The unexpected Reiki teacher


What makes a great Reiki teacher? Is it the wisdom, instructional style, or something less tangible? Each student would likely answer this question differently. While every teacher has unique gifts, it’s often the teacher who made our Reiki learning experience extraordinary that becomes our favorite. Of all the Reiki teachers I’ve been blessed to learn from, one stands out.

He was a quiet, unassuming fellow who taught experientially and channeled Reiki intuitively through an opened heart. He didn’t offer classes and he never uttered a word. I attuned (initiated) my cat Cuddles to Reiki the same year I became a Reiki master myself. Over the next eight years, Cuddles evolved into a remarkable Reiki healer and teacher. The Reiki healing process he used was simple. I became the student again, being shown the power of Reiki through new eyes. After his death, Cuddles guided me even further down the feline “rabbit hole.”

While it was Reiki and my inner guidance that called me to attune Cuddles, I have no doubt it was his soul that made the request. I also felt drawn to attune Tiggles, my other cat and Tawnsi, my dog at the same time. I resisted at first. What if someone judged my decision? What if I was wrong? After asking their permission, I sent Reiki to work on my doubts. The attunement calls grew more insistent. Eventually, the wishes of Reiki and our souls won out.

Reiki attunements
We quietly assembled in my Reiki room. My ego-imposed pressures melted under their trusting gazes. I explained the process in English and added visual images. I asked Spirit to complete the attunements if they were for their highest good. If not, they would be switched to healing energy attunements. Finally, I asked Reiki to provide clear signs that they had worked. I called in our Souls, Guides and Masters to assist. I used three different stuffed animals as the surrogates. I drew the distance symbol on each stuffed toy and intended them to represent Cuddles, Tiggles and Tawnsi. I used the same attunement process that I’d used with humans. That night, as the room filled with the energy of oneness, they received Level I and II. Months later, they became Reiki masters. Reiki quickly delivered on my request for signs.

As the energies reached Cuddles, a strange knowing crossed his face, as if to say, “I’ve had this before. But bring it on!” Tiggles acted like his toes were on fire. Cuddles comforted him with a simple glance. Tawnsi was unable to stay awake through her attunement. Their different reactions reminded me of my own varied responses: past-life remembering, the warm, pulsating energy pouring through my hands and feet, and those floaty sleeps. Like many of us after our attunements, they drank water, detoxed and slept more. Tawnsi and Tiggles cleared on physical and emotional levels. Cuddles oscillated between peacefulness and wild outbursts of joy.

Like humans, they each chose to use Reiki in different ways. Tawnsi folded her paws over her chest, an unusual posture for her. She was using Reiki to physically heal herself. Tiggles started his Reiki healing on me the year before Cuddles died. However, Cuddles put his paws of light to work immediately on all of us.

Fulfill a dream
My Reiki journey started out as a desire to help my family and fulfill a dream to heal with my hands. Reiki catalyzed intense spiritual growth for me. Over the coming decade, I was thrown into many stressful work and life changes. Perhaps Cuddles knew this was coming and chose Reiki as another way to support me.

But Reiki didn’t suddenly make Cuddles amazing. Beneath his black-and-white velvety coat and behind his sweet loving eyes, there already shone a magnificent being. Cuddles had always been energy sensitive. I think he experienced the volume of our world dialed up a notch. After each of my Reiki attunements, he’d sniff my hands and appear to say, “Hmm, got something new, did you?” He’d curiously play with the energies as they floated above my cupboards. Reiki enhanced these abilities along with his confidence in using them.

Cuddles used a simple Reiki healing process. If his mind was set on healing, there was no stopping him. He’d snort at me if I interfered. He had an unwavering trust. He could sense a need for healing outside the room. I don’t think he drew symbols; he used intent to initiate the flow. If he spoke Reiki chants, they were in a feline dialect I never heard. Zeroing in on energy blocks with his x-ray eyes, he’d often combine Reiki with “purring” sound therapy and feline auric massages. Sometimes he was a Reiki garden hose on full blast. Other times he simply radiated Reiki like a glowing light bulb. He used his paws, tail, and even his body to channel Reiki. His healing sessions were usually short and he knew exactly when to let go. He sent distance Reiki to me across rooms and through closed doors. After he was finished, he’d sometimes celebrate and clear himself by racing around the room or rolling in the dirt.

