Cats Out of the Bag

At the risk of being even more self-indulgent than usual, my mind seems to be wandering a lot lately to the topic of cats. Not lions or tigers or panthers or cougars or any of the other wilder, more formidable felines. I’m talking kitty cats.

They keep showing up. I’ll be falling asleep and with increasing regularity, I will find myself drifting into a meditative state where I am seeing a sweet, affectionate cat cuddling up to me, nuzzling me, or curling up on my chest. Sometimes they look me in the eye and purr or meow in what seems some meaningful way.

The answer to the inevitable “So what?” of this is that I am not a cat man. I’ve been a dog lover from way back. In fact, I initially inherited a fear of cats from my mother who was traumatized by one as a child. I wouldn’t have anything to do with them for most of my childhood and adolescence. And even as I overcame my phobia, I was still a little intimidated by them. Then as that hesitation around them gradually dissolved, I found myself developing increasingly severe allergic reactions to them: nasty, clog-all-available-passages, sneezing and hacking allergic reactions.

So the context for this suddenly sweet attraction to cats—real and imaginary—seems all the more curious. Being the diligent mystic that I am, I try to pay attention to recurring surprises, and so I finally took the kitty cat question to the Shower Team . . .

The animals on your planet are all wonderful examples of well being, but domesticated cats in particular are perfect conveyers of the message not only that all is well but that nothing and no one is needed—including you—to make things just fine for them. When a cute, cuddly cat comes close to you and looks you in the eye and purrs or meows, what he/she is really saying is, “I don’t need this, but you seem nice enough so we’ll see how it goes for a while.” While that might come as a crushing blow to some cat lovers, the fact is that cats understand completely their own self-sufficiency. If you were to put any of them out on the street, they would fend for themselves just fine. They indulge and permit this mutually beneficial arrangement that humans have with them because there is pleasure in it for them as well as for you. They are extraordinary teachers of the way to approach your connections in general and of the perspective that will serve you well in any conditions. Their message to you really is that all is well and that you need not do or say anything in particular to make that so.

More specifically in the case of your daydreams or meditations where cats continue to appear, they are offering an additional, specific message about where you are focused and what is active in your own experience. You do not dream only when you are sleeping. You are dreaming your life continuously. And those dreams are a continuous expression and reflection of your desires and the extent to which you are allowing or resisting those desires.

These waking dreams or meditations are expressions of what you are wanting where you stand and how you are responding to what you want. As you continue to clarify your desires and to release resistance to them, more and more of what you want flows into your experience. Cats have been a longstanding symbol of resistance for you. Initially you feared them and avoided them. Then you developed allergies to them and avoided them. Now you are waking up to a very felt desire to appreciate and enjoy them as you begin to understand that the Universe does not dole out favors or pleasures in some random or whimsical way. The Universe does not say, “Okay you and you and you and you can enjoy playing with cute cuddly cats . . . but you and you and you and you are not allowed to do so and therefore you will start sneezing and huffing and coughing and tearing up whenever one of these beasts comes near you.” The Universe does not operate on principles of arbitrary exclusion—-some can have this and some cannot—nor does the Universe operate on principles of retribution—you kicked a cat in a previous life and therefore you must suffer in their presence this time around. There are no such rules.

You are beginning to understand that there are endless pleasures and satisfactions available to you, limitless and unrestricted joys and that the only thing holding you apart from any pleasure or satisfaction that you desire is your own resistance, your own belief that it is not available to you.

These cats appearing in your daydreams, cuddling up to you in your meditations are simply telling you that they are available to you. They are saying, “Come play with us, enjoy us—we’re waiting for you.” But more important, they are saying to you, “Come enjoy YOU. Recognize that only you can limit you, that only you can withhold from you whatever it is that you are dreaming of.

Your own desires and dreams are cuddling up to you, purring with a contentment and a joy that is as soft or sweet or comforting or quirky or compelling as you want it to be. All you need to do is reach out and stroke them.


Indulgence seems to be the name of this game. I am consistently humbled and exalted by the Universe’s indulgence of my desires, my daydreams, and of course—my questions. I have not yet invited a flesh-and-blood kitty into my experience but I am so enjoying the comfort and intrigue of their new place in my life. For now that seems more than enough, and it leaves Me/Us feeling, for the moment, purrfectly complete.

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About Dan

Published novelist, poety, essayist, photographer and college educator. Visit me at www.firstadream.com.

Posted on April 18, 2007, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi Dan~
    I think that we can all learn something from our feline friends.. This one’s purrfectly charming!.
    [(:{)

  2. Well now, this explains the random cat sitings/crossings/visits I’ve been experiencing the past couple of weeks. My dogs and I were wondering, “What the heck is up with all these cats all of a sudden?” 🙂 Thank you. Now we understand.

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