Daily Archives: January 24, 2012

Storing Your Magick Stuff

Storing Your Magick Stuff

If you’re anything like me, over time you have accumulated a mixed collection of herbs, oils and incenses. What do you do with it all? Stuff everything into a shoe-box, still in their original packages? Or display it on an altar? Whatever your storage method, you might want to think about what is best for the items, rather than what is best for you. Herbs can go stale, oils can go rancid and incense can go bland, if left in the wrong conditions for any length of time.

 
Herbs
If you are using fresh herbs for tea or ritual, then you should be using them up as quickly as possible. But dried herbs are a more common magickal item. The biggest problem facing dried herbs is exposure to air. Herbs will lose their aroma, texture and potency if left in the open air for even short periods of time. You shouldn’t leave your herbs in those little plastic bags from the herb store. They are prone to leaking, and your herbs will go stale in no time. The best way to store dried herbs is in jars with tight lids, and preferably stored in a dark place.

Oils
All oils, whether they are plain essential oils or custom ritual blends, should be kept out of the light. Good quality oils are usually sold in amber or cobalt blue bottles which are perfect to keep the oil at its best. Oils in these bottles can even be stored out on your altar, though I would keep them out of direct sunlight. Any oils that are in plain clear bottles should be either transfered to the darker bottles, or kept under wraps.

Incense
I used to store my incense sticks in the long bags I purchase them in, all bundled together in a box. Well, I ended up with a whole bunch of incense sticks that smelled the same. Even with the plastic bags, the scents blended and mingled until every stick had a pleasant but unidentifiable aroma. I have since purchased tall plastic containers designed for holding spaghetti. These work great, but they can get cumbersome if you have a lot of incense.

Overall, your supplies will last longer if you keep them protected and out of sight. If you like to keep your altar decorated with your supplies, you might want to select a few things for display only and not use them for ritual.

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Correspondences of the Elements

Correspondences of the Elements

Earth’s Correspondences:
Direction: North.
Earth Rules: The Body and Nature, manifestation, physicality, fertility, birth, death, healing, rocks, trees, animals, vegetation, mystery, silence, growth, crystals, common sense, empathy, grounding, employment, stability, success, runes, strength, practical wisdom, mystery, metals. Is the element that is most stable and dependable. It represents abundance, prosperity, and wealth, and is creative but in a practical, physical manner. Earth, that which sustains all life and on which the other elements rely.
Time: Midnight.
Season: Winter.
Colors: Deep earth tones, Green, brow, black, gold and white.
Zodiac: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.
Tools: Pentacle, salt, images, stones, cord magick.
Chakra: Root.
Virtues: Being centered, patience, truth, thorough and dependable.
Vices: Dullness, laziness, inconsiderate.
Posture: (Arms extended) Palms down.
Season of Life: Death/rebirth.
Animal: Bull, cow, stag, deer, snakes, bear, bison, dog, horse, gopher, ant, wolf.
Elemental Spirits: Gnomes, dwarfs.
Gems: Rock crystal, emerald, jet, tourmaline, quartz, tourmalated quartz, rutilated quartz, granite, bedrock, salt, peridot, onyx, jasper, azurite, amethyst.
Sense: Touch.
Goddesses: Hathor, Ceres, Gaia, Bo-Ann, Cerridwyn, Demeter, Gaia, Persephone, Epona, Kore and Rhiannon.
Gods:Adonis, Athos, Arawyn, Cernunnos, Dionysus, Herne, Marduk, Pan, Tammuz, Thor.
Types of Magick: Gardening, grounding, magnet, image, stone, tree, knot, binding.
Energy: Receptive, feminine.
Metals: Iron, lead.
Plants: Cedar, cypress, comfrey, honeysuckle, ivy, grains, magnolia, patchouly, primrose, sage, vetivert, nuts, oak.

Air’s Correspondences:
Direction: East.
Air Rules: The mind, clarity, discernment, wisdom, knowledge, abstract thinking, logic, the spoken word, the wind, breath. Intellect and theory. It is creative and is that which causes magickal intentions to become manifest. It is also associated with higher consciousness and wisdom, divination, and purification, mental and psychic work, intuition. Clouds, inspiration, hearing, herbal knowledge, plant growth, freedom, revealing truth, finding lost things, instruction, telepathy, memory, learning the secrets of the dead, Zen meditation, new beginnings and illuminations.
Time: Dawn.
Season: Spring.
Colors: All light hues, colors found at dawn. White, yellow, light blue, lavender, gray.
Zodiac: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.
Tools: Athame, sword, censer and incense.
Chakra: Third Eye.
Virtues: Intelligence, practical, optimistic.
Vices: Impulsive, frivolous, easily fooled.
Posture: (Arms raised) Palms parallel.
Season of Life: Youth.
Elemental Spirits: Sylphs/Fairies.
Gems: Topaz, amber, citron, mica, fluorite, crystals, amethyst, yellow or blue stones.
Sense: Smell.
Goddesses: Arianrhod, Nuit, Iris, Ostara; Goddesses of dawn and spring, Aradia, Athena and Urania.
Gods: Mercury, Hermes, Shu, and Thoth.
Types of Magick: Divination, concentration, karma. Prophecy, visualization and wind magick.
Energy: Projective.
Metals: Tin and copper.
Plants: Acacia, anise, aspen, benzoin, clover, frankincense, lavender, lemongrass, myrrh, pine, vervain and yarrow.

Animals: Birds, Eagle and hawk in particular. Insects and spiders.

Fire’s Correspondences:
Direction: South.
Fire Rules: Energy, will, healing, destruction, courage, strength, physical exercise, self-knowledge, loyalty, vision, illumination, power and passion, authority, transformation, purification, heat, flame, embers, lifeblood. Fire is associated with change and passion. It is both physical and spiritual, being related to sexuality and to divinity. Fire magick is quickly manifested and filled with primal energy.
Time: Noon.
Season: Summer.
Colors: Colors of flame as well as the noonday sun, Red, red-orange; fiery colors, gold and white.
Zodiac: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.
Tools: Censer, athame, wand, candles, dagger, burned herbs or requests on paper.
Chakra: Solar Plexus.
Virtues: Courage, enthusiasm and willpower.
Vices: Anger, jealousy and hatred.
Posture: (Arms over head) Forming triangle.
Season of Life: Maturity.
Animal: Lion, horse, lizards, salamander, snakes, praying mantis, ladybug, bee, scorpion, shark, phoenix, coyote, fox.
Elemental Spirits: Salamanders.
Gems: Fire opal, ruby, carnelian, garnet, red jasper, bloodstone, lava, quartz crystals, tigers eye, rhodochrosite, agates.
Sense: Sight.
Goddesses: Sekhmet, Pele, Vesta, Aradia, Ameratsu, Lucina. Brigit, Freya, Hestia, Pele and Vesta.
Gods: Vulcan, Ra, Agni, Hepaetstus, and Horus.
Types of Magick: Candle, storm, time.
Energy: Projective, masculine.
Metals: Gold, brass.
Plants: Allspice, basil, cinnamon, garlic, hibiscus, juniper, lime, nettle, onion, orange, red peppers, red poppies, thistle.

