China Cat Sunflower, one of the most intelligent animals I have ever known, and Lady Madonna were with me for seventeen years and fifteen years, respectively, sharing my home in Missouri and then Minnesota. 

Woodbury, Minnesota

 I bought them in 1986 for twenty-five dollars each from a woman who lived in a trailer in rural Missouri. These two cats spent years running the length of my bungalow-style apartment at breakneck speed, and they seemed to be in good condition for middle-aged cats.

 Rounding out the trio of my closest friends in life was my cat Seth, a domestic shorthair with a dark body and wild-looking stripes, who possesses an almost Zen-like calm. He’s been with me for about ten of his fourteen years. I rescued him from a farm he shared with scores of other cats, three dogs, one horse, and a donkey.


Since these three cats were with me through my life’s highs and lows, I wanted to better understand their behaviour. I especially appreciated how they always tried to keep me from stressing out by questioning me sternly — and quite vocally — whenever I raised my voice in upset. One occasion stands out in my memory, though I didn’t fully understand at the time how my cats were helping me. Months before I moved to Minnesota in 1995, I suffered an appendicitis-like pain that was later diagnosed as a spastic colon. As I lay on the floor of my apartment, waiting for my mother to arrive to take me to the hospital, China sat at my head, Madonna flanked my right leg, and Seth stayed by my left leg. It seemed to me that the cats were triangulating me in a group healing session.

About five months later, we moved to Minnesota. At that time, I invited Teri Ann, a “pet whisperer” from the AnimalSpeak Company, to come talk with my three cats so that I could learn more about them. Teri communicates with pets through visual images, something she says all of us can do if we understand how animals talk. I’ll never forget the experience of watching my cats interact with her that day. It left a mark on my relationship with them, particularly with my two apple-headed Siamese, China and Madonna. I asked Teri to question Madonna about that healing experience in Missouri. I was surprised by her response.

“They were not in a triangle on purpose,” Teri said, “but they were around you because you had lost your purr. They hear your vibration — your chi, your life force — as if it were purring. On that day, you lost your purr, and they were worried that you weren’t coming back. They were around you, purring, to help recharge you.”

Those words seemed so perfect in that moment. Remembering that day when I was sick, I realized that what she said was true: I had lost my purr. That sudden bout of pain had been brought on by increasing stress in my being. At the time, I felt as if I had been treading water in my life. My job with the same employer for thirteen years seemed to be going nowhere. The workload was increasing exponentially as the pages of the calendar flipped by. I badly needed change. Without knowing it at the time, I was having a meltdown. Some people suffer panic attacks; I suffered a revolt in my intestines. I had, indeed, lost my purr.

Upon hearing Teri’s comments, I realized that, although I had not read the signals, my three roommates had been more in tune with my situation than I had been. I also recalled that, in recent years, when I lay down to sleep, the three cats would snuggle near my head, my side, and my feet. I wondered if they were monitoring my condition, recharging my purr. I often moved them in order to sleep more comfortably, but Teri said they surrounded me so that they could do their work. I told her that, because I moved around so often during the day, the cats had few opportunities to be near me. “Take more naps,” she advised, “so that the cats have another chance to be close to you.”

Madonna, the heavier of the two Siamese sisters,Madonna and China told Teri that she chases uninvited energy away from me while I work at my computer. Considering herself a queen (interestingly, my wife had nicknamed her Miss Regal), Madonna’s job was to protect me. She often delegated that job to Seth, who sometimes felt bossed around by Madonna.

I mentioned to Teri a puzzling habit of Madonna’s: She would meow insistently whenever I hung up the phone. Teri relayed to me that Madonna was concerned about me because she thought I was speaking to air. She didn’t understand what I was doing, and, frankly, she thought I was losing my mind. So she was telling me that she was there for me if I wanted to speak to somebody. Teri took the opportunity to explain to Madonna in general terms that I am talking to another person when I hold the phone, but Madonna communicated to Teri that she would prefer for me to speak exclusively to her. I smiled, because I knew that this cat had always been very devoted to me.

SethSeth had grown up on a small farm in the home of a coworker whom I used to visit often. Seth told Teri that he used to sleep in a cold barn and that he was very thankful that I’d rescued him. He said that he loves the soft blankets and warm home he now enjoys with me.

Teri learned something else that surprised me at the time: China confided that she was a warrior in a cat’s body. Speaking with a single-pointed glare, as if she were sending laser beams of information directly into the pet whisperer’s brain, China showed Teri the origin of her soul. China’s eyes turned to snakelike slits as she “talked” about her history. Her true name, she told Teri, was unpronounceable. She disliked the name China, considering it too dainty, so I decided to start saying her name with more vigor, in a more warrior-like way: “Chi-NAH!”

The cats all took turns speaking with Teri, looking at her calmly and making direct eye contact. They didn’t make a single sound the entire time Teri was with us. After she left, I gathered my companions around me and sent love to them, and I felt it returned.

As I reflected on this session with the pet whisperer, I realized how accurate the cats had been when they triangulated me in a group healing session on the floor of my Missouri apartment. They had astutely noticed that my spirit was draining and my body was in trouble.

Following a three-day hospital stay, I had come home and made drastic changes in my life. I moved to Minnesota, married for the first time, and settled into a new role as father to my wife’s young son. I found a rewarding job that was less stressful, and I was able to work at home and spend more time with my pets. The excruciating pain in my body has never returned. In some respects, I thank my four-legged friends for helping me stay relaxed, more attuned with my body, and in harmony with my purr.

Madonna left her body near Christmas in 2001. Her sister China lowered her head in my hands for the final time in May of 2003. Seth is still with me, but he’s getting noticeably older and losing weight.

As a result of my experiences with China, Madonna, and Seth, I came to more fully feel the interconnectedness between animals and humans. Strip away the external bodies, and you have beings of energy interacting with other beings of energy. If only everyone knew that, the world would be a more loving place.


Have you lost your purr? Are you allowing the cat or cats in your life to help restore your life force through their special connection with you and the Divine?

From the book Angel Cats. Copyright © 2004 by Allen and Linda Anderson.

Reprinted with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. or 800/972-6657 ext. 52.

Author’s Note:

Tim is the editor of ‘The Edge’ a leading source in the United States for inspiration, education, and information related to personal growth, integrative healing and global transformation.

A Cats Prayer

Lead me down all the right paths,
Keep me from fleas, bees, and baths.
Let me in should it storm,
Keep me safe, fed, and warm.


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