came to our home on a request of my middle daughter Rosa, who wanted a cat for the last 3 years, but since after returning
from Poland, we lived in a rented house, we couldn’t get a pet.
So, as soon as I bought a house and all our stuff was moved in, we made a trip to the local Humane Society
There were many cats sitting
in the cages, usually two per cage, but as soon as we walked in an orange tubby kitten, sitting alone in one of the first
stuck his paw out and started meowing with a demanding tone. When we approached him he looked as
if he was saying: “Finally! Get me out of here!”
Since there were many more cats to look at, we passed his cage and as soon as he realized that we are not acting
fast, and according
to his intention his meowing
became more commanding and frantic.
no way to dismiss it and now I know that he picked us with a clear reason..
When we asked at the front desk to get him for us, we heard: “Are you sure? He is a very lively cat”
Yes, we were sure and yes, he was very lively. We named him Simon.
He was 3 months old, found roaming streets in December and in the
Northern Ontario it can be cold. Simon was street smart and very aware and rather scared of sounds of cars.
In the Summer he would leave every night, to come back in the morning
with a gift of a dead mouse or a bird, and in the second Summer he brought us a sizable partridge!
He most likely killed it in the forest about a kilometer from the house, and Simon was not
a big cat. What an effort he had to put in it!
was not a neurotic, needy cat. He made sure that you see the gift and didn’t ever wait for a praise, as if he would
be saying: ”You got it? Good, no need to thank me, it’s my job, enjoy it.”
Apart from that there is not much to write about Simon in his first 10 years of life with
The focus was on my three children and
when he was less than a year old we were chosen by Granjena, who required a lot of love, connection, communication, care.
So, Simon was just a cat, rather aloof and non-cuddly. Not drawing
much of an attention,
except when swatting
Granjena over her head, obviously to aggravate her for his fun, usually when she would be sleeping.
That was his pay-off for her earlier, nasty behavior.
After Granjena died and my last kid left for university, Simon became
my only being in the house I focused on, and he milked it!
I moved my office from downtown location to my house and Simon became a fixture in my therapy room.
He picked his sleeping spot on a spare computer chair next to me,
facing the loveseat of my clients.
would react to client’s emotional state with a stir, sound and a glance or, when needed a glare at them.
Many people commented that they feel like he is disturbed by their
problems and saying to them:
“I am listening,
I am part of your session, I don’t smell the truth here, better shape up!”
They would often apologize to Simon for bringing their human mess to him, which initially
we would find amusing, but, with time,
each client, who would recognize Simon’s upset with their drama, we would appreciate his participation.
Clients’ focus on shifting from the ego, emotional, painful
state to the authentic, peaceful, truthful position, just for Simon’s sake,
became the standard reminder to clients to see deeper, work harder, shift faster, and all
by his doing.
I had never pointed that out
before client’s noticed his inevitable stirring, as always in the moments of heightened emotionality.
Getting faster in a proper mental shape, only not to disturb Simon,
became an ongoing joke, with all the truth in it.
also helped me to recognize that emotions are only property of the ego programs.
Authentic has no emotions, it has feelings, which all stem from one – feeling of love.
Emotions run from the brain through the pathways of nervous system,
affecting the rest of the body through the brain chemistry.
They are deceptive and addictive. They scramble our connection with own truth, replacing it with a positionality
of interests of ego.
They create a perception
of boredom of life without emotions, compelling humans to seek and create events for a new emotional hit.
They are fleeting, and leave no lasting effects on values and choices,
and they are a waste of time.
Feelings, however... But,back to Simon.
I will write my lessons from Simon in a separate essay, because this one is his story, and what a story it is.
For all those who had witnessed Simon's direct and clear communication
about their state of mind, what he have done is still amazing, but it's understandable, even obvious. For others it might
It all began with my decision
in the summer of 2014 to permanently move to Costa Rica. The question was what to do with Simon.
There were two options:
1. he is going to come with me and will adjust to all the differences of the climate and surroundings,
2. he is going to move with Rosa, his original owner, who often comes
for visits, but she has a dog Emilia, whom Simon over the last
9 years slowly accepted, but was far from being cozy with. Both options, to me, didn't look easy on him.
He lived in our house for 19 years and was not going to be happy with
any changes, even if he would be possibly adopted by a new owner of the house, it wouldn't be enough. My attentiveness to
his needs, my communication with him and his respect for our connection
was dead giveaway that he will be heart broken when I will be gone.
The way how we would get each other was becoming more obvious.
Three years ago I told him not to poo in the litter box in the waiting room of my office.
The box was set there for an emergency pee only.
had another litter box in the entrance hall from the garage, where the smell would not spread to mine, and my client's space.
One would wonder how I told him. How I made him to understand.
I said exactly as I wrote here. I didn't repeat five times, didn't
shout or stick his nose in it. I said it once and he never did it again.
Another communication that
he got and respected was about him coming in the night to my bedroom to sleep on my bed, and that would be fine, but he would
announce his exit and entrance many times a night, with all kinds of meowing, often right above my ear. I tolerated it for years, but one night he woke me up at least five times and I had enough.
I picked him up and took him to the top of the stairs, with a message that he is not allowed to come to my bedroom, but he
turned around and started walking back.
This time I was more forceful. I brought him back and pushed his bum down the
stairs. He turned around and looked at me reproachfully.
