Opalite And Opinions About Cats…

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This form of Opalite, as shown in the pictures, can also be known as Tiffany Stone, Opalised Fluorite and Purple Opal. It is, in actual fact, a man-made glass compound and opinion is divided as to whether it is a genuine crystal with any metaphysical benefit.

However, it is a pretty stone to look at, and make things from, and as a wise lady I know always says, it’s good to work with colours. It has a milky, opalescent gleam to it, and like most crystals, it is useful as a focus for meditation. It has a subtle energy to it that is said to help clear any spiritual blockages and lend support during life changes.mg_4255-1

Opalite encourages both strength of will and character, and is said to bring inner peace and calm. It is credited with improving communication channels and encouraging us to voice our thoughts and feelings.

A good stone to tie in with the title – this is the follow up post to “Obsidian And Older” where a very interesting debate arose, essentially: do cats’ personalities change after hey have been neutered.

I must thank everybody who was kind enough to share their views, opinions and personal experiences,  and as much as I would like to say I have come to a definitive conclusion, the overall answer is as varied as cats and owners themselves… Some cats are just basically grouchy, while others are furry angels and some are a combination of both…

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I must emphasise, though, that unless you are a professional breeder, then ALWAYS have your animal neutered. The over-riding urge to reproduce is removed, as are all the accompanying health risks, and the overflow of unwanted babies is not an issue.

There are outside factors to consider, such as whether the animal came from a home, a farm, or a feral mother, for example. One kitten may be warm and playful, while its litter mate is shy and timid. Another point – I had my four girls spayed at three different vets with varying results. Charlie’s operation actually cost the most and when she recovered, I did notice a personality change. Although still reasonably loving towards me – after she’d got over the indignity of stitches and a bald spot – she would have very little to do with Lily, when previously they had been close enough to curl up together to sleep.

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Ting and Tooty still remain close, and while Ting is loving, Tooty is quite timid. Age. There’s another factor… cats’ personalities continue to develop as they get older – as indeed do dogs. Erin can be grouchy maiden-auntish, but will drop into puppy play… if she feels like it.

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My old cat, Walter, was the last kitten from a litter his mother – also my cat – had, by accident. Unloved and unable to find him a home, I ended up keeping him myself, and he went on to become one of my most beloved cats. So… Nature vs. Nurture – a favourite point of debate. Are cats born with their own inherent natures, to develop as they age; or does circumstance, upbringing and what they learn from those around them have a bigger influence?

Thank you to everyone again, who shared their views, experiences and opinions; although ultimately, I suspect, as with Opalite, opinions will remain inconclusive. I do know one thing for certain, though… cats definitely learn from each other. I’m surprised I’m not ten feet long, being wrapped around so many furry paws!

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To Beard… Or Not To Beard?

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I’m quite into beards at the moment. Not personally, as being female, I would have a bit of difficulty growing one, although I do sometimes grow the occasional one tough facial hair… a remnant from a previous life as a cat, I like to think…

I remember when I was a little girl hearing my father refer scornfully to “beardy weirdies”, and I was at once fascinated. Why were these men weird for having hair on their faces? How did it get there? Were they weird to start off with, or did growing a beard make them weird? Did it grow so far and then just fall out? Did they brush them? Remember, this was in the ‘70’s, and although the straggly hippy beard was still to be seen, the majority of men my father knew were clean shaven, apart from a few of the R.A.F. officers with whom he socialised, who sported immaculately groomed moustaches….

Obviously, as I grew older, I realised that my father meant it as a derogatory remark more to do with politics than actual appearance, but my fascination for facial hair was already – ahem – fertilised… Presently, beards are actually quite fashionable, and I am entranced by the amount of time and product men can use in maintaining a well-furnished face. My sons are both very fair and unable to produce a satisfying amount to require anything other than the occasional shave…

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I know that if I were a man, I would grow a full beard at least once in my life, just to see what it felt like and because, well, because I could! Some men’s faces definitely suit beards, whether to add character or hide a weak jawline… some men suit the naked look… some men are lucky enough to be good looking with or without facial adornment… yes, I’m talking about you Mr. Jeffrey Dean Morgan…

I had a somewhat morbid fascination with my History teacher’s beard. It was dark, and curly, but one year, a grey spot appeared right in the middle of his chin, with a ginger ring around it. Every year, the grey spot grew larger, as did the corresponding ginger ring… I left before his face was entirely consumed by grey, but even now, I wonder… WAS HIS SKIN GREY AND GINGER UNDERNEATH THE HAIR – LIKE AN APPALOOSA PONY’S???

I am quite pleased by the current hipster fashion for beards, long, silky pelts that are sometimes threaded with beads, or plaited… or both… I applaud your ability to grow beards, gentlemen, and am secretly quite envious…enjoy your symbols of virility and masculine power, but please, answer me this – Do you keep things in them?? I would…!

