Saturday, November 08, 2008

Cats Grieving

When a cat passes away at the sanctuary, I am often asked if the other cats grieve. If so, which ones? Animals are sentient beings and have very deep and complex emotional lives. It is incredible the communication that continually occurs between animals. We are seldom aware of this silent world. It is more real than the physical one that our five senses deem as truth and the only reality.

There is constant chatter, even if the cats are living at opposite ends of the sanctuary since they know there is no space or distance as we are all energetically connected. When I first started talking with the cats over two years ago, it was amazing to hear who were the different leaders of the sanctuary. Some of the cats who are best friends don't even live next to each other. How can that be? That is a belief system we have been conditioned to accept because we believe in separation, animals don't. There is only the "One."

When Shadow died, it has been extremely difficult for Sugar and most of the other cats. Shadow was a favorite among the community. He was always ready to talk and listen. He was kind and gentle, and the girls loved him. Animals display grief just like we do. They can quit eating and sometimes give up their will to live because of the close connection. They get depressed and miss their companion or friend. Often times, the spirit stays around before moving on to help comfort those left behind. It is the same with the animals. Sugar feels Shadow's presence and knows he is there, just not in the physical. It can be confusing because the other world is very, very real. I ask everyone who reads this to send Sugar a prayer for comfort and peace. Send her love from your heart and let her know, she is loved, and everything is going to be okay.

Sugar and Shadow Reunited

As love stories are told from the heart, their messages penetrate the depths of our souls. They are spoken in Soul Language, something our heads don't understand. Anncient wisdom explains this more fully by the saying "two becoming as one." We can be so deeply in love and connected with another that when that spirit leaves the physical world, something within us also leaves. To some, this is their idea of a soul mate. Although soul mates are a reality, very seldom do we find them. Most people don't believe the concept of a "soul mate." Sugar would like those people to know she had found hers and when he left his physical body, her heart was broken, and she fell into deep grieving.

It is possible to love someone so much you don't want to live without them. Can animals experience the same? Indeed they can. At the sanctuary, I never thought of Shadow without Sugar coming to mind and vice versa. They were so connected, you could feel the "oneness." There was never any doubt how much love these two cougars felt for one another. You could see the tender care each of them shared. She was the quiet one. Of course, it would have been difficult if both of them talked as much as Shadow. They took turns grooming each other and when they played, there was an air of flirting. Shadow would take the lead, and Sugar looked up to Shadow for cues.

Words cannot express the amount of loss with the physical passing of these two incredible spirits. Sugar couldn't wait to be reunited with her soul mate and left her physical body one month and one day after Shadow left. No matter what the physical ailment was that caused her body to take its last breath, the root cause was a broken heart. She had no will to live. Life wasn't life without Shadow. I know they are both happy to be together again. As I look at their empty Cat-A-Tat, although I am not able to see their physical bodies, I feel the love they shared and know only that love is real, everything else truly is just an illusion. It has truly been an honor and privilege. Thank you Shadow. Thank you Sugar. Your love story will always be in my heart. Let the angels care for these two precious spirits as they continue their love story in the light.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Auroara's Last Wish

"My bones hurt, and my body is extremely tired," Auroara said yesterday as I talked with her. "Do you want help?" "No," she replied. "I am ready to leave my physical body behind. The pain will not go away, and I want to leave." I knew in my heart, she would soon be gone. "Auroara, what has been your life purpose? Have you completed what you came back to do?"

Her voice was now soft as her vital energy was beginning to depart from her body as she responded. "In search of perfection, there is always much suffering. Perfection does not exist. I was born from an intent of breeding for the perfect tiger. I was not born the way they expected me to look. There was damage in the information that tells my body how to form at a deep level. I chose to come anyway allowing my "imperfect" body to awaken awareness within you."

I watched Auroara as she lowered her head. "What becomes of those things that are not perfect? What becomes of them? How quickly you move on to something else. The "imperfect" ones are rejected and forgotten. You are beginning to see with your heart the silent suffering that is endured in your quest to obtain something that does not exist. Know there are others like me whose purpose is to bring awareness that in the process of creating perfection, there is always suffering that never ends. The only thing that is created is silent suffering. As I leave my physical body, I ask you to quit trying to create perfection, for it will never be. Be in harmony with nature, not in control of it."

As I closed my eyes to hold back the tears, my hands crossed my heart as I saw the southern, charming tiger full of energy as she dashed quickly through a dense jungle. Auroara's body was like a young kitten. She was home, and her spirit was free at last.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Inner Lion

As Cameron's nose starts to twitch, his sleepy eyes open, and he lifts his head to further investigate the smells drifting with the breeze. Unconcerned, he falls back to sleep. Observing Cameron sleeping, I can't help but think of his ancestors walking the plains of Africa as fierce predators and as prey. Knowing animals reflect the human condition, I wonder how to cultivate the strength of my "inner lion" without letting it wreck havoc in my life.

Humans are omnivores and have characteristics of both predator and prey. Our society has reinforced and rewarded predatory behavior in school and business. If we don't claw our way to the top, it's a challenge to imagine an alternative because the wisdom of the prey has been suppressed within us. And yet for change to occur, the human psyche has to accept another matrix of wisdom capable of balancing the violent nature of the predator inside.

Bringing our predatory nature back into balance is the challenge of a lifetime. However, when we develop the wisdom of predator and prey, the lion transforms from aggressor to protector, from the murderer of sensitivity to its champion, helping us access the courage to feel and the willingness to act. Cameron is assisting us in reawakening the wisdom of the prey, while demanding that we own our inner lion and putting it to good use because true empowerment depends on finding a balance between the two.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Power of Man

As Matthew Scully quotes on page 9 in his book, "Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy," Such terrifying powers we possess, but what a sorry lot of gods some men are. And the worst of it is not the cruelty but the arrogance, the sheer hubris of those who bring only violence and fear into the animal world, as if it needed any more of either. Their lives entail enough frights and tribulations without the modern fire-makers, now armed with perfected, inescapable weapons, traipsing along for more fun and thrills at their expense even as so many of them die away. It is our fellow creatures' lot in the universe, the place assigned them in creation, to be completely at our mercy, the fiercest wolf or tiger defenseless against the most cowardly man. And to me it has always seemed not only ungenerous and shabby but a kind of supreme snobbery to deal cavalierly with them, as if their little share of the earth's happiness and grief were inconsequential, meaningless, beneath a man's attention, trumped by any and all designs he might have on them, however base, irrational, or wicked."

The cats ask we remember the words Matthew has spoken as we prepare for new leadership in this country. Animals matter, and we need people who understand what it means to be humane.

Friday, September 05, 2008

WHAT IF?

The cats ask, "WHAT IF........You were aware and remembered that communal interactions among species are more important for evolution than are the contributions of individuals from within a species. How would this change your interaction with us?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Call of the Wild

If you have ever been on a tour at Big Cat Rescue, you will be familiar with an animal who is not really a cat but who calls the sanctuary home. You may have seen a furry hair ball in the tree or a furry hair ball with a big, long tail sweeping the ground as you passed by. A scent of buttered popcorn or doritos always accompanied these fur balls or otherwise known as bear cats or binturongs. Big Cat Rescue had four until last week and now there are only three.

In remembering Mocha, I will never forget how food aggressive she was when she wanted to eat. Notice I said, when SHE wanted to eat. Although she was not a cat, I believe she thought she was because nothing, no thing could get her down from the trees unless she wanted to come down. I had often thought of suggesting having a "Calling Contest" to see which volunteer could perfect the art of calling her to come eat her food. We couldn't leave her variety of fruits on her plate because of the rats that would wait until she had eaten her fill and then rush in to grab the leftovers. So, it was very important that we made sure she ate when dinner was being served.

In trying to get Mocha to come and eat, I heard some very interesting calls. "Here, kitty, kitty or Moooooocha." "Where's Mocha," someone would ask as they carried her dish around spying into the bushes. Mocha would lay waiting, watching and probably laughing as the volunteers would try to perfect the call of the wild, trying to seduce Mocha out of her treehouse. I have seen pieces of bananas tossed in the air so Mocha could catch the hint of dinner. I have waited in the hot sun patiently waiting for Mocha to make a decision. If it has been thought of, it was tried and yet at the end of the day, the volunteers never gave up trying new techniques and calls as Mocha very seldom answered any attempt to lure her to dinner. Thank you Mocha for stirring our creative spirits and allowing us the opportunity to be crazy for just a moment.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Cat-ching Up

I have been out of town for a while and have just returned. "Cat-ching" up with the cats has been fun. So many things have changed in a month that I wanted to know how everyone was adjusting. I couldn't hardly wait to talk with Snorkel, who had recently been moved to a different location. If you have a cat, you know most of them don't like change. However, there is always an exception.

