Guest Post by MeLinda Hughes of Merlin’s Hope Ragdoll Rescue
Finally, I went to The Conscious Cat website today and found how awesome it was. Run by Ingrid King, this is a great website with a wealth of information about cats, especially holistic approaches for dealing with cats; this review is not of that website, but about a wonderful book I found on the website: Purrs of Wisdom, Conscious Living, Feline Style by Ingrid King. Since I was playing hooky from work, I decided to order the book on my Kindle. The ebook is available on Amazon for $2.99, and it is well worth the price. This is a gem of a book filled with witty, rational, practical pieces of advice from how to sleep better to decluttering your space and your life from learning to age gracefully to becoming happy.
Each short article and this is a short, easy-to-read book that can be read in a couple of hours, begins with a relevant quote (usually a well-known one from such life gurus as the Dalai Lama, Rene Descartes, Lao Tzu). Each quote is following by a discussion of the author’s impression of the topic, practical advice on how to deal with the topic, and an admonition to look to your cat for advice. Sounds a bit strange, but it works! I am horrible about buying self-help books in January and then reselling them to a used bookstore, unread, in a couple of months. None of those books helped me link my problems (negativity, lack of balance, dislike of change) to my cats or encouraged me to learn how to overcome them by watching my cats. The best chapter, in my opinion, is “Healthy Cats, Healthy Human.” King goes into detail about how she researches the best diet for her cats (grain-free canned and then raw) and how that led to better choices in her own diet. She talks about how her cats, Allegra and Ruby, transformed on the raw diet to healthy gorgeous cats and how with her own diet she has more energy and is healthier.
Chapters include ideas on how to sleep like your cats (who lead much healthier lives because they receive sufficient sleep), how to meditate with your cats, how to surrender your desire to control every aspect of your life, how to age gracefully with your cats, how to learn to live based on love rather than fear by watching your cats and how they make their decisions based on what they want to do rather than what they fear. There are many more chapters and even more magnificent jewels of information in the book. I often listen to my cats purr to send me to sleep; King discusses the actual scientific reasons that purring helps both our cats and us to relax and even recover from illness.
One of the best quotes in the book is: “Cats are masters not just at purring, but also at quiet contemplation. We’d be wise to take our cue from them.” What better advice than cut back on internet time, tv watching, organizing your day a bit better so you can spend more time with your cats? Everyone wins: your cats have more time with you and you have to opportunity to decompress with you cats and work on creating an even tighter bond. King recommends a 15-20 minute play at least twice a day to promote better health and well-being not just for your cats but for you as well.
I love her concerns that we as a society are becoming too caught up in electronics and the great draining hole we can find ourselves in by constantly checking our e-mail, talking on the phones for hours, and being so tied up with social media like Facebook and Twitter that we forget to leave time for ourselves and our cats. Just as King says Ruby and Allegra are good about reminding her that it is time to leave the computer by walking across the keyboard so do mine. My Ragdoll Shaman is the master manipulator who lays directly under my neck so I cannot even move my head to see the screen on my lap-top.
When you are faced with negativity in the workplace, on television, on the internet, she advises you to walk away and “PET YOUR CAT!” (emphasis added). She continues with a well-known statistic that “research has shown that petting a dog or cat will lower blood pressure, and it will calm your mind as well.” Each day, when I arrive home, I run a gauntlet of greetings from my cats. I ask them about their day, how many naps they took, if they found the treats I scattered for them for their daily scavenger hunt, if they missed me. Silly, but it helps me slough off the worries and negative energy I bring home from school (I am a college teacher, and no, it is not a glamorous job or an easy one).
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She talks about living an “authentic life,” one where you put aside your fear (jobs, economy, things we cannot control) and look to attract “positive people.” The result is better happiness. Her final quote in that chapter is one I think we can all appreciate: “Have you ever seen a cat who didn’t live an authentic life? They never hesitate to go after what they want, whether it’s your lap, the coveted spot on the cat tree, or the sun puddle. Not surprisingly, once again, as is the case with so many of life’s lessons, cats are the master teachers.”
There isn’t room in this review to discuss all the lovely advice offered by King. Instead, I highly recommend you read it. This book couldn’t have come at a better time for me; I am unhappy with my job but too fearful of the economy to think about leaving, my rescue drained my resources to the point I had to close down for the next year just to recoup, my mentally handicapped sister is facing more and more challenges dealing with ignorant people who don’t respect her for who she is. After reading this book this afternoon, I am determined to “declutter” my life and either make the necessary changes or discuss the possibility of a career change. King’s short biographical information at the beginning of her book discusses that she too went on this quest to find her “bliss.” For now, I will bask in the bliss of the positive energy and sense of well-being this book provides. I will certainly follow her advice to look to my cats for a more balanced and healthier life.
Read Purrs of Wisdom, Conscious Living, Feline Style. I can’t imagine cat lovers not enjoying this witty, insightful, charming book. My rating on Amazon was five stars for this book, and it certainly deserves it. King does have another book called Buckley’s Story, also available at Amazon, that I will be reading next. Happy reading!