Cuddles Anderson 1998 – 2016

cuddles1a

The sweetest cat we have ever known left us yesterday. She went to a healing home in the inner worlds. But our world will never be the same without her.

We found this little black-and-white ball of fur in a bin full of kittens at the animal shelter. Linda said to all the kitties, “You are so cute. I have no idea which one of you should be ours.” She put her hand, palm up, inside the bin. Cuddles peered up at Linda from the back of the bin. She jumped over all her littermates and landed in Linda’s hand. Cuddles was The One. She had chosen us.

About the time Cuddles arrived into the Anderson household, we were starting our first Angel Animals printed newsletter. The concept that animals are spiritual beings, messengers who show us what God’s love is, intrigued the news media. Before we knew it, newspaper reports and local television crews were coming to our home and interviewing us. Cuddles became our publicist, hostess, and model.

She scratched at the front door as journalists arrived and made a brilliant first impression. She curled up on reporters’ laps and posed for photographers. Everyone was so charmed that she served as the image of Angel Animals without ever saying a word.

Stories about our new project, which by then had morphed into our first book proposal, made it into national wire services. Cuddles, stretched out on our living room coffee table or sofa, caressing readers with her lustrous emerald eyes, made it into newspapers all over the country.

Cuddles gave us 18 precious years of love, companionship, and fun while we went on to write 17 Angel Animals books. She slept next to Linda every night underneath her arm. If Linda didn’t wake up when Cuddles decided it was time for breakfast, she used her paw to pull out Linda’s earplug and mew, “Feed me!”

Cuddles loved to curl up on Allen’s big blue chair and watch him work in his home office. She ruled him and the house. We all loved and accepted her benevolence. He enjoyed taking pictures and videos of her as she orchestrated the impressions she wanted to make.

In our third book, ANGEL CATS: Divine Messengers of Comfort, we gave Cuddles her own column called “Ask Cuddles.” She answered the age-old question: “Do animals go to heaven?”

Cuddles wrote: “Yes, of course animals go to heaven. And we will joyfully greet you there at the Rainbow Bridge (it does exist!) when you arrive. That’s a promise. One more thing. (You can believe this or not, but I happen to know from personal experience that this does happen.) Sometimes the Soul that was your sweet kitty can’t wait for a heavenly reunion with you. This Soul then rejoins you at another place and time in a different body. If you want to know the truth of this, look into our eyes. See if you recognize an old friend. Our love never dies. – Forever yours, Cuddles”

Today, our family is bereft and grieving. Our little cocker spaniel Leaf, who was smart enough to do whatever Cuddles told him, is lethargic and sleeping all day. Our yellow cockatiel Sunshine wouldn’t come out of his cage this morning. Cuddles passing has left a big hole in our hearts.

As the veterinarian helped Cuddles leave her sweet body, we sang HU, a sacred love song to God, and tearfully said goodbye to our wonderful friend. She left peacefully, gracefully, and with utmost dignity, just as she had lived her life. Her spirit lives on as a great and wise Soul moving on to her next spiritual adventure.

We love you, Cuddles. We miss you, Cuddles. You always lived up to your name, Cuddles. Thanks for being a precious member of the Anderson family.

Cuddles 2

Cuddles 4

Cuddles 3 (2)

 

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What are the animals in your home learning from each other?

LEARNING FROM EACH OTHER

Leaf, Sunshine, and Cuddles

Leaf, Sunshine, and Cuddles

The animals who live together in our house appear to be learning from each other. It’s a strange sight to behold.

As dogs tend to do, our cocker spaniel Leaf runs to the door when we comes home and he wags his tail with friendly excitement. Now, so does our little cat Cuddles. She scampers along behind Leaf. Her tail swishes. Uncatlike as it may be, she expresses her happiness at seeing us.

When he was about one year old, Leaf was abandoned at an animal shelter. We adopted him, and it’s been quite an adventure ever since. Even though he’s made his home with us for eight years now, he still has abandonment issues.

We leave the room or he wakes up and doesn’t see us; he howls. We leave the house; he howls even louder.

