by Ruth

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Photomontage by Ruth

Having stayed for a few days a few years back in two very different Retreat Houses I found them very similar in that both the Holy Paraclete Sisters and the Franciscan Brothers shared their love of cats.

The Retreats are each set in huge grounds with beautiful gardens and many acres of peaceful woodland surrounding them. To the cats living there it must be Paradise with the freedom to come and go through their cat flaps to enjoy all that Nature provides and to return to good food, cosy beds and an abundance of love from their resident caretakers.

At each place there was one Sister or Brother in charge of the cats needs and welfare, although everyone did their share and nowadays Religious Orders live more in the world and have a car for transport to the vets if necessary.

All the other guests I met were gentle and kind people who love animals too and some of us made lifelong friends because of that.

The cats were allowed into any part of the houses, even into the guests rooms if they didn’t object. No one did at either place, the times I stayed there.

Some people go for a quiet simple break, some to ponder on whether to go into a Religious Order or vocation themselves, some have troubles and need a bit of time out and some like me had lost their way in the world after a sad bereavement.

Cats are a great comfort at a time like that and for me missing our own cats at home terribly, they helped make my days there two very wonderful experiences which helped me face the world again

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


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Oct 13, 2010 Lovely
by: Kathryn

I loved reading that Ruth.It sounds blissful,kind people,peaceful surroundings,and cats around.Maybe too quiet for some people but I’d love to go to one of those places.

Oct 12, 2010 To Gail
by: Ruth

I’m so glad Abby came along to comfort you as I know how devastated you were to lose dear Sadie. I can well understand though you must still have a huge gap in your home as we did after losing our 2 girlz, even though we have our 2 beautiful boyz, each cat is special and only time can heal the pain.
Both Retreats had silence from the beginning of Supper until after morning prayers, it was a bit confusing at times miming lol and with the Sisters as they live by Faith no food has to be wasted.I didn’t know the first evening how to mime that I didn’t eat tuna fish so I ended up having to force it down YUCK and I broke the silence one evening with a blood curdling scream when I went to my room and there was a HUGE spider on the wall lol
The Brothers were more laid back and they all and the guests too, pitched in with the jobs, whereas the Sisters did everything themselves.
I loved both places and especially the cats of course, they didn’t keep any silences lol

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Oct 12, 2010 To Rose
by: Ruth

No you don’t have to be religious, attending the Chapel services is optional. I did go on a morning just to show willing as I’m always up very early but no one minded what anyone else wanted to do.
Kids I don’t think so at the Retreats I went to but I know of one in North Yorkshire where they have days there for kids meeting the animals and learning about wild life and flowers etc.
Yes cats and dogs were welcome if kept under control.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Oct 11, 2010 Beautiful
by: Leah (England)

Such a beautiful story Ruth, you must have felt so at peace if only people would realise how peaceful it is to be at one with your cat.

Cats are just so theraputic but all I hear just lately is about their constant abuse.

I so wish that people would realise how much good cats actually do; I know your visit to the retreat was all the more peaceful because of the cats.

Oct 11, 2010 Retreat –> Mental Health break
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Ruth, your time at the two retreats sound like Heaven on earth! We also have an abby in the next town and although I’ve never visited, I know they do accommodate some people with the need to get away. The only caveat is that one cannot speak once inside the abby, which quite franky, would be fine by me…that’s the point in the 1st place, LOL!

Cats are so therapeutic. Our newest family member, Abby, has been a godsend, or more accurately, a Sadie-send! It’s like she’s tuned in already – no muss, no fuss. She has patiently listened while I speak with her and she’s pretty vocal and responds in kind.

Losing Sadie was so CATastrophic, it put me in a downward funk for a bit. Abby moving in was just what was needed. Sometimes the tears still come, but Abby wisks them away with her paw and a deep snuggle. You’re right, Ruth…they know just what to do. Bless them all!

Oct 11, 2010 Lovely
by: Rose

That is so lovely Ruth.I could do with a few days at one of those places,can you take kids,cats,and dogs with you?Do you have to be Religious?

Oct 10, 2010 I remember…
by: Pammy

I remember that time so well, when you visited retreats. Your comments on your return were always so positive and full of news about these wonderful places. It seems so natural that cats would live in such idyllic homes with such loving people. The visitors must have found it a great comfort to have a cat to stroke and talk to during their stay. As you well know, cats are very spiritual beings and understand more then we think! All pets are loving members of a family, but a cat is so special and spiritual too…
They seem to know just what you are thinking and feeling! You and Babz are champions for cats rights, and very high in my estimation.
You have both taught me so much over the years about cats, and their health and welfare etc…
It is an honour know you both, and long may our friendship…and my education continue….

Oct 10, 2010 Lovely
by: Barbara

Yes this is a lovely article, I think you’re part cat yourself Ruth, you have such an affinity with them. To put it another way, you’re a very special purrson.

Barbara avatar

Oct 10, 2010 Health
by: Michael

The presence of a domestic cat helps keep us healthy in mind and spirit. This has been scientifically studied. Thanks for the nice article, Ruth.

Michael Avatar

Oct 10, 2010 Any Contact with Cats is FABULOUS for the Spirit
by: Jo Singer

It is hard to be away from our feline family, and we miss them dreadfully. But it is always a refresher to have the chance for a kitty “fix” no matter how and where, when we are missing them.

Sounds like a lovely place! Wish we had something like this where we live.

Come to think of it, I am just a few hours away from the Caboodle Ranch. I MUST get over there and experience that amazing place purrsonally.

Nice article, Ruth!

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