Fur Therapy for Melancholy

tiffI confess, I’ve been melancholy.  I know it may be hard for some of you to believe, but it’s true.  And when those moments hit me, I shy away from everyone.  I guess it’s because I don’t feel I have a right to be melancholy because I do have such a blessed life.  I am here.  I have survived much, including breast cancer.  I have love, shelter and food.  I have a beautiful life with a loving family.  It’s not that there’s anything significant missing.  It just comes to me at times, this sadness.  The overall feeling that I’m…simply…sad.

It doesn’t happen often.  Most times, I can hide it away until it dissipates ~ my family, none the wiser.  But one family member always knows and for her, I’m truly grateful.  She lifts me up and comforts me without a word (but with plenty of purrs!)  For me, sometimes, there simply nothing like the love from a treasured pet to warm your heart and to soothe a hurting soul.  It is to her (and to her ‘sister’ Chessie who passed away last year.)  I don’t think I could live in a home without a pet.  There’s simply nothing like the love from an animal to warm your soul.

I’ve told you how she insists on being picked up and held like a baby.  She makes me stop, sit and be at peace almost every morning.  As the photo above shows, we spend many mornings on the couch for a few precious minutes looking into each other’s eyes.  I pet her, she purrs her healing rumble into my soul and I feel like all is right in my world ~ the Presents of Presence.

Perhaps you feel like I’m being over-dramatic ~ that it’s silly to be so attached to an animal?  But have you ever felt that complete and utter engaging love with another soul?  When I hold her and her eyes shut, her purring warbles in my chest and our breathing matches, I am reminded of how to find confidence and trust in those I love and in whom love me.  That complete surrender into a trusting place where there is no fear, no worry, nothing but peaceful abandon.  There is only this sweet moment.

It is then, that my daily lesson is re-energized into my soul.  It is then, that I understand what love is.  It is then that I crave to go out in the world and Send Out Love.  Our precious morning moments do that for me.  We comfort each other, each in our own way.  As I nuzzle her in a bear hug before I put her down, my eyes close and I silently utter a thank you to the Universe for this precious life.

I’ve watched her work her magic with my sons and husband as well.  Meowing her demands to be held, they comply.  The tenderness that I witness between them increases the love factor in our home.  Unconditional pet love brightens our home base.  We call it fur therapy here.  When you just need a little love from a pet, a snuggle, some soft purring reverberating in your chest to heal your sadness.  And Tiffy, in all her utter catness, simply obliges.  Funny how she just knows that hurting soul needs a bit of extra love.  She calmly allows all the petting, holding and hugging needed without fuss.  She surrenders to giving her all by simply being herself.

What a precious lesson to emulate!

Shine On!


52 thoughts on “Fur Therapy for Melancholy

  1. I can truly attest to fur therapy. I have two kitties—Buddy and Holly, and they are such lovers and can totally adjust my mood when it needs to be adjusted. I think it is okay to have those melancholy moments, too. It makes you really understand the happy moments!!!

  2. First of all, I think of many us, me included can feel melancholy, but for me, melancholy is not only sadness, it is kind of beauty and love and awe and stillness and holiness mixed together, it is kind of appreciating everything so much that it hurts, and the thought of losing it all makes it so much more precious but also so much more fragile and vulnerable and ephemeral. I don’t know if that makes sense, but that is what melancholy is for me, it is like autumn, when leaves and trees turn beautifully red and yellow, but we know they do so because they are dying. So we appreciate their beauty even more, but with a feeling of sadness in our hearts.

    So, over to the pets. I so know what you mean. I was never allowed to have a pet at home, but I practically lived in the stable where I took care of ponies when I was little. It was not our stable, just some neighbour, but I loved the ponies so much! Especially one, he was so beautiful, and we connected on such a deep soul-level, he was my best friend in the whole wide world! What I loved about the ponies were that their love was so pure, if you loved them they loved you back unconditionally, no matter how you looked. As a teenager that was priceless to have that kind of love. I think I learned all about unconditional love first and foremost from those ponies 🙂

