RIP Matty Cat


I just heard that Matty died this morning. The following was published April 2011 giving background on this lovely sensitive cat. Matty was two weeks short of his 16th birthday. For the record Orlando, mentioned below, went missing from his home across the road on November 5th last year and never seen again.

As the proud companion & carer of a former Temple Cat from Reading Priory, one Matthew (Matty) Cat, aka as MC, I welcome Orlando to the (possible) status of Jade Mountains Temple Cat – perhaps. The Prior at Reading at that time was reluctant to take MC on as she knew she was away a lot. Being Siamese he attached strongly to one person & each time the prior went away he got more & more upset. Eventually he was shut in the utility room as he had wee’d in other rooms in the Temple!

One time the prior knew she would be away for several months. I had a vacancy in my household & heart for a cat & had been waiting for one to show up. I always remember the joy of having Matthew at first – it was like me & the dog became a family when he arrived to join us. He was fostered at first but everyone decided he should stay. He was a teenager then, now he’s 13 & still as handsome as ever. It is the only time I have experienced love at first sight when I first met him.

We grow close to our animal companions and their loss is felt no less keenly than the loss of human friends and companions. This post is for Matty and for Angie.

Seven Life Lessons –

  1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.
  2. Build pockets of stillness into your life. Meditate – and sleep.
  3. Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone.
  4. Be generous.
  5. …when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.
  6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.
  7. “Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.”

The excellent Brain Pickings is 7 years old and celebrating it’s birthday with this list of 7 things learnt. There’s more to the post than what’s listed here and it’s well worth popping over to read the post in full. Here’s the first few sentences.

On October 23, 2006, I sent a short email to a few friends at work — one of the four jobs I held while paying my way through college — with the subject line “brain pickings,” announcing my intention to start a weekly digest featuring five stimulating things to learn about each week, from a breakthrough in neuroscience to a timeless piece of poetry. “It should take no more than 4 minutes (hopefully much less) to read,” I promised. This was the inception of Brain Pickings.

Maria Popova

A hat tip to Maria for beavering away at her Brain Pickings plan to develop it to where it is now. And each post taking much more than 4 minutes to read too!

The Song of The Robin

There’s a Robin outside my window,
singing and chirping.
It’s been there
since before dawn.

Something in me
wants to respond.
To sing and chirp
the Robin song.

Clearly that’s
My one response
is to listen.

Is that all
to offer?
Well no,
a start though.

I’d intended to write about change (impermanence) this morning, there having been a whole lot of recent weeks for myself and many I’m in contact with. Within change the bird gives a tuneful teaching as it marks out its territory. Listen! Harken! The Robin’s song is about constancy, apparently they sing all year round. Bless ’em. I’d written about Constancy Within Change in connection with the prayer plant mentioned earlier.

Slow Change

Movement in the dark.
Movement in the dark.

My teacher, Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett would make a point of not having the leaves of plants pressed up against a wall or hard surface. Plants had to have space around them. I never asked why, I just made sure to follow what she asked.

Last night I left those two leaves to the right in the picture slightly touching the wall to see what would happen. This morning I found them broken free! I had to smile. Non of us, no living thing, likes to be up against a wall where it seems no matter which way you turn change is obstructed. But in truth it isn’t. Like the plant growth and change and movement is taking place imperceptibly. Sometime in the night those leaves broke free from the wall. Suddenly. Gradual movement leading to a sudden change in orientation. Trouble is when sudden change happens in life, a change which can be seen and felt it is all to easy to exclaim, To fast! And recoil. Conversely during those times of growth in the dark one can come to believe, Nothing’s ever going to change! Then not notice as it does.

The plant silently gets on with its life, moving and shifting according to its way and the conditions it is living within. We can do the same.

This is for all those who feel themselves to be hindered, generally or specifically. Acknowledging that can bring about your leaves shifting off the wall. So to speak!

How We Appear

I’ve a photograph of myself taken in Whitworth Park, Manchester. It was around about 1962 and my two flat mates and I decided we would have a picnic in the park since it was a sunny day. It felt like a holiday. Photographs can bring the past into the present with interesting insight into the person one once appeared to be. Every now and then I come across that ’60s pic and marvel. I looked like every other girl of the time; skirt length, hair, pose, expression and an air of confidence which did not match how I felt at the time. (Just in case you’re wondering…no I’m not going to publish that photograph here. Even if I could find it!)

Dear Photographtake a picture of a picture, from the past, in the present is a photography project with a difference. Maybe I’ll take my 1960’s photograph back to Whitworth Park next time I’m in Manchester and take a photograph of it.

The image of me walking in open country to be found at the top of the side bar was taken in 2010 in Edmonton Canada. I remember walking along in the wind as a joyous time, with a very different interior to the 1960’s girl.