I had so many questions and was curious to hear how Snorkel liked being on the tour path. As I started talking with him, he was unusually quiet. I asked him if he was having a hard time adjusting; if he liked being close to the other tigers; was he enjoying his water view; was he coming out to see all of the people when they came by; did he like all of the activity and on and on. I was so busy asking him questions, I almost didn't notice he hadn't said anything at all. Not one purr.

I hushed up, sat and listened to what he was going to share with me. Finally, I asked him if he was okay. He gave me such a warm and wonderful feeling, almost as if he was overwhelmed with everything but in a good way. At last, he spoke with such emotion, tears filled my eyes. "It's ONEderful. Just ONEderful." Yes, feeling the unity and BEING a part of everything around him made my heart laugh. At that moment, I realized how much I had missed my training sessions from Snorkel, who has the ears of an angel. It's great to be back!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Perceptive Hearts

The solar eclipse today signaled times are changing. There is a new awareness rising and it is heart-based. We all live in fields of information but how do we make contact? How do we make sense of the information once we make contact? The cats offer a few suggestions that will help us remember what has long been forgotten but that is most natural to every species.

If you are not familiar with the Institute of HeartMath (www.heartmath.org), I highly recommend you visit their site. According to their extensive research on "cardioelectromagnetic communication," the heart's electrical field is about 60 times greater than the electrical activity generated by the brain. It is more than 5,000 times stronger than the brain's magnetic field and can be detected a number of feet away from the body in all directions. Learning to locate consciousness in the heart begins a journey to know the world in a way we have forgotten and is natural to plants, animals and humans.

Communication that is heart-based is enhanced exponentially. So, the cats ask you to notice how your body feels in the presence of your favorite cat. Are you holding your breath or is your heart racing? Are you nervous or afraid? Are you feeling the cat's tension or anxiety? Next, drop your awareness into your heart by breathing into it or seeing a pebble being dropped into a lake. Imagine your heart's desire pulsing outward toward the cat, moving through your heart field, touching the cat's heart field. Ask the cat if he/she has any ideas on how you can achieve this, and imagine the answer pulsing through their heart field back to yours. Allow this feeling expand in your chest, moving up through your body and finally trickling up to your brain where it can be translated into words or images. Cardioelectromagnetic communication and its implications for harmonizing with the world around us is a way in which we can experience the soulfulness of the cats.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Paid to kill a Tiger...

Listen in as Animal Communicator, Laura Lassiter talks with Snorkel the Tiger, about the problems these magnificent cats face in the wild and what we can do to help.

For more information and to view more videos visit: www.soul-be-it.com

Monday, July 14, 2008

Spirit Tails

In Japan, there is ancient dog folklore that prevails providing an explanation that when a dog howls for no apparent reason, it usually portends the death of one close by. Science will explain this as animals having excellent olfactory and auditory perceptions which enables them to see and hear things beyond the spectrum perceivable by humans. But, what if....they have supernatural vision that enables them to see spirits and this is what they are howling about?

At the sanctuary, Halleluah, a male southern cougar, has always been a mischievous cat. History is full of folklore regarding cats. But, what does a howling dog and a mischievous cougar have in common? It appears as though Halleluah also howls when a cat at the sanctuary is preparing to cross over the rainbow bridge. Is it possible Hal sees the spirit of the cat as it is leaving it's body? Is this his way of saying good-bye or he is warning us that a cat has made a decision to leave it's physical body and move on? Can the cats see the spirits in their true forms?

The idea that a cat can discern a spirit is nothing new. We have lost our natural connections with these animals, and the way they communicate. Whatever you choose to believe, there is no logical explanation for Hal's howling. However, if you are ready to explore other worlds, the cats will lead you into other realms long forgotten by humans. You decide-is the howling only folklore or is Hal helping us remember spirit tails are true?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What Drove Daisy Wild

Serval at Big Cat RescueFollowing the scent of the spice bag, Daisy would never take her eyes off the anticipated treat. She would hiss, and you could almost hear her say, "Hurry up. What is taking you so long to get over here?" It didn't matter that she was a senior. She hid her age well and was quick to snatch her enrichment. She would ask if you had anymore as soon as you gave her a neck tube or spice bag. Most of the time, she would beg for more.


Loud noises made her nervous, and often she would pace as yard work was buzzing around her. Large tree branches and nests made of pine needles would hide her resting body, and you would have to make several trips around her Cat-A-Tat to make sure she was still in her home.


Daisy was a pleasure to be around. Most of the time, she wasn't interested in helping you clean or making sure you were doing it right. She really enjoyed taking in all the action and wanted to be included in whatever was happening in her own way. She was a typical Serval and whenever you would greet her, the Serval hiss wasn't far behind.

Another special spirit that called the sanctuary home for a long time now has a new home. She is running free and has no limitations. Daisy blessed all of us who knew her, and she is going to be missed. It's difficult to say "Farewell my friend" as we realize we have been in the presence of another wise spirit who helped us remember our connection with the animal kingdom. Thank you Daisy.

Ears of an Angel

Most of you know Snorkel as the sanctuary's deaf tiger who likes to communicate using the alphabet. I never assume I know anything and having that mindset allows all possibilities to manifest. For example, Big Cat Rescue has a party house that can be leased for birthday parties, corporate meetings, family reunions and the list goes on. As a volunteer, you get to do so many different things, you never get bored.

On a recent Saturday, there was a corporate tour, and they were having their lunch catered at the party house. I was assigned to help prepare for the tour. As several of the volunteers rode the golf carts to the party house, we passed by Snorkel and some of the other tigers who are not on the tour path. Fortunately, we did not have the key for the gate and had to wait...right by Snorkel. As we were waiting, I asked Snorkel to come out. A few minutes later, his sleepy body was stretching and chuffing. He came over to me and sat down.

As I looked at Snorkel and he looked at me, I thought, how beautiful these majestic creatures are. What are we going to do when they are gone? How do we explain to our children and generations from now when the consciousness has changed, that in our lifetime, we killed the tigers for their body parts? Was there a different message that could have saved them?

Unlike Snorkel's usual communication, I heard him say, "Potency comes from your heart, not from animal parts." It is your heart that has the power to create who and what you are and can heal anything. It is not an external force or object that can serve as a substitute which is illusionary power. Perhaps this divine wisdom from a deaf tiger who has the ears of an angel is the message that can go forth to help save this ancient species.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Shadow Knows

It had been raining since early morning, and the tours at the sanctuary were preparing to see the cats. You have to keep in mind, they ARE cats. They aren't much different than your domestic house cat except in size. People are always surprised when they notice how similar they are. Some of the guests were commenting on this observation when we all approached Cougar Lane.

Hallelujah and Enya were flirting as they dashed back and forth. He also was flirting with Tobi, who was ignoring him. The cougar babies were frisking and leaping in the air playing hide and seek with each other. Aspen Echo was hiding until Becky, one of her favorite volunteers, passed by begging her to come see the people. Sugar was in her den with only her eyes moving as the tour approached her. Anxious to see Shadow, I looked everywhere. Calling his name, I waited to hear his familiar voice. Nothing. Calling. Waiting. Nothing. It's not like Shadow to miss an opportunity to talk, so I shut my eyes to see where he was. I saw him at the back of his home and sure enough, when I opened my eyes, I saw he had something he was playing with. I had to find out what had his attention and get caught up on what only The Shadow Knows.

"It's all about timing," Shadow said as he held the lizard by his tail. I didn't think timing had any relevance when you are a small lizard being held down by a big paw except being short. "We have a relationship," he continued as I looked at Shadow and laughed wondering what kind of relationship the lizard thought they had. As the lizard struggled, I asked Shadow why he didn't go ahead and kill it to end it's suffering. "You have to know when to let something go. If you let go too early, you can have regrets. If you let go too late, you have spent too much energy and feel drained." As soon as he spoke, he lifted his paw and the lizard ran away. He turned around and said, "It also determines the amount of fun you have." I would have never guessed I could have learned about timing from a lizard and a cougar but by now, I am never surprised about what The Shadow Knows.

WHAT IF?

