There has barely been an entire year’s time in my life that I have not lived with cats. As a child, my family had at least two cats and regularly had a batch of kittens climbing all over the place. As many of you know, my life has been filled with and full because of animals, and I have often felt that I would always at least need to have a cat around.
Because of the ubiquitousness of cats in my life, I am used to getting messages from them. However, in the last month or so cats have come up in conversations and encounters with others. In one conversation, the local coffee shop owner showed me a picture she had taken of a glass that seemed to have the ghostly image of a cat on it, as if watching over her from another realm. (She had only seen this image in the photograph.)
Cats seem to have a knowing and wisdom of what is hidden to us humans. Physiologically they can see very well in darkness and often seem to be looking at and watching things invisible to our eyes. I was reminded of this when I looked through one of my new Tarot decks: The Animal Wisdom Tarot. The Cat, Knower of Secrets, card is equivalent to the High Priestess, the keeper of occult knowledge, the one who sees what is hidden, what is mysterious and mystical, and what is deep within our psyches. The High Priestess and the cat are quite comfortable being active at night and in the darkness.
The cat is also connected to goddesses, from the protective mother and war goddess Bastet of Ancient Egypt to the two cats who drove Freyja’s chariot, the Norse goddess of fertility, war, the afterlife, and sorcery, or occult knowledge. Bastet, who was also the wife of Anubis, god of embalming and the dead, is also connected to the afterlife and spirit realm.
The cat’s connection to the night and the ethereal realm also connects them to the dream world. This reminded me of one of my dream series about cats. Most of the dreams in this series occurred over the course of several years, but had ended about two years ago, before I moved back to the family home. In this dream series most of the dreams had this common theme: I was in the family home, often in the basement or garage, and cats, but mostly kittens, start to crawl out of the walls.
As usual, at the time, I was puzzled by these dreams. Now, having experienced the last few years, I understand that there was much hidden deep in my psyche (house) concerning my childhood and family that needed to be brought to the surface (basement/garage) to be healed and freed (kittens coming out of walls).
A couple months ago, however, I had a new cat dream: I was downstairs coming out of what was the old bathroom and saw a small kitten under the couch/table. My dogs were there too. I went to get the kitten (tiger-striped) and then saw another. It went under my sister’s (old) bedroom door. I went in knowing she did not live here anymore. Inside was a Siamese mother cat and at least a dozen baby kittens. She was hungry because she was stuck in the room. I planned to set up water and food for her and the babies and wondered if there was a birthing mess. I took mama cat upstairs to the office to tell my mom, dad, and brother. My dogs came too.
And as usual so many layers of meaning for me with this dream! Here are just a few: A little more cleaning up of the deep psyche (downstairs/basement of house), but much birthing, freshness, freedom (kittens) and a need for good self-nurturing. There is also a message of being able to fully present my Self (as mama cat and kittens) to my family.
The Cat symbolizes:
- Independence and Freedom
- Protection and Watchfulness
- Nurturing, Mothering, and Love
- Intuition, Mystery, and Seeing the Unseen/Hidden
- Occult Knowledge, Secrets, and Wisdom
- The Spirit Realm and Afterlife