Murder Mittens Inc.

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Sometimes a phrase stays with me, whether it is a stanza of haunting beauty, a vivid description or something so unbearably funny it makes me laugh out loud on the bus or snort tea through my nose… My dear friend GarfieldHug – please go and visit, she is as wise as she is witty, and as warm as she is funny – posted a picture of various animals with alternative descriptions. For example, snake = danger noodle, manta ray = majestic sea flap flap, otter = sea cat snake… you get the idea… even now I’m laughing!

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It reminded me of a picture I’d seen previously, of a tiger cub with its paws resting on a wall, captioned “Murder Mittens”. Also funny – I love this sort of word play; but I turned to look at Lily as I was reading this on my phone – she was curled up, sleeping, next to me – but as I looked, she stretched, luxuriously.

Her tiny, delicate, blackberry toes spread apart involuntarily and gleaming obsidian scythes appeared, seemingly out of all proportion to her toes. Every cat paw is a Mother Nature miracle of engineering and tendons, designed to pull these knives back when not needed, or release them…

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Lily is the smallest cat, but she uses her murder mittens to great effect. Sparrows and blackbirds have all fallen prey to her (I cry for each feathered soul and send it on its way with love) as have two different types of mouse. Oddly enough, she seems to kill the birds outright in preference to the mice… oh no, she likes to bring them home to share. I have had mice in the airing cupboard and the sofa – none of the others bother, although Charlie once caught a very small mouse…

Perhaps this is why Lily does bring them home for us… she pities us for our lack of ability. I remember one occasion – I was in the back bedroom upstairs, that overlooks the back garden, and I could see Lily, Ting and Tooty, all gathered in a circle around something…

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Suspicion aroused, I rushed downstairs and was less than impressed to find them slapping a poor little mouse between them with their murder mittens, for all the world like a gang of mean girls picking on the goody-two shoes. I rescued the poor little creature and sent him on his way with a stiff warning:

You should know by now to stay away from here…”

Thanks Missus, but that black one… she’s a terror… lost Bill and Ted the other week…”

Having been the recipient of a few swipes from murder mittens, I could only sympathise – and be thankful that I am the size I am in proportion to my murder mitten wielding dainty demon…

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Carnelian And Comfort Cats

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When I was a little girl – a very little girl – I had a teddy bear called Pinky Bear. I acquired him as we were walking through a market, my father carrying me, and I apparently reached out and neatly snagged this teddy bear from a toy stall. I refused to be parted from him – indeed, Pinky Bear had many individual adventures, including being lost on a train – and his soft, marshmallow pink fur epitomised comfort and security for me.

I no longer have Pinky Bear, but somehow, the colour pink retains an air of love and comfort for me… Carnelian is not normally a stone to which I am drawn, although I have written about it before, as it is a useful addition to any crystal collection, but Lizian’s latest order caught my eye…

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Pink. Wonderful, striped shades of pink, some reminiscent of smoked salmon – I like that too… And I have also discovered recently that Carnelian is a wonderful stone of comfort. It deflects rage or anger that is directed towards you and helps your own anger or resentment to be gently dissolved, and a workable resolution reached.

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Carnelian can help to lessen the bleakness of a situation where you feel emotionally isolated, and yes, bring the comfort you may remember from a much-loved childhood toy. Carnelian helps to restore the love and faith you have in Life, accepting the never-ending cycle of Life and Death, but not fearing it.

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It imparts courage and confidence, the strength to carry on and can help to sharpen mental focus. Red Carnelian, as shown in some of the pictures, is useful for energising body and mind. Pink Carnelian, as soothing and warming as a cosy blanket, helps to restore trust and love, a comforting, happy stone.

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Having shared the majority of my years on this Earth with a cat, or two, or three… or even four, it is safe to say I derive a lot of emotional comfort from the presence, love and companionship of my cats.

My old cat, Walter, was perhaps the supreme Comfort Cat Champion; his soft grey and black fur saw plenty of tears in his lifetime:

There, there… tell me all about it and let’s see what can be done.”

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I was so desperately lonely and bereft when his time came to cross the Rainbow Bridge… but now I have my quartet of princesses, the Furry Four, Mummy’s Girls, of which Charlie, Madame La Princesse, is undeniably Number One.

And when I am overwrought, or emotional, then I know there is comfort to be had, and love, in the presence of a warm, furry purrer…

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Unicorn

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A magical Selenite spiral wand, from Lizian 

It was a summer morning, an early summer morning. It had rained overnight and every blade of grass wore a delicate crystal drop, the whole garden outlined with a glassy sheen.

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It was so early, so fresh and early, before the sun had risen and burnt away the magic. A gentle mist wreathed the base of my apple tree, cat-pawed and soft at the bottom of the garden where it is wildest.