Water’s Correspondences:
Direction: West.
Water Rules: Emotion, Intuition, psychic abilities, love, deep feelings, the unconscious, the womb, generation, fertility, water of all kinds, tides, the Moon, menstrual blood, amniotic fluid, saliva, the third eye, wisdom, vision quests, self-healing, sorrow, reflection.
Time: Twilight.
Season: Autumn.
Colors: All blue-green-black hues, corresponding to the colors of water, gray, indigo, aquamarine, white.
Zodiac: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
Tools: Chalice, cauldron and mirrors.
Chakra: Heart.
Virtues: Love, compassion, receptivity, flexibility and forgiveness.
Vices: Indifference, depression and instability.
Posture: (Arms extended) Palms up.
Season of Life: Old Age.
Animal: Sea serpents, leviathan of the deep, dragons, fish, sea lions,
creatures of water all fish, shellfish and sea mammals, sea birds, cat, frog, turtle, swan, bear.
Elemental Spirits: Undines, mermaids.
Gems: Aquamarine, beryl, opal, amethyst, blue tourmaline, pearl, coral, blue topaz, blue fluorite, lapis lazuli, sodalite.
Sense: Taste.
Goddesses: Aphrodite, Tiamat, Mari, Yemaya, Isis, Ran, and Kupala.
Gods: Dylan, Ea, Manannan, Osiris, Neptune, Poseidon, Varuna.
Types of Magick: Magick involving the sea, snow or ice, mirror, magnet, rain, cleansing and purification.
Energy: Receptive, feminine.
Metals: Mercury, silver, copper.
Plants: Aloe, apple, catnip, chamomile, ferns, gardenia, lemon, lettuce, lilac, lily of the valley, lotus, mosses, orris, passion. Flower, rose, seaweeds, thyme, valerian, water lilies, all water plants, willow tree.

Spirit Correspondences:
Goddess, transcendence, immanence, omnipresence, the void, all and nothing, within and without, the center of the universe and the Self.
Location/ Direction: Center; up, down and all around.
Color: Purple or white, rainbow, black.
Season: The cycle itself.
Season of Life: All life, life beyond death, rebirth.
Time: Beyond time, the Lunar and Solar cycles.
Magickal Tool: Cauldron.
Animal: Owl and Sphinx.
Gems: Diamond and amethyst.
Sense: Hearing.
Goddesses: Isis, Cerridwyn, Shekinah, your personal matron deity.

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How many members of your sign does it take to change a light bulb?

How many members of your sign does it take to change a light bulb?

Aries: Just one. You want to make something of it?

Taurus: One, but just “try” to convince them that the burned-out bulb is useless and should be thrown away.

Gemini: Two, but the job never gets done — they just keep arguing about who is supposed to do it and how it’s supposed to be done.

Cancer: Just one. But it takes a therapist three years to help them through the grief process.

Leo: Leo’s don’t change light bulbs, although sometimes their agent will get a Virgo in to do the job for them while they’re out.

Virgo: Approximately 1.000000000000000000 with an error of 1 millionth.

Libra: Er, two. Or maybe one. No — on second thought, make that two. Is that okay with you?

Scorpio: That information is strictly secret and shared only with the Enlightened Ones in the Star Chamber of the Ancient Hierarchical Order.

Sagittarius: The sun in shining, the day is young, we’ve got our whole lives ahead of us, and you’re inside worrying about a stupid burned-out light bulb?

Capricorn: I don’t waste my time with these childish jokes.

Aquarius: Well, you have to remember that everything is energy, so…..

Pisces: Light bulb? What light bulb?

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The Ultra-Sensitive Person: Staying Centered and Feeling Safe when the World Overwhelms You

The Ultra-Sensitive Person: Staying Centered and Feeling Safe when the World Overwhelms You
by Roger Easterbrooks

Do you experience a heightened sensitivity to certain noises, light, foods, groups of people, other people’s edges or emotions, or does everyday life feel like just too much stimulus? Do you have frequent feelings of overwhelm and panic? If you experience any one (or more) of the preceding or following indicators then you are likely an Ultra-Sensitive Person (USP):

easily tired
panic/anxiety attacks
labeled as to “sensitive” or “thin skinned” or “emotional”
overwhelmed by being “out in the world”
overly attentive to what is going on all around you
urge to hide in a quiet, sometimes dark, room when things are too much
cancel or don’t make plans with others
affected by other people’s moods
highly allergic to foods and environmental conditions
exceptionally intuitive and artistic

Being ultra-sensitive means you pick up on most of the subtleties around you, no matter what they are. This is because you are “deeply tuned-in”. When the stimuli from these many levels begins to feel too much, a state of overwhelm can happen. You start to operate from a “survival” mode. For example, to cope with the situation you may retreat to be alone in a quiet and darkened room. This is a place where you can regroup and calm down an over-activated nervous system.

