Lessons From Our Cat Nic

hyjinx_nic_smLast Thursday we said farewell to our sweet dilute tortoiseshell kitty Nic, whom we adopted with her sister Nac at a shelter in 1999.  I hope my grief at the loss of my dear soul companion gets tempered in time by my gratitude for the many years in her presence as well as the gifts and wisdom she brought, some of which I’ll share here.

Follow Your Instincts: Like most animals, Nic trusted herself. She knew what she wanted and she did it without second guessing. Life flows more easily when you follow your intuition and trust “you know what you know.”

Don’t Worry What People Think of You: Nic behaved however the spirit moved her.  One time she dragged a stack of mail from the mudroom, through the breakfast nook, and down the basement stairs trying to get a rubber band.  She shredded cardboard boxes bit by bit with her teeth, breaking off part of a canine tooth in the process. Her relentless curiosity forced us to put childproof locks on our cupboards, to tape boxes shut, and to hide rubber bands.  She modeled authenticity, never modulating herself to please us.

Neither Your Gender Nor Your Appearance Matters: Nic, a fearless and nervy female kitty who possessed virtually no feminine traits, modeled boldness for me. She also transcended her crooked one-tooth grin, her shaved belly which never filled back with fur because of her medications, and her steroid-induced floppy ears.

Be Vocal: Nic often jumped on top of our upper kitchen cabinets and meowed loudly for attention. She also sometimes meowed outside my healing space wanting to join a client on my massage table.  Luckily she provided a quiet healing presence once she settled on or next to someone.  If you don’t ask, how will people know what you want?

Nap When You’re Tired: Fighting sleep wastes energy. Get a few zzz’s and come back fresh.

Life Gets Richer When You Live in the Moment, Letting Go of the Past and Not Worrying about the Future: Like all animals, Nic lived in the now, a great spiritual model for those of us who “served” her.  She also taught us about giving and receiving unconditional love.

I only realize now how much Nic taught me and gave me. What lessons have you learned from your pets? 


  1. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. It’s been a roller coaster for me since I lost my sweet Murphy. I understand it is a process but that doesn’t make it easier. But the gratitude is the saving grace.


    • Hi Marcy,
      Thanks for your comment. I’ve been touched by all you’ve shared about your beloved Murphy. These lovely spirits join us, bring so much joy, and then depart, leaving such a bittersweet trail in their wake. Imagining life without ever loving her does hurt more than life without her presence now. I do hope gratitude continues to wend its way through it all for both of us.
      Hugs to you,


  2. Hi Christy, My condolences. It sounds like you had wonderful years with this feisty wonder. As I read through your post, I could easily visualize her “crooked one-tooth grin” and her many other unique features. She was indeed a soul companion and I am certain her spirit will always be with you. Joanne 🙂


    • Hi Joanne,
      Thanks for your kind comment. Yes, she was a one-of-a-kind kitty who left an indelible mark. I always tease my husband because he listed “hijinks” as one of our criteria for a kitty at the shelter. With Nic we got hijinks and then some!
      Many thanks,


  3. Hi Christy,

    So beautiful and wise, thank you for sharing.

    From my dog (family dog) who lived with the family for 16 years he taught me never to hold grudges. When he was about 5 years old, I moved to NY, after having him since he was 2 months old, and he used to sleep in my bedroom. Every time I went back home, he received me with hugs and kisses. When I was packing, he would stay around with a sad face, but I always promised him I’d come back.
    He also taught me to be democratic and share the love. Even though when I would come back home to visit, he had moved on to sleep in my sister’s room or my parents’ room, when I was there, he would start the night in my room, and later on would move on to my sister’s room, and wake up in my parents’ room.
    When he turned 16 he was sick, so when I was leaving again, instead of telling him to wait for me to come back, as I had been saying for the past couple of years, I told him that I’d love if he could wait for me, but if it was his time he could go. He died two days later.

    Much love to you and your family,



    • Hi Elisa,
      Thanks for sharing your beautiful and poignant experiences with your beloved family dog, it moved me to tears. I love the amazing connections we form with our animals and how they stay with us always. Thanks also for the love, we appreciate it.
      Warm regards,


    • Hi Julie,
      Thank you. I’m grateful we both had our dear pets and their lessons. I absolutely believe our pets’ spirits continue to be with us; I even believe they sometimes reincarnate as future pets for us. All part of the big mystery…
      Peace and Blessings,


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