Thinking like a cat…
By: Grazyna Witkowska Date: 12th December 2019
Have you ever been coaxed by a cat to climb to the roof? I have.
Believe me, I was very surprised that that could happen. I am not a telepathic animal communicator. I do believe some people have that ability. In fact, in my kind of work with animals and people, many times I collaborated with my trusted animal communicator with incredible results. And knowing a great animal communicator I never really tried to use telepathy to communicate. I always thought I relied on my sensory acuity – keeping my senses sharp and being open to what I perceive about the animal. When I noticed anything that gave me a clue about an animal’s thoughts or desires that was outside the realm of what I judged as sensory acuity, I mused it away as a ‘nice little mind game’.
Well, until that faithful evening when my beloved cat, Minku, decided I was now good enough to be invited to the top place: the plastic roof over our back veranda.
Picture a country house with a veranda at the back, covered with a semi-translucent plastic roof…
That evening, my Minku was meowing at me insistently from this roof. I though she had difficulties getting down. It surprised me because I have seen her getting on and off that roof several times before. But as a dutiful human I wanted to attend to her every miaow… so I decided that today this must be all too much for her and she wanted help.
Eager to prove myself as a loving guardian and protector I hurried along. My idea was that I have to help her get off the roof. I tried to reach her… – it was too high.
She moved to another part of the roof. You see, the ground at the back of the house was rising. The part that was adapted for the back veranda and a little shade garden was levelled and paved but further away the land was rising – in some places more steeply. The semi-translucent plastic roof extended a little further than the paved area and that meant that the distance between the roof line and the land varied depending on the shape of the land surrounding the back of the veranda.
So, I walked to the section where the roof was the closest to the ground and encouraged Minku to follow to that part of the roof. She obliged and she seemed pleased. When I raised my arms I could almost touch the gutter at the end of the roof.
I stretched my arms up and called to her “Jump Minku, jump! I will catch you!” “I will catch you Darling! Jump!”. No jumping happened. Minku just sat there patiently quite deaf to my pleading words.
By now I was determined that I will succeed in being a good guardian and helping her off the roof. My mind frantically scanned for possibilities to accomplish my mission. Ok, got it! I got the chair from the outdoor table. Took it to the lowest part of the roof. Climbed onto it. Now, my head and my shoulders were above the roof line. Minku seemed very pleased. I was very pleased – I was just about to save my cat from the terrible fait of being stuck on the roof. And I was able to do that just by myself (without even calling the Fire Brigade!).
I extended my arms and grabbed my precious Minku to fulfil my heroic mission.
…But as I grabbed her, her total expression seemed to vividly scream “What the hell are you doing?”. I stopped. Hmm, so she didn’t want to get off the roof? I released her. After al,l I believe in allowing every creature to live the life they choose to live.
I was confused. Well, I was bamboozled!
What could I do? So I didn’t save Minku. I put the chair back. And as I began to walk back to continue with my weeding…. I had this brief but laser sharp thought flash through my mind: “Minku wanted me to climb onto the roof!”
You might say it’s silly but it made perfect sense. I reviewed all the facts:
She likes sharing time with me. She likes to be on the roof, so from the point of view of a cat this is a very desirable place for a casual date with a loved person… Except, because I am clumsy I needed to be coaxed to get there…
And, silly me, – I misunderstood completely!
This story taught me many things about Minku and about myself. Two things, in particular, I would like to share with you
We’re always communicating whether we are aware of it or not; and
We always have access to greater information stream than we allow ourselves to consciously notice.
Aren’t these generalisations? Yes. Are they useful to pay attention to? I think so.
So, let me elaborate:
Firstly, I was made to remember that communication between two parties is always going on, in this case it was non-verbal. Just because it is non-verbal one doesn’t need to be using telepathy to understand it. (Think pantomime). It does help to pay attention to the information carried by all our senses. Some people are better at that then others but it is also possible to sharpen these skills over time.
In the story described above, Minku did not vocalise at all, and yet, I knew when she was approving and when she was disapproving of my actions. And if you have or had a special animal in your life you probably already know that very well. You have honed your sensory acuity and you can easily spot the facial expressions and the bodily signals of your animal. With other humans we seek verbal information and we often value verbal communication above non-verbal. That stems from the confusing experiences in our early life. When we sensed that something was not right and an adult ensured us that everything was just fine we slowly stopped trusting our senses, our intuition, our gut-feeling and began to rely on the words.
We trust animals because we don’t have this kind of contradicting experiences when dealing with them. If you doubt that you can clearly read and interpret animal’s facial expressions and bodily signals just spend more time with this animal, open yourself up knowing that the animal will always be truthful to you, trust your senses: your eyes, your ears, your sense of touch and smell…
The other thing I learned, was that somehow, I can tap into a sense of knowing that comes from the unknown places. Generally, I overtly use reason as a way to understand the world. In my life I have been groomed to trust my reasoning and it served me well. I do know that some people are able to communicate with animal using telepathy. I might have a hunch, an inner sense about something but I either explained my hunch quoting observation or using rational argument. At times when there was no truly rational explanation for my new awareness I would treat it as a bit of a game. Then I have learned that my Myers-Briggs profile was ENTP. That means that I pick things up intuitively and explain them using rational reason. That got me paying attention to the thoughts that pass through my mind. Neurologists say that our senses are bombarded with 11 million bits of information every second but we only can consciously process a few of those. And you probably already know that we notice what we choose to pay attention to. (When I got my first perm I suddenly saw 3 times as many women with perm that I saw a day before). So, it’s hard to open up to the intuition if we are focused on a fixed outcome or a fixed interpretation of what is happening around us or what is possible.
In the story I described, I did pay attention to my cat. I wanted to do good and I had my senses poised and focused. I understood Minku’s bodily and facial expressions. I noted what she used to do and how she used to behave in the past. I noted what was happening in the present. I cannot say whether it was exactly 11 million bits of information that asked for my attention in some way J . But my senses and my brain did get extraordinary stimulation in a blink of an eye – even if my mind didn’t grasp it consciously. And while I was bamboozled walking away from the cat to put the chair in its usual place my poor bamboozled brain was working hard to make sense from all that confusion. And suddenly it popped the answer: “42” (just kidding). But you know that feeling – maybe my brain worked it out, maybe it popped from my Unconscious Mind, or maybe it drifted into my mind from another space-time. Who knows. The great thing is I could get the realisation and it rang true. My puzzle was solved. I understood what Minku wanted and what she was doing. I got her. And that was a very satisfying feeling.
In our busy lives we have little time to just muse and daydream. But next time you spend time with an animal allow yourself to be taken up in the enchanted realm of just being, and enjoy this state of being. When you walk with your dog smell the air see the due drops on the grass, feel your body moving, connect with your dog. Do not text on your phone. Relax. Open yourself up to the stream of consciousness. Notice the difference. You may find that you can think like a dog… or a cat… or rather, you get a sense how a cat or a dog is thinking. Once you can do that – imagine how easy it will be to get a sense of how people you care about are thinking, what’s important to them, and why.
Wouldn’t that be cool? And useful?
And isn’t my Minku the Coolest of Cats?!”
If you want to try out at home what kind of new thoughts and new associations you can make when you allow yourself to enter into the ‘relaxed and focused’ state – try this simplified, and yet, potent process: