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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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.

20472626_162915264263681_1093126036_oA beautiful and shiny Pyrite sphere, courtesy of Lizian’s wonderful stall

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.

20464803_162867477601793_496060702_o (1)A splendid Pyrite sun, from Lizian 

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

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“Star Light… Star Bright”

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She was sad. Dreadfully, bone achingly sad and weary both in spirit and body. Her husband had done his very best to reduce her, to consume her and quench her brilliance beneath his own dull cloak of mediocrity, tarnishing her shine with the black hole of everyday.

He ridiculed her beliefs, berated her values and derided her loves. Her rage burned dully, smouldered against his expectations of “Yes dear, no dear”, roasts on a Sunday, fish on a Friday and sex timetabled somewhere in between. She resented the physical intrusion, she hated his ageing body, the encroach of hair in unexpected places and the rigid, unbending mindset.

They had a son. The man tried to dim his particular sparkle; but he escaped and grew, unshackled from familial duty and set free by his mother. He watched and yearned from a distance as his mother struggled within.

Star Light, Star Bright…” she would chant the old rhyme with longing and love as she closed the bedroom curtains at night. Above her, the stars spun and sparkled in their golden cycle.

Then one day that was it, he had belittled her enough, she shone forth into super nova brilliance, lifted by rage, emboldened by hate.

The wild spirit of her heart broke free as it beat its wings against her empty ribcage and soared away unfettered into the dark.

The man married again, a dull, pleasant lady who was happy to have him think for her. The son? He watched and made his way in the world, touched sometimes by the wild spark of his mother, until at last, the brilliant shine faded to the warm glow of peace.

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Crystal Cats And… Um… Cats

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I’m guessing from the title of today’s post you can see where I’m going with this… but just in case… My love of cats started even before I was born. My maternal grandfather died shortly before I was born, so in order to try and provide a little comfort, my father bought my mother a small black kitten, duly named Snoopy.

He would sit on my mother’s bump (me) and purr… I have since read that you can play Mozart to your unborn child to encourage the growth of genius… not sure about purring, whiskers maybe? Snoopy was the first in the line of my feline family and I have been blessed with many memorable characters that have brought their own particular magic to my life.

From the age of about 6 to 12, I had a brown Burmese, Ming, a wonderful companion and comfort. A very vocal and urbane cat, he accompanied me to my grandparents’ house in Wales on weeks away while my parents carried on savaging the wreckage of their marriage.

My grandmother took the presence of a cat in her previously animal-free home with her usual aplomb and ladylike dignity, perhaps recognising the very real comfort I drew from his presence. She only showed concern when Ming set about her textured wallpaper with his toe knives, saying with a slightly pained expression:

Darling, could you perhaps have a word with Ming and ask him not to do that… Nanny quite likes that wallpaper…”

Presently, my Furry Four are my comfort and inspiration, bringers of mice (Lily) and laughter (Ting), muddy pawprints (Tooty) and beauty (Charlie) My attraction to crystals came later, although even as a child I was drawn to the colours and shapes of stones that I found…

So… imagine my delight when my son’s lovely crystal lady had this Malachite cat. I had to have him and rushed to buy him at the first available opportunity. Malachite is quite a powerful crystal, and should be used carefully, ALWAYS in its polished state as it is toxic when rough. Its green swirling patterns reminded me of tabby cat fur, but can also be taken to mean that this crystal is still evolving.

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It is protective and amplifying – if used in healing, it’s especially good for female problems but benefits from being used in combination with something like Clear Quartz. It can soak up electrical and atmospheric pollution and will clear the chakras, bringing fresh alignment and insight, understanding and mental clarity.

