Can your soulmate be a cat?

Do you think it is possible for your soulmate to be a cat? Since I don’t really believe in reincarnation I am not sure what this question says about me. I would have never wondered about this, if it were not for my best friend, and spiritual buddy, Sidney, who just happens to be a cat.


Sidney and I met purely by chance. We became friends because of my instance on meeting him, then had the good fortune of his first home not working out. I wonder sometimes if kismet brought us together.

In October 2003 I walked out of my house and headed for the detached garage that butted up against the alley way that ran behind my house. My eyes drifted to the upper window of the abandoned house across the alley from me. Three baby kittens approximately four weeks old sat nestled together, as they looked out the window. babbiesI was immediately drawn to the black and white kitten with the symmetrical markings on his face. There was something about this kitten that pulled me toward him. I felt a strong need to meet him. Each day when I left the house, I looked up at that window, hoping to see him. And when I was lucky enough to see him, I stopped in my tracks, and watched him. The more I saw him, the stronger my desire to meet him became.

Meeting a feral kitten is no easy task. It takes a tremendous amount of persistence and some ingenuity. I tried placing a cat carrier bated with food on the roof of the house. But every time I tried pulling the door closed, the carrier moved, and out darted the kitten! So, I had to wait until he decided he was ready to venture from the roof.

One day I watched him shimmy down the tree that grew along side of the old house. He darted down and then back up again in that frantic, spastic, kitten way.

I sat the cat carrier up with food and waited. I had to wait a long time for him to explore the carrier because of the frightening rides he took in it on the roof. Finally, he darted in and I was able to close the door.

At last, we were going to meet. I opened the carrier and stared at him. My heart was beating so fast. I know his heart must have been beating fast too, to suddenly see this giant staring at him, and blocking his escape. I was completely in love. My partner and I had two adult cats and one dog, so getting my partner to agree to allow this new baby into our home was impossible. I tried every thing I could think of, but the answer was no. I found him a good home and said goodbye.

24 hours later my phone rang, telling me that this kitten was insane, wild and mean! I asked my partner to retrieve the kitten, so I could find him another home. When I arrived home after work, I found this insane, wild, mean, kitten lying on his back in my partner’s lap, staring up at her face. She looked at me and said, “This was a trick wasn’t it?” I was surprised. “No,” I said. “Mean? Insane? Wild? Really, that lady said all those things about this kitten?” “Yep,” I replied, shrugging my shoulders. I could tell by the look on her face that he was going to stay. My heart leaped for joy!

I think it took only seconds for him to wrap himself completely around my heart. When our eyes met something happened. My soul stilled. My heart was steady and strong. I felt surrounded by love.


The little fella grew fast. He was wily and brave. His favorite activity was to climb the curtains and leap from the top. He was vibrant and funny. He loved to chase sunbeams and lasers. When he grew tired, he climbed into my lap and snuggled.

He made fast friends with our old Shepard mix and even charmed his way onto the bed where our oldest cat held court. 100_0175She was the queen of everything, and she had no problem informing him of her royal status. But that didn’t stop him from joining me on the bed. He was fearless!


When he was a year old I noticed he just wanted to lay on my lap all day. He did not want to climb curtains or chase sunbeams. He was just snugly. I knew something was wrong. I took him to the vet and was told that he was dying. “You can take him to the specialty hospital, but I don’t think there is anything they can do,” the vet said.


I had to do everything I could for him, so I drove him to the hospital. I sat in the waiting area holding him to my chest. My tears moistening his coat. When they took him from me, I felt my heart breaking. All I could do was pray and think about him. So, I prayed. I prayed so hard, that everything faded away. He was in the hospital for weeks, and I visited him every day. He had surgery on his eyes to correct the curving in of his eyelids that rubbed against his corneas. His eyes were stitched open. He had every test imaginable. When they discharged him, they still had no idea what really had been wrong with him. But, he was again doing fine and recovering well from his surgery.

I had to medicate him 4 times a day to keep his eyes from becoming infected. You would think this would cause a rift in our relationship, but it just made it stronger. There is no doubt in my mind that he understood what I had done for him and that I was continuing to help him.

Our relationship deepened. I would not have thought I could be any closer to him than I already was. But each day my connection to him grew stronger and stronger. I did not know I could love another being so much.

sid and me







Sidney is now 12. He is never far from my side. If I am sitting down, there is a good chance he is sitting on me or next to me. Margos camera 058If I am lying down, he is laying on me.


sid and bec 2013

When I am sick or sad, he is my constant companion.


I tell him everything. He is my confidante, and my most trusted adviser. I strive to be as kind, and loving as he is.

Every night when I go to bed, he comes up and lays his cheek next to mine, and puts his paws around my neck. I fall asleep to his purrs. He is my heart and my best friend. I cannot imagine my life without him.

Sometimes when we are looking into each others’ eyes, I feel that I have known him for eternity. My heart is so full, and my spirit is so still. I do not know if we are soulmates, but I do know I am the luckiest girl in the world.



About this time last year I was working with illustrator, Krickett King, on illustrations for my book, The Gift. I had no idea what a journey that process would be or how publishing that book would change my life.

I remember the first illustration Krickett sent to me. It was of Pip holding Buck’s nose in her hand. It was so beautiful and tender, yet simple. It made my heart soar! It was just as I had pictured it in my mind. Krickett and I had not talked about the pictures, I might want for the book. I wanted her to read the manuscript, and decide, as the illustrator, what she felt should be illustrated. One by one the illustrations came in. Each one unique. Each one beautifully and simply done. Each one exactly what I would have asked for if I had asked for anything. I could not believe that two people could see the story in the same way without speaking about it. The illustrations beautifully brought to life the story of Pip and Buck becoming friends. The book was exactly as I had envisioned it.

