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8 FEEDING MISTAKES YOU’RE MAKING THAT COULD SHORTEN YOUR ANIMAL’S LIFE

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8 BAD HABITS

There’s no doubt about it. Animals love food. And for some of us, feeding our animal companions brings us almost as much joy as it brings them. It is a bonding experience. However, because animals find food so exciting, there is a danger in allowing ourselves to fall into poor feeding habits. Often, caregivers feel compelled to express our love toward animals through food because we know how much they love it. But are our feeding habits unintentionally harming our beloved furry family? Here are eight common feeding habits that almost always create more harm than good. Are you guilty of any of these?

  1. FREE FEEDING- Allowing our animal companions to eat whenever and however much they want are detrimental to their health and metabolism. When animals eat all day and night they will, more often than not, gain weight. Obesity is an alarmingly common cause of early death in cats and dogs. Animals’ metabolisms are no different than humans in that they will gain weight if they are unable to burn off the calories that they are consuming. Further, many of the foods that are left out on which the animals free-feed are full of unnecessary grains and starches and preservatives that cause inflammation of the joints, yeast overgrowth and obesity. Of course obesity has its own set of sub category ailments such as poor respiratory and cardiovascular health, early stage arthritis and organ failure among a vast array of others. By feeding our animal friends set meals (ideally 3-4 smaller meals per day), we are allowing their metabolisms to function optimally while disallowing them to gain excess weight. Should caregivers of animals be unable to feed 3-4 meals per day due to work schedules, feeding twice per day while leaving a snack for the animal to find during the way such as a kong toy filled with peanut butter or a portion of food hidden for the animal to find throughout the day is an excellent replacement for free feeding. This even food distribution will also help to regulate the animal’s metabolism and avoid obesity and other symptoms of poor metabolic health.
  2. NOT READING INGREDIENTS- Many consumers blindly purchase food for their cats and dogs. Some consumers blindly accept what their veterinarian recommends without doing their own research. This is dangerous. If you have ever read the first several ingredients of “prescription” diets, you will note that they are composed of “pork by-product”, “corn gluten” and various other non-food items. Animals, akin to humans, thrive on whole, nutritious foods. Though seeking advice of a veterinary professional is often important, it is even more important to research the advice they give us instead of blindly accepting their claims at face value.
    Further, there is often an over-saturation of vitamins and minerals in many store bought foods. While a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals is crucial to an animal’s health, the oversaturation of them has been repeatedly linked to hypo and hyperthyroidism. BE SURE to research (or ask your holistic vet) for information on appropriate levels of vitamins and minerals for your particular breed of companion animal.
    In addition to prescription diet foods, there are also low quality nutrient poor foods that are often purchased by consumers to avoid breaking the bank. While saving money is definitely important, at what expense are we doing so? Many of the nutrient poor foods on the market leave our animal friends malnourished and suffering from inflammation. Every companion animal deserves to be properly nourished so that she or he has the best possible quality of life. There are many healthier choices available for middle of the road prices. By purchasing foods whose first ingredients read “chicken, turkey, salmon etc” we are providing our animal family members with nourishment that will prolong their lives and give them a better quality of life while they are with us.
  3. FEEDING DRY FOOD/KIBBLE- KIBBLE IS NOT FOOD. Dry food is not an appropriate diet for any animal. Should any animal regularly feed on dehydrated food, they will easily become dehydrated. This is because when an animal eats kibble, the digestive process requires all of the water in the digestive organs to process the dry food through the digestive tract. After repeated offense of this water draining digestive process, the inner and outer organs of the animal become completely devoid of moisture. In the short term this results in skin rashes, dry eyes, bladder crystals, painful urination, inflammation of the joints and organs, arthritis and excessive thirst. In the longer term this results in early stage kidney failure. In order to avoid all of these severe ailments, feeding our animals a moisture-rich diet will save the day. By adding more foods with omegas 3 & 6, we will be allowing our animals to stay hydrated.
  4. TOO MUCH GRAIN/STARCH- Primarily, cats cannot digest grains. They lack the digestive enzyme that is responsible for the breakdown of grains. This means that if they eat a high grain diet, they metabolize the grains as sugars. If the sugars do not get burned off (through exercise), their sugar levels become deregulated which affects their insulin levels in the pancreas. This is where feline diabetes comes from. In order to avoid giving your cat diabetes, it is crucial to feed a grain free cat food.
    Secondly, in cats and dogs who are sensitive to yeast, feeding a high grain-starch diet is detrimental. This is because grains and starches such as rice, barley, oats, potatoes, sweet potatoes, wheat, etc breed yeast in dogs and cats. Many dogs develop yeast overgrowth as a result of a nutrient-poor diet that is wealthy in grains and starches. If your dog or cat has candida (yeast) overgrowth, research grain-free foods and species appropriate diets.
  5. TOO MANY TREATS- Most of us likely realise that feeding our animals too many treats can be detrimental to their health. Fatty, sugary foods cause obesity, inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and more. Many cat and dog caregivers often use treats to train their animals to exhibit desired behaviours. While this is proven to be an effective mode of training, the health issues that arise could be costly. To substitute treat training, try training with a piece of dry food or a small piece of ground beef (without seasoning or sauce!) The goal with any training is to entice the animal with a reward that is more enticing than anything s/he receives on a regular basis. If your cat is eating mostly wet food (which she ABSOLUTELY should be), a piece of kibble may be exciting enough to entice her to learn desired behaviour. If your dog east mostly canned and dry food, instead of using a sugary or fatty treat, try enticing him with lean cooked ground beef. This way, he will reap the rewards of a highly delicious and nutritious snack!
  6. FEEDING HUMAN FOOD- While we all enjoy seeing the expressions of joy and excitement upon feeding our companion animals table food, we must be very conscious of how these food affect their health. This is not to be confused with feeding whole foods such as animal proteins and veggies which have many health benefits for cats and dogs. Contrary to the health benefits of whole foods, many people believe that feeding “a small amount” of fatty, salty and sugary human foods “can’t hurt them”. They would be wrong. For some animals, even a small amount of fatty, salty or sugary foods means many adverse, chronic health reactions such as IBS, Inflammatory bowel disease, yeast overgrowth or even fatal, painful pancreatitis. It is always best to read labels and research species appropriate homemade diets thoroughly in order to keep our animals fully nourished!
  7. BUYING “WHATEVER’S ON SALE”- Cheaping out on dog and cat food will come back to haunt both your animal and you. Any animal who is malnourished inevitably ends up at the vet clinic too early with a mountain of vet bills. By feeding cheap food to our animals we are causing their bodies to easily break down from malnourishment. This most often results in trips back and forth to the vet which is quite costly, not to mention traumatic for our beloved animal friends. Buying “whatever’s on sale” is hazardous to your animal’s health in many ways. The cheap cat and dog foods brands are full of inflammatory substances, non-food items such as chicken beaks, plastics, carcinogens, food dyes, saw dust, heavy metals, pollutants and dozens of other harmful toxins. These types of harmful ingredients cause may chronic, painful diseases in cats and dogs and are easily avoided by taking the time to research high quality foods that do not break the bank.
  8. BELIEVING THAT WATER ALONE IS ADEQUATE HYDRATION- Contrary to popular belief, water alone does not hydrate companion cats and dogs. It flushes out the organs well which is beneficial to the animal’s well being, however it often fails to be retained in the animal’s body. In extreme temperatures such as the harshness of winter or the heat of summer, companion animals require a lot more than plain water to stay hydrated. Sometimes, no matter how much water our animal friends consume, they are still dehydrated. It is important to understand why this is and how it can be remedied. Without adequate omega fatty acids, water runs right through the body. Omega fatty acids (EFA’s) are the ‘good’ fats that the body needs in order to optimally function. Hair, skin, nails and fur are composed of EFA’s. In a diet that is absent of them, the animal’s hair, skin, nails and coat become dry. Additionally, Omegas (EFA’s) significantly reduce inflammation of the joints, organs and muscle tissues. Water alone cannot rehydrate hair, skin nails and fur, nor can it reduce bodily inflammation.
    Often low-fat store bought foods (and prescription diet foods) contain too little EFA content and contribute to inflammatory diseases and chronic dehydration. The lower fat foods often remove the good fats as well as the bad fats, leaving little room for the moisturizing of major organs.
    Additionally, in a dry food-based diet, water is insufficient hydration for animals as the water merely helps the dry food to pass through the gastrointestinal system with very little left over to moisturize the inner organs.
    Solution? Add more essential fatty acids to the diet. Common and safe sources of the above are: wild salmon oil, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, CBD oil, whole cooked salmon (without sauces and spices), ground beef, sardines, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds. It is unnecessary to add more than one of these sources to the diet at the same time as oversaturation of EFA’s can cause loose stool and weight gain. To find out which source of EFA’s is best for your animal(s), consult your local animal communicator or holistic veterinarian.