This little crystal kitten is Tiger’s Eye, protective and grounding. It brings integrity and determination to the wearer, to help with achieving their goals, promoting confidence and clarity while balancing emotions and helping with depression … my cats always cheer me up…

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And then this crystal cat is Opalite – a Mother’s Day present from my son. Now, Opalite is actually glass, given a milky iridescent sheen, yet even still, it has useful properties. It is linked to the third eye chakra and is said to help with spiritual communications. Opalite is said to have quite a subtle vibration that can help to soothe emotional upset and deal with anxiety in a calm and thoughtful manner. As such, it is an excellent focus for meditation.

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Generally, crystals that have been shaped have a special quality to their energies: spheres emit energy in all directions, rather like turning on an overhead light, eggs can be used to direct and focus energy while rough pieces have a free-flowing energy ready to be purposed to your intent.

I haven’t actually come across any set interpretation for animal shaped crystals… perhaps using an animal form gives the crystal that particular quality … the faithfulness of a dog, the regeneration and joy of a frog… cats admittedly don’t appeal to everybody, but they do have a grace and elegance which is hard to deny as they move silently through the world.

Perhaps, then, feline crystals are purposed with grace and gratitude; a quiet, yet powerful energy, reminiscent of a tiger in the jungle… the warmth and love of a domestic cat upon your knee.

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“You Need Hands…”

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These lyrics fit quite nicely with the theme of this post, and although they were originally Eydie Gorme’s, I remember the Max Bygraves version very clearly… thanks Grandad…

Obviously in addition to hands, we have opposable thumbs, which are generally quite useful, although I still can’t open child-proof caps, and recently, while I was trying to take the cap off an ironically named safety razor, I sliced a perfect semicircle of flesh out of the tip of my thumb. Nothing happened for a moment, but then the blood began to flow and it REALLY hurt… it was on my right hand and it made life awkward for a couple of days as I couldn’t even hold a pen without crying… I’m not very good at pain!

HANDS 1 (2)My hands… clutching Charlie, enjoying a sneaky squish of soft fur before she woke up…

It’s only until you can’t use your hands that you appreciate just how much you really do need them. Animals like cats and dogs can be quite dextrous, using their front paws to grip and manipulate. I adore Charlie’s delicate little paws with her two distinctive ginger toes and pink paw pads – her others are brown. She can use her paws like hands to good effect and I remember being highly amused to see her box my son’s ears…

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I love the varying styles of hands that children draw – apparently hands are, in fact, one of the hardest things to draw – but children tend to draw giant appendages, attached directly to the body, or round circles, with five lines sticking out of them…

The prominence we give to hands in drawings and life even as children suggests they play a dominant role in how we perceive the world and people around us. Hands are one of the first things I look at… I appreciate well-kept hands. I used to bite my nails when I was younger, which made them look horrible; but then when I was thirteen, I started smoking… and stopped biting my nails. (Simple. Exchanging one bad habit for another can stop the previous – NO! Don’t do it!) However, my hands healed, and even though I haven’t smoked for seven months, I haven’t gone back to biting my nails…

As I said, hands are one of the first things I look at on a person – you can tell a lot about the person from how their hands look, and hands are one of the first things we present when meeting someone new… I can admire dainty hands and manicures on a woman, with wonderful shades of nail polish – I don’t myself, as having worked in the food industry, we were discouraged in case of “flaking”… – and I like well-kept hands on a man.

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There’s nothing “girly” about manicures, gentlemen, trust me! My personal preference is “artistic” type hands, long, elegant fingers and oval palms that hint at strength, yet sensitivity… I mentioned this personal preference to a friend and her response was interesting…

Ugh! Spidery hands! I like a man whose hands show they’ve done an honest day’s work!”

My younger son’s hands are a happy blend of mine and his father’s… his father’s rounded fingertips but the length of digit he inherited from me. He told me the other day that hands shaped like ours with a curved line between the bases of the fimgers and the top of the palm and ring and first fingers the same length are “psychic” hands… to which I replied

Ooh! Didn’t see that coming…!”

