I was living at my girlfriend’s apartment in the late 1990s when I got seriously interested in meditation. She had two cats, a male and a female. The female, who I’ll call Susie, was about fourteen years old, black, and very fat. She followed me everywhere in the apartment. When I sat at the desk she used to lean against my leg and make noises until I picked her up and put her on my lap (she was too fat to jump), at which point she would climb onto the keyboard so I would pay more attention to her. I finally solved this problem by putting a folded towel on the desk next to the computer with a light shining on it to keep it warm. This towel was so appealing that she usually stayed on it.
Every day I meditated for several hours. Because of a back problem I did this lying on a bed with my head propped up by pillows. As soon as I got onto the bed, Susie would haul herself up to join me. This was quite an effort for her because she was so fat. She sort of half jumped and half clawed her way up. Then she would climb on top of me and sit on my chest like a sphinx facing my head. Her eyes would stare directly into mine.
I once met a Tibetan lama who greeted me by touching his forehead to mine and making a vibration deep in his throat, causing my head to vibrate. Susie did this to my chest with her purring. Her chest pressed against mine (she was heavy) and she made my chest vibrate like the body of a guitar. She did this steadily for hours while I meditated. She never moved. She never stopped purring. She never stopped looking at my eyes. Even if I closed my eyes for hours — sometimes I fell asleep — when I opened them, there were her eyes, inches from mine, still staring.
I don’t have any proof for what I’m about to say, but I think Susie knew that I was meditating and I think she was deliberately helping me.
They say that when the seeker is ready, the Guru appears. Just something to think about.
Photo by Diego Cervo.