Ultra-Sensitive People are neither better nor more conscious than anyone else. They do experience things more intensely and are aware of more of the subtleties in the environment than non- USP’s. Some people are ultra-sensitive in only a few areas of their life, like flying in an airplane, or being in a small cramped space. Others are ultra-sensitive in most or all areas of their lives. This is, I believe, based on your birth (karmic as well as physical), developmental growth and life experiences.

Being Ultra-sensitive is actually a gift, although it does not always feel that way. You have probably been criticized and shamed, for the way you have lived or not lived your life. You may have been called too sensitive, emotional, thin-skinned, a complainer, or one who is never satisfied. The story of The Princess and the Pea mirrors an ultra-sensitive’s character (most often related to women). For men, especially, the title may be “cry baby”. These shame-laden labels can tarnish one’s life. Yet the biggest tragedy comes when you hide or suppress your awareness of the information that this gift reveals to you.

So lets spend some time inside such a person, which is rich and bountiful. Remember you need not have all these indicators be true to be ultra-sensitive. There is a heightened sensitivity to the environment. It is challenging to be in the outside world where your input sensors can be easily over stimulated. You are very intuitive, even prophetic. You know what other people are feeling; your interpretations of such messages are not always accurate, but you know when something is up. Other’s moods affect you. You love very deeply and fully. You can be overly conscientious. When you reach the overwhelm stage you usually retreat into a dark room or any place away from the situation that has pushed you over the line. You can be sensitive to light, noise, and foods. If you go to the mall on a busy shopping day, you feel it as a massive input of stimuli where others may only be mildly distracted. When you get overwhelmed you respond as if your survival is at stake. In fact, panic/anxiety attacks are a common response to the overwhelm situation. Then it is “run for cover”, or for some of us it may even be “go, go, go, do, do, do” even more and try to kill the sensations in that manner. Addictions are born from not being able to tolerate these overwhelmed feelings.

How does one get to be this sensitive? Some of us are born this way – we come in with a different neurological perspective. Some of us are traumatized in the early stages of development and become sensitive, example sexual abuse, or later in life such as fighting in a war (Post-Traumatic Stress). Others get these sensitivities from a skip in their central nervous system, such as a physical abnormality (Mitral Valve Prolaspe) or chemical and food allergies. Whether you are ultra sensitive in certain areas of your life or in all areas isn’t the only point, for the area you are ultra sensitive in is the place where overwhelm is possible, unless you learn to put a dimmer switch on your central nervous system and sensory awareness. How is it for an Ultra-Sensitive on the job? It is best to find a work environment where you can have your own space to operate. You will not be the most social one at the company water cooler and will tend to shy away from a lot of contact in large groups. You are very good at what you do the more you are left alone. But this also can bring in the feeling of loneliness. Do you make contact – jump into the game – and risk having to cut out early or have a panic attack? It is hard to make good decisions if you are busy dealing with staying alive from having too much input. Because you tend to be very good at what you do, people will come to you for assistance and in that case you will receive the acknowledgment you want but at the possible high cost of having too much contact. Any job where your co-workers can have free access to you will be very challenging. You may not feel like you can escape if the need arises. Here again is the basic challenge for the Ultra-Sensitive person; which is when things get to be too much and you need to withdraw will you have the ok-ness within yourself to do what you need. Of course your responsibility is to develop skills that will help you tolerate the sensations of overwhelm. It is also helpful to learn how much and what types of information you can take in before overwhelm happens. In that way you will be able to take a break and in that way reduce the possibility of over stimulation.

