Sunday Purrs: A Personal Retreat

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Sometimes, no matter how much you love your life, it’s good to get away from it all. And one of the best ways to really get away from everything is a personal retreat. When you work from home the way I do, it’s challenging to unplug completely. There’s always one more email to check, one more comment to moderate, and one more cute photo of Allegra and Ruby to share.

The idea of a personal retreat is to disconnect from the business and distractions of every day life, and to have a chance to regroup on a mental, emotional and spiritual level. Continue Reading

Sunday Purrs: Beat the Winter Doldrums

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I try to embrace each season for its special gifts, but I’m a summer girl at heart. I thrive on warm weather and sun light. Come to think of it, I’m much like a cat in that respect! I don’t like cold weather, and I definitely don’t like snow. As a result, this time of year is challenging for me: the winter doldrums have definitely set in for me. Even though the days are already starting to get longer, spring still seems a long way off. And while I don’t have a true case of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), I still struggle with the lack of light, especially on grey, gloomy days.

People who suffer from SAD may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods during this time. They may also feel Continue Reading

Pretty Litter

Will Ruby Be a Cat Agility Champion?

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If you’ve ever been to a cat show, you’ve probably seen those cat agility circuits: a miniature obstacle course of hurdles and tunnels. Cats are enticed through the parcours by a human waving a sparkly wand or feather, and the cat’s time through the circuit is timed. Some cats complete the circuit in a few seconds, others may lay down in the middle of the course and decide that they’re done.Continue Reading

Sunday Purrs: Cats as a Catalyst for Change

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There is no doubt in my mind that cats have the power to change lives. I’ve experienced it in my own life more than once. Feebee, my first cat, was responsible for me leaving my soulless corporate job and embarking on a career in veterinary medicine. Buckley changed my life in more ways than I ever could have imagined. It took an entire book to tell her story! Amber, of course, inspired this website, and Allegra and Ruby are continuing the tradition of feline change catalysts in my life.

The word “catalyst” refers to a substance or force that accelerates change at a faster rate than is otherwise possible.  Catalysts help others achieve their goals in a more positive way. And how purrfect is it that the word “cat” is at the root of the word “catalyst!”Continue Reading

Sunday Purrs: A Fresh Start

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The beginning is always today. – Mary Shelley

Ah, the New Year. A clean slate, the promise of a fresh start. It’s like the ultimate Monday. Did you have a bad weekend? No worries, it’s a new week. Did you go through some challenging times last year? It’s January. You can start over.

Unfortunately, for many of us, this “fresh start effect” doesn’t last. The trouble with the concept of a fresh start is that it takes us away from living in the moment. It makes us look back over what was, and forward to what we want to be. This is not where life happens. Life happens in the present moment – and that’s where the real promise for lasting change lies.Continue Reading

Sunday Purrs: Why Cats Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

2014 Calendar January

When I asked Allegra and Ruby about their New Year’s Resolutions, they gave me a funny look. Allegra said New Year’s Resolutions are a silly human invention. She said cats live in the moment and don’t worry about what they should be doing next, so they don’t need resolutions. Ruby said she resolves to get more treats this year.

I stopped making New Year’s resolutions several years ago. Since I still like the idea of the “fresh start” a new year offers, I set New Year’s intentions instead. I think New Year’s resolutions are destined to fail, because there’s an inherent flaw in the term “resolution.” According to Merriam Webster, the definition of resolution is “the act of determining.” There’s nothing there that says we’re actually going to do something. This is why I prefer to set New Year’s intentions. The definition of intention is “a determination to act in a certain way.” The difference is subtle, but one (intention) implies that we are actually determined to do something differently, whereas the other (resolution) simply states that we’ve decided to change something.Continue Reading

Nutra-Thrive-Cat

Christmas Eve Reflections 2013

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Christmas Eve has always been a day of reflection for me.

I consider myself a deeply spiritual person, but I don’t feel affiliated with any particular brand of religion. My parents were Catholic, and I grew up in that faith, but during my adult life, I’ve chosen to take what I call a “cafeteria approach” to spirituality, picking and choosing what resonates, and discarding the rest. I celebrate Christmas, because for me, the holiday is ultimately about love, generosity, and giving. But even more than that, for me, it’s a time to slow down.

We live in an incredibly fast-paced world, and it’s rare that a large number of people take the time to slow down at the same time. Continue Reading

Ruby’s Letter to Santa

Ruby letter to Santa

Allegra and Ruby both wrote their letters to Santa last week. Allegra has asked that hers be kept between her and Santa, but Ruby gave me permission to share hers.

Dear Santa,

it’s Ruby! I’ve been a very good girl this year. I haven’t broken anything in a long time. I only rarely aggravate my sister. I make sure to keep an eye on the birds on our deck. I keep Mom company when she works. I always clean my plate. And I’m just so darn cute (Mom says so all the time!).Continue Reading

Nutra-Thrive-Cat

Sunday Purrs: Making Holiday Memories

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For many of us, the magic of the holiday season comes from memories we have of childhood Christmases, and we often hang on to traditions in an effort to recreate those special moments from our past. Setting aside time for family, friends, and of course, our cats, during this busy season helps us add to the reservoir of meaningful holiday memories.

Psychological research seems to suggest that cherished memories from the past promote mental health and well-being. It appears that the more nostalgic people were about their past, the more they perceived their lives as meaningful. Interestingly, researchers also found that when they induced nostalgia in people who felt that their lives had no meaning, it improved their psychological well-being and reduced stress. (Source: Psychology Today.)Continue Reading