This morning my wife had a migraine. Poor lass, she gets one about every three months or so (the stress of living with me). Anyway, she squirreled down into the bed and I got R. off to school, then went into my office to meditate. Now, normally when I meditate, I close the office door. But I wanted to be accessible in case my wife needed anything, so today I left the door open. And I was wonderfully reminded of why I normally keep it shut. For you see, one of my cats decided to “help” me meditate.
I had barely lit the candle on my altar and settled into a nice lotus position before I heard the pitter-patter of inquisitive feet. It was Furbie, the youngest, furriest, and heaviest of our four cats. She came right up alongside me and proceeded to start licking my arm. Ah, the nice feel of a sandpaper tongue. Perfect inducement for heightened state of consciousness. I moved my arm behind me. She put both paws on my leg and reached up to nuzzle against my forearm. Sweet kitty. Then she hopped over my leg, into the “V” shaped space between my knees. I dared to hope that she would be a good girl and just settle herself against my calves — but no, she had other ideas. She stretched out and started to lick my other arm.
So I moved it behind me, which meant I was now sitting with both arms stretched behind me. It occurred to me that I was not meditating at all. Furbie, meanwhile, was hopping on and off both of my thighs, one after the other, engaging in some sort of strange feline territorial ritual. Now mind you, Furbie is not a small cat. She is quite “big boned,” and so there was no blithely ignoring this ceremony. This went on for about a minute, and then finally she tapped into the telepathic messages I was furiously trying to convey to her — and she settled down, snuggled up against me, and put her head onto my zabuton.
And then she began to purr.
Furbie’s purrs are as loud as her body is big. I know she was just being helpful, figuring that only a cat’s loving purr can truly function as an effective mantra. Gee, I tried to entrain myself to it, but somehow it just didn’t quite take. Tentatively I moved my hands back to my thighs, concerned lest another round of eager licking would ensue. But apparently she had tasted enough of my morning sweat. She just kept purring. I settled deeper and deeper into my consciousness — only to be snapped back by a new sound. My feline companion had decided it was time for a bath. And so she was grooming herself, with a staccato series of loud juicy licks.
I sighed. A stray thought crossed my mind… “Maybe now I can just get a few minutes of silent awareness in before…” and then my 30-minute timer began to beep.
Furbie got up and pranced away, pleased with herself for having been so much help.