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When a Cat Is Your Mirror

The other day while I was having a super-calm day of working from home, the water was turned off in my building for a while. When it went back on, the toilet wouldn’t stop flushing. We have an industrial toilet that can flush super loudly as it is. This sounded like a tornado/hurricane in my bathroom.

The constant flush was so forceful that I immediately worried it would overflow or explode. (Seriously—that’s what it sounded like.) I soon realized my boyfriend (who was at work) had the super’s contact info, not me.

Next, I got angry at myself for not having the super’s info. It’s not easy to get ahold of Adam at work, so I began leaving frantic voicemails for him, all the while pacing the apartment.

Faro, the cat we’re taking care of for a few months, has a habit of trotting at our heels and tapping our ankles when he wants to play. As I was pacing, he started doing just that…and then he began biting my ankles, which he’d never done before. He didn’t break the skin, but I definitely felt teeth and it sent me into an even more serious spiral because he wouldn’t stop. I put my rain boots on (partly to protect from kitty fangs and partly to prepare for a flood) and kept pacing.

Now that it’s all behind me (yes, Adam sent me the super’s info, the super came right away, problem solved), I can clearly see Faro was mirroring my energy in the moment. I went from calm to freaked in no time, and he responded accordingly.

Since that happened, I’ve noticed how closely Faro mirrors what’s going on with me. During my morning meditation, he always settles down to nap or nurse on the blanket (that’s a whole other blog topic). When I’m working calmly at my desk, he stretches out in the sun. When I start getting stressed at my desk, he stands on his hind feet and digs his front claws into the edge of the desk. When I’ve been sitting too long and get up to go to the kitchen, I get the ankle tap. That’s when I need to play, and he clearly sees that better than me.

Our animals are our barometers, and they don’t hesitate to act out if they feel us spiraling. It’s a great way to become aware of our own energy and know when to manage it. But if you don’t have an animal, you can use the world around you. See how people are acting in the grocery line near you, or how people react when you walk into the room. Or notice if that thing you’ve been thinking about has worked itself out easily or become more complicated.

Yes, sometimes the mirror bites back, but it’s just information. The key is to learn to stop the bites without throwing on the rain boots.

It’s all about the magic. 🙌

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