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I like the garden to be a little untamed, a place where I can find the little people of my childhood imagination, the Fae, the smile of the Wild in the turn of a leaf; where Mother Nature walks with careful, loving steps trailing her fingers tenderly through the pathways of my garden.

I know we have hedgehogs, and sometimes a fox, birds fly through untroubled by my cats, as if they know a little bit of magic lives there, there at the bottom of the garden.

I gazed around, enjoying the freshness, and turned, alerted by the sound of a slapping fishtail from the pond as one of the goldfish rose to surface to capture a fly.

And then I saw…

creature of silken grace and delicate air
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Well, this was some Wild magic indeed. Mother Nature smiled at her little lost one and it stepped out further from behind the tree to return my gaze. Large dark enquiring eyes looked at me. I looked back and any idea I had of unicorns as horned horses fell away as this little creature was far more ethereal and dainty.

Barely a blade of grass bent under its weight or drop of dew stirred as it moved. The morning mist caressed delicate fetlocks and rose up to run loving tendrils through the silver mane – oh yes, silver and gossamer fine and plaited with girls’ dreams draped across a slender neck and fine-boned face – that face. Mother Nature must have felt truly blessed when presented with this little creature to love and cherish.

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And yes, oh yes, a rainbow curlicue of pure shimmer and shine adorned its little face, dainty and fine-boned, yes, but with an air of such Wild magic it took my breath away. For Wild Magic is not governed by man’s rule or human regulation – it simply is.

And as I looked, and looked again, the unicorn met my eyes and I wanted to cry, for there, within those liquid depths I saw love and knowing too. The sun rose higher and a random sparkle struck magic from that twisted horn and in a rainbow flash, a coloured turn, it was gone. And yet, and yet, I knew I was awake, and did not dream, for here…

unicorns shed their horns you know
to learn in love and kindness grow
as do we – with each year
grow in grace and keep love near

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Cinnamon Tiger

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“Sugar and spice
And all things nice –
That’s what little girls are made of.”
Mummy says this to me
All the time –
She doesn’t know what
I know.

These paws of silk and
Softest down
Contain within sharp scythes of steel.
I call down the spirits of my
Wild cousins –
But never kill a thing.

My eyes are glowing golden
Suns that guide me through
The night –
When morning comes I’m in with Mum
Curled up warm and tight.

I tell you this
And for free
Cats are contradictions –
See?

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Pyrite And Purrsonality…

20517376_163233007565240_1015633897_oFascinating cubic Pyrite, thank you to Lizian for letting me photograph them

I’ve written about Pyrite before, but it’s a purrsonal favourite (hehehe!) so I think it will take a little bit more, especially since it ties in so nicely with the second part of the title. The second part of the title was arrived at through an initial reply by Dolly of koolkosherkitchen, please go and visit – she has a wonderful blog that consists combines a fascinating mix of recipes and history – irresistible! The point of debate was: “Does neutering arrest a cat’s development and make them kittenish forever, or is it purely personality?”

I must actually apologise as I don’t remember where I saw the original claim – I’ve looked everywhere, but it was either obviously a figment of my imagination… or it’s been hidden by fairies.

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Do cats’ personalities change as they get older, like humans do… I’ve known some perfectly pleasant sixteen year olds grow into unbearable adults. Does anybody feel that their cats did indeed change in temperament after being neutered? I must confess, I do feel that Charlie became a little more bad tempered, and less tolerant of Lily, as they did used to sleep curled up together, but now they very rarely bother with each other, save the occasional:

“All right?”

Yeah, not so bad – yourself?”

Tooty and Ting have always had a very strong sisterly bond – apart from when they’re fighting – so they continue to get along well with each other and still make friendly overtures towards the big girls, even though they’re likely to get a slap for their trouble!

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Maybe I’m just reading too much into the situation, and the reason that cats still sometimes adopt a kittenish persona is to get their own way/

I’m so beautiful… How can you possibly say NO!”

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Oh yes of course, I’m sorry, Mummy’s little princess, I’ll rush out and get fresh chicken right this very minute even though it’s 12 o’clock at night, pouring with rain and local shops are shut…”

Yeah right. Crazy cat lady.

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Perhaps I should carry my Pyrite more often… sometimes known as ‘Fool’s Gold’, this stone is very protective and will encourage you to trust your own judgement, take stock of a situation and implement solutions where needed. Its shiny gold surfaces act as a spiritual mirror and enable us to look within, to see our own characters, aspects, both good and bad, uncovering suppressed memories that are ready to be dealt with. A warming, magical stone, it has traditionally been used in amulets and in healing as a ‘warming’ stone – Pyrite suns have a special pain alleviating quality to them as well. So. A warming and grounding crystal… as warming as the love you share with your cat.

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So, please, opinions about personality please, whether feline or otherwise…

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