Your social and intimate relationships provide you with a great opportunity to enjoy the richness of you sensitivities. They also provide you with situations where you can become even more easily over stimulated. Your ability to tune in to what others are feeling and what they need can be a great asset in any relationship. But this gift must be used wisely. The down side is that you can give yourself away or be intrusive on another’s space. Clear communication as to what is happening for us is most helpful. For when you go into overwhelm others may see you as being narcissistic. But what is actually happening is that you have gone into survival mode and that means by its very nature that you can only pay attention to yourself. At these times it may be necessary to take time alone away from as much external stimuli as possible. This needs to be presented as a way of taking care of yourself so that you can come to terms with exactly want your overwhelm is about. Once you are out of overwhelm then you can return to your regular mode of making contact and interacting.

Boundaries are also very different for Ultra-Sensitive People. Even when you are clear as to where the other person is and you know what your stand is, you can usually still feel the other almost like it is yourself anyway. That means you have a very unique opportunity to learn about how to stay with yourself as well as to be deeply connected with another. This line is a thin one, between you and another, and it is easy to cross over and believe that you have lost yourself. Sometimes it is true you do lose yourself and at other times that is not. You are totally with yourself but still acutely aware of the other as well. I feel this may be a slightly different perspective on boundaries that many psychological therapies don’t acknowledge.

There are several basic approaches to the question “How can I turn down my overly sensitive nature?”. I offer consultation on all the levels of attention needed in this experience physical, emotional, and spiritual as well how to find the appropriate practitioners in your area.

Roger Easterbrooks M.B.A., Registered Movement Therapist, is an ultra-sensitive. He is trained in intuitive and traditional techniques of healing. Some of the methods he uses are movement education, breath and emotional release work, and compassionate conversation. He is the creator of the Heart of Intimacy Relationship Intensive. He can be reached at (206) 264-5066, www.ultra-sensitive.com, or blessroger@seanet.com

Article Courtesy of:
(C) groups.yahoo.com/group/Spiritually_Speaking : )
Permission to share freely as long as footer is included.

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Aromatherapy in the Kitchen

Aromatherapy in the Kitchen

With so many essential oils having powerful antibacterial and
antiseptic qualities, use in the kitchen seems a very “natural” thing
to do! The scent from these natural cleaners is also a bonus, as we
don’t have to contend with the chemicals wafting around our
environment. We use these oils to wash down countertops after
cooking, chopping boards after cutting up meats, in the wash water
when washing the floor, walls or cupboards, cleaning the fridge or
freezer, its amazing!

When we cook, rising up in the steam are those tiny little molecules
of fat, which carry the scent of the food you are cooking. While this
is appetizing at the time, we don’t really want these smells to
linger by attaching themselves to our curtains, our clothing and our
furniture and carpeting. Blending essential oils of rosemary,
eucalyptus, lime, lavender or lemon (use one or all!) into a spray
bottle with a little alcohol and water makes a wonderfully air
cleansing room spray. The aromatic molecules of the essential oils
actually surround and deodorize those smelly little fat molecules,
rather then just covering them up like so many commercial, chemically
based synthetic sprays do. All the while these essential oils are
also helping to destroy any airborne bacteria that may have been
tracked home from school or the office, and are just waiting for
someone’s immune system to drop down so they can attack!!!

In the final rinse water for the cleaning of the refrigerator, a
drop or 2 of any of the citrus essential oils (orange, lemon,
grapefruit) will help to deodorize without permeating your food.

Washing down the counters and cupboards requires some serious
bacteria fighters, to make sure there are no surprises lingering on
your cooking and preparation surfaces. The following oils can be
dropped directly onto your cloth or combined to make 7-8 drops into
your rinse water (this is our favorite, as you get to enjoy the scent
of the molecules rising on the steam from the hot water!). Again, the
citrus oils are wonderful as well as thyme, pine, lavender and
eucalyptus (these can also calm you down and clear your nose if you
have a cold!).

Even doing dishes can be a little more fun (can we say those two
words in relation to one another?) when you add 10 drops of lemon,
grapefruit or bitter orange to your dish soap. You may not want to
sing and dance upon completion, but at least your psyche will be
suitably calmed and rejuvenated!