These are just eight of many potentially harmful feeding habits many of us make. As always, when making any alterations to our companion animals’ diets, it is important to consult your local animal professional. And, as stated above, be sure to do your research in addition to listening to the advice of your local professional to understand the best options for you and your animal family members.

 

TO SCHEDULE YOUR ANIMAL COMMUNICATION READING, EMAIL: jmorgan.soulstice@gmail.com.

NAVIGATING LIFE AS AN EMPATH

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5 STEPS TO SELF CARE

Self care in itself is spiritual practice. As healers and empaths we often neglect to take the time to properly care for ourselves. All too easily we become overwhelmed by the many aspects of our lives that call to us. Before we know it the day has passed us by and we have forgotten to take time out for ourselves for self care. With all that is occurring in the world and almost nowhere to escape from it, we are likely to feel easily drained and overtired. Though many of us have very limited amounts of “free” time, there are several daily time-friendly practices in which we can engage in order to promote self care and overall well-being.

1)    STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR PEOPLE- As sensitive souls, we are often known to be peacekeepers in interpersonal relationships. Whether romantic or plutonic in nature, we are likely to find ourselves rationalizing the hurtful or offensive behaviour of loved ones in order to avoid conflict.  We often rationalize and excuse their behaviour because we feel that we can accept everyone for who they are and that we are immune to their negativity. It is our nature as healers and empaths to make excuses for the behaviour of others, even when it offends or hurts us deeply. In order to nurture and care for ourselves, we must remember that it is acceptable to put our own need first. If we are repeatedly hurt or offended by the actions and behaviours of others, it is safe to remove ourselves from the situation. It is safe to accept that these types of people are not contributing to our well being in a positive way. It is safe to accept that after repeated, hurtful behaviour, these people may not be the right fit for us in our lives at this time. Should these excuses we make be for family members or those whom we are unable to remove from our lives, it is important for us to take the time to ground ourselves before and after any interactions with these people. This grounding may take the form of writing, drawing, connecting with nature or any other healthy outlet to which we are drawn. While it is our goal to be non judgmental toward all humans, it is not our job to accept their repeatedly offensive and hurtful behaviour on the grounds that “they have had it rough”, “we deserved it” or any other excuse we can come up with. Though it is important to respect where others have come from, their hurtful behaviour wears on us. After prolonged exposure it even has the capacity to wear on our self respect, self confidence and self love. There is a fine line between accepting someone for who they are and allowing ourselves to shove our hurt feelings down inside to our own detriment. It is never ok to continuously put our own hurt feelings aside to make somebody else feel good.  Be honest with yourself and others. If someone is being hurtful towards you, it is acceptable to walk away.

2)    SET REALISTIC BOUNDARIES FOR YOURSELF AND STICK TO THEM- As empaths and healers we are prone to being energetically drained by other people and circumstances. It is crucial to our well being that we create boundaries for ourselves. This most often means learning to say “NO”. As healers and empaths, it is our second nature, our duty, to help anyone and everyone we can. While this is quite a noble feat, we often tend to go overboard. We often tend to ignore our body’s warning signs that it needs to rest because we are so caught up in caring for others. But what we must remind ourselves that the very best way to care for others is to care for ourselves. And this means setting boundaries with others so that we allow ourselves the time to rest and recharge. This means taking the time to listen to our bodies and hearts to hear them speak of what they need to be balanced. And once we have heard their needs, follow their advices. It is one thing to tell ourselves that we are going to stop doing something, yet it is entirely more effective to stick to the resolution! Be firm with yourself in knowing what you need to keep yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy- and stick to it! After all, we cannot pour from an empty cup!

3)    RESPECT YOURSELF- Self respect is an integral part of self-care. Under the umbrella of self respect are many ideals. Eating healthy food, resting well and exercising to the best of our ability are all adequate ways of respecting ourselves and our bodies. Aside from the physical aspects of self respect, there are various mental and spiritual. To be patient with yourself is to respect yourself. Understand where your beliefs and feelings end and others’ begin; avoid confusing the two. Subscribing to the beliefs and thoughts of others- if out of alignment with ours- can be exhausting. Any beliefs and actions that we take that are out of alignment with or authentic selves are not genuine. The lesser genuine we become, the more exhausting life becomes. Be firm in your convictions however do so without trying to prove to anyone who you are and what you believe. Part of self respect is being confident with who you are and what you believe without allowing ego to interfere. Whether going along with the beliefs of others or forcing your beliefs on others, you may find that you become easily depleted. The preceding behaviours are out of alignment with your highest good. To realign with your highest good is to stay firm in your convictions and to have compassion for those who do not.

4)    LEARN TO SAY “YES”- LET GO OF LIMITING BELIEFS, THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS- Part of caring for ourselves is to acknowledge that we often engage in limiting thoughts, beliefs and actions. When we tell ourselves “no” or “I can’t” or “I shouldn’t”, we are limiting our potential. Often we object to taking breaks or vacations because we feel we “can’t afford” or “can’t leave”. While not everyone can necessarily go on a month long cruise of the Caribbean, everyone has the ability to take a “time out” once in a while. Everyone has the ability to take a few hours away from their stressors to go into nature or to turn off their phones and listen to relaxing music in their favourite room of their house. By telling ourselves “I can” take a break, we are allowing our bodies to recharge.
By telling yourself “Yes, I can take healthy steps to change my life” instead of being afraid of new and potentially exciting new experiences, you will be changing the very fabric of your life. You will be tailoring your life to a higher and better version of itself. You will be creating a far more optimistic life path for yourself.
The energy that comes along with saying “Yes!” to new opportunity is far more positive for the body and mind than telling yourself “No”. The “yes” vibration allows you to be open to receive all of the wonderful blessings and gifts that the universe has for you!