The cats ask, "WHAT IF........You were aware and remembered that emotions are neither good or bad. They are just information. Would remembering this help you to stay in the present moment when you are losing control of your emotions?"

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weapons for Mass Destruction

Wild, exotic cats. Lots of them that have been abused, abandoned or rescued. Some of them have emotional issues with people because they haven't had good experiences with them. Yet, others are sweet. All of them are wild. So, what do you do for flea and tick prevention to help the cats? Big Cat Rescue solved the problem by getting weapons for mass destruction-Guinea Hens.

That's right. Guinea Hens. The cats know the Guinea Hens as a snack if they dare come too close or get behind the barricades. But people who come to visit the cats, often ask...."What's that?" It's hard to ignore them because they make as much noise as the wild peacocks that roam the sanctuary. I think that is one of the main reasons the cats hide and wait for one to get too close. The cats like quiet and are ready to have less chattering going on continually, and they have come up with their own solutions.

The Guineas are quite entertaining as they will follow you and run like a ghost is chasing them. In actuality, they see things we don't and will chase a bug, insect or tick until it is ready to eat them. Their favorite snack-the tick. It's a win-win for everyone. Guineas are low-maintenance and inexpensive. They function as a natural pest control. The cats are helped in a non-toxic way, and the birds need lots of area to roam. But, in the end, the cats don't care how much the Guineas are helping them because they taste just like chicken.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Bongo's Medicine Bag.

Welcome to another edition of Cat Heart Whispers, with animal communicator Laura-Lluellyn Lassiter. Listen in as Laura lets us know what Bongo the Serval as been doing to entertain himself at Big Cat Rescue. For more videos and information visit: www.soul-be-it.com.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hair of the Rabbit

Saturday, the cats got their weekly treat of whole prey. For the smaller cats, this includes a frozen rabbit. In this heat, they think of their prey as a hairy, frozen rabbitcicle. You get the picture. You can imagine how exciting it is for them. But, can you imagine how exciting it is for the volunteers to gather up any remains (and I do mean remains) while the cat is protecting it?

This was the challenge on Sunday as several of the volunteers saw mounds of leaves we knew didn't hide their daily deposits. We went around their habitats several times seeking signs of.....anything. Finding nothing but hair, we knew the cats had buried their possession in one of the stacked mounds. We have to clean everything out of their homes daily to keep them healthy and safe. The cats appreciate this effort; however, being a cat, they are prone to changing their minds especially if it is something they want and this was no exception.

It took us several minutes to remove the rabbit from Amazing Grace's habitat as the size of her cage openings are about 2" in width. By the time we got through, hair was everywhere. Grace had done her job well at removing most of the hair and when we saw her, she looked premature grey overnight as the white rabbit hair was all over her face and whiskers. About the time we thought we were through, we heard the famous ocelot growl and turned around, only to see Purr-fection had the same white mustache. The lesson from the cats-you never have a bad hair day.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Buffy Just Wants to Have Fun

You are never prepared. Even though you know and at some point expect it, you are never prepared to lose someone you love. And so it is with Buffy, the tiger. Words can't convey the empty space in our hearts that has been left by a very special spirit moving on.

Buffy was the sweetest tiger I have ever been around. He loved people and really enjoyed being in their presence. He was a senior and enjoyed his water aerobics that made him feel young. He chuffed and chuffed as you approached him, and you could see sadness in his eyes when it was time to go on with your work. He was always young at heart and loved to play. I believe this is why he touched so many hearts, young and old because he reminded us to always allow the inner child to play and have fun. Buffy didn't know what it was like to grow old, only his body knew.

I know wherever Buffy is, he just wants to have fun. So, my tribute to Buffy is everyday, I choose to have fun in some way, big or small and never forget the joy in just BEING. Thank you Buffy for sharing your life and heart with us. You will always be young and full of fun in our hearts.

Dance with Me

Summer isn't here yet but the blasts of hot, humid air are deceiving us into believing it is August, not the beginning of June. The cats are trying to keep cool and conserve their energy by hiding in their dens and under shade trees. The hint of rain was only an illusion until yesterday when a big, unexpected thunderstorm blew through drenching everything with much needed water.

The day before the storm moved in, you could observe Raindance, a very friendly bobcat, pacing back and forth, running (as much as Raindance can run with the extra weight) to and fro and not stopping no matter how much her name was called. I wondered why all the activity especially in the early morning, and I was very surprised at her answer.

"Have you forgotten how to control the weather with your intention?" she asked. "Yes," I replied as I had not cloud-busted since my teenage years. "All it takes is raising your energy, focusing on what you want, believing it is done and letting it GO." Wow, she made is sound so simple but as I watched her, I could see by running, she was raising her energy (contrary to what it may appear), concentrating on whatever she was thinking about and then quit. Nothing happened that day; however, the next day when the storm blew in, I heard Raindance say, "Come dance with me and remember your power." Whether you believe cats like rain or not, we are discovering, they do like to dance.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Soothing A Snow Leopard's Heart

With an intensity that his eyes could not betray, peeking over the big rocks that provide Hercules an air of stealth movement, my first encounter with this majestic Snow Leopard was an experience that would have no words, only feelings. As we slowly moved toward each other, I heard Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue, call out to Hercules. Upon hearing her voice, his ears perked up as he jumped vertically in the air and was immediately at her feet, rubbing up against his Cat-A-Tat.

His love for Carole could not be hidden. He purred and for a moment, left his serious personality behind. I started talking with Hercules as he revealed to me what was important to him and how he felt. He opened his heart and shared things only Carole knew and verified. As we talked, I was very impressed that such a big cat had very deep feelings.

We were walking away when Hercules gave me a vision of a statue of some kind of animal. He told me he missed it and wanted it close to him again. Upon describing the statue to Carole, she was amazed because as a kitten, Hercules had a favorite statue that had special meaning to him. The next day, Carole brought the statue to the sanctuary and placed it outside his Cat-A-Tat where it remains today. He was so happy to have it close again. It brought back memories to Hercules of days that he loved and missed. Carole found this picture in a box in her closet that had not seen the light of day for 9 years. It made me cry thinking of the animals that are killed without any thought of them BEING a unique individual with deep emotional lives and big hearts. Hercules wasn't proud. He just missed something that as a kitten made him feel good.

Bongo's Medicine Bag

Bongo started to run crazy as soon as he saw me approaching yesterday. If you know Bongo, that is really nothing unusual as he loves people. I have often commented that I don't know how he can be such a good hunter because he talks so much. This time he was quiet as he leaped through the air, over bushes and around palmetto bushes. It wasn't long before I saw him swatting something and coming towards me.

Bongo had received some enrichment, and even though the bag was torn up, I noticed he was showing me that he was purposely putting some things into his bag. I watched him for a few minutes to make sure this was precisely what he was doing because I thought my mind was playing tricks, but it wasn't. He gave me the vision of a medicine bag like the Native Americans used. I crouched down to see if I could get a glimpse of what he had managed to collect.

There were some of the spices left that the volunteers had stuffed the bag with which included allspice, cinnamon and pumpkin spice. I saw a couple of blades of scented grass that he must have collected as he rolled it around, a small piece of tree root stuck out of a hole he had torn in the bag, some sort of stone clicked another one and a neck bone that he had not finished made his collection complete. He now had gathered his momentos in which he could create magic, and indeed he did. His collection of "charms" warmed my heart and made me appreciate how the small things in life can mix together to give everything a bigger purpose.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Prize

Gathering your equipment is one of the first things you do as soon as you arrive at the sanctuary. Some of the volunteers have their own cleaning buckets and brushes, but none of them have a pooper-scooper. Guests on the tour often ask how we clean the cat's deposits since they don't use litter boxes. Most of the people are impressed when shown the buckets, which consist of plastic buckets that used to contain litter for domestic cats, grill brushes that used to clean a bar-b-que grill and tongs. The question still remains, how do you get the pooh close enough to you to pick it up with the tongs?

Well, the volunteers use long metal "sticks" (pooper-scooper) that have a right angle so they can scrape and pull whatever they need over to them. This could include spice bags used for enrichment, creatures that have made a mistake in getting too close to the cats or anything the cat can find. It can be challenging to reach whatever you see that needs to be picked up especially if you have one of the shorter pooper-scoopers. They come in different lengths and it's not unusual to see a volunteer in a contorted position trying to reach something in a Cat-A-Tat.

