On mother’s day I show my love by sitting on her lap and letting her pet me….Actually I do that every day.
Although as hunters we are certainly not Buddhists, some Buddhist monks eschew their detachment of all things and keep cats in their monasteries in Asia. After all, we are experts at meditating (especially in a sunny spot or under a blanket), exude stillness and tranquility (when we want to), and walk on rice paper without tearing it. I am sure my eastern brethren have both learned from and taught their Buddhist companions over the centuries together.
This honorable temple cat practices meditation daily for hours on end:
Educational pursuits should be initiated at a young age and never abandoned.
Frasier Says… Growth Factors!
Dr. Bomer talks about growth factors a lot. maybe that’s why she is so much larger than me… These growth factors deserve further investigation.
Like many modern holidays, St. Valentine’s day is thought to have its origins in a pagan holiday. In ancient Rome Lupercalia was celebrated February 13 to 15. The goal was to drive away bad luck, and bring fertility to the people and the city itself. This was accomplished by sacrificing a goat and dog. Their hides were then used to gently “whip” women who wanted to bear children. Women lined up for this blessing, and considering this was ancient Rome, alcohol and nudity were involved. Hundreds of years later, Pope Gelasius I abolished Lupercalia and created St. Valentine’s day on February 14th. Apparently there were 2 different Valentines executed on February 14th of different years, but the details of their sainthood and lives were not substantiated.
Romance wasn’t associated with St. Valentine’s day until the middle ages. Shakespeare and Chaucer helped the holiday gain in popularity and promoted the ideal of chaste romance and courtship.
But when did chocolate become associated with it? Chocolate was first brought to Europe by the Spaniards in the 16th century. They imported it from the New World after their conquest of the Aztecs. Over the next hundred years chocolate’s popularity in Europe grew. In the 1840s, Richard Cadbury’s eponymous candy company in England refined their technique for extracting cocoa butter from the raw bean. They created both liquid and solid forms of chocolate. With the industrial revolution, cocoa processing enabled chocolate to be enjoyed by the masses, not just the wealthy elite as it had been. As chocolate had a reputation as an aphrodisiac dating back to the Aztecs, it was natural to market it for the holiday. Cadbury also supplied their chocolates in a heart shaped box, and chocolate and Valentine’s day have been intertwined ever since.
As a cat, however, I must refrain from ingesting chocolate. Two active ingredients in chocolate are caffeine and theobromine, both of which can be toxic to felines. I much prefer the taste of tuna anyway.
Most people know how beneficial regular exercise is for our bodies and minds. It improves muscle strength, reduces fat, increases bone density and strengthens the heart. Exercise also increases blood flow to the brain. It’s essential to stay fit when hunting crafty mice and birds- plyometrics and core work are my mainstay routines.
Researches have also discovered exercise is beneficial for the skin, the bodies largest organ.
“If you are not exercising,” explains Dr. John Bird (mmmm, bird), former director of the Bureau of Biological Research at Rutgers University, “there is much less blood in the skin and the body’s periphery in general, compared with its central cavity. With exercise, and therefore with more blood reaching the periphery, the skin receives more nutrients, the exchange of oxygen is increased, and there is a greater release of sweat. All of these things would be tremendously beneficial to the skin.”
Increased blood flow to skin not only delivers more nutrients and oxygen, it carries away waste products including free radicals which cause damage. It’s almost like cleansing your skin from the inside.
Exercise has been shown to increase the thickness of the dermis, the deeper layer of skin. The dermis loses collagen and thins with age. Skin with thin dermis is more prone to developing wrinkles. Studies have shown age matched older woman who exercise regularly have fewer lines and wrinkles and better complexion compared with their sedentary counterparts.
Unlike many cats (and their owners) who gain weight and become sedentary with older age, I prefer some form of exercise daily… during the 5 hours a day I’m not getting my regenerative beauty sleep.
In the United States, Thanksgiving has its roots in a celebratory feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The pilgrims gave thanks for their bountiful harvest. This was based on the harvest festival, a celebration many cultures, including the British, had observed for hundreds of years prior.
While I’m very grateful for the daily bounty Dr. Bomer provides, I am especially thankful for my brother Fulton. Like most siblings, we occasionally squabble. But we spend much more time conversing, playing and of course snuggling. His energy keeps me active, despite us being middle aged. I typically demonstrate my love for Fulton with a lengthy tongue bath, followed by a swat to the ear, and a high speed chase around the house.
I’m also grateful for my brother from another mother, Taki. When Fulton and I came over as kittens, he welcomed us with licks right away. He has never been mean, and is always willing to serve as a warm, squishy mattress. Since Taki has a lot of hair, he’s always very warm to snuggle with if I am feeling chilled. I just have to be careful about giving him too many baths because I used to get wicked Taki hair balls before I learned.