With so many essential oils having powerful antibacterial and
antiseptic qualities, use in the kitchen seems a very “natural” thing
to do! The scent from these natural cleaners is also a bonus, as we
don’t have to contend with the chemicals wafting around our
environment. We use these oils to wash down countertops after
cooking, chopping boards after cutting up meats, in the wash water
when washing the floor, walls or cupboards, cleaning the fridge or
freezer, its amazing!

From thymeforherbsandaromatherepy group

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Today We Honor The Goddess Danu

The Goddess Danu

As the mother of the gods, Danu has strong parallels with the Welsh literary figure (or goddess) Dôn, who is the mother figure of the medieval tales in the Mabinogion.

Danu was considered as the mythic mother goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Celtic tribes that first invaded Ireland. The Celts, also on the continent, had several goddesses, also of war. “Apart from these goddesses of war, there were other Amazonian figures who led armies into battle. Often they were also endowed with legendary sexual prowess…” “The Celts included the cult of the mother goddess in their rites, as archeological evidence testifies. Indeed, the Tuatha Dé were the descendants of the goddess Danu, and in some local instances, the ruler of the otherworld was a goddess, rather than a god, just as some folktales represented the otherworld as ‘the Land of Women’. Danu may be connected with Bridget, daughter of Kildare and of learning, culture and skills. She was known as Brigantia in northern England, and survived as St Bride in Christianity”

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Test Your Cat Knowledge

Test Your Cat Knowledge

  • Cherise Udell

Feline Muse by Cherise Udell

Since so many people enjoyed my first Cat Quiz in “What Is Your Cat IQ?” I thought I’d put forth round two of quizzing your cat knowledge. So, invite a purring pussy cat onto your lap and take this informative quiz together.

 

1. All cats have retractable claws. True or False?

False. Cheetahs do not retract their claws.

 

2. Myth, legend, and folklore surround the Maine Coon Cat. One legend claims these cats are the descendants of a cat belonging to Marie Antoinette. True or False?

True. According to legend, a ship captain named Samuel Clough attempted to help Marie Antoinette escape France, but was only able to save her cats. He sailed to America and left the kitties in Maine.

 

3. One cat can give birth to over 400 kittens in her lifetime. True of False?

True. A tabby named Dusty delivered 420 documented kittens in her lifetime. Hopefully, Dusty didn’t have to name them all!

 

4. Ailurophobia means “fear of cats.” True or False?

True.

5. Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hilter all hated cats. True or False?

True All of these men, who sought to dominate the world, did share a hatred of felines. Hmmmmm….

 

6. Feeding dog food to a cat on a regular basis can cause blindness in the cat. True or False?

True. Dog food typically lacks taurine, a nutrient essential for cat eye and heart health.

 

7. Carrots are toxic to cats. True or false?

False. But onions, green tomatoes, raw egg yolk, raw potatoes, grapes, raisins, poinsettias, philodendrons, dental floss, and aspirin can all cause havoc on a cat’s digestive system and health.

8. A group of kittens is called a litter. True or False?

False. Everyone I know refers to a group of kittens as a “litter,” however the proper term is “kindle.”

9. The world’s largest feral cat population is in Egypt. True or False?

False. The largest feral cat population is in Rome. Over 300,000 feral cats call famous Roman landmarks such as the Coliseum and Vatican City, home.

10. An ancient Chinese legend maintains that the cat is the result of a romantic tryst between a lioness and a monkey. True or False?

True. The legend suggests that the lioness endowed her offspring with dignity, while the monkey passed on curiosity and playfulness. I would have never thought that one up myself, but now that the Chinese mention it, it makes lots of sense!

 

How did you do? Did any of these answers surprise you? Have you ever heard the term “kindle” used to refer to a group of kittens? I am sure with a little creativity, we all could come up with a significantly more descriptive and endearing term to describe such cuteness!