5)    LET GO OF UNHEALTHY ATTACHMENTS- Buddha rightfully claimed that “Attachment is the root of all suffering”. When we become attached to material items, people or circumstances, we are creating the potential for suffering. By practicing detachment from all of the above, we are lesser likely to be disappointed when these things leave us or fail to go the way we’d hoped. Nothing is permanent. To understand the impermanence of all that comes in and out of our lives is to be free of attachment to them.
That said, it is often difficult to release attachment to loved ones. This is because in the human body we form emotional bonds with others. It is even often difficult to release attachment to workplaces and sentimental items for the same reasons. However, often we outgrow these relationships, circumstances and items. Though we have outgrown them, letting them go can prove to be quite challenging. But the more we hold on, the more they can breed suffering. This suffering naturally takes its toll on our well being. This is because these people or situations that we have outgrown are often out of alignment with our current vibration. As many of us know, the further long our spiritual path we venture, the more we gravitate away from that which no longer serves our highest good. When we invest our energy into those situations that no longer serve our highest good, we will invariably find that our energy becomes quickly drained. This is because we are constantly descending our energy to meet those old vibrations which we outgrew.  It is of great import to learn to recognize when an unhealthy attachment is forming and to release it immediately. By aiming to release attachment to all unhealthy situations, we are saving our energy from certain depletion.

Particularly in today’s world where we are often surrounded by misery on the news, at work or on social media self care is a must. Self care is self love. By engaging in positive action toward self care, we will become stronger and more empowered versions of ourselves. We will feel more energized and far better equipped to be the best versions of ourselves we can be!

TONIGHT’S WOLF BLOOD FULL SUPERMOON/LUNAR ECLIPSE: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?

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HAPPY WOLF BLOOD FULL SUPERMOON/ LUNAR ECLIPSE IN LEO!

On the eve of Sunday January 20th, our planet Earth will experience its “Wolf” Blood Full Supermoon/Lunar Eclipse in the moon sign of Leo. This event will be the first full moon and eclipse of 2019. This celestial event promises to be one of high energy and electricity. 

To understand the maginifnece of this celestial event, we must examine each term separately: A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon appears to be darkened as it passes through the Earth’s umbra or shadow. During this time, the Earth comes between the sun and the moon, giving an eerie appearance to the moon and the night sky.

The “Wolf” moon is a name which North American indigenous tribes gave to the first full moon of the year. The farmer’s almanac uses similar titles to name the moons.

The ‘blood’ moon is a name given to all total lunar eclipses as while the moon passes over the sun, it appears red in the night sky. And of course the ‘supermoon’ is a term given to the moon when its proximity is closer to the Earth than usual. This generally happens three times per year. The average distance from the Earth to the moon is 328 000 kms. The supermoon’s distance to Earth is approximately 326,000 kms. Therefore the moon, as it is literally closer than usual to the Earth, appears larger and brighter than usual.

Spiritually, this planetary alignment as many wonderful opportunities for personal growth and self-examination. When we examine the effects of each celestial body at play during a lunar eclipse, we can begin to see how to harness and work alongside these beautiful natural energies. Astrologically, the sun represents our personalities. It represents how we express ourselves to the world and each other. The moon represents our subconscious; our shadow sides- the sides of ourselves that we are often un-fond of. These are the sides of ourselves that during a lunar eclipse, are highlighted. Because during the lunar eclipse, the moon is illuminated by the solar energy, our shadow sides are brought to the forefront. Often this illumination may cause discomfort. However, we must also view this discomfort as an opportunity to grow and heal.

In addition to the energy of the lunar eclipse, we also witness the first full moon of the year. As with all full moons, this is an optimal time to assess which aspects of our lives and consciousness that no longer serves our highest good. As the moon is in its final stages of waxing (getting bigger), we may take the opportunity to acknowledge where our lives may be off balance. These imbalances may be in the form of relationships, responsibilities, or any other undue our outgrown sources of stress.

This full moon/lunar eclipse has energy that embodies the need to seek our purpose and to set foot on the path to serve it. The Leo lunar energy will impassion us to work harder than we ever thought we could at releasing who we thought we were to make room for who we aspire to be. The Aquarian solar energy will have us in full warrior mode, discerning what must be released without becoming overly attached to what we must bid farewell. The lunar and solar balance create an optimal time to shed our skin and become in alignment with our improving paths for the new year.

The moon being in Leo brings about a sense of awakening and confidence. Leo’s are empowered, courageous individuals. By connecting with the Leo energy during this eclipse, you will bring to the surface inner strength, courage and conviction. Leos embody the spiritual warrior consciousness. They are fearless and unafraid of self work. To harness this Leo energy is to allow ourselves to break free of the fears that come along with change. Leo is a fire sign which means that this lunar energy allows our passionate side to emerge, encouraging us to cast aside any self imposed blocks in the name of following our hearts. Leo is emotionally driven and very passionate about the cause. This sense of determination can create an ideal environment to recognize what we wish to shift within our lives and to take the head-first plunge into it.

While the moon is in Leo, the sun is in tepid Aquarius. Aquarians are quite removed from their emotions which allows for logic to take the forefront. Though air signs, Aquarians have a unique way to remove themselves from attachment to emotions and circumstances to obtain an objective view. When it comes to self-work, drawing on the sun’s  Aquarian energy will allow us to remain objective in all of our endeavours. This is particularly helpful while processing any aspects of our lives that no longer serve our highest good. After all, the more we attach ourselves emotionally or physically to that which we desire o release, the more difficult and dramatic it becomes. By harnessing the detached mantra of the Aquarius sun, the discipline of release will feel simpler.

While all of this seems relatively painless, there is an astrological wrench that will work its way into this planetary alignment. The mighty Uranus opposes this eclipse in the night heavens. We can expect sudden changes, sudden announcements and sudden shifting resulting in anxiety about the future. Unexpected news may bring about uncertainty. Life’ events could seem to be coming at us far more rapidly than what we are comfortable with.  We may find that we or those around us are prone to impulsiveness or rapid mood swings.  These types of experiences can have us easily reverting back to “fear mode” which could drive up a wall between us and those we love. Before we give into our knee jerk fear based reaction, it is important to take a moment to reconnect with our heart centres. It is important to note that this eclipse is not a good time to make sudden emotionally-charged changes to our relationships but to wait out the turmoil as we will see the pendulum swing back the other way.

As with all anxieties, it is crucial to ensure that we regularly release, ground and centre. When we partake in these exercises, we are more readily able to face the events that are thrown our way. By practicing patience, adaptability and self-compassion, we are better equipped to wade through the peaks and troughs that this lunar eclipse brings.

ARE YOU MISSING YOUR DOG’S CALMING SIGNALS?

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ARE YOU MISSING YOUR CANINE COMPANION’S CALMING SIGNALS?