    • Line, your first paragraph is perfect, it is how I feel that I wasn’t able to put into words. Thank you for translating for me. xo I am grateful that you had your ponies. There is a knowing in horses that defies explanation. As you said, soul to soul understanding. Yes, I HEARTIly agree. Big hugs xo

  3. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling without guilt….without comparisons. It’s ok to put your sunshine down and feel melancoly….you are only human. It is such a blessing that you have that perfect little fur soul to hold and take care of….afterall, she is taking care of you as well! Xoxo

  4. I love what Line writes about melancholy — so true for me too. And… we truly are in sync. Yesterday, as I drove to a meeting, I looked at the sun and trees flowering and the greenness erupting all around, I a wave of melancholy washed over me. I wanted to cry.

    I breathed, asked my soul to open me up to expansion, and reminded myself, now is not forever. This too shall pass.

    How soon it passes, is not mine to dictate — being at peace, at one, at ease, with its presence and gently loving myself through it — that is my responsibility.

    And yes, furry friends make all the difference — that photo just about melted my heart this morning!

    Love and hugs and healing light to you my friend xoxox

  5. So glad to hear that you’ve got support from your fur-family. I’m a firm believer in that kind of therapy. As for melancholy – this is what distinguishes us from Stepford Wives. We experience the full depth and breadth of life, even the parts that are vulnerable and less welcome. I’m sorry you feel you need to hide it from your family and world. You deserve comfort, too, and you have every right to live an authentic life. Your children are loveable in every mood, and so are you. Don’t deny them your full authenticity and the opportunity to learn how to comfort others (beginning with you).

    • Your loving advice is well-received and appreciated. You are right. Most times, I do allow my emotions to be seen, but I guess this one’s for me. Have you ever felt that way? This is my melancholy to delve into alone (with blog friends)? A spiritual melancholy that will evolve as it goes deeper? Exams etc are forefront in their lives at the moment and I feel it more important that they concentrate on that at this time. But yes, you are right dear friend. I am no Stepford Wife and I proudly embrace our connection. xoxo Thank you for being sweet you. ♥

      • Thanks for seeing my respect for you in my answer. As for your original question, yes, sometimes I am melancholy, and the dogs and cats are great help then. They just continue loving me. Usually, the dissatisfaction is with myself, and the only way to get over it is to stop being self-judgmental. It helps to hear my children talk me out of it – I hear them speaking to me using words I’ve said to them before. “Why do you care what other people think?” was one that cracked me up. They really do listen! sometimes, just a little quiet out in nature helps me find my balance again. I hope you find your place of peace and balance soon.

      • Ahh yes, our words can come back to us ~ I love that they are listening, watching and learning! I am working on resuming my balance and peace. I am grateful for your honesty, your caring and your respect. I am so happy we connected. Isn’t the blogging community that we share beautiful!?

  6. “A bell is not a bell ’til you ring it. A song is not a song ’til you sing it. Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay. Love isn’t love ’til you give it away.” – Oscar Hammerstein II

    Our little furry friends provide an opportunity for peace; for the fullest of hearts are never quite full enough. They so need the love that we need to give.

    “Our hearts are restless, until they rest in Thee.” – St. Augustine


  7. That sense of melancholy is a soul response to whatever moves us. Mine, too, is fleeting, usually replaced by a flood of joy and gratitude for the beauty before me. Cat love is incredible. We have had quite a few, all different in their ways, all passed on now. Presently, we have Gabriel, who distributes love evenly between my daughter and me. He is also a nurse cat. If one of us is ill, he stays with us and sleeps by our side, He is always willing to be petted for hours. I have shared love with horses and dogs,as well, and it is always a thrill when you look into their eyes and connect. Thank God for our four-legged, furry friends.

