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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Zoisite and Zen Cats…

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I borrowed “Zen” for the sake of alliteration here, for although I have my own belief system, personal to me, I like the 21st interpretation of the word. “Zen” has somehow evolved to mean calm and centred, possibly derived from the practice of meditation in Buddhism. There is much to be learned from the art of meditation: it is both calming and grounding, even if you don’t at first achieve a state of enlightenment. It can help to deal with depression, stress and anxiety as you are within yourself, and at one with yourself.

Cats are masters at the art of meditation. I have sometimes mistaken Ting’s deep, contemplative state as one of her shifts at her part-time job of being a garden rock…

No! I’m not sleeping! I was a paw step away from total peace…”

Oh, sorry, I thought you were just sleeping…”

Charlie is an excellent meditation partner – she likes to sit on my legs to ground me and purr soothingly, while I refresh and re-connect. Sometimes we are joined by one or two of the other cats, just sitting, and purring, sitting and purring…

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Zoisite, therefore, is an excellent stone for meditation, and one that I mean to try for myself, rather than my “Go-to” stone of Rose Quartz. In The Autumn Of My Life did a wonderful post about her personal experience of Zoisite, go and check it out…

A typical interpretation of this stone is that it is positive and uplifting, it can transform negative energies, dispel lethargy and give you a hotline to the spiritual realms, so to speak. Zoisite is a stone of direction, enabling positive character traits and focus. Ruby in Zoisite is a combination stone, bestowing the benefits of Ruby too as it is linked to the Crown Chakra. It can help to access the soul memory and facilitate spiritual learning, maintain your connection to other people whilst amplifying the biomagnetic field around your body, protecting your sense of inner peace and calm.

A little piece and serenity can go a long way to self help and healing, not least making you feel better after a long, horrendous day. Then I look forward to sitting down, cup of tea in hand and cat on knee; after a few minutes, the stress oozes away, the dark depressive cloud lifts and I can see a way forward.

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My cats are both calming and restorative to me, there have been quite a few articles written about the health benefits of owning a pet, with scientific proof, but as well as being good for the body, they are also good for the soul. What you see is what you get with a cat, there is no artifice or deception, they don’t understand – or care – about how people perceive them, they just know that they are cats. They sometimes aspire to greater things, but ultimately they accept themselves for what they are and are at peace with that:

If there were a universal sound depicting peace, I would surely vote for the purr.”

Barbara L. Diamond