All species communicate within themselves and with each other. As pack animals, dogs have their own unique way of communicating with each other through body language. Their body language communication is unique to their species however dogs will also communicate these signals to their human family members. This is because, as many of us know, dogs view all of the members of their household as their pack.
Dogs use communication signals to let other dogs know that they are friendly. Communication within their species is crucial to the survival of the pack. These signals can be used for hunting, to raise babies and to alert each other to ‘calm down’. In general, dogs will not seek out conflict within their pack. In the pack dog mind, any conflict can cause injury to one of their members, therefore weakening the pack.
These communication signals are effective tools for dogs to communicate with other species, particularly humans. In the dog mind, they believe that all species will inherently understand and receive these signals. It is quite easy for humans to miss these signals from our dogs of we do not make ourselves aware of them. If they go unnoticed for too long, the dog may cease trying.

While many humans tend to get upset with their dogs for certain behaviours, they may be missing their dogs signals that ‘there’s no need to yell’, or ‘calm down, I understand’ and the dog will get punished anyway. This can lead to sadness and overall frustration within the dog. In some cases, this frustration can lead the dog to act out or to become aggressive.

One such example may be when a human calls his dog to come to him. He has learned in class that he needs to sound strict and dominant so that the dog will understand who is in charge. The dog
finds dad´s voice to be aggressive. The dog instantly gives dad a calming signal in order to make him aware that he need not be aggressive. Perhaps the dog will lick his own nose, yawn, turn his head away. This will result in the human becoming angry, as he perceives the dog as being pig-headed, stubborn and disobedient. The human then punishes the dog for using his calming signals to calm him.

Outlined below are several of the approximately 30 dog calming signals to pay attention to. The more we understand dog body language and behaviour the more harmonious our lives will be together.

YAWNING– When a dog feels threatened by yelling, loud arguing, aggressive behaviour, he will often yawn. When a person is leaning over him, when another dog or person is hurriedly or excitedly walking towards him, the dog often perceives such actions as threatening. He may yawn to let them know to calm, that their intensity is unnecessary.

TURNING HEAD AWAY– Often, when a dog is being scolded or is in the company of aggressive tones, s/he will turn her/his head away from the source. This is another sign that s/he is communicating calmness. S/he is letting the aggressor(s) know that their message is received and she meant no harm. Therefore she need not be punished. Or, she understands the aggressor’s message loud and clear and wishes to share this.

LICKING– A dog will give a quick lick of the face as a calming signal. This licking behaviour is its own type of unique licking only meant to diffuse a potentially confrontational situation. Interestingly, it is more notable behaviour on dogs whose faces are harder to read such as dogs with small noses or long haired dogs.

SNIFFING THE GROUND– Dogs, as a rule use their noses to obtain a wide variety of information. In almost any situation, a dog’s nose is his most powerful sense. However with respect to calming cues, when a dog lowers his nose toward the ground even slightly, this is a sign of calming behaviour. One example might be if a dog is in a crowded area and feels overwhelmed by all of the activity. If there are people or other dogs walking toward your dog, he may lower his nose slightly to let the others in his vicinity know that he “comes in peace’.

WALKING SLOWLY– In the dog mind, high speed is seen as a threat. Coming from dog or person (or other being), walking toward or beside at high speed can invoke the defense mechanism within the dog. This can trigger a calming signal; for example walking slowly. Particularly because the other being is in motion, the dog will have a reactive defense of movement as well. The slow walking is intended to let the other beings in motion know that he is peaceful.

WALKING IN A CURVE– When you call your dog, does she respond by coming toward you in a curve (or walking slowly as per the statement above)? If she does, this may be a reflection of your tone of voice. If you sound overly stern or authoritative, this curved walk may be a calming signal. Your dog my be letting you know that there is no need to be so commanding.
When a dog is introduced to another dog, she will often approach the other dog in a curve as opposed to straight on. This is because the dog feels that she does not want to pose a threat to the other dog. In fact, when humans force their dogs to meet in a straight line format, this makes the dogs feel very uncomfortable. It is important never to force a dog into a meeting and to let it happen naturally. It may help you, as well, to understand this behaviour when approaching any new dog. You may wish to greet the new dog from a curve instead of a straight line. This may help to assist the dog in being more comfortable and lesser threatened by you.
Calming signals coming from dogs can be subtle. It is of great benefit to pay close attention to how your dog reacts to you and other stimuli in her/his environment. These are but a few of the 30+ calming signals that dogs exhibit to each other and to humans. Once we have a solid understanding about what they are and when dogs use them, we may even be able to send them back to our canine companions. When we see our dogs giving us calming signals, we can take the time to lower our voices or carry a more peaceful demeanor. Additionally, by sending calming signals to our dogs, they will be grateful that we have learned their language. They will feel understood and comfortable in our homes and in our hearts. We will surely be creating a more harmonious environment for all!

TOP 5 WINTER WARMING FOODS FOR ANIMALS

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TOP 5 WARMING FOODS FOR YOUR ANIMAL FRIENDS:

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, food is categorized in many ways. One of these ways is to categorize food into “heating”, “cooling” and “neutral”. This does not mean that the foods themselves are “hot” or “cold”. What it means is that food has a thermal effect on the body. “Cooling foods” help to cool the body, decrease inflammation and can even go so far as to calm the nerves and/or aggressive tendencies of an animal or human. Conversely, “warming foods” can aid in blood and fluid circulation, keep the metabolism running efficiently and can treat arthritic conditions in animals whose suffering is greater in the winter.

Generally speaking, animals have a “hot” or “cold” type disposition. Though both of these body types, in northern climates, can be uncomfortable in the winter season, a “cold-type” will be affected much worse.

If you have an animal with constantly cold ears and feet, if you have an animal who is always stationed by a heater and is making an attempt to find any small speck of sunlight streaming through a window to sit in, your animal has a “cold-type” disposition. Cold type animals will especially benefit from a supplementation of “warming” foods in her or his diet. As always, it’s important to consult your holistic veterinarian or knowledgeable Animal Communicator before adding any extras to your animal friends’ diets.

Here is a list of 5 or many readily available “warming” foods to keep your animal’s circulation healthy in the deep-freeze of winter:

1)      KELP– A form of seaweed, kelp has many benefits for you and your animal friend. It is a warming food, lowers the risk of cancer, helps in thyroid gland regulation, and is an immune-stimulant (will keep defenses up against cold viruses). DO NOT USE IF YOUR ANIMAL HAS AN OVERACTIVE IMMUNE SYSTEM.

2)       SWEET POTATO– In addition to being a warming food, sweet potatoes are very rich sources of necessary vitamins and minerals. Generally speaking, root vegetables have a “warming” effect on the body. Please note that any foods of the potato family should not be supplemented in any animal’s diet who is sensitive to yeast and/or has yeast overgrowth. Potatoes and sweet potatoes contain starches that could offset the balance of yeast in your cat or dog’s body. This may cause a worsening of yeast overgrowth.

3)      CHICKEN– According to Traditional Chinese medicine, chicken is warming due to its rapid nature. The kinetic energy of a chicken is quite high, therefore it’s constitution is considered to be “warming”. The theory suggests that because the kinetic motion of a chicken is rapid, it burns energy and is therefore “warmer”.

