Merlin is a black cat of the variety stereotypically associated with being a witch’s familiar. I “interviewed” Merlin about the sensitivity of felines by meditating while he was curled up next to me.
Cats have a long history as assistants to shamans, witches and healers. Please explain empathic ability in felines and how cats help heal.
Merlin: We are empathic creatures. Most animals heal in this way. You, Kyra, have noted this trait in your work with sensitive people. Humans are also animals, mammals, and therefore are also empathic. As your feline companions, we love you and will attempt to heal you by taking on energies that are bringing you out of balance.
Isn’t that sometimes detrimental to your own health to empathically take on someone else’s symptoms?
M: We are a mirror. As you heal, we heal. As you suffer, we will try to dissipate that energy. It is simple, and it is what it is. Animals do not have judgments about this. As cats, we have our own ways of maintaining our boundaries and healing ourselves. We are who we are, and we are empathic. It is not in our way of functioning to analyze the empathic process. You as humans cognize empathy differently, but this is how it is for us.
What is the most important thing that cat owners need to know?
M: First of all, you are not owners. We are more like family, except we do often look to you as parents or the leaders of our pride (if you have earned it). The most important thing you need to know if you have cats in your home is to allow us to demonstrate to you how to accept who you are in all your aspects.
As domesticated felines, we accept the role we have taken to join humans, but we retain our wild nature. And to us, that is not asynchronous. We can be both, as can you. You can be domesticated and civilized, while at the same time maintain your wild nature and your connection to all that is. As felines, we are proud to serve humanity in this way.
How are felines important in a household?
M: We can clear disruptive energies that you may not be able to notice or identify because of your limited senses. We do this with our purr and many other abilities. We are the sixth-sense incarnate, and we see the world in vastly different hues and permutations than you do. If you allow yourself into our world, it will broaden your awareness.
I work with people who are sensitive. How can cats help sensitive people?
M: That is an excellent question. Obviously, we most prefer to live with sensitive people who notice our needs, who are respectful, and who will listen to our purr. We help sensitive people most in the following way: We demonstrate that sensitivity is by no means a weakness. We felines are sensitive creatures, and that is precisely why we are the greatest hunters on earth. Although the raptors may disagree, I maintain that we are the greatest four-legged hunters on land.
Why are you such excellent hunters?
M: It is entirely because of our sensitivity. We can hear, see, feel and sense our prize in many sensitive, empathic ways. For us, it is about survival and sometimes fun. But for the sensitive human in a complex life, the prize can be about anything — your work, relationships, your home, fun, hobbies and on and on. Use your keen senses to be a great hunter and observer. It is the greatest resource you have.
As a sensitive person, you are wired more like a feline, with perceptive reactions and an awareness of the prize before other hunters even notice it. Do you follow what I am saying? As a feline, I consider my sensitivity to be a superior advantage. I am proud to be who I am amongst the other animals. Share that pride in sensitivity with your feline companions, and we will have rewarding experiences that some humans will not even be able to see…and that makes it all the more fun.