You may have heard of John Butler. If not, I’ll briefly describe him. He is an 84-year-old former farmer who studied meditation. He has a successful YouTube channel with 125,000 subscribers. His musings have earned him fans worldwide. For example, Angela Storck from Georgia, America, said: “He’s always had a message that makes me think and that’s how he’s helped me cope during the pandemic.”
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On this page is an example of his YouTube videos. It’s about silence and when you listen to it you sense this slowing down and lack of agitation. And a few words he said in an interview or another video struck a chord with me: “So many people have this problem with an agitated mind, a restless mind. And because one instinctively seeks for some sort of balance, people look for rest or piece, don’t they?”
When I read that I thought about the sort of home that most suits domestic cats. The environment in which a cat lives is very important. I believe that cat guardians should really think about this; the ambience of the home in which they live and how they can create a calmness within it.
I also believe that in order for a cat guardian to create calmness within their home they have to be calm themselves. Which takes me back to the quote above. People do want a sense of calmness within them. They don’t want to be agitated but a lot of people are understandably agitated without even realising it. It becomes part of their normal life so they normalise anxiety. Life easily drives us to anxieties.
Fortunately, I’ve been blessed with a fairly calm mind. Some people think I’m cold emotionally but I’m not. I just project a slight coldness because of my inner calmness. However, I am passionate about certain things including animal welfare. And I have a lot of love to give to the vulnerable which includes animals and of course the human-animal.
I would hope that my home is calm and that my cat is content partly because of this calmness. You know how easily domestic cats are startled. They are almost constantly alert to potential dangers. Perhaps you don’t see it or perhaps your cats are very calm because you have created a very peaceful environment for them. Of course, some domestic cats are calmer than others and some cat breeds are calmer than others. For example, the high filial wildcat hybrids are more alert and therefore more prone to be agitated because of the wild cat DNA inside them. The Persians are meant to be very calm but I don’t think it is true because I have read that they can have problems with inappropriate elimination i.e. not going to the toilet in the litter box due to being agitated.
So, what’s the purpose of this article? It is to try and inject a bit of calmness in a home, somewhere, which benefits both person and cat. Perhaps to open the door to a more peaceful mind and John Butler’s videos might open that door and lead you through it. He’s certainly very popular and he has certainly helped many people. As Angela Storck said: “I don’t know if he understands how many lives that he’s touching across the planet right now.”
The concept is that if we help ourselves in finding a less agitated and restless mind, we can help the companion animal who lives with us. The human is in charge of the human-to-cat relationship. We dictate how life unfolds for our cat. It can be concerned or neglectful. It can be ambivalent or loving. It can be distant or bonded. It’s up to us and like all good relationships it requires application. Application depends upon commitment and consistency. These fundamentals should be in place before a person adopts a companion cat.
Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.
Butler’s words of wisdom:
“Feel your feet on the ground-listen and look.”
“In order to be what we are, we have to come out of what we are not.”
“What is it like when a carrot is pulled from the ground? The ground is left behind. And the carrot is lifted into another realm. All the teaching is left behind.”
P.S. It goes without saying that the human-to-human relationship can have a big impact on the home environment. Our relationships are vital to the wellbeing of our cat.
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