4)      SALMON– Salmon swim upstream which means that they swim against the current By virtue of this fact, they are considered to be constitutionally warm. As they swim against the current they are utilizing much kinetic energy which in turn creates more heat. Salmon is also high in necessary omega fatty acids that will help the body to retain moisture on the dryness of winter.

5)      KALE– A warming food that is high in fibre, calcium and antioxidants.

Those who are cat companions know that attempting to feed any new type of food to their cat will result in disastrous catitudes. For cats and small dogs, tiny portions of these foods are all that are needed to have a warming effect on them.

Since many companion animals are susceptible to allergies, it is important to also pay attention to your animal after adding a new food to their diet. It is important to take note of any shifts in behaviour, bathroom habits, itching or any other unusual condition. To be certain that you have all the facts, take note of the behaviour that your animal is exhibiting before the food addition. That way, citing any changes in behaviour will be easier.  

IMPORTANT NOTE: When supplementing your animal friend’s diet with vegetables, it is incredibly important that you cook the veggies thoroughly before serving. Digestive systems of cats and dogs are extremely sensitive and can only digest cooked veggies. If they are fed raw veggies, they will become gassy, irritable, and the whole food will come out in their stool. Begin supplementation with a very small amount of ONE of these options and see how your animal friend reacts. If she or he is good with it, you may slightly increase the increment. If she or he does not like the one you chose, you may want to consider a second option from the list above. Remember every cat and every dog is different and will have different likes and dislikes.

The good news is that not only will these warming foods help your animal stay warm- they can also do the same for you!

TO BOOK AN ASSESSMENT OR ANIMAL COMMUNICATION SESSION EMAIL: jmorgan.soulstice@gmail.com

 

TOP 5 ‘FIRST AID’ FOODS FOR CATS AND DOGS

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TOP 5 “FIRST AID FOODS” FOR ANIMALS

It’s winter! This means our animal friends are itching to be active, even if they can’t go outside. And when they do, they could get themselves into trouble. Whether it’s an encounter with another animal, an encounter with sharp edges, picking up sharp objects in the mouth or any other kind of cut and scrape, we can be sure that they more they rambunctiously play, the greater the risk.

In the face of a cut or scrape accident, most of us would immediately head to the veterinarian for treatment. While a valid form of doing so, it may be unnecessary. Did you know that you probably already have several items already in your home that can treat minor cuts and scrapes? If you don’t already have them, by stocking your shelves with a few of these holistic remedies, you can avoid the unpleasant-for-your-animal trips to the vet and of course those costly vet bills.

Here are five common “first aid foods” that most have in our homes that can be a helpful treatment for a minor cut, scrape or puncture in a pinch:

1)      Coconut oil- Coconut oil is often considered a “miracle food”. This is because it has so many wonderful uses for healing (for animals and people) that it should be a staple in anyone’s kitchen. Coconut oil is full of Omega 3’s & 6’s which are essential to anyone’s diet. Especially in the summer heat when our dogs and cats can easily become dehydrated, coconut oil helps to retain moisture in the skin and coat. As well in the dryness of winter, coconut oil does the same. Did you know that water does not always hydrate our animal friends? By adding coconut oil to the diet a couple of times per week, you will be helping your animal to stay hydrated. It is very important to note here that coconut oil is high in fat. This means that only a very small amount of the oil is necessary to make a difference in health. This oil can also help to fight of harmful bacteria in the system, promoting longevity and healthy quality of life. Lastly not least, coconut oil acts as a sunscreen. Even though our furry friends have fur and hair coats, they also have exposed skin on their noses and other areas of their bodies; particularly lighter coloured animals. Applied topically, this oil is a safe and natural sunscreen or can ease the burn of cuts, scrapes and rashes!

 

2)      Manuka honey- Manuka honey (as opposed to other honey) is particularly helpful. This honey is made by New Zealand bees from Manuka plants. Manuka honey is a known antiseptic which means that applied topically to wounds, it treats against harmful bacteria. Manuka honey also repairs tissue damage due to trauma such as minor cuts and scrapes. Additionally, Manuka honey has anti-inflammatory properties. This means that it can reduce swelling of injury, and even reduce swelling of sore joints and muscle tissues if ingested. Though most honey has these qualities, Manuka honey is far more potent due to its elevated levels of hydrogen peroxide and methylgloxal (MG). These aspects are more potent in Manuka honey because of their high concentration in Manuka flowers.

3)      Plantain- Plantain looks like a small banana. Though it can be used for cooking, the leaves also have a myriad of medicinal qualities. They treat sunburns, stings, bites, and breakouts. Also, when applied topically, they have anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, they can reduce inflammation of swollen joints, muscles and sprains among others. PLEASE NOTE: Plantain leaves are high in tannins which are toxic for animals to ingest. This means that if applied to the skin, the leaves must be wrapped in cloth so that the animal does not accidentally ingest the leaves. To achieve the highest benefits of the plantain leaf, it is best applied beneath a warm or cold compress, depending on the nature of the injury.

 

4)      Turmeric- Turmeric is another wonder-food. It has many benefits when both applied topically and ingested. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. To benefit from this quality, it must be ingested over a period of time to take effect. This means that we must add a small bit to our animal’s diet every day as it has a cumulative effect. Some of the benefits of turmeric for animals include; arthritis, joint pain, stomach pain, heartburn, intestinal gas, diarrhea, bloating, jaundice , IBS and more. By adding turmeric to the diet of our animal friends, we can also reduce any chronic itching. However, to effectively reduce chronic itching, we must also add black pepper for efficacy. Turmeric is an excellent mouth cleanser for those with animals who have mouth infections or bad breath.

5)      White Vinegar- This vinegar is not just good for salads! It also has many household uses for you and your animal friends. By spraying the vinegar on your couch where the cat scratches, you will find a significant reduction in scratching activity! (Be sure to do a test area for staining first!). Also- if you are the fortunate companion of a horse or dog who always has flies around, spray the animal with white vinegar- avoiding the face- and the flies will fly away. Vinegar is an excellent antiseptic. This means that if your dog or cat has a skin rash, you may find the either in pill form or topically, vinegar; either white or apple cider, is a natural way to alleviate the rash. As an aside, white vinegar spray and baking soda eliminate litter box odour, in home “accident” odours and even skunk spray odour!

These are just five of many simple household remedies that most of us have in our homes. Instead of rushing off to the vet and potentially causing anxiety for you and your animal friends, give one of these a try next time your dog or cat has a rash, cut or scrape. He or she will be glad you did!

 

TO SCHEDULE AN ANIMAL COMMUNICATION SESSION FOR YOUR ANIMALS, EMAIL: jmorgan.soulstice@gmail.com!

 

 

THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT BLADDER CRYSTALS AND UTI’S

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BLADDER CRYSTALS

Bladder crystals: we have all heard about or witnessed the excruciating pain that befalls an animal when she or he is suffering from crystallization of the urine. Many of us look to our medical veterinarians for help. All too often our beloved animal companions are unnecessarily euthanized far too early. Many of us feel scared for our animal friends and are unaware of how bladder crystals got there or what to do when they are found. Bladder crystals are frighteningly common in companion animals. But where do they come from? Is there a way to prevent them?

