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My Guru Has a Tail, Episode 1: The Fumigation

Who inspires you? Who makes you want to be a better person?

Is it someone you know? Or someone you don’t?

Someone who’s still alive? Or someone who’s passed over to the other side?

In my case, my source of inspiration is someone who has now passed over to Kitty Heaven. Someone whose deep, prophetic wisdom continues to stretch me to the furthest reaches of spiritual illumination.

Sure, she would cough up a hairball from time to time, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t enlightened.

That’s right, Goofballs, I’m talking about our cat, Lucy!

Those of you who read the last post know that it was about our experience with fumigation. You also know that the experience was challenging on several levels.

But Lucy? She took it like a champ.

At least, most of the time.

Here’s what happened:

When we found out we had to have our house fumigated, we were informed that any pets would have to vacate the premises for the entire course of the fumigation. At that point, Lucy had been around for ten years and she had never, not once, had to vacate the premises.

We once had a pet psychic tell us that Lucy thought of our house as her own. And not in the entitled, territorial way that most cats view their place of residence. The psychic said that Lucy truly thought of our house as hers.

She generously let us live here with her. And feed her. And pay the rent.

But the house was hers.

And now we were going to tear her away from her prime patch of real estate?!

Needless to say, I was concerned.

I called our vet and asked for their recommendations for pet boarding facilities. Not only did they have one, they said the place was great. It was a pet resort. Not a kennel, not a shelter. Oh no. This was a pet resort.

photo: Ranaet on flickr

I ran the idea by Lucy.

She looked at me like I’d just told her we were going to get a dog. A cat-eating dog at that. I tried to explain it to her a few more times, but each time Lucy looked at me like I’d come up with an even more horrible idea.

And yet, when the morning came to take her to the resort, Lucy crawled right into her little pet carrier.

This, I might add, was just the first sign of her guru consciousness: Acceptance of the moment.

When we arrived at the resort, I was impressed. They had cameras in the lobby, showing what was happening in all the different rooms. There was a big dog room. And a little dog room. There was a doggie play room. And a doggie grooming room.

But what about the cats? Why were there no cameras on them?

Apparently cats don’t venture to pet resorts as often as dogs do. Nevertheless, there was a cat area on the premises, and a nice lady whisked Lucy off to her designated room.

When the lady came back, she told me that Lucy was settling in nicely with the other cats.

photo: CelloPics on flickr

How cool, I thought. Maybe Lucy is going to have a good time after all.

Fast forward to a few days later. Our house had been cleared for re-entry and it was time to pick up Lucy from the resort.

This time, the nice lady at the desk escorted me to the cat room to pick up Lucy. As it turned out, the cats didn’t get to roam freely like the dogs did. There was Lucy, in a cage.

Lucy, the homeowner. Lucy, the guru.

In a cage.

I don’t know if she was happy to see me, or anxious to escape. Either way, she crawled into my arms and let me put her back into her cat carrier.

On the way home, she remained true to her enlightened consciousness by letting me know exactly what she was experiencing in each moment.

She meowed. And meowed. And meowed some more.

And then, when we were almost home, she relieved her bowels in her cat carrier.

As any cat owner knows, this is not something cats do lightly. Such activity is reserved for special moments.

In this case, Lucy was continuing to express her true feelings to me:

I’m hurt.

I’m angry.

No way was that a $%*&# resort!

photo: Sarah Ackerman on flickr

Once safely contained in her own home, Lucy continue to express herself. She yowled. She paced. She yowled some more.

There was nothing held back. No shame in expressing the full range of her emotions.

And then, at some point in the middle of the night, there was a shift.

Normally I had no idea what was happening to Lucy in the middle of the night. She had her own little bed, and she preferred to spend the entire night snoozing in her soft, fluffy bedding.

But not that night. That night, she decided that the wee hours of the morning were the perfect time to forgive us for sending her to the $%*&# resort.

She expressed her forgiveness by venturing to our bed and sleeping on top of us. At any point during the night that either Melissa or I would awaken to scratch our nose or rub our eyes, Lucy would travel up to the top of the bed and insist that we put our hand to much better use: Petting her.

Needless to say, no one got much sleep that night.

The next day was filled with more forgiveness from the guru-homeowner. She followed us wherever we went, expressing her gratitude and affection with non-stop purring and requests for petting.

Until, just as quickly as it began, the forgiveness ended and Lucy returned to her regular old enlightened self.

She slept. She ate. She played with her pink football. And occasionally, when it suited her, she graced us with her enlightened attention.

And that’s why she’s my guru.

