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Seeking Enlightenment — How My Cats Taught Me the Art Of Zen

A tribute to surrender and presence

By Ute Luppertz ✨ Published about a month ago 3 min read
Photo by author

My passion is facilitating end-of-life support for animals.

​I deeply love my work: being able to support and guide my animal clients and their guardians through this sacred time.

Over the years, many elderly dogs have joined our household. They received a makeover and lots of love and eventually passed with dignity.

My cats, who have lived with me for a long time, watched every dog’s decline and eventual death and remained serene witnesses. They continued to take care of their own business. You see, my cats — there are three of them — have always known that they are divine.

They seem to remember being worshiped in ancient Egypt once. They lounge, meditate, groom each other, and eat their favorite food, which can change on a whim.

I love them to pieces. I obey them, and I adore them.

Then, one day a few months ago, things changed, just like that.

Wait! What? No, this is not possible.

Cancer! One of my cats got diagnosed with cancer. How can this be? My cats are deities, and they are immortal. My cats never die. They are not supposed to. But physically, they are old now. Old cats….wowza! I did not see that one coming.

And before I know it, my cancer cat’s companion stops eating. Three weeks into our new reality, she is diagnosed with kidney failure. Nowadays, it is called chronic kidney disease because that sounds better. The truth is that her kidneys are failing. Badly. Irreversibly.

And then cat number three starts vomiting every night, always on my white wool throw so that I can find it. You guessed right; he did not throw up any hairballs. Turns out that he also suffers from a severe and fatal disease.

Bam! All three of them. We now have a special cat nursing station with injectables, fluids, and many oral medications and supplements.

Some friends feel sorry for me and wonder whether I can still provide hospice support for my clients. Perhaps I should take a break? NO!!! I love doing my work.

Like so many of you, I am in the trenches. My cats were always there. Always!

I grieve this new reality. I research their illnesses. There are moments of utter defeat, but the cats and I do what needs to be done. Anyone who a cat has ever owned knows that things happen on their terms. Period.

My cats have decided to go along for the ride and patiently accept fluids and injections; however, they take oral medications only occasionally. We are getting acquainted with the new normal, with the fact that their bodies will eventually give out.

Me? I need to walk my talk, a step at a time, and care for them and myself.

​What is my biggest lesson, you ask?

I know it sounds corny, but I am grateful for everything that I am experiencing. I am thankful that these divine creatures are in my life and continue doing things exactly how they CHOOSE.

Their decision to participate in this journey has slowly led to one of the most significant crossroads of our lives. Does it make me a better practitioner? Yes, I think so. It humbles me.

My cats are my teachers. They are my Zen masters.

A few months after I wrote about my beautiful cats, they each exited gracefully to travel the mystic realms and chase the birds in the sky.

Photo by author

My Bodhi, aka Bodhisattva, the seeker of enlightenment, was the first one. He was also known as the biker dude, a former neighborhood gang member. He was fierce and intimidating in the hood but a total softy in my home.

Three months later, the most beautiful cat in America, my sweetie boy Marlo, passed away in his sleep. Nobody knew how handsome he was because he chose to hide from people throughout his lifetime and only came out when we were home alone. He was the biggest and most gentle of the three cats.

Six weeks after Marlo died, his soulmate, the queen of my house, the incomparable Moopy, decided that it was her time to transition. She was small but oh-so mighty and owned the place. Moopy named herself — a name that is nowhere to be found in the dictionary — and taught all the animals who lived and died in my home the most profound lessons and took them under her tutelage, dogs and cats alike. She was the embodiment of a high priestess.

I am still her pupil.


About the Creator

Ute Luppertz ✨

I am an animal lover, a meditator, and a wisdom keeper. I live my passion through writing about life and animals and working as a pet death doula and animal communicator.

You can learn more about me here: petspointofview

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (2)

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  • Lacy Loar-Gruenler28 days ago

    Having been a cat parent to so many, this post brought tears to my eyes. I always try to hold on to that the babies were loved and they knew we loved them, but it is so hard to lose them. Thank you for sharing!

  • Judey Kalchik about a month ago

    This is a wonderful and moving first Vocal post. We have 2 cats: the mama had her babies outside our back door 12 years ago. They are indeed masters of their own life, and we are happy the decided to live with us. I know they won't be here forever, but I also don't want to think about it. Thank you for letting me know how to accept that.

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