Some reviewers have felt that the illustrations should have been in color and not in black and white, especially since it is a children’s book. I surely can understand that point of view. But it is not a picture book. It is a simple, straightforward story, that in my mind needed simple, beautiful, tender illustrations. Even though I feel that way, I sometimes doubt myself.

Recently, a ten-year-old girl asked me to sign her book. My friends have asked me to sign their copies, and I have done so with a huge grin on my face. But when I signed the book for this girl, I felt a huge responsibility. I wanted to say the right thing. I wanted to convey to her how important she was, how important it was to me that she read, and liked my book. I know she must have wondered why it took me so long to just “sign” her book. For me it wasn’t just signing, it was sending a message of gratefulness.

While I signed her book, I took the opportunity to talk to her about her thoughts regarding the book, since the book was written for children her age. I asked her, “Was there anything missing? Anything you wished had been in the book that was not there?” “Was there anything in the book that you wished wasn’t there? I asked her about the pictures. “Did you like them? Did you wish they had been in color?” She thought for a moment, then said she liked the story just the way it was. There was nothing she wanted that was not there, and nothing that she wished was taken out. She said she was glad the pictures were in black and white. “I can’t explain it,” she said, as she flipped through the book. “I just like them,” she said as she grinned at me. I understand that. I just like them too. They touch my heart in a way I cannot describe.

At first when people told me that they had read my book, I held my breath worried that the next sentence would be that they did not like it. Rejection is just part of writing I told myself. I was not prepared for the reactions people shared with me about the book. In the beginning when they told me how it touched them or how much they liked it, I was completely caught off guard. Now, I am just flooded with gratefulness.

The Gift is my first published book, and it is also a fulfillment of a promise I made to my papa a long time ago. I was in my early twenties and I was unsure of what I was going do with my life. My papa was dying. He asked me to keep writing, and to write books to help children. I remember promising him I would, but thinking I would never be able to keep that promise.

Thankfully, I was wrong because keeping my word is important to me. In my work as a therapist I found that it helped children cope with difficult things when I told them short, one to two minute, stories. Over time that evolved into writing therapeutic stories to help children heal after experiencing horrific, traumatic events. Some of my colleagues asked to borrow the stories to use with their clients. From those stories a series of picture books called the Healing Series was born. These books were written as tools for therapists to help children cope with traumatic events, such as filicide, since there are no other books on the topics in print. I wanted children to know that they were not alone, that other children have had this experience, and that healing was possible. The Healing Series books were the first books I tried to get published. I received rejection letter after rejection letter. I was told they were “well written” but not worth publishing due to their specialized use and potentially limited audience. It has been a heart wrenching experience. It was during this time of rejection that I began writing The Gift.

A friend of mine kept asking me to write a book about a kid and a horse. I kept telling her I couldn’t do it. I didn’t write those types of books. I told myself I am not a writer. I am a therapist! My friend persisted. One day I sat down to write the story my friend had been bugging me about, but no words came to me. See I told myself I’m not a writer! Not long after this experience, a line woke me up in the middle of the night. I wrote the line down and the next morning the story poured from me. Pip’s voice was just as clear as the other characters’ voices I had heard before.

As it turns out, The Gift is fun fiction and a therapeutic story. Although, I did not initially intend for this book to be used in a therapeutic context, it can be a very useful therapeutic tool. It can be used to explore relationships, and discuss what it takes to make, and be a friend. It can be used to help foster parents understand the grief that their foster children feel, and the importance of family to them. It can be used to teach children about cognitive distortions, and unhelpful thinking patterns; and how those negative thoughts can impact the way they see themselves, the world, and their lives. Recently, Tim and Bettina Jobe, the developers of Natural Lifemanship, wrote, “This book artfully shows the Natural Lifemanship relationship principles in a way that resonates with children and adults!” I burst into tears when I read that. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think that this little book would be more than just a fun story. I guess in the end my brain did what it knows how to do. It wrote a story that helps children, and in the process I discovered that I am a writer.

Currently, I am working on four new stories. Two more books about Pip and Buck, a picture book about a boy overcome with grief, and a middle grade novel about a mother with schizophrenia.


It matters…..

My dear friend, Patricia Van Horn, used to say, “The way you are is just as important as what you do.” She was saying that our internal processes are just as important, as the words we choose to say, and how we choose to say them with our tone of voice, and our body.

We are all connected, constantly conveying information to each other. Neuroscience has helped us understand the power our brains have not only on ourselves, but on others.  Behaviors and thoughts are contagious because our brains are wirelessly connected through a network of mirror neurons. When we think a certain thought, our body and our energy changes in response to that thought, and those around us are influenced by it. Think of something gross and non-consciously your body responds. Your nose scrunches up, your lips curl and your muscles tense up. What we think has as much power as the words we choose to say.

Scott Achor’s research on happiness shows that the lens through which we view the world and others, changes us. What we feel, think, and do has an impact because of the mirror neurons in our brains. Negativity, stress, and uncertainty spread….so do happiness, joy and acceptance. Each moment of every day, we have the capacity to use our “powers” for good, to make the world a better place, to assume positive intent of those around us, to offer compassion and hope.

Every December and January this message becomes louder and louder in my life. Two people I dearly loved were murdered at this time of year. I can’t help but wonder what the world would be like, if we practiced growing kindness and understanding for one another. Patricia helped me understand the importance and the power of saying with my whole self, “You are welcome here.” Imagine the power of feeling welcomed-accepted, cared for, valued, just as you are…..the world would be a much different place.