As you can see, having the right pooper-scooper is very valuable to a volunteer. So, it's not unusual to hear a "yeah" when a volunteer picks the longest pooper-scooper. There is only one that is double jointed and longer than the others. It doesn't look any different than the others. It doesn't stand out. All of the scoopers are stored laying down vs. standing upright. It's only when you look closely and see the double joint as a smile forms on your face knowing you have succeeded and have picked what is highly sought after-The Prize.

Monday, May 05, 2008

WHAT IF?

The cats ask, "WHAT IF........You were aware and remembered the connections we all have with trees. Would you use "living fences" designed with trees instead of concrete walls to help provide and protect us?"

Friday, May 02, 2008

Saber's Life Giving Gift

Big Cat Rescue was recently informed about a dear supporter who passed quite suddenly. Looking back, one could sit and question if it was suddenly. Life is one fluid movement that is constantly changing and if you listen, awareness presents new information and perspectives that offer opportunities for growth.

One such opportunity presented itself over a year and a half ago. On a tour with this supporter, we stopped at Saber's Cat-A-Tat. The big, black leopard was sitting high on his den watching as we approached. At first you couldn't hardly tell if he was awake, but he raised his head as he knew who was coming. The love this woman had for Saber filled the space around all of us. He was her favorite cat, and she continually talked with him even from her distant home in Chicago. She started asking him questions, when he asked her a big one. "Do you want to live?" Thinking this was an odd question, I hesitated. When Saber asked it again, I knew I had to ask her.

Her eyes grew as big as tea cups and put her finger to her lips to hush me. She quietly asked me to ask him why he asked her this question. Saber preceded to describe a physical condition she had just been diagnosed with. At first, she couldn't understand how he could know since she hadn't told anyone yet, especially him. As we continued to talk, he gave her words of encouragement and inspiration. She asked him how he could help. He provided guidance, and she was grateful.

Saber's encouragement and inspiration kept her going for another year and a half. Her body was tired and when I last talked with her, she asked me if Saber would forgive her for moving on. Love was sent, and she left. The Big Cats freely give of themselves and are always with us, guiding and teaching us to come from our hearts. They are such magnificent creatures who create miracles all the time. Saber gave this woman life like nothing else could. It is the love connection that knows no time or space. We will all miss her.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Shaquille's ABC's of Life

Stories are an ancient way of learning and never forgetting. Humans are not the only ones who can share stories. Animals have this ability also, even though we have to listen with the ears of our hearts and not our heads. Shaquille, or Shaq as most of the volunteers called him, crossed over into another realm two days ago. He didn't leave because he didn't like it at Big Cat Rescue, but felt his life purpose had been served. His story involves a trail of tears and the ABC's of a cycle our society has adopted as natural and normal.

The first letter, A, represents acquisition of the animal. Our society still thinks of animals, any animal, as property and as such, have no rights and can be treated any way we choose to subject them according to our current emotional and mental needs. Acquisition is often motivated by cultural status, being unconscious and economic gain.

B represents brutality . Humanity has forgotten all living creatures are kindred spirits. Animals have no egos or belief systems. They are in harmony with their environment. They see no separation. Since humans see separation, there is a mind set of us vs. them. Artificial needs are created because in a world of separation, there is never enough. Abuse, brutality and cruelty are inflicted upon the animal because we don't understand or appreciate who they are. We demand things from them that they often cannot do without being motivated by fear to do it. We don't train or work with them from a position of cooperation. We train from a position of instilling fear into the animal until they do what we want them to do. When we see them "perform," generally we are watching fear in action.

C represents confinement . The animal is ALWAYS confined, whether it be physically and/or mentally. They are caged because of the limits we force upon them. They are very seldom able to express their innate nature. Frustration, stress and desperation are produced because they never feel freedom. You can see this in the animal, especially in their eyes.

"The eyes are the gateways into the soul." I heard this as a child many times, and it is true. Shaq was very happy at Big Cat Rescue. The volunteers gave him nothing but love. He was safe and well cared for, but if you looked into his eyes, you knew his story and could see the trail of tears. Our promise to Shaq, his story will not be forgotten.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Jumanji's Present

A while back, I was on a private tour with some Big Cat Rescue supporters and the founder, Carole Baskin. We stopped at Jumanji's home because he was the favorite cat of one of the young girls on tour. She wanted to ask Jumanji some questions; however, before she could say anything, he spoke first.

"I think you should hang the picture by your bed," he said. She looked at me with a puzzled look on her face as I conveyed what Jumanji had said. I thought perhaps I had misunderstood what he said since the girl knew nothing about a picture. So, I asked Jumanji, what picture? Give me a clear picture of what you are talking about. I saw a picture of him in a beautiful frame.

"He says it is the picture of him," and described the frame. Again, she knew nothing about the picture. Jumanji also proceeded to tell me that he thought it was the perfect place so she could see him first thing in the morning. When it was apparent Jumanji was not going to let this rest until she agreed, one of the adults who was her aunt, spoke up.

She had this sheepish grin on her face and whispered to me that the girl's birthday was tomorrow, and she had bought a picture of Jumanji in the gift shop and was going to surprise her with it. She asked the young girl if she wanted her present early, and of course, she said yes. When told about the picture and what Jumanji thought, everyone laughed. The best part of all-he was right. He knew the pur-fect place to hang his picture as the young girl thanked him.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Purr-fect Movement

There is so much to learn just by sitting quietly and observing nature. The Big Cats especially offer potent insights as they have not adopted a lot of our dysfunctional behaviors. I want to share a personal experience that transformed my life regarding Big Cats.

There is a man from Russia, Dr. Nicholas Romanov, who was my running coach when I was a competitive runner in the Tampa area for several years. I knew when I started running, I didn't want to run injured because most of the runners at one time or another got injured. I discovered Nicholas and met with him. I had only been running about 4 months and didn't know anything. What Nicholas shared with me was nothing short of amazing.

He explained to me how he discovered his technique for runners. It all started by observing a cheetah running, followed by observing other Big Cats. It appears as though the cats have perfect technique which may explain why they never get injured when running. His Ph.D. is in bio-mechanics, and he saw things in motion that once pointed out, anyone could see. After a few months, my per mile minute not only decreased by 3 minutes to a 6:30 minute mile, but I noticed some emotional issues had disappeared.

When I asked him about this, he discovered through movement and without effort, we can let go of anything that has been stored in our bodies. In addition, the repetition of running put us into the zone or present moment effortlessly. He learned from the Big Cats to work with nature, with what IS and as you become one, magic happens. The Big Cats taught him purr-fect movements and techniques he is now teaching to our elite runners of the Olympic team. The cats are making a difference!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Nature always communicates with us. The problem is we don't understand what it is saying. Where do we go to remember? I suggest the Big Cats. The universe reflects what our inner beliefs are no matter what our minds tell us. Often, they are completely different. Take the belief the earth is unlimited in her resources. The big cats will show us what we believe may not be true.

For example, when forests are cut down for our consumption at an incredible rate, it destroys the homes for countless animals who depend upon a system for survival. In the process, we destroy more than we are aware of and as a result, species of all kinds are forced to keep on the move until they end up in cramped quarters, fighting for territory.

More and more big cats are being killed because they have no where to go except where people are because their homes have been destroyed. They have very limited resources they can use to survive because of our beliefs. We have been using everything up until there is no more.

The big cats are communicating with us by reflecting our beliefs back to us and showing us it is time to examine what we believe because it isn't working. They celebrate Earth Day everyday by living in harmony with the environment. If they can, we can't we?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Jaguar Energy

Have you ever thought about why Tigers have stripes and not spots? Or why Servals have spots and stripes? So many people ask about Jaguar's on the tours, I thought you might want to know what an ancient culture thought about the Jaguar's spots and what Jaguar energy meant to them.

To the Maya, the Jaguar’s spotted skin symbolized the stars of the Milky Way Galaxy. The birthplace of First Father in the mouth of Jaguar was known to the Quiche Maya as Xibalba Be (shi bal ba bay) “the Road to the Underworld.” The Sun’s daily journey from light to darkness represents consciousness and its transformation. The Nocturnal Sun in the guise of the Jaguar travels through the underworld revealing our subconscious fears and allowing them to be transformed.