We adopted Cuddles as a kitten from the same animal shelter. She’s never gone through abandonment nor has she howled. But after years of watching and listening to Leaf, she’s added howling to her behavior.

It’s her version of a howl which is more like a yell. But the other day, after Allen left the house, Linda was surprised to hear Cuddles mark his departure with a long, drawn-out meow. We had a symphony of howling and yelling for about 30 seconds.

Early on after Leaf came home, he began watching Cuddles jump up on our bed at night to sleep with us. Guess who soon joined us on the bed? If she can do it; so can I!

What are the animals in your home learning from each other?

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Who is in charge of keeping you in balance when your life fills up with too many to-do list items?

Who tells you it is time to play?

The truth of the matter is – we are working too hard and putting in too many hours on the next books. But we have barometers in our home who tell us that. They are named Leaf, Cuddles, and Sunshine.

A Dog Named Leaf

A Dog Named Leaf

Cuddles

Cuddles

Sunshine

Sunshine

Leaf, our dog, brings his ball and drops it at our feed and tells us to throw it for him. Cuddles, the little cat, vocalizes with a scolding tone of voice. Sunshine, the bird, screeches more than usual but also sings his song if one of us spends quality time with him.  He is giving us positive reinforcement to play with him too.

Everybody joins in the chorus to let us know that it is time to rest, time to take a break, time to play.

Who is in charge of keeping you in balance when your life fills up with too many to-do list items?

How do you make special time for your pets?

MAKING SPECIAL TIME FOR YOUR PETS

Feeding, cleaning, exercising, grooming, caring for, playing with pets can sometimes seem like a full-time job, especially in multiple-pet families.

How do you find time for it all?

Cuddles

Cuddles

If you’re like us, you have to multitask, even with your pets. Exercising includes walking combined with playtime and throwing the ball for our cocker spaniel Leaf.

Annual vet appointments involve bringing both our cat Cuddles and Leaf to the veterinarian’s office at the same time. We found that sharing their distress with each other actually seems to help them cope better. Cuddles can scurry back into her carrying case and feel safe while Leaf is having his exam.

But one thing that each of our pets requires and deserves is at least a few minutes everyday of our undivided attention. Cuddles tends to like her quiet time while sitting on Linda’s lap in the morning. Linda has to work around the cat in order to write in her journal and do a contemplation. But the sound of Cuddles’s sweet purring adds a blissful dimension to the centered start of her day.

Sunshine

Sunshine

Leaf’s special time comes at night when we take turns rubbing his belly, while he sprawls out on the bed. First, he carefully paws Allen’s side of the bed as if preparing a nesting place. Then while Linda pats his head, he answers her question — How was your day? — with grunts, groans, and other vocalizations.

Leaf licks Allen’s cheeks for a while and then settles in the middle of the bed to sleep until Linda finishes reading and turns off the lights.

Cuddles curls up next to Linda’s side. The bird is covered in his cage, sleeping on his perch behind a spray of millet. And everyone drifts into sleep and dream.

How do you make special time for your pets?

CUDDLES LOVES HER NEW SCRATCHING POST

Every morning Cuddles wakes up and runs to her scratching post to stretch and scratch. Her claws are often sharp and in need of good vigorous scratching. This morning routine is her “me” time. She enjoys that the scratching post belongs to her alone. Never would her humans Linda and Allen, the bird Sunshine, or “that dog” as she refers to Leaf, scratch her post.

Cuddles

Cuddles

All has been good in Cuddles’s world except that the post was falling apart from her enthusiastic and forceful daily scratching. It was time for a new one. Her two humans went on a journey to the pet supply store and examined a dozen scratching posts.

Cuddles

Cuddles

We had lengthy discussions as we attempted to think how Cuddles would view the different styles of scratching posts. An impossible task. Who can figure out what a cat is thinking?

Cuddles

Cuddles

We finally decided on one that had the long length and the sturdiness we thought Cuddles would enjoy. She embraced her new post with vigor, gratitude, and love.