I apologized for the push, but my decision was final. He clearly
got the message and he never came upstairs again
When passing the stairs he looked like he was fighting an urge to go upstairs. He would stop for a moment, look up
and hesitantly start walking away from it. You could hear him saying: ''Fine, if that's so important I will respect her wish.''
He would send me his messages of needs so clearly that it was not
too hard to understand, and with a few exceptions caused by my own
distractions, I would cater to him ''immediately or even sooner'', as my saying goes.
For a year between summers of 2014 and 2015 Simon exhibited states
of neediness and antsy-ness that was not at all typical for him.
I new that he is affected by my decision to move. Was he already considering the options and making decision
of his own.
In August of 2015 I put the house
for sale and I bought a ticket to Costa Rica.
few days later I found Simon sleeping in his litter box in the waiting room... I picked him up, dusted him off and gave him
a lot of love.
Searching internet I learned
that his action indicates that he is dying or is very sick.
He became weak and lifeless. Every time I found him in the litter box I would get him out of there and hold him for
as long as it was
needed to bring life back
in him. I would repeat to him a message full of love that he is not going to die, that we will figure out the next best place
for him to live in and he will be happy. In his mind that was debatable, but after 3 weeks of me working against his intention
to die, he stopped sleeping in the litter box.
plan didn’t work.
He became strong and
looked healthy again. I was relieved and hopeful that his intention not to move anywhere else, but to heaven, went away.
I was leaving for Costa Rica on October 12th and on the September
30th Simon stopped eating.
He would always
have leftovers from the day on one plate and I would give him a fresh food for the night on another, and both plates would
be empty every morning. That morning I came downstairs to find his two plates of food full. I threw it out and gave him a
new, fresh food for the day, he didn't touch it. I added another plate for the night. Next morning I found them untouched.
The same next day. It was clear - he decided to starve himself to
death. And I decided, no, not on my watch.
day I opened a can of his favorite tuna and brought it to his chair in my office.
He looked at the food, looked at me... and clearly said: ''fine'', got up and started eating.
He ate and ate and ate.
By the end of the day
both plates of his regular food were empty and he asked for more. I was greatly relieved.
I am leaving for Costa Rica and strong and healthy Simon is moving in with Rosa for now,
where everyone was waiting to great him and spoil him.
All appeared to be going accordingly to my plan.
Well... not really.
It was Saturday, October 3rd and I had a morning session with a woman, who knew Simon well, since
she was coming for her weekly sessions
the last 4 years. There was nothing in particular about their relationship, pretty much the same as with others with an exception
of my housekeeper. Simon was never disturbed nor overly friendly with anyone.
Often, as with anybody else, he would be fast asleep on his pillow-topped chair, but not
that day. As soon as she sat down, Simon got up very alert, moved towards the edge of his chair, and leaned with a nose forward
and the eyes as big as saucers, staring at her, frozen.
We were both very surprised and slightly spooked.
She was asking me what does he want, and I didn't know, because who would believe in his message, even if one would
receive it clearly.
I got from him saying to
her: ''you are important'', but not a clue why.
days later, on Wednesday Oct. 7th, the husband of the woman that Simon stared at on Saturday, came to me for a business visit
and when he was leaving around 8 PM Simon rushed to the door pushing himself between us indicating an urge to go out.
When I opened the door I noticed how unusual it was that he didn't
care how cold it was outside.
Simon was very
aware of weather and the nights already became close to 0 C. Usually it would take a few paw shaking, a bit of thinking, and
a few attempts to cross the threshold before Simon would go out on a cold night like this, but not this time. Before I leaned
to pet him on his way out, he was gone. I made a note of this “out of ordinary act of Simon”.
After the man left, less than a minute later I heard a frantic bang
on the door. When I opened the door my guest from a moment ago, stood there looking pale and distressed, saying: ''this is
bad'', ''this is bad'', ''your cat is dead''.
run out and Simon was lying dead on my driveway.
finally did it.
He couldn't pick a better man
to execute his decision. The man, understanding the possibility of Simon's intention wouldn't feel guilty.
Bad, yes, but not guilty.
He picked up Simon from my driveway and promised to bury him in his lake side backyard on
the native land, next to the grave of his cat.
promised that his wife, being a native, and an educator of Ojibwa traditional ceremonies, will perform a proper animal spirit
4 days earlier Simon told her ''you
are important'' and now I know why.
couldn't support an accident concept.
that Simon was street smart and very aware and rather scared of sounds of cars.
The man's car had a broken muffler and the sound level of him driving out was way higher
He placed himself under the front
wheel, which means he would have to be completely under the car.
Many things were telling that he made a decision to end his life and he stuck to it.
I chose to believe that he made an offering of his life to liberate
me from a responsibility and obligation to him.
wanted me to be free to create a new life, full of new obligations and he decided to unburden me from an obligation to him.
He was a clear thinker and a brave decision maker.
His life and his death are a testimony to grandness of life and the
mind that supports it.
No matter how small
is the living being and how insignificant its life looks to us, the same one mind, the mind of all-ness runs it intelligently,
perfectly, without fail. What it obviously needs is a grateful, an
intelligent observer and participant to interact with, than all becomes clear.
But that's not easy to accomplish... tread softly, you might become one.