Cuddles was both fearless and respectful. When Tawnsi’s feet were very sore, she tried to bite if they were touched. On those days, Cuddles would still bravely slide his paws toward her toes and run the Reiki as fast as he could. But he respected when I needed to handle my healing alone. He could see my ancestral and cellular clearings coming 15 minutes before they occurred. He’d hold space and send me energy and love if I needed it. During my darkest days, Cuddles pulled out a new tool.

Shamanic behavior
One day I was groaning with severe abdominal pain. He plopped on top of me. Within a few minutes, the pain was completely gone. Stepping away, he threw up the energy. This shamanic-like behavior occurred sporadically over the years, usually when my energy block was connected to a past life.

When we relocated to another city, I was in the midst of intense light body changes. I’d awaken frightened by memories of having landed on top of, behind or inside furniture, or outside my room or inside another house. My spirit guide called it teleporting, saying, “Nothing to worry about. Your cats and dog do it all the time.” I started to notice when Cuddles disappeared from a room or slipped into the house through a closed door. Sometimes I’d see him beside me, even though I knew he was physically sleeping in another location. It was months before I could teleport at night without feeling terrified. It’s still not something I can control.

Reiki also enhanced Cuddles’ communication abilities. He answered my question about being with me before by sending me images of a cat I’d had in childhood. The year before his death, Cuddles worked on a past-life injury. He showed me the image of his tail caught in a closed window. It was quickly becoming obvious Cuddles knew more about healing than I did.

Love over process
Eight years of lessons focused on love over process, embracing spiritual gifts, self-care, and healing energy’s ability to transcend form. His most useful lessons were often those I didn’t even know I needed to learn.

Cuddles was always a love bug. Reiki opened his loving heart even further. His Reiki sessions often began with a whoosh of love that set up a higher vibrational field. He taught me that by focusing on love over process, you could increase your Reiki flow and melt resistance much quicker.

Cuddles fearlessly used his psychic gifts to become a better healer. Though my own clairsentience can still overwhelm me, by embracing this gift, I now better understand the healing that is occurring during my healing sessions.

Caring for our physical and energetic bodies is a lesson Cuddles taught me while struggling to grasp it himself. We’d both often forget about our own needs, becoming consumed by our desire to help others. The only time Cuddles asked for Reiki was during his struggle to let go. He sent me an image of my friend Susan, a gifted Reiki master. He needed more Reiki to release his soul. I now realize how much of my emotional garbage Cuddles chose to carry. As a result, I work harder to care for my own energetic needs, along with those of the other feline Reiki masters in my house. But Cuddles’ teachings didn’t end with his death.

While in spirit
As I placed his limp body onto the couch, his Spirit appeared beside me. He gave me a comforting message, “It’s okay. I’ve got a plan.” I channeled many messages from Cuddles while he was in spirit, usually in complete English. In his most prophetic message, he said, “I’m busy learning here. When I come back, I’ll have lots more to teach you.”

I’d always had strong past-life connections with my interspecies family members. They’ve come back to me repeatedly in this lifetime, either because I’m a slow learner, or because we are part of the same spiritual family with common goals. Yet at the time, I only knew of my one cat who had returned as a walk-in.

A “walk in” reincarnation occurs when two souls agree to switch places, often because the first soul is finished or doesn’t want to continue in the same body. The other soul wants to bypass childhood and needs an adult body to continue their work. There are human walk-ins, but I think it’s more common in other species. It’s an easier way to find and end up with the humans they want to repeatedly work with in one lifetime.