As a matter of fact, in almost all cases (except genetics) there are ways to prevent bladder crystals in cats and dogs. As with all companion animal health imbalances, we will want to first examine what bladder crystals are and how they are formed.

As some of us may remember back to grade 9 science class, we studied the Acids & Bases scale (also known as the PH scale). For those who may not remember what the scale represents, it is quite simple. There is a numerical scale that ranges from 1-14. Number 1 on this scale represents extremely acidic substances (such as battery acid) and number 14 represents the most basic (such as milk of magnesia). The goal of the body, animal or human, is to maintain a neutral 7 on the PH scale.  For a reference point, the average human diet is often extremely acidic. When humans regularly consume fast foods, “junk” foods and other excessive amounts of fried foods, salt and sugar, the body’s constitution becomes unhealthily acidic. These body types would register at a 4 or 5 on the PH scale. In some severe cases they may register at a 3. Often when this happens there are severely adverse health effects such as kidney stones, obesity, gall bladder attacks, ailments of the gastrointestinal tract among many other painful diseases. The goal of any human with such an acidic constitution would be to consume basic substances in order to bring their body’s PH system back to a neutral 7. This, should you yet be unaware, is why businesses try so heavily to market alkaline water. Alkaline water is said to have a very strong basic constitution. This is said to be helpful for those with an acidic constitution aiming to bring their PH level back to neutral 7.

Now that is fine and well for humans. However, when we take a closer look at the companion animal diet, we will notice a major variation from the human. Contrary to the average North American human diet, the average North American canine and feline diet are excessively high in magnesium. Magnesium is the polar opposite of acid. This is to say that most feline and canine store bought foods are too basic (remember, leaning towards the ‘14’ on the acids and bases scale as noted above). All commercial cat and dog foods are high in magnesium. In fact, some run so high that they create a build up of magnesium in the urinary tract. Have you ever smelled feline urine? It often smells like ammonia. This ammonia-type smell is a direct result of excessive amounts of magnesium in the diet. Occasionally our canine companions will emit a similar smell for the same reasons. When there is too much ammonia in the urinary tract, it has a strong potential to cause crystallization of the urine in the bladder. This, as many of us know, can and will cause a tremendous amount of pain for our animals. This can also be fatal for our animal friends as often the crystals prevent them from urinating. In these horrific cases, their little bodies become too toxic and they do not make it through.

Prevention and treatment of bladder crystals is a lot easier than you might think. Of course, with any companion animal ailment we must first examine the diet. It is extremely important that you ask your holistic veterinarian what an appropriate level of magnesium is for your animal friend. Many consumers assume that veterinary recommended brands have adequate levels of vitamins and minerals for cat and dog health. However, the FDA approved levels of vitamins and minerals in animal food is so far off from what keeps their bodies regulated that it frequently causes irreversible diseases such as bladder crystals, hyper/hypothyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, constipation, diarrhea, diabetes, obesity and early stage organ failure. ALL OF THESE diseases are PREVENTABLE by doing appropriate research into species appropriate diets. Please do not be fooled and take the word of professionals over your own research.

Many human grocery stores carry cat and dog food brands. Most of these brands have a strong imbalance of nutrients to include high levels of magnesium. Once again, researching appropriate levels of magnesium for your individual animals (species, age, environment, etc) is the most efficient way to ensure that they are not ingesting too much of it, running the risk of bladder crystal development.

Excessive sugars, starches and grains can also cause bladder crystals in cats. Cats are not genetically wired to properly digest grains, sugars and starches. In fact they lack the digestive enzyme that is responsible for digesting the above. As a result, the body will try to remove these substances in the urine and stool. Because they are not digestible for cats, they can cause due damage to the elimination system. Ensuring that your cat is eating a grain free diet is the best way to prevent this from happening.

Kibble (dry food) is often the culprit when it comes to bladder crystals. This is because dry food utilizes all of the body’s water in order to process it through the gastrointestinal system. When there is repeat offense in this area, the body becomes to dehydrated and water stagnates in the bladder. This stagnation of water is the sum and parts of urinary crystallization. By adding wet (canned) foods and/or whole foods to the diet, we are diminishing much of the bladder crystal cause. Further, by adding more omegas 3 & 6 to the diet, we are enabling the animal’s body to retain more moisture. This will assist in keeping the body’s fluids moving so that they do not stagnate.

Should we be reading this article too late and have animals who are currently suffering from bladder crystals, or should we even so much as suspect that one of our animals is suffering, we may not need worry. If we refer back to the initial part of this article, we will note that when humans consume too much acid, the solution is to consume enough base to bring the body back to neutral PH 7. Because the vast majority of store bought cat and dog foods are high in magnesium, in other words, high in base, which is often the root of bladder crystals, we will want to bring in a source of acid that will in essence bring their PH levels back to neutral 7. Incidentally, this is exactly why companion animals should never drink alkaline water. Their diets are far too high in magnesium which is precisely what alkaline water will enhance. It renders itself harmful to any animals consuming diets that are far too basic by adding a more basic substance to an already basic diet. This can be terribly harmful and significantly increase the likelihood of bladder crystals and kidney failure.

Concerning cat and dog foods that are high in magnesium, it is crucial to balance out their body’s PH by adding acidic substances to the diet. Of course many sources of acid can also be harmful so finding the right supplement is vital. There are several natural sources of acidic supplements readily available at your local health food store. Before adding any supplements to your animal’s diet it’s important to ask your holistic veterinarian or Animal Communicator.

Before rushing off to your western medical veterinarian, be sure that you understand that you have options. Far too many animals are unnecessarily euthanized due to completely treatable heath imbalances. By taking the time to consult a variety of reliable sources about animal health and wellness, we are able to widen our spectrum of treatment. Often in cases such as bladder crystals there are a variety of holistic treatments that relieve the body of pain and are able to keep our animals healthier for longer. 

MAKE THE MOST OF THIS WEEK’S WINTER SOLSTICE/FULL MOON IN CANCER! HERE’S HOW:

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A CELESTIAL CARNIVAL!

An exciting week awaits us! At the end of this week, we will experience themes of culmination. With both the end of the autumnal season as well as the current lunar cycle, we are sure to experience much shifting and fluxing. As with all celestial culminations, this powerful storm of events will create the ideal conditions for us to shake off all that no longer serves our highest and greatest good.

To break it down, Friday’s winter solstice is cause for celebration. The winter solstice is the first day of winter. It is also the point at which the northern hemisphere experiences its least number of daylight hours and most number of darkness. The winter solstice brings about a ritual of honour. We are honouring the silence that the darkness brings; its beckoning for us to slow down, rest and dream. As our Mother Earth rests peacefully under the blanket of the darkness of night, so do we; envisioning our dreams and desires for when the Light returns. Animals hibernate, leafing trees lay dormant and the silent lullaby of winter overtakes the northern hemisphere. We, as caretakers of all of her inhabitants, respect winter’s nature.

