Something About Merry

Have you ever been deeply affected by an animal? Merry the office cat reeled me in, hook, line and sinker the first moment that our eyes locked.


I arrived late one fall afternoon to meet the office manager and the animals of my local humane society. There she was, the most beautiful white, gold and black kitty, lying on the couch in the conference room. I was led to the door and we were introduced. I was told to keep my distance because Merry the office cat would bite me! I was then left alone with her.


Merry looked up and checked me out.

I introduced myself and asked if it was all right to join her on her couch. She sized me up and said, “Feel free.” I asked her if she would like some Reiki today. “I don’t know. Just sit with me for a while. I will let you know”, she said. For Merry this was a generous invitation that she extended to me.


I gently sat on the very old couch, trying not to disturb her too much. It was a late fall day and the sun was low in the sky casting a soft light in the room. I sat there with her in the stillness and just took some slow deep breaths. The office manager was on the phone as the sound of cars passing by came through the walls. Merry was checking me out, wondering what my agenda was. With my hands gently in my lap, I began to offer Reiki. Merry looked up at me and sighed. She was snuggled in a light colored fleece cat bed that was just barely big enough for her to curl up in. She would use the walls of the bed to ‘walk’ on, allowing her to change her position without having to stand up. It was quite a funny and a sweet sight to behold.


Reiki is a gentle yet powerful Japanese system of energy healing.

It is energy work similar to Healing Touch, where the practitioner channels energy through their hands, but with Reiki the energy flows through your whole body and you do not need to touch the client, but you can. Reiki supports self-healing on all levels by balancing energy, working on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels of the body. Reiki is not massage. Reiki is practiced in major hospitals all over the world to assist cancer patients, to help with pain management, during pre- and post-surgery to speed healing, etc. Reiki is being applied more and more with animals and compliments both allopathic and holistic medicine. Reiki is perfect for animals since you do not have to touch them during a session. There is a global organization, SARA (Shelter Animal Reiki Association), that is bringing Reiki into shelters and rescues throughout the United States and the world. The approach when offering Reiki to an animal is different from a human session in that the animal is always in charge and shows the practitioner what they need and choose.


Reiki is based on the concept that all living beings are made up of universal or spiritual energy (the life force) that flows through all living beings . When this energy becomes blocked, stuck or slows down, you or your animal companion will feel less energetic, easily stressed, and more susceptible to disease. When this energy is flowing with no obstructions you and/or your animal companions feel strong, healthy and relaxed.


Reiki originated in Japan and was taught and practiced by the founder Mikao Usui in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mikao Usui practiced and taught the system of Reiki as a form of spiritual development that later included hands-on healing. It is now taught all over the world as a system of healing for both humans and animals.


Animals love Reiki healing energy.

There is no issue or condition that Reiki cannot help. It is important to note that Reiki is not a ‘miracle’ cure-all. Reiki will always support the animal in the way that he needs the most, always working for the animal’s highest good. Reiki is never a substitute for good veterinary care, but does compliment all forms of veterinary medicine.


As we sat in the silence, I asked Merry how she was feeling since her surgery that removed her cancerous breasts. “I am a survivor”, she announced to me. “Don’t I look great to you? I am so much more than the cancer. I wish that they would all stop introducing me as the cat with cancer. I don’t have cancer. I feel so much better. They need to learn to focus on the positive things in life and not dwell on my past.” I told her that I understood what she was saying. I felt as if I was in the presence of a very wise soul.


She invited me to place my hands on her body. I placed one hand on her hip and another on the shoulders. She seemed to soak in the healing energy. She began to purr and bliss out as her eyes rolled back and closed and the biggest smile filled her face. She moved several times in her bed, sitting just to my left side, and then she rolled onto her back and I felt her say, “It is time for you to place your hands here.” I gently placed one hand on her heart and the other hand close by. This was the area that had been filled with cancer. She requested Reiki to make the cells happy, healthy and to sing for joy. My heart filled with so much love and compassion.


The Reiki energy became even more intense than it had been on the rest of her body.

The heat under my hands felt like a little heating pad. I was sitting there in this peaceful meditative state, enjoying the connection and the moment when out of the blue I felt a very sharp pain. She bit the heck out of me! She was done. Complete. The session was over. Merry got up and walked away, but not before she turned and looked at me, as if to say, “thank you.” “Thank you for listening to me. Not many people have actually taken the time to listen to what I want or have to offer. Thank you for respecting my wishes and for understanding that I am cancer-free. I have work to do here. I am the greeter of this shelter. I am here when people are sad as well as happy. Tell the staff that they need not fear my demise. I will be around for a long time to come.”


I thanked Merry for allowing me to be with her and to share the moment with her. She connected with me heart-to-heart on a deep level. I will never forget her. I talked to the office manager and shared some of what Merry had told me. Six years later she was still the office kitty, greeting people and listening to all that they had to say.

There was something very special about Merry the office cat. This wise teacher taught me so much in the short time we were together.


Merry was the office cat as The Humane Society of Fairfax County (Virginia), a founding SARA (Shelter Animal Reiki Association) shelter.


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