My cat Tiggles is a walk-in. He now carries the soul of my cat Snuggles. I was shown their walk-in process in a dream and witnessed the energetic adjustments after Tiggles arrived in my yard. I didn’t really know much about walk-ins at the time, so I researched human walk-ins and watched a documentary about the challenges they faced adjusting to their bodies and new families. I had only heard of one story that described what sounded like a feline Soul exchange. Experientially, my understanding was limited. Cuddles was about to change that.

Someone new
More than a year after his death, I’d asked Cuddles to return if possible or send another cat. Tiggles was getting lonely. Within a few weeks, he gave me the name “Smooches.” Soon, an abandoned young cat showed up in my back yard. Neither Tiggles nor I recognized his soul. I assumed Cuddles had sent someone new. But as soon as I picked him up, a strange energetic shift started to happen within both of us. Tiggles seemed shocked by what was happening. In a trance, I carefully placed crystals in Smooches’ cat bed. Without knowing why, I ran “I AM” to him for five hours. It was an energy I’d been attuned to years before.

I felt Smooches’ throat chakra clear all the crying he must have done while abandoned. Suddenly, I felt two channels of energy running in opposite directions. A surge of energy in the last half hour seemed familiar. I’d felt this rush before, while energetically connected to my mother, Cuddles and Tawnsi as their souls departed. But another powerful wave of energy seemed to be pouring in at the same time. Suddenly both flows stopped. Hours later, I was aroused from my altered state.

Smooches was calling me and knocking over items in my bathtub, like Cuddles used to do. He greeted me with a familiar head butt. But nothing registered for me until I picked him up. I immediately felt the body, love, and energetic presence of Cuddles in my arms. I was overwhelmed. Cuddles had brought me along on his walk-in return.

The third night
All he did for three days was furiously eat, poop, and sleep. On the third night, he walked into the bedroom like he knew the place and performed his first healing session on me exactly as Cuddles used to. I asked Reiki to confirm what Tiggles and I were struggling to accept. Within a day, Smooches started to do many of the silly things Cuddles used to do. My spirit guide showed me a vision of Cuddles with Smooches’ amber eyes. But it was the essence of Cuddles that I felt when Smooches channeled energy that eventually wore away my lingering doubts.

As with most walk-ins, Cuddles’ soul gradually began to integrate into his new body. Smooches’ personality took front stage. Walk-ins often clear the old soul’s patterns that remain within the body. We gave Smooches the space to do that. He also worked on the same tail pain Cuddles had been unable to clear in his old form. He resolved old relationship issues that Cuddles had experienced with Snuggles, through Tiggles. It took time to adjust to the familiarity of Cuddles’ soul as it radiated through a new body and slightly different personality.

My guide eventually told me I’d have to say goodbye to the personality of Cuddles. His soul had a new life to live as Smooches. Unlike most people, cats and dogs seem to remember more of their past-life connections. Smooches remembers being Cuddles and still does a lot of the things he used to do. But many of the memories have faded. As hard as it was to accept, I knew my guide was right. Two lives cannot be lived in one physical form. I love this funny little being called Smooches who now carries my Cuddles’ soul. He loves his healthy body, but finds grooming long hair much more work. Nose nibbles have replaced the nose rubs Cuddles gave me. I still see Cuddles’ soul shining in Smooches’ amber eyes. The essence of Cuddles’ love lingers in the energy that Smooches channels.

Smooches is a fearless, feisty, and confident healer, with a similar healing process. However, he prefers to channel healing through a full body flop. He often throws in a feline auric sweep, using his body and tail. He helps Tiggles release old fears by scaring him first and then using energy to smooth out the bumps. He breaks things to guide me to lost objects and deliver signs, and to warn me when emotional clearings are coming. This time, he accepts energy healing and expresses his concerns more.

He understands English better and teleports a lot, disappearing for hours at a time. I chose to attune Smooches to Reiki mastery, more for his new body, than his old Soul. He looked at me with the same knowing look. Energy can travel across lifetimes. We already know energy moves through time and space, so why not across form? Cuddles had saved this lesson — the best lesson — for last.