Because the winter months are the darkest, winter is a time for self-reflection. Spiritually, darkness represents a window into our subconscious- a widow into our deepest most innermost thoughts. The darkness of winter allows is the space and silence for reflection. As we ruminate over the previous year’s events and circumstances, we may ask ourselves: how do we feel about them? How do we feel about our actions and reactions toward them? What aspect of ourselves do we wish to improve upon in the coming months? How do we envision ourselves doing so?

To add fuel to the emotionally reflective fire, in the day following the winter solstice, we witness this year’s full moon in Cancer; the final full moon of 2018. Because the zodiac sign of Cancer is ruled by the moon, this sign feels right at home during this lunar event. Cancer is emotionally sensitive, maternal and nurturing. For those born in a water sign (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), this full moon will feel particularly comfortable and homey for you. For those born under these signs or for any other emotionally sensitive people, finding creative ways to outlet your emotions is highly recommended. Be it writing, drawing, dancing or cooking, any activity into which you are able to channel your strong emotions will be beneficial as this full moon may be a time of deep healing. As Cancer is a water sign, there is a strong likelihood that we will be guided to attend to any outstanding matters that require deep emotional examination. This could undoubtedly cause great waves in the ocean of self-healing.

While the moon waxes full in Cancer, the sun looms large in the earth sign of Capricorn. Capricorn the earthy, grounded and practical. Thankfully we may rely on his energy to anchor us from a potentially outlandish emotional state. Drawing on Capricorn’s grounded nature will allow us to approach any self-healing work from a stable state. As always, when engaging in any spiritual or healing work, doing so from a rooted state will provide us with the most balanced clarity.

Correspondingly, both Cancer and Capricorn hone in on the home. Both signs concentrate on harmony and beauty within the physical home as well as the family unit. In tandem with the winter solstice, this full moon weekend promises to be an excellent time to spend with family. With focus being on loved ones and reflection, we will feel inspired to surround ourselves with those for whom we are grateful.

Further, for those who love to nurture, this moon will be a carnival. The full Cancer moon brings out the maternal caretaker in all of us. Kindness is readily available and there is an air of ‘giving free of attachment’. This concept is of very high vibration and will be quite spiritually rewarding. That said, there is danger of giving and gifting to the point of exhaustion. Cancer also highlights our need for security in our familial and intimate relationships. There is a potential for us to get lost in the need to feel secure by way of giving and gifting to make ourselves feel secure. Be mindful that this is overcompensating behaviour for our deepest insecurities with loved ones. When we feel that we are running ourselves ragged for others, let us take a moment to ask if our exhaustive actions and behaviours rooted in love and nurturing others? Or are they are reflection of our own deep need to feel secure in our relationships? Be mindful to nurture yourself first. Remember: you cannot pour from an empty cup.

This weekend is sure to be full of fun, feelings and festivity. As with all emotionally charged astrological alignments, we have a choice. We can fall victim to the dark nights of winter and darkness of deep emotional healing or we can rise above, accept the challenge and face it head on like a warrior! The choice is ours.

ADD YEARS TO YOUR CAT’S LIFE BY INCREASING THIS DAILY ACTIVITY:

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CATS AND WATER

Cats have a funny relationship with water. Have you noticed that cats do not drink much water at all? As with any feline habit in question, the first thing we will want to do is examine water’s role in feline genetic history. How did wild cats get their water? What sorts of drinking habits did they develop? When we observe ancestral felines in the wild, we will note that ancient cats had a very unique way of deriving moisture for survival.

The origin of the feline species is first noted in the ancient deserts of Africa. Water was sparse. Ancient cats learned to kill their prey and derive moisture from their bodies which were approximately 75% water. This was usually adequate moisture to keep the animals alive and well in the heat of the African desert land.

What does this mean for modern day felines? All this is to say that drinking water has become a learned behaviour in companion cats. This means that their genetic wiring lacks the desire to drink water on its own. Drinking water has become a behaviour that has been a learned practice that has come along with the feline species’ migration out of Africa and into Asia where tigers drink from streams as they catch fish. Following, wild cats came through the North American wild where streams and lakes are plenty. Despite the migration and evolution of cats and water, drinking water is still second nature for companion cats.

Aside from the genetic lineage of cats, there is a very pressing need for cat caregivers to ensure that their cats are drinking sufficient water. Many store-bought cat foods will inhibit moisture retention and cause havoc with the body’s water systems. Particularly dry food (kibble) can strip the body of almost all moisture. Because dry food is dehydrated and devoid of any moisture at all, in order for cats to process the dry food through their gastrointestinal systems, the dry food will draw water from all of the body’s vital organs so it can pass through the body to become metabolized and then eliminated. With prolonged and repeated exposure to this type of digestive process, the body’s vital organs become abused and depleted of water and energy. In the longer term, this is where early stage kidney failure begins.

Dry food also heavily increases the probability of constipation. Gastrointestinal systems devoid of water cause a build up of waste in the intestinal tract and prevent cats (and all other mammals) from a proper removal of waste through the bowel. In some cases, if the waste build up is full of toxins from low quality or malnourished foods, in addition to constipation we run the risk of causing inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, blood in the stool and other painful intestinal trauma.

Every companion cat needs at least a 90% wet food diet. Wet (canned) food is engineered to contain enough moisture for a healthy cat to live well. Even the lower quality grain free (for more information on why your cat’s diet should be grain free read: https://soulsticespirit.com/2018/11/11/are-you-making-this-fatal-cat-food-mistake/ ) wet foods are infinitely better for our feline friends’ vital organs than high quality dry food. This is never to say that anyone should opt for lower quality anything when it comes to feeding our furry friends. However, if we are going to want a longer and healthier life for our kitty companions, wet food is unequivocally the best way to get there.

That said, cats still require a large enough volume of daily water to flush out their organs of toxins. Toxins are present in any environment, whether airborne, in food (any and all processed foods have toxins), outdoors- pretty much anywhere. Whatever the origin, the gall bladder and the liver have to work overtime to process the toxins and get them ready to be eliminated in the urine or stool. Clean water can help the process by aiding to flush out the liver, gall bladder and intestines. Of course, water is vital in terms of hydrating the kidneys so that they can relieve the body of its toxins. Drinking water can impede the kidney failure process that comes along with consuming dry food or low quality grain-based wet food.

Most cat caregivers have likely noticed that cats can be fairly reluctant to drink water. This is because, as many of us are aware, cats are finicky creatures. Though cats are infamous for doing what they want when they want to do it, we as caregivers must take a stand to ensure that they are adequately hydrated. For those who may yet be unaware, here are eight ways to help our feline friends stay hydrated:

1)    LOCATION– believe it or not, the location in your home in which you place your cat’s water bowl is likely the most significant reason why your cat may not be drinking. Again, in examination of the genetic lineage of the feline species, cats would never do their “kill” by a water source for fear of contamination of the water. Cats would kill their prey far enough away from the water to keep it clean. Translating to your home, by placing your cat’s water bowl beside her food, she may not be inclined to drink it due to the aforementioned genetic link. By placing her water bowl in another corner of the kitchen or feeding area, you may find that she is more inspired to drink.
Additionally, by choosing to place more than one water bowl around your home, your cat with appreciate that you are letting her (or him) be in “control” of the situation in terms of choosing where she or he wants to have a drink.