There are a lot of people who talk about the importance of living in the moment. But how many of us actually do it?

Throughout the entire fumigation experience, Lucy took each moment as it came.

When it was time to get in her pet carrier and go to the resort, she did it. When it was time to express her true, unguarded feelings about her experience at the $%*&# resort, she did it. And when it was time to take a breath and forgive her tenants for putting her through hell, she did that too.

Whether it’s extreme pleasure or extreme pain, Lucy looked it in the face and meowed at it. She was completely herself in every moment and that, to me, is an inspiration.

So the next time you’re faced with an intense situation, ask yourself: What Would Lucy Do?

Allow her full, undefended reaction to life to inspire and inform you!

Except for relieving yourself in a cat carrier. I wouldn’t recommend that.

photo: Robert Couse-Baker on flickr

Who are your inspirations? What have they taught you about living life to the fullest?

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12 Responses to My Guru Has a Tail, Episode 1: The Fumigation

  1. Simone November 13, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    Another wonderful blog to cheer me up on a Tuesday Morning. Thanks Z, and Lucy too. You’ve made my day. Now, throughout the day I will ask, “What would Lucy do?”

    • Z Egloff November 13, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      Hi Simone,

      Thank you – I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      I’ve been telling Lucy for a few days that there’s a post going out about her. She looked at me like, “Of COURSE there is.” :)


  2. River November 13, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    Hi Z!
    My guru is Sadie. She is the most unconditionally loving being on the planet. She never complains if I am late. Since I am from Eugene where everyone is always late according to my minister, I really need this. She always greets me with such happy enthusiasm as if every time I come home its my birthday and she is glad I was born. When I am sad, Sadie comes and cuddles up close to give me her loving energy to heal me. She listens and is fully present. She never holds a grudge. She sets her boundaries very clearly and never raises her voice in anger to me. She is like Lucy, living each and every moment undefended. Oh yeah, she is a Jack Russell Terrier and my best friend.

    Z, there is one thing you said that I really loved- having “an undefended reaction to life”. You, Sadie and Lucy help me remember to be undefended to life. I would love to hear more about that after this series.

    Thanks for being you helping me being more me.

    • Z Egloff November 13, 2012 at 11:43 am #

      Hi River,

      What a beautiful description of a beautiful soul! She sounds like such a love. What a gift to have such a sweet little friend. Animals are such a blessing in that way.

      Also, I didn’t know that everyone in Eugene is always late. I wonder why. Because it’s so mellow and beautiful out there?

      Thanks for stopping by! :)


  3. M November 13, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    So do you think cats can even till time…
    Dogsknow when you are away…and it is a long time whenver you get back.

    Cats (renters or homeowners) seem like as long as there is food– water –warmth– and comfort….whenever you deign them with your existance….they take it or leave it….with grace and sanctity.

    BTW—did you get your green package bag in the practitioner room….on top of the file boxes? Just wondering what a small world it is after all>

    • Z Egloff November 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

      Howdy M,

      Lucy certainly takes it and leaves it – in her own time and at her own pace. And that’s why she’s my hero.

      And yes, I got the package. Thank you! I’m all set now!! :)


  4. Claire November 13, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    I so needed a good laugh today! But then I was surprised to hear that Lucy didnt take full advantage of the situation and milk it for the rest of your life like my 20 pounds of fur Crissie does. Every night she climbs on my chest as close to my face as possible so she can Eskimo kiss regardless of my sleeping needs. And I have to literally hide my hands under my pillow otherwise she uses them as an object for self induced purring all night long. Maybe I need to have her study with Lucy for a bit more enlightenment.

    • Z Egloff November 13, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

      Hi Claire!

      Lucy is a tortoise shell. She has what they call “torti-tude.” Though I’ve been told that sometimes they mellow with age. Perhaps you are describing my future, with Lucy sleeping on my head all night. Also, twenty pounds is impressive! That’s a CAT! :)


  5. Karen November 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    Haha, so much wit and wisdom here.

    I don’t have a pet, but I’m inspired to laugh my head off at cat pictures on the Internet with funny captions, so I guess all those critters combine to be my guru, helping me lighten up.

    And what IS enlightenment but thinking thoughts that feel light?

    • Z Egloff November 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

      Hi Karen,

      Those cat pictures online are pretty great. The other day I saw one that was a picture of a cat, sitting next to a computer, staring at the camera. The caption said “Why are you spending so much time online, looking at other cats?” Nice.

      I appreciate your definition of enlightenment – bringing out the importance of “light.” This spiritual stuff can get way too serious sometimes. Good to remember the light. Thank you! :)



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