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Can You Have Too Many Cats?

Can You Have Too Many Cats?

  • Nicolas, selected from petMD

By Dr. Justine Lee, PetMD

Do I really need to answer this question? (And yes, I realize this blog will piss off people who own more than 6 cats!)

Unfortunately, I do.

Years ago, I had two women who brought their cat into the emergency room at the University of Pennsylvania. Both women reeked so badly of cat urine, I couldn’t even close the exam door due to my eyes burning from the ammonia smell. When I asked these women some questions about the cat’s environment, they couldn’t answer how many cats they had. I asked, “10? 20? 60? 100?” Their reply? “Over 100.”

These two women, who were cat hoarders, didn’t notice that their cat was ill until it was on death’s door, since they had so many in their “environment.” This cat was severely dehydrated, emaciated, and had a body condition score of 1 out of 9. This cat weighed just under five pounds (instead of nine), and was so lethargic it couldn’t even lift its head. (It ultimately died despite several days of hospitalization and life-saving care.)

So, can you imagine having so many cats that it prevents you from adequately being able to care for your pets?

 

You may hear of the occasional crazy “hoarder” revealed on the news — people with underlying mental disorders who live with a hundred cats hidden in their house (hopefully nowhere near your neighborhood). Sadly for the cats, the m.o. of your cat lovin’, urine-smelling, disheveled animal hoarder is quite sad. Most hoarders are unmarried and live alone (and you thought it was hard to find a date with just two cats…). Hoarders also come from all different socioeconomic backgrounds and typically are over sixty years of age. To top it off, over three-fourths of hoarders are females, once again giving the single white female a bad rap. Some more scary numbers?

  • In 69% percent of hoarding cases, animal urine and feces was found accumulated in living areas.
  • More than one in four (> 25%) of hoarders’ beds are soiled with animal feces.
  • 80% of reported cases had dead or sick animals present in the house.
  • 60% of hoarders didn’t acknowledge that they had dead or sick animals in the house.
  • Over 65% of hoarding cases involve cats (although some also hoard small dogs and rabbits).

While most hoarders don’t read my blog, my general advice to any cat owner is this: I usually recommend no more than four to five cats total. Sometimes I offend my fellow veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and friends when I tell them my cut-off for crazy is six cats. After that, I think it’s medically unhealthy.

If this pisses you off, I’m sorry, but I’m looking out for the welfare of the cats and dogs here. Try finding a veterinarian who has that many. It’s rare — we know that having this many cats can result in severe behavioral problems. Of course, if you ask ten different vets, you may get ten different answers. That said, until those nine other vets write an opinionated blog about it, I still recommend no more than four or five cats per household.

So what’s the problem with having so many cats? Animal behavior specialists often see more problems in multicat households. Having too many cats may result in urination problems (i.e., not in the litter box!), intercat fighting and attacking, and difficulty in monitoring general health. For example, checking the litter box to see if one cat has a urinary tract infection is more difficult when you have six cats.

So how many cats should you get? I have to say that I initially enjoyed having a one cat household. That is, until I experienced a two-cat household. Now I’m a firm believer in having two cats together. Seamus, my 13-year old, grey and white tabby, was more friendly and affectionate to humans (more to the point — me!) as an only child. When I adopted Echo (who sadly, passed away in April from severe heart disease), I got less “loving” from Seamus. He wanted to spend all his time playing with Echo instead. Echo and Seamus played together (constantly), slept together, wrestled together, and loved each other up. Once Seamus and Echo befriended each other, I was officially demoted to the source of food and to litter box duty. Seamus’ quality of life, social skills, and exercise level definitely improved while he had Echo in his life. After seeing this, I do firmly believe that cats do benefit from having a companion to play with. *Note, a companion or two — not six or one hundred.

I’ve been fortunate to have cats that get along (despite the first few tumultuous days of hissing and cat introductions). For that reason, yes, I support having afew feline friends together.

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