“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
– Anatole France
I’ve become a real animal lover, I am in awe of their majesty and grace, and their natural ability to be kind and gentle, yet protective and strong all at the same time. There’s so much we can learn from animals. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could emulate them, or at least learn from them?
I didn’t grow up with pets, so first-hand experience with a pet is a whole new world for me. I got my first pet, my cat, Ippa, about a year and a half ago. It was a totally spontaneous act, and I had no idea how much it would change my life, similar to the way that becoming a parent changes everything. I’ve always had a desire to have children, but I never got married so it didn’t happen. Being single has its perks – I’m used to being able to pick up and go wherever I want, whenever I want, without having to consider anyone else’s plans. Not so much anymore; having Ippa means I can’t just pick up and take-off without consideration for her care, but that’s not the most significant impact Ippa has had on my life. Like I said in yesterday’s post, Ippa is like a child to me.
I believe that pets enrich our lives, and give us insight into how to be our best selves. I started thinking about what Ippa has taught me about how to be my best self, and if her behavior offers any insight into how to reach my goals and realize my dreams, after all she’s got conscious creation down to a T; her desires usually manifest instantaneously. Of course, I am the medium by which her desires are fulfilled.
The Law of Attraction states that the Universe conspires to bring all the necessary resources into your life to help you realize your desires. The re-occurring question I’ve had since I adopted her is, is she in my life to help me realize my dreams, because I had no plan whatsoever to get a pet when I adopted her.
As these thoughts were swirling around in my head, I logged in to my social media and found out that I had attracted stories matching my vibration. There were several touching and inspiring stories in my news feed about people whose lives had changed for the better because of an animal in their lives. Apparently, I’m not alone in my thoughts about pethood, many pet owners feel the same way.
One such story was about a retired Brazilian man, who found and saved a penguin who was covered in oil and close to death, lying on rocks on his local beach in 2011. The penguin has since adopted the man as his own, and swims up to 5,000 miles every year to come back and spend more than half of the year with him. Another article I read was about an obese man who got a new lease on life because the rescue dog that he adopted ended up saving him from near death. The third story that pulled at my heart strings was about a mother cat who ran into a burning building five times to save her kittens, leaving her badly burned and near death herself. After surviving the ordeal, brave mama cat Scarlett went on to help a woman deal with her own loss, and open her heart to love a pet again.
My own story with Ippa began when I found myself at a rescue shelter on a whim. With no real conscious intention to take a pet home that day, I took a peek in the kitten room. The lady working there handed Ippa to me, and it was love at first sight. An hour later, I was home with a little kitten, no bigger than the size of my hand. That’s her all grown up in the feature image. At the end of that first day, I put Ippa on her little cat bed at the foot of my bed, and proceeded to get ready to sleep myself. My head had barely hit the pillow when I looked up to see a tiny little ball of fur the size of my fist, sleeping on the corner of my pillow.
The following weeks and months brought a huge learning curve for both of us. Ippa had to learn to trust me, and I had to let her be a kitten. She wanted to explore and climb on everything, including the kitchen counter, which was serious cause for alarm to me in the early days. The more I tried to stop her from jumping up, the more she wanted to do it. I also had a fear of her biting me; she was a feisty little thing, and I had my fair share of bites to show for it. When I finally let go of the fear, she stopped biting. As long as my thoughts were focused on her biting me, that’s what I attracted.
I watched as she grew, and made sense of the world around her. She was always trying to get to the next level, literally. Once she could clear the counter, she set her sights to the top of the kitchen cupboards, and then the sky lights. She would study the height for weeks before she made her first attempt, and when she failed, it didn’t stop her. She would study the situation a bit more, and find a new solution until she succeeded. She was never afraid to pursue what she wanted, she was determined to reach her goals, and she always did. She taught me to dream big, and that no matter how high you aim, you can reach your goals if you believe you can.
Even though she was a fiery little thing, she would cuddle up in my lap, knead on me, and follow me around everywhere I went, like Mary and her little lamb. She still does. And no matter how many beds I bought for her, my pillow was the only place she slept, right next to her mom. Ippa’s favorite place to sit is still in my lap. She has finally started to sleep at the foot of the bed, but she always comes to cuddle with mom in the morning. Joyful. Turns out Ippa came into my life because she is the realization of my desire. The greatest gift Ippa has given me is that I now know what it feels like to be a mother. She has taught me unconditional love. A mother’s love.
We have much to learn from our furry friends. They teach us that we are capable of more than we realize, that we have an immeasurable capacity to love, and even when we think we’re helping someone else, they are really helping us. Ultimately, everything that shows up in our experience is about our experience.
Each of these stories show us that when we surrender and accept our circumstances, instead of trying to fight against them, the path to finding the right solution presents itself. And, with a little faith and perseverance, we will realize our dreams, as long as we believe.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!