Cuddles

Cuddles

Visit http://www.angelanimals.net/nlimage127.html to see Cuddles with her new scratching post.

Did you ever try to find a cat who didn’t want to be found?

FINDING A CAT

Cuddles

Cuddles

Today, as we prepared to take our cocker spaniel Leaf to dog park, we searched the house for Cuddles. This little black-and-white tuxedo kitty has been our family member since 1993. We adopted her from our local animal shelter. Or rather, she adopted us.

A bin full of kittens at the shelter was too much for us. Linda reached her hand into the pile of wiggly fur creatures and said, “One of you is going to have to let us know you want to go home.”

Instantly little Cuddles sprang from the rear of the big cage. She jumped over the backs of other kittens and landed in the palm of Linda’s hand. Cuddles went home with us.

Cuddles

Cuddles

As if giving us a preview of her decision-making abilities, Cuddles decides if and when she wants to be found. Today, we looked in all the usual places -under the bed, in her favorite chairs, on top of the sofas, next to the upstairs heater, next to the basement heater, under the roundtable cover, under the chest of drawers, behind the living room curtain, etc., etc. All the time we called, “Cuddles. Kitty, Kitty, Kitty.”

We never did find her.

Finally we had to shut all the doors and hope she was somewhere upstairs where she could reach her water and kitty litter.

Why all the fuss?

Because high up on his perch in the living room, our cockatiel Sunshine was counting on us not to lock him in the living room with a cat. Although Cuddles doesn’t show much interest in our bird, we still wouldn’t want to take any chances of having natural instinct take over while we’re gone.

Cuddles

Cuddles

Fortunately when we came home, Cuddles emerged from her hiding place. We have no idea where it is. No doubt she’ll use it again. No doubt, we’ll spend precious time searching for her again.

What are your cat’s favorite hiding places?

An Author’s Dream Book Launch Party

Allen and Linda Anderson

Allen and Linda Anderson

The #AnimalStars book launch was a grand event. We were amazed and very happy to see all the excitement and love for the book and for American Humane Association. The book party was at Fox Studios in Los Angeles in the ballroom.

Leading up to the ballroom was the red carpet, backdrops with ANIMAL STARS book cover images, and massive posters lining the red carpet on the other side of the entrance aisle. Hundreds of well-wishers attended. At one point, when our coauthor Dr. Robin Ganzert asked, “And what’s the name of this book?” everyone sang in unison, “ANIMAL STARS!”

ANIMAL STARS -- Book Launch Party

ANIMAL STARS — Book Launch Party

 

Animal Stars

Animal Stars

The party included food, drink, and lots of laughter. Many of the book’s contributing authors/trainers attended with their animal stars who were featured in the book. People were getting photos and videos of themselves with the famous animal actors. Crystal, the capuchin monkey star of NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM and WE BOUGHT A ZOO was a full participant in the celebrations. She graced us by sitting on our shoulders and grooming our hair. What an actress!

Celebrities James Denten (Mike the Plumber on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES) and Animal Planet host and author Victoria Stilwell were enjoying the party as well as a young man from television that the teenagers all knew and adored.

Animal Stars Director's Chair

Animal Stars Director’s Chair

We were thrilled to meet Dr. Marty Becker, official veterinarian for GOOD MORNING AMERICA and the DR. OZ SHOW. He wrote the foreword for our first ANGEL ANIMALS book and for this book. Such a nice man. Our publicist for all these years, Monique Muhlenkamp was also at the party representing our publisher New World Library.

Allen and Linda Anderson with their Friends at the Animal Stars Book Launch Party

Allen and Linda Anderson with their Friends at the Animal Stars Book Launch Party

Margo, Linda, and Arlene

Margo, Linda, and Arlene

It was an author’s dream book launch party. And we are grateful to have had the opportunity of meeting people who sent the book off with a good start. Many came up and told us they have been reading and loving our books for years. What a treat! Who knew?

Linda, Crystal, & Allen

Linda, Crystal, & Allen

Robin Ganzert and Friends

Robin Ganzert and Friends