The jaguar paces on the periphery of our subconscious, protecting our inner temple and listening for unusual sounds in the night.
Utilize the energy of Jaguar to follow your instincts. Allow your feelings to guide your actions and movements. Jaguar shows us we no longer need to fear the jungle or the night. Jaguar teaches us to face our inner demons and arise transformed.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lunar Lunacy

The April full moon is at its peak tonight, but the cats aren't waiting. While there is still a touch of coolness in the air, it's not enough to stir the cats into the kind of action I saw today at the sanctuary. Banjo, although he is a Binturong and not a cat, is very popular because of his buttered popcorn smell. I have never seen Banjo move as quickly as he did and roll with his red ball. It was as though a bee had stung him into action, and once he got going, he didn't stop. Swatting his ball with his paws, he hugged his ball and flowed with the roll. Spanking that ball as hard as he could, he jumped and pounced on it and was a crowd pleaser.

Next was Diablo, a new addition to the sanctuary. He is a Savannah cat who can't make up his mind who he is. He was running back and forth and if you didn't know better, you would have thought a ghost was chasing him. Nothing but spooks for Diablo. Sundari, a favorite Asian Spotted Leopard, had a hold of her tail and rolled up into a ball and continued to perform gymnastic moves for everyone to see. Even Hercules, a gorgeous Snow Leopard, was not as intense as his eyes followed everyone behind the protection of tall grass blades. He was still, but his eyes were playing with everyone who was trying to find him. Bongo had the serval section fired up as his constant talking alerted Shasta, Arizona, Frosty and Ty to keep moving, looking for anything that might provide unexpected enrichment.

We can't forget the domestic cats that call the sanctuary home. Maya teased Simba, another Asian Spotted Leopard, as she begged attention from anyone who would stop to pet her. As she did, Simba exhibited some fancy moves that the tour group didn't expect as he pumped his rear end waiting for Maya to make a wrong move. Lastly, the peacocks were so noisy and under everyone's feet that you couldn't hear what the tour guides were saying. Dancing and flirting with each other, love was definitely in the air. So, if you are feeling a bit crazy today, know you are in the flow with the cats as this bright moon can bring out the "wild" in you.

Friday, April 18, 2008

WHAT IF?

The cats ask, "WHAT IF........You were aware and remembered one simple act makes a difference. What simple act would you carry out today?"

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Finding Joy in Life's Surprises

Animals are such a blessing in our lives as we connect with their wisdom and perspectives. We forget that a kind word or recognizing the animal as we pass by, can be a huge boost for their spirit. Mac, a beautiful cougar, is always excited to see Matt. He knows he usually has some enrichment of some kind for him, whether it is spices that makes him feel really good or just spending time, squatted down at his level, quietly talking with him.

Mac doesn't have any emotional attachments to any preconceived ideas of what Matt is going to do. He patiently waits, and even though he gets excited, he knows that it is only going to be good. By not having the need to focus on specific probabilities, it allows Mac's heart and mind to be open to a wide variety of possible outcomes.

A simple way of Being, Mac's approach to life allows him to find joy in any of the surprises that Matt presents. Send Mac a heartfelt hug as he reminds us how simple life is.

Monday, April 14, 2008

WHO AM I?

My head pops out of my den as I hear his footsteps approaching. I stretch my neck to see where he is. I know he is coming as I am his favorite cat. He gives me things that smell good. All the different smells makes me roll over on my back and rub my head against the Cat-A-Tat. I will roll and roll. He stays as long as he can and has helped me calm down. I wasn't sure when I first came here and had an attitude. I still like to stay in my den as people pass by. You can sometimes see me if you look closely. Can you guess Matt's favorite cat?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stillness Speaks

Looks are deceiving. The old wisdom of, "You can't judge a book by its cover," applied to the sweetest caracle I have met, Crackle. One would never know there was a power house hidden beneath her sweetness. Her power was not the kind that forces itself upon you or was aggressive. Crackle's power was the stillness that was always present.

I had the privilege and honor of working with Crackle for a short time doing operant training. She would be very dainty in taking the piece of meat as I clicked. She would patiently wait, although her eyes would betray her excitement, as I prepared another piece of meat. Often, I would have to wake her up but as soon as she smelled her treats, the stalks of grass would start to move, and I knew she was on her way.

Crackle's stillness spoke volumes. She touched hearts. Her soul could be seen as you looked into her eyes. Dainty in her physical appearance, strong in presence, Crackle will never be forgotten.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Agent of Change

Animal communication encompasses many facets, and many animal lovers don't need research or the latest scientific discovery to tell them what they already know-animals have deep emotional lives and understand more than we know. For example, a lot of people coming for a tour at the sanctuary get so excited when they hear Cameron roar even before they can see him. The excitement reaches a fevered pitch and beckons "oohs and aahs" when they see Zabu.

Zabu is very much aware of the emotions she illicits from the crowd, and life presents an intangible magic as we become aware of the unseen as it unfolds. As the tour guide explains the "myth of the white tiger", people become disgusted, jaws drop, heads nod back and forth, and a discussion of their reality ensues. As Zabu prances, the truth behind her color instantly transforms conditioned beliefs , and a new reality has been woven into the tapestry of a new earth.

Animals always communicate with us. As we question our current beliefs, new possibilities see daylight and empower us to make different choices, always being grateful to the animal as an agent of change.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Completing the Journey

Many spiritual teachings of the ancient ways of Being teach us that "it is not the learning from which we came---but the task of "remembering" which completes the journey." This is but one of the many truths that I discovered from Sheera, Bobcat. Sheera remembered her purpose for this life and when it was completed, left her physical body Saturday evening taking advantage of the energies presented with the new moon. It is not uncommon for animals to work with the potent lunar energies to transition to a new realm, more wisdom Sheera remembered.

Sheera always maintained her wild spirit. When I first met her, I was amazed at her ability to survive. Although she came to the sanctuary in bad physical condition, she knew how to feel her body move and in so doing, memorized every inch of her Cat-A-Tat. Committed to memory, she knew which path to take to ease her pain. She avoided other areas that were difficult for her. In time, her physical body adapted to her surroundings.

Sheera was an example of no boundaries, no limitations and not giving up. Her determination and will power overcame any obstacle. She may have been a small bobcat, but her spirit refused to let anything get her down. Respect and dignity was given to Sheera as she chose how to complete her journey. We will miss the little cat who never forgot who she was.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Extinction or Evolution?

I have recently returned from taking a couple of seminars on Matrix Energetics. Its essence is the Science and Art of Transformation as you learn the language of "quantum." It appeared this was perfect timing since Oprah and Eckhart Tolle have been presenting a 10 week discussion of his book "A New Earth-Awakening to Your Life's Purpose." The two are very interconnected, and it is very obvious that humanity has a choice-wake up or die.

As I participated in the language of "quantum" where everything is possible, and you can time travel back before an accident or an event took place and change it, thereby creating a different outcome, I was very surprised when Snorkel, the deaf tiger at the sanctuary, came to me and wanted to share what was in his heart.

"The journey of the tiger started long ago," Snorkel said. "We symbolize passion and power. Our influence is great. We only hunt when we need to. We do not kill at random or are pleasure hunters. We have disciplined awareness and possess strong spiritual energy. We now share a common path. The journey is not yet over. We ask you-do you continue to kill us and as we leave the planet as a species, your journey is also over or do you see that we are connected and a new journey begins as we evolve together?"

This wasn't the usual way Snorkel communicates. I could sense his heart was heavy. It didn't take long to see tigers are self-aware and feel the crisis humanity has created for all. We have the inner technology to transform anything anywhere. The tigers are asking where do we go from here?

Monday, March 31, 2008

WHAT IF?

The cats ask, "WHAT IF........You were aware and remembered you are creating your experience as well as experiencing what you have created at the same time. How can you use this wisdom to Become in your life what you choose to experience in the world?"

Anticipation

Being a volunteer has its advantages as was clearly seen Saturday as a children's tour passed by Takoma's Cat-A-Tat. Divinity and Takoma were in very helpful moods as they followed every move I made UNTIL they heard the sound of children approaching. I have never seen them take off like a missle being launched; however, excitement filled the air and off they ran at full speed. Zipping through the bushes and running through their dens, they were in a hurry to catch any glimpse they could. I was very happy as it allowed me to clean their home without any further assistance from them.

The children were excited as they saw movement and knew the cats were on the move. Squeels and giggles echoed from the children as they saw Divinity and Tacoma. A few of the older ones knew they were bobcats while the very young children thought they were big kitties. You could feel the pleasure coming from the cats and the children as they stood looking at each other. Each were waiting for the other to do something. Finally, it was time to move on to the next cat and as they were leaving, two of the children looked back at Tacoma and Divinity and as they were saying good-bye, you knew the cats were exchanging good-byes as they both nodded their heads and watched them until they disappeared.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Seeing Is Freeing

Amazing Grace, our poet ocelot, is providing provocative thought as she shares with us another original poem from her heart.