  8. Wow! I am so grateful for all of you!! Your post, so like moments I have experienced in my life, opened such a beautiful exchange of incredible people who FEEL!! I had my comment in mind after reading your post, but the comments the others made left my heart open…wide…full love being expressed…being accepted. And it brought me to that place…which feels a little sad…but now I can see a different side to it…it doesn’t have to be sadness! Thank you…Blessitude

    • Oh Lorrie, BLESSITUDES TO YOU! We are a part of such an amazing community ~ I feel so blessed today and grateful that I shared how I felt. All of the responses have warmed my heart in places I didn’t know were frozen with fearful sandess. I feel so full of blessitude (I adore your word ~ and you! ♥

      • I am so happy that you feel better!! I am reading “Conversations with God”…Neale Donald Walsh…and God says that to know what we are we must know what we are not. It is a concept I am contemplating…because it seems I have spent many years finding out what I am not. So maybe those incredibly sad times, and I know EXACTLY what you speak of, allow us to know the beautiful light of love. I wish for you all good things…Much love!!

      • No I am not…but I need to be!! This book…God…is really speaking to me! I sometimes feel sad for the time that I wasted…but I know deep down it is all divine time!! Much love to you …I am so happy you feel better! 🙂

  9. My cats are a huge source of comfort for me too, I know exactly what you mean. I also can’t imagine a life without at least one pet.

    As for the melancholy, I am no stranger to that either. My only advice is to do what you are doing, and ride it out until it passes. I have often wondered if there is a purpose to these periods where there is no particular issue to blame it on. Are we too sensitive?

    • Speaking for myself, yes, I am sensitive and feeling. I agree with you that these periods are part of growth (at least I think so) and so I allow them. It has helped to just be in the present moment without fussing about feeling melancholy. Just allowing it to be. I am better today. I am so glad you have your cats as well! ♥

  10. I was going to comment something wonderful and insightful but I see the Line shared her wonderful beautiful insight along with Heather and they pretty much gave voice so beautifully to how I feel as well!
    Fur therapy ain’t nothing like it toe expect for PINK therapy. 😄

  11. I don’t know that one can avoid the blues my friend – nor do I think we should. One can be sad and still b grateful, one can feel the need for comfort even with the awareness of one’s good fortune. That you have the delicious comfort of your furry friend, (as I find in my dogs btw, especially one who just ‘gets’ me) is truly an expression of love for you – whether the day brings joy or an occasional tear…you my dear, ‘shine’ regardless..

  12. Beautiful post. I so get the fur therapy. It’s been 9 months since I lost my little guy and I miss those times with him that you describe so well. I’m looking for a new kitty now but not having a lot of luck. I’m sure God will send the right one at the right time. Maybe He’s teaching me to be patient! 🙂 I, like you, don’t think I can live in a house without a pet. I’m doing it now, and it’s driving me absolutely batty!

    Prayers going up for you that you feel better soon.

    • Oh Gail, I understand how you feel as we lost Chessie a year ago and it’s heartbreaking. I hope the right kitten comes to you soon. Let me know when she/he does…until then, you can borrow Tiffy if you need fur therapy anytime! xoxo Thanks for prayers as well. I appreciate you! ♥

  13. I have hair therapy – 55lbs of it. I wish I could pick her up like a baby, but I am not capable. I can, however, kiss her cheeks and pet her for days. My fave is when she lets me use her like a pillow. It is so relaxing.

    • Woo Hoo! I love that you get a special pillow to rest with and have your fur therapy! I don’t think Tiffy would allow us to use her as a pillow but I imagine that to be so soothing! I understand about petting her for days…Tiffy’s fur is so soft and lovely that she is pet all day long by someone in the family! ♥

  14. I’m with you-I could never live in a home without pets. I love hearing about your Tiffy! My four each have unique personalities, but at least two of them are snuggle bugs, and my Chrissy actually “asks” to be picked up from time to time, which is a first for me with any cat. She was actually rescued as a tiny kitten from a tornado ravaged area, so she needs a lot of love and reassurance. They’re all rescue cats and it’s very gratifying to watch them grow comfortable in our home and relax with the hard times fading from memory. How lucky we are to have these little furballs in our lives!

  15. I agree. God teaches us to love each other unconditionally, but as humans we often fall short of this ideal and put conditions on our love. Our lives are enriched when we are surrounded by pets and they continue to remind us of this wonderful kind of love and how we should treat other people.

    • Exactly ~ perfectly said!! I think that type of love simply increases the love in the world exponentially and it all stars with me (and you!) How blessed are we to have such amazing pets and connections with others! I am grateful for our connection! ♥

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