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Lapis Lazuli And Loving Cats

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This is a beautiful crystal, with benefits and qualities rooted in the mists of time, where people saw its sky blue colour and used this crystal ground up as a paint to try and capture the heavens…

In powder form, it was also used by Cleopatra, amongst others, as an eyeshadow and ornamentation as a crystal in jewellery and statuary.

Lapis Lazuli’s spiritual qualities are as beautiful and as varied as the stone itself… it is highly protective, and as with most blue crystals, balances the throat chakra and helps with communication, both with other people and also becoming aware of your own “inner voice” and listening to it.

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Its soaring azure colours, reminiscent of the sky, perhaps illustrates the fact that this crystal encourages you to rise above the boundaries of your physical self, facilitating spiritual journeying. Lapis Lazuli is a wonderful crystal to release stress and lift depression, bringing harmony and balance.

Like a clear summer sky, Lapis Lazuli will also amplify thought – by this I mean clarity. It brings clarity, disposing of woolly, outdated thought patterns that are of no benefit.

A loving and caring crystal – another strongly protective one too – Lapis Lazuli strengthens the relationships and friendships we nurture, allowing feelings to be freely expressed.

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I know my cats love me – as Mummy and not just because of my useful opposable thumbs – yet having four, it’s wonderful to see the varying ways in which they express this human quality of love.

Charlie, as befits a lady and a princess, is quite reserved, and I do indeed feel quite honoured when she chooses to sit on my knee and purr, kneading her little paws in a frenzy of:

Oh yes, I’d forgotten, you’re quite nice really…”

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Lily has a sweet, trilling meow to signal that she would like some attention, subtly different from the:

Here, look, I’m spoiling you, another mouse…” call. She will butt her small but surprisingly hard head against your hand and gaze deeply and meaningfully into your eyes … When I go to check my son is asleep, she will be there, curled up against him in an indistinguishable ball of black fluff…

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Tooty loves to cuddle and will curl up near you, purring mightily… she has a habit of checking if you are available to give out strokes when you are sleeping… there’s been a few times when I’ve been awoken by a cold nose pressed enquiringly against my cheek and catfood breath …

Hi! Are we awake? Tummy tickles?”

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Ting is definitely the most demonstrative cat … when I come in, she will collapse at my feet and rub her head on them, purring in a total ecstasy of love and happiness…

Currr-AH…Currr-AH – so happy! You’re home…you’ve been gone AGES…”

clutching my hand between her front paws – no claws – to rub her cold, wet nose on it.

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Cats are traditionally supposed to be cold and stand-offish… not my four girls! Although they each have very different ways of showing it, I am rewarded by their love and truly appreciate it.

What greater gift than the love of a cat?”

Charles Dickens

Trapped

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She was the most beautiful thing in the world to him. She couldn’t believe her luck when he looked at her and chose her. He made her feel special with his attention, as he paraded her in front of his friends, remarked upon her intelligence and complimented her.

Previously unliked by men and women both, she bloomed under his guidance. The few friends she had carefully cultivated, the ones who liked her kindness and welcomed her company did not meet his standards. Under his secret sneers and uncomprehending gaze they lost heart and withered away from her. Puzzled but happy, she accepted their gradual withdrawal and instead immersed herself in her new love.

She joyfully signed away her independence, trusting to her new love to keep her safe. The door of his house closed behind her, implacably, impermeable, impregnable.

She quickly learned. A place for everything and everything in its place. Clean and tidy by nature, she realised she must not clean and tidy, without first informing him of her intentions and replacing things exactly where they were. She quickly learned. Fond of reading and music, she realised she must not read in his presence as he required her full attention, every minute of every day. She restrained her love of music until she knew she was alone in the house, and danced, summoning the joy she dimly remembered from months past.

Her intelligence, once an asset, became a burden. Once praised, now ridiculed. She quickly learned. She stifled independent thought and individual opinion. Crushed them down until they crumbled away. Told she was stupid, she began to believe. Told she was untrustworthy, she began to doubt. Told she was pathetic, she began to die.

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