Seeing Is Freeing

Each step memorized for nothing is new,
Every day the same with the exception of a few,
I was born because of ideas of economic gain,
Destined to live a life filled with nothing but pain.

I was born to be free and wild,
Yet held captive because laws are too mild,
No thought given to the bored induced mind,
My purpose was served and now am left behind.

My spirit remembers the days of old,
When all lived as One and each was told,
With hushed voices and a quiet lip,
Presence of the heart makes anything flip.

Feeling my pain with no end in sight,
Weary of the struggle and left without might,
My heart reaches out to your Being,
For the truth will help both as seeing is freeing.








Monday, March 24, 2008

Hercules Unchained

White rain fell from the sky masking the rugged mountain top. So much had fallen that the snow leopard's weight crushed deep into the wet blankets. Although the weather conditions were a blizzard, he was making progress as he crept along his familiar path. Listening to his inner guidance system, he knew it would take him a couple more days to reach his final destination.

This was beginning to be an unusual journey. Normally, the weather was not a factor, and he had clear views of the terrain below. The global climate was changing causing unpredictable weather patterns that even a snow leopard could not predict. Never doubting his choice that put him in this position, he continued his trek that was draining him of any reserves he had stored. Everything was different this time, and the snow leopard was not prepared.

As I sat contemplating the vision that Hercules had shared with me, I had to ask why the snow leopard didn't turn back. It appeared to be a very bad choice and waste of energy. It could cost him his life.

"There are no 'wasted' choices," Hercules explained. "One choice builds the foundation for the next one and the next one. Every situation and choice is required. To regret making any choice as you look back is where the energy is wasted. You are seeing your choices with a different consciousness than the consciousness that made the choice." Hercules had just revealed the illusion of regret and the importance of moving forward in life.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dear Alphie

So many times when I have cleaned Little Back at the sanctuary, one of the first stops would be Rusty and Sassy and then Alphie. I would see him basking in the sun and watching quietly as I cleaned his water bowl and dinner block. He was always quiet for a serval. He never hissed at me at which point, I would ask, "What's it all about, Alphie?" I always thought every serval hissed, but in two years, I never heard one hiss out of him.

Alphie would follow me around as I cleaned his home. I knew it was generally an effort for him even though he never complained. He moved slowly and it was obvious, he was physically uncomfortable. His prior life had been extremely difficult before coming to the sanctuary, and he would often find it best to just be.

Alphie is going to be missed. His quiet presence had a calming effect upon some of the other "wilder" ones. You can still feel his sweet presence even though he left his physical body recently. Alphie has joined the other cats that are making a difference on the other side. Although his body is gone, he lives on in the hearts of everyone who loved him.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shaquille's Shadow Power

Today is a very potent time of the year. In some cultures, it is the beginning of the New Year. We recognize it as the Spring Equinox. It is a time when day and night are in balance. Thinking of this, one of my favorite animals at Big Cat Rescue started to ask me questions about balance. I thought it was a little strange until Shaquille reminded me when an animal shows up in our lives, they always have a message for us. I didn't realize how timely his message was until we continued talking.

Of all the leopards, the black leopard has the greatest mysticism associated with it. They are a symbol of the mother, the dark moon and the power of the night. The black panther encourages us to understand the shadow powers available to us all and acknowledge these powers in order to eliminate our fears of any darkness in our lives. They are also a symbol of releasing our passions and starting a NEW phase of our lives. Shaquille is helping us to dream big this year as he asks these questions:

Are your passions helping or hindering you at this time?
Are you suppressing latent desires?
Are you on the right spiritual path for yourself?
Are you putting other's needs before your own to the point of self-neglect?
What is your Shadow Self trying to tell you?

When Shaquille appeared to me, I was reminded to pay attention to the strength of my inner being. It made me aware this was the perfect time to examine my shadow side to let go of any fears and risk dreaming big. I knew this would help to establish balance in my life. Set your intentions today of what you want to achieve this year. Plant the seeds now, and give gratitude to Shaquille for insight into another of his power moves.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring Equinox

Tomorrow is the Spring Equinox, and I wondered if the cats knew about this special event, so I asked several of them and here is what they said:

"We can tell what nature is doing by the amount of natural light. It tells us what to do. That is how we know the seasons are changing. We have everything we need as we flow with nature. It is a time to begin new. We like the green grasses now because of the cleaning of our bodies. We know it will begin to get warmer. Trees will give us more shade. It is our natural time for mating. We feel more energy."

I thought about what they said, and one of the things that stood out was their awareness of natural light. Most of us live in cities with street lights blasting light at night. We work in office buildings with artificial light. The change to Day Light Savings time really affects our circadian rhythms or better known as our internal clock. This causes a lot of problems that create sleep disorders. We have lost our awareness of the natural light. Science has proven we are light and within that light is information. The cats are making us aware of incorporating natural light in our lives so we can flow with what happens. Natural light talks to our cells. If it gives the cats information on what to do, I say, "Let there be light." Happy Equinox!

Monday, March 17, 2008

WHAT IF?

The cats ask, "WHAT IF........You were aware and remembered your beliefs are life. If your lives are based on what you believe, then what if those beliefs are wrong?"

Friday, March 14, 2008

Orion's Evolution

Orion, one of the cougar cubs, has grown up to be a big cat. Playful moods can strike him at anytime and you never know what he is going to do. You can find him balancing on a limb hanging above his pool, lurking behind his den waiting for something to come by, running to greet a tour or sneaking up behind his brother or sister hoping to surprise them. Watching Orion, we may ask ourselves if we are taking life too seriously?

Orion remembers his youth. He reminds us when we play with all the enthusiasm and eagerness we felt as youngsters, we stimulate our imaginative minds, equipping ourselves to step outside of our mental comfort zones. This extension of the self may result in humor or innovation, and we develop intellectual flexibility with each new moment spent engaged in frolicsome recreational pursuits.

Orion reminds us that play can be inspirational as it allows us to test new ideas in a safe and enjoyable context. Anything is possible in the world of the imagination, so we feel more comfortable exploring unfamiliar concepts because we need not commit ourselves to them. Yet in the mere act of playful investigation, we evolve as individuals. As you play today, you will discover that the limitations that typically define your existence disappear, allowing you to broaden your mind easily. Thank Orion for his playful essence and helping you evolve.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

WHO AM I?

You will be attracted to my handsome face. I am always checking things out. I am so curious about everything. I don't take much of anything serious as I love to play. I think that is what life is all about, laughing and playing. I talk a lot in addition to "chirping" and like to start things; however, others can finish what I start. My attention span is short and get very bored quickly. I don't know what details are because I see a big picture. My brother and sister help me to feel safe even though I have grown to be big. Play with me to see Who I Am.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Where You Feel Secure

Bobcat at Big Cat RescuePrecious, a Southern Bobcat, recently moved to another Cat-A-Tat on the tour path. Looking up at her, she is so happy. She has better views of the sanctuary as she climbs high in her new tree branches and watches the going-ons from a distance. The most important message Precious wants to convey as she sits high and secure is creating a space where you feel comfortable and protected even when you are waist deep in the swamp trying to deal with the stresses of life.

Soulful nourishment is critical to staying in a solution set attitude. When Precious feels protected and comfortable, she sees her world differently and is confident. She knows taking a risk can sometimes be scary, and you can feel all alone. Having your personal space can provide the support that you need. It also makes it easier for dreams to come true if you have somewhere you have created that makes you feel secure. From Precious's perspective, it is not a luxury to have a safe haven, it is a must if you are to navigate your world with confidence.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sweet Catrina

Even though she was a senior, Catrina always made the effort to come and see you. No matter how much her joints hurt and how much pain she was in, she would slowly struggle to get up and say hello. Catrina embodied sweetness. Catrina was a favorite among the volunteers.

Her face was exquisite, and she was especially beautiful when laying in the sun as her deep, red coloring glowed. Catrina was a former pet, and you could see how much she loved people. She never got tired of the tour groups although she would often lay and watch the people go by.

We are sad to say good-bye to another cougar. We will miss her.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Itching for Spring

On-going classes and training help ensure the volunteers at the sanctuary are as prepared as possible for anything. Drills are executed, scenarios are rehearsed and emergency protocols are practiced. Safety is the number one concern for all who live or work at Big Cat Rescue. Knowing there is no way to take the wild out of the big cats, respect is always given to each cat.

