

The Cat’s mind is so quiet that the mouse can’t hear her thinking.  The bird can’t smell or see her.  The chipmunk thinks the cat is a statue.

The Cat is so still that even her heartbeat is slowed.  Her breathing is peaceful.  Her eyes don’t blink.

This is Patience in a Cat.  When you learn Cat Patience, you’ll find yourself still and quiet, both outside and inside.  You come into harmony within and without.

Sakhara, lying next to me on the sofa with her back against my thigh, was totally still.  I listened to her message and found myself sinking into deep peace inside myself, with only my mantra playing in the background.  It had been a stressful morning as I worked on my taxes, but Sakhara knew how to quiet me completely.

Sakhara and I sat there for more than 30 minutes, just being present in the moment.  We shared a deeply relaxing space.  I am grateful for my teacher and her wisdom.

cat huntingSakhara: “Perfect Patience.”

When did you last ask one of your animal teachers to share their wisdom?  If you haven’t done this lately, perhaps now is a good time to open your heart and imbibe.

Sakhara has promised me more lessons and has agreed that I can share them with others.

Thank you, Sakhara.

Topsy-Turvey – A Reincarnation Adventure

November 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Animal Communication, New Posts

The Best Laid Plans Get Rearranged –

CONTINUOUSLY!

Starlight and Violet cuddling – before October ended.

Still in her first week in her new home, Starlight and Violet were already getting acquainted.  Starlight was still spending most of her time alone in a room upstairs that I had carefully set up for her safety and comfort.

But it’s autumn in New England, and the weather suddenly changed and the temperatures dropped.  That very Friday morning I brought Starlight some breakfast and discovered that she was coughing a bit and that her room was too cold for such a young kitten, especially one who now seemed to have a bit of a cold.  Having experienced so many changes, I wasn’t surprised that her immune system was feeling a bit challenged.

I have an indoor thermometer because my furnace is very old and the thermostat is not precise.  I brought the thermometer upstairs and put it on the floor.  It dropped to 60 degrees.  Even with carpeting, this was too cold for Starlight.

“Family conference time,” I decided and announced to my adult feline companions.

So I sat down with Violet and Sakhara in the “cat room” downstairs.  “Starlight is sick,” I announced, “and it’s too cold upstairs for her to stay there. We have to move her and this is the only room I can think of where she can be downstairs and confined.  Unless you want her in my office?”

Two definite “no” responses to that idea.

“Are you two ready for full-time interaction with her?”

There were two definite “no” responses to this as well.

“Well,” I continued, “please give me some options of what to do.  I want your input because you two are in charge of her integration, as we previously agreed.”

We discussed the situation thoroughly.  Sakhara, who had had her own kittens before coming to live with me and Violet, was firm in her belief that a sick kitten needed to be warm.  She didn’t think that Starlight was very sick, but she did understand and told Violet that warmth was necessary.

Violet’s Meditation Cave in the cat mediation room.

Violet was reluctant to give up her meditation cave, in which she was ensconced as we three talked.  Neither of my adult feline friends were really ready for this shift to happen, but both finally agreed to make the change.

The meditation cave in the feline room backs up to a radiator for additional warmth in winter.  This got moved into the living room, which had to be rearranged to make space for it.  Violet ultimately approved the location.  (Sigh of relief from Nedda).

Violet Meditating (She gave permission for this photo.)

Then the cat meditation room had to be kitten-proofed.  Since this room also serves as my sewing room and pantry, I had to make sure that Starlight would not get into trouble once I brought her downstairs.

Finally, Starlight and all her things – bed, litter box, scratching post, toys, food, water – moved into the new room.  One more big change for a kitten who had already been through so many changes.  This room is smaller and not as interesting for a kitten – no bed to climb on – less room to play.  But safety and health had to come first.

Once that was done, I stopped for breakfast.  It was late in the morning.  Good thing I get up by 5 a.m. to get my day started.  I was very tired at that point, but felt we had made a good decision.

The next challenge was figuring out how Violet and Starlight were going to interact. Upstairs they had had two rooms and a hallway in whcih to get acquainted.  Space is a necessary factor here.  Violet insisted that we had to continue those interactions that very day.

The downstairs arrangement was not easily condusive to kitten training.  The cat room is right next to the bathroom where the litter boxes are for Violet and Sakhara. That could not be cordoned off.  Then right next door is my office, which would provide additional space for Violet and Starlight to get acquainted.

The only way to block off the rest of the downstairs, so Sakhara didn’t have to participate, was with the metal pen I had purchased for the eventual Starlight feeding station.   This proved to be totally inadquate.

Starlight has large paws and long legs.  She’s like a Thoroughbred race horse – FAST!!!  She also has amazing balance – she can walk along the top of the metal barrier like a tight-rope expert in the circus.  She has no fear, so will climb anything and jump anywhere and push through barriers.  This is part of her gift to humanity – total love and no fear!!

So this “barrier” was just a jungle gym for Starlight, and not a barrier at all.  After a day or so I just gave up trying to confine Starlight to a limited portion of the downstairs.  There is a door on the cat room, and Starlight would be confined for the night and for short periods of time during the day to give Violet and Sakhara (and me) a break from her energy and enthusiasm.  I also wanted Violet to tell me when SHE was ready to share her bed (the bed I share with her at night) with Starlight.

I left it up to my adult feline family members to make important decisions that affected all of our lives.  I felt strongly that this would create a successful and fairly rapid integration.  This turned out to be a wise decision on my part.

One of Sakhara’s favorite spots in the feline meditation room.

So at the end of about a week, Starlight had the run of the house during the day.  Sakhara was hanging out upstairs during the day.  She would growl and hiss and disappear, and this was something new I would have to address with Sakhara.  (More about this later.)

I was having to supervise meals carefully, as Starlight wanted what her big “sisters” were eating and her diet was not the same as theirs yet.   My gals eat raw food, and Starlight had been weaned onto canned food.  Yet another change that I wanted to make, but slowly so as not to cause Starlight any digestive upset.

At night, I began a ritual of putting Starlight to bed.  She didn’t want to be alone, and I didn’t really want her to be alone, but Violet and Sakhara HAD to be the ones who decided when Starlight would no longer be confined.  I would get her all settled down with some additional food, massage her with her brush, and put her into her bed.  I had to be very fast to get from her bed (next to the radiator) out the door without squishing the kitten, who, like lightening, would try to make an “escape.” In fact, she often DID get out, and then I had to go through the ritual yet again.

Keeping up with all this was exhausting, as you might imagine.

Violet was tired, too.  She wasn’t as fit at age 13 as she had been, although her “games” with Starlight were fitting her up once again.  I also had to make sure Sakhara got lots of attention from me, too.

Each evening, all 3 of us would collapse after Starlight went into her room “to bed.”

Each morning, we’d all start again to integrate Starlight.