2)    WATER FOUNTAIN– Because some cats have difficulty with depth-perception, they are often confused by how much or how little water is in the water bowl. This will often cause them to put a paw in the water to gauge its depth. Once they have put their paw in, they may be reluctant to drink it because it has become contaminated. By creating a stream of water for your cat, s/he will always be able to see the running water and be comfortable with drinking it. In addition, if your cat is one who likes to ‘play’ with water, such as drinking from the water tap, shower or alternative sources to bowls, investing in a kitty water fountain will mirror this activity.

3)    SIZE AND SHAPE OF BOWL– As finicky as they may be, some cats take issue with the size and shape of their water bowl. Many cats will avoid drinking from a water bowl in which their whiskers do not fit. This is because the width of the cats whiskers let the cat know what he or she can and cannot fit into. Thus, if a drinking bowl compromises a cat’s whisker measurement, instinctively s/he will turn away from it. For their comfort, the size and shape of your cat’s water bowl should be in alignment with the size and shape of his head and whiskers.

4)    TYPE OF BOWL– many cats prefer metal or glass to plastic. This is because plastic water bowls tend to hold onto bacteria and germs that cause pimples around the cat’s mouth. Many cat caregivers fail to realize how easily plastic can amalgamate dirt and particulate matter. Cats are a genetically very clean species. Any human interference with that is not acceptable!

5)    BOWL CLEANLINESS– Many companion animal caregivers fail to realize the importance of a daily practice of cleaning out their animal’s water bowl. Cats are sensitive to the bacteria that can be found at the bottom of their water bowl should their people neglect to wipe out the bowl after they dump out the old water and before refilling it with new. According to your cat, washing the bowl before every use is the best way to entice him to drink.

6)    CLEAN, FRESH WATER– Cats prefer daily fresh, clean water. Some cats will drink day old water, however all cats will prefer fresh water every day. It is important to be mindful of what type of water we are feeding our kitty friends. Note that tap water is full of heavy metals and toxins that infiltrate the water systems and bloodstreams of your cat. While cats may not notice a difference when the water is fresh, finding the cleanest water source possible is always the best way to keep our cats healthy and living well for longer.

7)    PROXIMITY TO LITTER BOX– As per the earlier notation about contamination of water, cats will not appreciate having their water (or food) bowl close to their litter boxes. After all, would you poop where you drink or eat? For those living in smaller homes or apartments, take moment to be mindful of how far you from your cat’s bathroom you have placed their food and water. Be mindful that fecal germs can travel fairly far and your cat may be uncomfortable with the proximity between her bathroom and her water (and food) bowl.

8)    VULNERABILITY WHILE DRINKING– Especially for cats who are new to your home, placing their drinking bowls against a wall away from the room’s entrance way could be a deterrent. This is because while a cat is drinking (or eating or bathing), she is in a vulnerable position. A cat may feel threatened if, while drinking, she cannot see whether or not anyone is approaching her from behind. Genetically linked to this concept, if a cat in the wild cannot see if anyone (a predator) is approaching, she runs the risk of a surprise attack. Cats do not like surprises. This is why it’s best for you to place her drinking bowl in such a way that she can see the entrance ways to the room. Cats are most comfortable with their backs against the wall.

There are innumerable reasons why cats are so particular about their drinking experience. The above are 8 of many ways to remedy this. The underlying message is that companion cats need to drink far more water than most people are aware of. By guaranteeing that our cats drink clean, fresh water daily, we are on the road to keeping their inner organs healthier and giving them a better quality of life!

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CATS AND WATER, CONTACT jmorgan.soulstice@gmail.com TO SET UP YOUR ANIMAL COMMUNICATION SESSION.

FRIDAY’S NEW MOON: LAST CHANCE FOR A NEW BEGINNING

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FINAL OPPORTUNITY FOR A NEW BEGINNING

Friday, December 7th is the final new moon of 2018. As with all new moons, this one is a time to create, create, create! Each lunar cycle begins with the new moon, which is why its spiritual significance correlates to new beginnings of cycles in our lives. This aspect of the lunar cycle is an excellent opportunity to plant seeds of intention. As the moon grows, so do our seeds into flowers.

This last new moon of 2018 resides in the sign of Sagittarius. With both the sun and the moon in Sag, we can expect to feel as if anything is possible. And it is! Sagittarius is confident, boastful and full of life. It is intellectually thirsty with an ever present desire to learn everything it can about anything. For those who wish to create an improved living situation for any reason, harnessing this delightful Sagittarian energy during this time can help to employ the means to get there. Taking the time to write down our intentions for the lunar cycle that follows is a primary example of organizing our dreams and desires. As always, by taking our dreams to pen and paper, we are allowing Spirit to witness what we truly desire and work behind the scenes to help us to create it.

Perhaps most noteworthy is that because this new moon is the final of 2018, we can utilize this opportunity to contemplate the changes we wish to see in the coming year. Through this strong and empowered Sagittarius energy, we can regain creative control of our lives. This moon is the opportune time to believe in ourselves and our dreams.

For those of us in romantic partnerships, this new lunar cycle will cast light upon the darkness that the Scorpion sun had left. Romantic partnerships may have been tried and tested throughout last month’s icy chill. Fear not as the fiery Sagittarian energy will melt the ice and have us back in each other’s warm embrace. For those who are not entangled in romantic partnerships and wish to be, this powerful new moon is a highly positive time to manifest the partner of your dreams! By creating a “wish list” of qualities we wish to see in our next romantic partner, we are, akin to creating a list of intentions or a vision board, allowing Spirit to witness our desires and dreams for a partner.

As positive and exciting as the tandem Sagittarius sun and moon may be, caution is also warranted. Should we carelessly adapt to the power-charged Sag alignment, we may find ourselves falling prey to a need to control every detail of our lives- and the lives of others. There is a strong likelihood of getting swept up in the confidence and direction that the Sag sun and moon bestow upon us. It is important to be mindful of our responsibilities; where they begin and where they end. Remember: we are only responsible for ourselves. We do not have the authority to take responsibility for others, nor do we to tell them what they can and cannot do. We must remember that every individual has free will. We must detach from our wants and wishes of situational outcomes. When we place expectations on circumstances, we will likely be disappointed. As Buddha stated, “Attachment is the root of all suffering”.

The Sagittarian need for control comes from an air of “knowing what’s right”. Be cautioned that “right” is subjective. Every person is entitled to her or his opinion and actions. Being mindful to avoid interfering with other people’s karma takes discipline. Acknowledging that any experience that another person is going through is a direct result of what they have thought, believed or felt. We must, as they must remember that every action has consequence, therefore always acting out of kindness will bring us desirable consequences. By letting go of control and allowing circumstances to unfold naturally, we are allowing Divine miracles to shine through.

Sagittarius is full of spontaneity. Allow yourself to live! Live every day, be free. Let go of every belief that holds you back from living the life you aspire. Live your truth, let go of that which no longer serves your highest purpose. When you are in alignment with your highest good, everything is possible!