Spring has started to blossom everywhere, and there is a wild species no one can prepare for. It creeps up around you, and you will not realize this species means business until you see the first small, red blotch that begs you to scratch it. Then, before you know it, blisters have formed and it occurs to you that you have had a close encounter with a wild species that spares no mercy. No amount of training and drills can prepare you for POISON IVY.

You can try everything from homeopathy to western medicine, but in the end, this wild species will have its' way until the cycle has been completed. During the process, you will definitely feel like a tiger growling at everyone around you as you try everything that promises relief. I chose to go with the old traditional "pink" lotion. It comes in a spray which offers the option of spray painting yourself. It will make others laugh at you as you have transformed yourself into a newly discovered wild species-a pink tiger.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hallelujah!

Saturday, as it was pouring rain, tourists spending their last day in Tampa wanted to see the cats so bad, they didn't notice how wet they were when the Big Cats came out to see them. One in particular put on quite the show. He had recently been moved along the tour path and contrary to what one would think about cougars not liking water, Hallelujah was sitting on top of his den waiting for the tour to pass by.

Mountain Lion at Big Cat Rescue

"I like to play in the water. I like to chase it and get wet. I am getting used to my new home and enjoy all the people who come by. They are different shapes and smells. I like the attention and watch for anything I can catch. I am a strong cat. I am always ready to play."

As the tour said good-bye to Hal, he raised his head to the sky and howled. You could hear him throughout the sanctuary, and the people started talking with Hal, telling him they would see him again. He likes all the attention and what is in Hal' heart? His name says it all. He is one happy cat.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spray It Again

All creatures are unique with their own personalities. It is a great reminder how limiting it is to categorize anyone or anything. When we are introduced to a new animal, a beautiful world starts to unfold that holds all kinds of magic if only we will allow it. One of Big Cat Rescue's white servals, Pharoah, epitomizes this wisdom. Generally elusive and hissy, when you discover one of the keys to Pharoah's heart, he transforms into a friendly, playful cat.

"I love the water. I get so excited when they give me water. I like to chase it and play in it. I like to get wet and paw the water. It splashes, and I chase it. I don't care if I get dirty. It is so much fun. Not everyone knows I like to hide and then jump after it. I would like to play longer but they move on. It tickles me when it gets on my nose. I will wait all day if I know I can play in the water."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cause I Am

If you are blessed to have a cat as a companion, you are familiar with their hunting skills and their desire to catch things. Every now and then, you may meet a cat who doesn't care to catch or kill any living creature. You may think they aren't normal or feeling good. What if that cat has another reason for allowing creatures to live? Could it be he is more evolved in his consciousness? At Big Cat Rescue, there is such a cat and his reason for not killing anything is not because he is not a cat or is sick. Alachua Bob, a bobcat, has something in his heart we can use everyday in our lives.

"It is not within me to kill. I choose to help instead of killing. My desire is to help others with what they are doing. It makes me feel good. Kindness is my way of living. What I eat is given to me. It has always been even when I was not living here. I make friends with everything. I live in peace here and am grateful I have a wild home but do not have to kill to live. Killing is not a natural way."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Heart Play

Tiger Buffy at Big Cat RescueBuffy's heart is one of the sweetest you will ever feel. He was more than ready to talk and give us insight into what makes him happy. "Finding fun in unexpected places is joy. Cool days are great to spend time looking for new bugs or pawing my way through the dried, fallen leaves. Walking through mud puddles, splashing in water, laying in the sun soaking up every ray of warmth, or greeting everyone that I see makes my heart happy. Saying hello to people is what I love most. I would rather be with people than anything else I do. It would make my heart sad if I would never see anyone again."

Buffy knows the secret to keeping his heart young...he loves to play.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Little Cat That Could

"We can do no great things, only small things with great love."--Mother Teresa

When Big Cat Rescue responded to a call regarding a very little bobcat, they knew they had found a little cat that could...

They saw this little cat could keep trying to live even though it was a struggle...

They knew this little cat could have a second chance in life...

They brought this little cat home to the sanctuary so he could heal and recover...

They gave him everything he needed so he could grow big and strong...

There were many days when they weren't sure if the little cat could...

The little cat could give everything he had and did...

The little cat could show us what was real and did...

The little cat could make his own choices and did...

Kennedy shared every aspect of his BEING during his short time on this earth. Fearless and determined, he knew what was real and left us with the manifestation that miracles happen all the time. The miracle of Kennedy-the little cat that could. We are grateful to you Kennedy and hold your love deep within our hearts. We will miss you.

Global Warming

When your ears go silent, you learn to hear in different ways. Snorkel is deaf and doesn't use his physical ears to hear. I must admit, I deeply care for Snorkel. I have learned much from him and want to share with you what was in Snorkel's heart today when I spoke with him.

"I always listen to my heart. It is the only thing I hear. In that way, I create a supportive environment that can help others because I am aware of my heart connection with other hearts. It is the only thing I can give to others. It makes others feel good. Sometimes the other cats need inspiration, and I give them that feeling. I share what's in my heart."

We spend untold billions of dollars to heal the environment. Snorkel gets it and it doesn't involve money. He is pure love, and you will feel as though you have received a warm ray of sunshine when you become aware Snorkel's heart is connected to yours. He is doing his part to help heal the environment. This is Snorkel's perspective on global warming.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mane Knowledge

Lion at Big Cat RescueJoseph, the newest lion rescued by Big Cat Rescue, has so much in his heart, it was challenging for me to condense our conversation. He is an amazing spirit. In speaking with Joseph, he talked about things that we have forgotten and is very ancient knowledge. As he spoke of these things, it was a journey back in time to a world where everything was aware of itself and communicated constantly. We seldom hear these subtle communications anymore as so much of our world is out of balance. Allow this ancient knowledge to resonate in your heart and start to rebuild a new world where the myths that we grew up believing come to life and find the magic that awaits your invitation.

"I had forgotten what earth felt like beneath my paws. Hardness was the only thing I felt for a long time. There is no connection with hardness. There is no life, no excitement, no joy. Taking care of so many with little help was a struggle. There was no flow or little information that could help me. I had responsibility that my ancestors had passed down to me. It is memory and ways of being that no one can remember when it began. It is. "

"Now, when I walk on the earth, I receive information like my ancestors through my pads that tells me a story. That is how I know where to go. Like the animals before me, walking the same trails and paths gives me information who has passed before me. I feel their feelings. There is always information left with the earth. The earth also uses this information to provide for me. It grows what I need because I have spoken to it as I walk. When I mark my territory, there is information coming from my body that the earth uses to help me adapt. We take care of each other. "

"I can relax now. Others are helping me. Survival is strong in my heart. Long ago must be remembered. It is how to know what to do."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Heartily, I Say To You

Rusty, a handsome Caracal (and knows it), goes to the heart of any experience. In his words, "I am all heart. Everything I do is always from my heart. I eat with all my heart. I help the volunteers clean my home with every ounce of effort from my heart. I groom Sassy until my heart grows weary. I anxiously await my food until I feel as though my heart is going to explode. I heartily rub against the bushes and trees. My heart searches for new experiences. I go for it. Why do you not put all you have into something? "

Rusty is fearless. He is a pleasure to help meet his needs because his heart is always open and receptive. You can see it in his actions and attitude. He has passion for whatever he is experiencing at the moment. He always brings a smile to your face and will find yourself encouraging him to find something new in his Cat-A-Tat he has not discovered so you can share in his heartfelt excitement. Be careful around Rusty. His heart is contagious!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Shaniqua's Heart Share

Shaniqua, a small jungle cat, shares her Cat-A-Tat with Rambo. Asking her what was in her heart, she immediately talked about Rambo. "I have learned a new way of getting attention. Rambo thinks he is a charmer and talks all the time. He purrs and comes to greet people. I act in a way that makes you wonder what is going on in my head. It's not found in my head, it is in my heart. I have to be different. I have to be me."

Could be it as simple as Shaniqua has shared with us that being different is found in your heart and not your head and it is a good thing? After all, if you are like everyone else, are you being who you are?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

What's In Your Heart?

In February, everywhere we look, we can see hearts. Big and small hearts, red and pink hearts, chocolate hearts, strong and weak hearts, open and closed hearts are just a sampling of what we think of this month. These are only descriptions of a heart, but what is in the heart? I decided to ask the cats what was in their hearts. Every day for the rest of the month, we will hear from a different cat as they share what is in their hearts. The first one who wanted to share was Shadow. This shouldn't come as any surprise.

