The Other Truth about Cats and Dogs
Have table will travel. The day of the massage in goes the table with the trademark cut-out for the face, sheets, towels, oils and often some relaxing CDs to my faithful ministry mobile. After work I boogie off to the appointment.
D is a relatively new client of mine in New Jersey. Like many, many of my clients she is an avid animal lover - she owns two adopted cats (or two cats own her), namely Billy and Buddy. They are similarly orange and white striped, 'though Billy has a little more heft to him.
At the get-go, 'the boys' were stand-offish staying safely in another room. The longer I worked on D, quietly massaging, listening to her muscles and tissue tell me through touch what kind of pressure different spots needed the more courage the guys mustered. Although trying to concentrate on the matters at hand (so to speak) I became aware of where the B boys were, slowly moving outside of sight lines staying close to the wall or around furniture yet drawn to find out what the heck was happening to their Mom.
OK, refocus! says I to myself as the palms of my hands apply soothing oil to shoulders and lower back. Just then I thought I felt something touch my left leg. No, this is no apparition - Buddy is checking me out, giving me the sniff test. Oops - for sure and certain Miss Emmy Lou has marked whatever clothes I'm wearing.... but that does not shake Buddy. Eventually he moved on, holding his tail high while passing under D's nose exposed through the face hole in the table.
"Oh, look at this! Look who's visiting! This is amazing... he must feel comfortable!" D questions whether they are bothering me. No, not at all. Well, that might be 95% true. Their little beings are strong and I feel them and their presence.
While Billy will be more likely to do the risky thing, Buddy is the lover of the two. He needs to be near D, no matter what.... and his favorite spot is first sitting and then laying down, nestled between her knees as she lays face down on the table.
The other truth about Cats and Dogs is.... they aren't so shy about honoring the holy in life.... the whole-ly in life. They are unperturbed by the fact that they - without our dependency on language to communicate - can sense danger and fear and disease and... healing. Given the opportunity, I have found that any dog or cat would much rather be near - or on top of - their caregiver during a massage. On the whole, dogs - regardless of their size - will lay either parallel to or underneath the table. Cats try to get even closer and will often get up (and stay there) on the table.
It takes some human beings a lifetime to understand the enormous and mysterious gift that is the ministry of presence. We want to do, to fuss, to organize and arrange. Any cat or dog seems to know that the rule is: show up. That's their job....... and they do it so well.
I got back from another massage with D last evening and the B boys have finally decided I'm not an intruder. As soon as D hit the table, Billy was up and onto the table, eventually leaning on D's left leg. He was content, peaceful being there. He could feel me praying as I work and settled quickly into a low, grinding purr that I could feel even up at D's shoulders.
The ministry of presence, of healing, is part of us all to one extent or another. Perhaps all you need to do is to get in touch with your inner pet!