Bring more light
Interspecies attunements offer unique benefits for the attunee and the Reiki master gifted with the opportunity to attune them. They bring more light to this planet and disperse it in unique ways. These species are being provided with an opportunity to energetically support themselves. Some may choose to assist others with their new healing energies, like Cuddles and Tiggles have. Reiki could also become a catalyst for profound spiritual growth. It certainly was for Cuddles. For those beings that are being hurt by humans, Reiki could become an even greater gift. Can you imagine what the ability to channel Reiki could do for those who are abandoned, caged, tested upon or abused? If I were faced with these experiences, I’d certainly want healing energy in my corner.

I have completed seven interspecies attunements to date. Three of these have been members of a friend’s interspecies family. Since becoming a Reiki master herself, my friend has completed a few interspecies attunements. I have only gratitude for the gifts of growth these attunements have provided me and some advice for those considering doing interspecies attunements themselves. I’ve included an Interspecies Attunement Checklist to assist those considering this option. If an interspecies soul needs an attunement and you can’t provide it, for whatever reason, you may not be the Reiki master for the job. Don’t worry. If needed, Reiki and Spirit will find another way.

For me, the decision to complete interspecies attunements has become easier. While it is important to ask for permission and explain what to expect, I also believe you can’t go wrong with interspecies attunements because there are natural protections in place. Reiki is a respectful energy that would not force itself on anyone. I trust that Reiki works for the highest good of the soul, even if the personality doesn’t always see the bigger picture. My mother used her Reiki mastery to help herself to transition and become one of my spirit guides. That’s not what she or I originally had planned. In the end, I leave the attunement in the hands of the attunee’s Higher Self and the consciousness of Reiki itself.

A better human
Living with Cuddles, as a feline Reiki master, made me a better student — more observant and open-minded. It made me a better healing channel, inspiring me to push my boundaries. Most importantly, it made me a better human — more respectful of the spiritual rights of other species. I dream of even bigger energy gifts. The air showered with Reiki as birds beat attuned wings in flight. Oceans cleansed by swishing Reiki fins. A planet healed by the patter of Reiki paws and claws. What if these interspecies Reiki masters are already among us, just quietly waiting for an invitation to join their Reiki light with ours? In the end, whether the energy is Reiki or another high energy frequency, the gifts are there to be experienced.

Cuddles, Tiggles, Tawnsi and I often held interspecies healing circles on my bed. Joining hand to tail, hand to paw, and paws to bodies, we shared a flow of Reiki that wasn’t restricted by form. Not even death could break those Reiki circles of love. An extraordinary and unexpected Reiki teacher taught me that.

Interspecies Attunement Checklist

Before conducting an interspecies Reiki attunement, consider the following:

  • Ask your Higher Self/Soul. Trust your intuition, asking for the highest good to manifest. Try to keep your ego out of it. As Reiki masters, we are only bridges to the Reiki source.
  • Ask for permission from the being you want to attune and their Higher Self/Soul. Look for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual responses. You’ll know what they are. Use whatever communication strategies that work best for you.
  • Send Reiki to receive guidance regarding the attunement. If uncertain, wait and ask again. If you are still unsure, leave it to someone else.
  • Call in your guides and those of your attunee before and during the attunement. Ask that the attunement occur only if it is the Soul’s desire and can be handled by the personality.
  • Once completed, ask Reiki for signs of the attunement’s success. Remember, this doesn’t have to mean they are channeling Reiki only for physical healing.
  • Support the interspecies attunee, like you would all your students. Share Reiki with the new interspecies Reiki initiate. Celebrate the oneness and enjoy the learning that will inevitably come.
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Lorna Rozak is a writer, and "just for fun" artist and poet, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Her work path has included nursing, career development, volunteer/fund development and administration. But her true passions are spirituality, animal rights, holistic/energy healing and writing from the "smiling, inner" heart. Her remarkable interspecies family of four cats (Tiggles, Smooches, Angel and Ezzie) inspire and share her journey. Contact Lorna at 403.242.6106 or email her at 



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