"Munching on a bitter blade of grass makes my stomach feel better, but the grass doesn't taste good anymore. The colors are not as bright when I look at the leaves and flowers. The trees don't provide the thick shade like they used to, and I don't have as many bugs to chase at night. I don't get much relief from the heat because it stays hot more. The air is filled with many smells now. My home is not the same."

Is it possible what's in Shadow's heart is making us aware of making compassionate choices that will consider the environment so he will have a better home?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Solitude's Beauty

Solitude seems counterintuitive in today's busy world. Time alone isn't easy to come by and reserving time for oneself feels unnatural or unimportant. But all life is balance and, while we enrich our outer selves with activities and hobbies, we have the tendency to ignore the quieter inner self which is the source of creativity and serenity. Solitude, often wrongly equated with loneliness, can offer an opportunity to achieve a state of calm, focus on your creativity, examine your life, or contemplate your goals, without the distraction of the opinions of others or the background noises of daily life.

Cherokee, an elusive southern Bobcat, offers the above perspective to help us remember solitude is a must if we want to nurture our inner landscape.
Though it may seem impossible when there is so much to do, making the most of even a short period of solitude can rejuvenate your mind and energize your body. Once free of the random noise of daily life, it becomes easy to rediscover and re-evaluate interests, goals, passions, and joys, which will allow you to develop a deeper, more meaningful relationship with your inner self. Take advantage of unexpected solitude whenever you can. If you find yourself caught in traffic, turn off the radio, and spend a few fulfilling moments de-stressing. Cherokee invites you to be quiet and observe. Witness what happens. This is Cherokee's secret for success.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

WHO AM I?

You won't see me on a tour. I live among the bobcats. I keep to myself and have learned behavior from the other cats. I don't remember my family. I am a strong personality and don't like to be left out of whatever is going on. If I were on my own, I would need help, but I would be a force to be reckoned with. Most of the time, I stay in my den watching from a distance. I get very excited when spices are passed out, and you can see me waiting for mine. Don't let me quietness fool you. I am wild in my heart. Take a wild guess. Who Am I?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ask Us Why


Amazing Grace, our poet ocelot, is providing provocative thought as she shares with us another original poem from her heart.

"ASK US WHY"

Ask us why our life is not our own,
taken captive as our hearts quietly moan.
Our lives stolen without a single thought,
Only a price paid, sold, then bought.

Ask us why we suffer, no freedom in sight,
our souls in darkness, no glimpse of light.
Hands of man wrapped tight around our necks,
We cry and howl, all signs of emotional wrecks.

Ask us why we continue to give,
every moment our fullest that we may live.
A long time ago, we agreed to help each other heal,
By remembering all is illusion and only love is real.



Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Dali Leopard Wisdom

Chloe, the female Snow Leopard at Big Cat Rescue, does not suffer fools lightly. She is very reserved and keeps her essence hidden from most people. It has taken over a year before she has been ready to talk and recently came to me and asked that I pass along her wisdom at this time that we, as the human species, need to hear.

"We are world-weary and bored with the selfish, greedy ways of humanity and are sad you do not remember Mother Earth's ancient knowledge. We remember a time when you worked WITH Mother Earth and helped to sustain her sacred life. You no longer work with her and have taken much without giving back. That is why we are hunted. If Mother Earth cannot provide for us, where shall we go? Survival is in us. Everything suffers."

We have the inherent power within us to manifest and produce the necessary changes on all levels. Chloe has agreed to share her Tibetan roots of wisdom to help us remember how to come into balance with Mother Earth to help sustain all life.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Musk Farewell

People who came to see the Big Cats would sometimes get a glimpse of Rashid, a Civet Cat, who wasn't really a cat at all. She and her partner, Stetson, had recently been moved to the center of the sanctuary and even though you could sometimes see them basking in the sun, they appeared to be "out of reach" or "too cool" for people to approach. These are a couple of the qualities associated with Civets.

Rashid, who has made her transition to a different realm, served her mission and knew it was time to start a new beginning and adventure elsewhere. She wants you to know that Civets are notorious for having a strange relationship with farmers who grow a particular Vietnamese coffee bean. As they cannot resist this bean, they will plunder plantations with excitement and over-stuff themselves. For the beans that do survive their digestive system, they are collected, ground and sold as a gourmet coffee known as "caphe cut chon" or Fox-Dung Coffee. The Civet is considered a type of fox in Vietnam.

In ancient times, coffee was considered a tonic that would boost energy and mental awareness. It also produced clarity and passion, so much so that the reigning rulers banned its consumption for fear of the people rising up and taking back control. You may notice today, that creative people gather in popular meeting places such as cafes drinking coffee. Is this a coincidence? This was the mission of Rashid, to help you remember that strange relationships can produce the most inspiring, creative and desired experiences in life. Thank you Rashid for blessing us with your wisdom. We will miss you.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Giving is Receiving

The ancients knew in order to receive what you need, you must first give it to another. We are at a point in our history where we have no map to direct us. We are in unchartered territory. Not knowing which way to go, we can feel lost and not trust our feelings. Cody knows how it feels not to trust. If you are needing to trust your decisions, trust that the universe is supporting you or trust that you are doing the right thing, do as the ancients did, give what you need.


Cody is providing an opportunity for you to receive trust by giving him your trust. As you look into Cody's eyes, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Project a beam of light from your heart to Cody's heart. Ask Cody permission to speak with him. When you are ready, tell Cody you give him your trust that you will do everything you can to protect the environment and share with people that it is our responsibility to protect the animals.

Giving Cody your trust will allow that trust to come back to you multiplied. Giving someone or an animal your trust will also ensure you will never be lost, even if you are navigating new territory because on the inner level, you will always be in the right place at the right time. Cody gives you a heart hug as he feels your trust that will give him what he needs.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

WHO AM I?

Unwanted and rejected, it took me a long time to understand why I was not wanted. I don't like many people as I don't trust them. I fear I will get hurt. It's not that I am shy, I don't want to get close to people. I have a few favorite people who help take care of me. I live with another cat. We have recently been moved to a new Cat-A-Tat. I am very food aggressive and love enrichment. I don't like to share anything. I will often peek and see what is going on before coming out of my den. I am a very sensitive cat. Do you have a feeling Who I Am?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

WHAT IF?

The cats ask, "WHAT IF........You were aware and remembered that every circumstance you are experiencing is there because you have attracted it to you through co-creation. What are you choosing to do with them?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Master Mind Group

Nikita, the beautiful African Lioness, has some of the volunteers commenting on how she has taken on the same characteristics of Sarabi, the other beautiful Lioness that crossed over last year. She gives heart hugs and roars just like Sarabi. Everyday, there is something that can be seen in Nikita that imitates Sarabi. This was not evident when Sarabi was still living at the sanctuary.

Is it possible that animals also have Master Mind Groups? As Napoleon Hill created the concept back in the early 1900's, he defined it as, "The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony." It appears to me that Sarabi started a Master Mind Group before she left and passed her knowledge and responsibility to Nikita. After all, the big cats are working toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony to help us in our personal growth as we realize they are kindred spirits.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Shadow Knows

Cold winds blew in today as did an attitude from someone I had talked with before going to the sanctuary. I had a discussion with a woman about volunteering. The person felt volunteering was rather worthless because she wasn't recognized for all the things she did with a particular rescue group. When I arrived at the sanctuary, I was reviewing in my mind what she had told me when I heard Shadow talking. He was all stirred up about something, and I quickly told him I was on my way to see what was going on.

I could see Shadow slowly walking back and forth when I called his name. "Worthless? Worthless?"I didn't know if Shadow was asking me or saying this as a rhetorical reply after reading my mind. "How could this concern you, Shadow?" I asked. Knowing Shadow, a reply was in the works when he said, "I would starve if someone didn't feed me everyday. I would go thirsty because there would be no water. I would get sick and not feel good." I could see he had an obvious point, but still didn't make the connection until he continued saying, "What would I do if everyone didn't volunteer to take care of me? You aren't worthless, you are priceless."

At that moment, I knew people should not volunteer to get their emotional needs met. They should volunteer because of the deep desire to be of service and to help others who need it. From the perspective of the one being helped, a volunteer is a life line, and I thanked this big cougar for caring to share what The Shadow Knows.