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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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?

IS YOUR PET CONSIDERATE?

We don’t recall seeing articles about animal family members being considerate. There have been some studies showing animal altruism though.

In our home, our cat Cuddles lives up to her name and cuddles up next to Linda at night on our bed. She’s very considerate not to wake up Linda until morning, when she decides it’s time for her breakfast.

Our cockatiel Sunshine is considerate when we use the spray bottle, filled with warm water, to give him his morning bath. He raises his wings so we can spray under them and puts his head down for a good spray of his head feathers.

The reason this theme is on our minds today, though, is that our dog Leaf, one of our life’s greatest spiritual teachers, often shows us consideration. He’s definitely not a – my way or the highway – kind of guy.

Although we mainly do our writing at home, if we need to meet with a client, Linda carefully puts on her makeup to prepare. Sensing that we’re about to leave the house, Leaf is eager to kiss Linda’s face with his long, pink tongue. So Linda says, “Leaf, don’t kiss off all my makeup.” And she turns away so he can’t reach her cheeks.

The other day, it appeared that Leaf got the message. As Linda was ready to leave the house, she bent down to kiss him on his head. In turn, he very carefully kissed her only on the tip of her nose. With great discipline, he put his tongue back in his mouth and refrained from plastering her face with any more kisses.

Considerate.

Have your pets been considerate to you or others? Send us your stories to .

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network — Spiritual Perspectives for People Who Believe Pets Are Family Member
http://www.angelanimals.net

To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week, send a blank message to
AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com

We Love Cats Too

Cuddles

Cuddles

WE LOVE CATS TOO

With all our writing about the release of A DOG NAMED LEAF, you may have been wondering if we have forgotten about cats. Never fear. Cats still make us purr. Our sweet little black-and-white kitty Cuddles remains a star in our universe. We treasure her intuitiveness and intelligence but most of all, her kisses.

Our mornings start with Cuddles licking Linda’s fingers a minute before the alarm is set to ring. She’s never been wrong about the fact that it’s time to get up.

So as we approach Thanksgiving, we are grateful for Cuddles and all the other cats who have enriched and blessed our lives — Mugsy, Fiesty, and Speedy. Each of them brought their special gifts and taught us how to be more gracious.

Speaking of gratitude, we have to mention how exciting it was when Allen had the lauch of his new book at Common Good Books in St. Paul, Minnesota last week. The stores’ renowned proprietor, the ever-entertaining and witty Garrison Keillor, stopped by and said hello prior to the event.

Go to http://www.angelanimals.net/nlimage98.html to see a photo of Allen with Garrison. It was a highlight of an evening that was filled with the good wishes of friends and animal lovers. The store donated 10 percent of the book sales that evening to the local shelter Animal Ark, which is one of the nation’s leaders in the no-kill movement.

If you have read A DOG NAMED LEAF, it would be a wonderful support to us if you would log on to Amazon.com, search for the book by title, write a short comment to say what you loved about the book, and gave it five stars. With hundreds of thousands of animal books for people to enjoy, reader comments mean a lot as someone is deciding to buy a book or request it from a library. Thank you in advance for your help.

What in life, especially in relation to animals, are you grateful for?

Please share your comments, answers to the question, and photos on Angel Animals Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/angelanimalsnetwork or http://www.facebook.com/adognamedleaf and “Like” Angel Animals and A Dog Named Leaf.

This week’s story is about Simon, a 10-year-old cat born with a spinal deformity who has been a registered therapy animal since 2009. He was recently awarded the Colorado Animal Hero Award in the service category for his outstanding therapy work.

We encourage you to e-mail this newsletter in its entirety to your animal-loving friends and encourage them to sign up for our weekly publication. They will be joining a terrific community of thousands of like-minded people from around the world. We do not sell to or share our newsletter subscriber list with anyone.

Animal blessings,
Allen & Linda Anderson

 

What are your memorable snapshots in time with animals?

SOUL EQUALS SOUL

Allen recently heard a special friend say that each moment in life is a snapshot in time; often gone before we are ready.  Allen was in a rushed circumstance when he heard the words. In the week of vacation he was preparing to take, he wanted to think about how this view of life applied to him, Linda, and Leaf.

During Allen’s vacation days away from his job in computer software, he took care of Cuddles, Sunshine, and Leaf while Linda visited their grown children in Atlanta and then her mother in Texas.

Each vacation day, Allen took Leaf to the large dog park next to the Mississippi River.  The visits are always filled with adventure and fun, while the two of them explore trails and riverside. As they walked down the mile-long dirt path to the dog park, Allen noticed that Leaf would look directly at the faces of people passing by him.

Leaf lifted his head high and made eye contact with each person. Many seemed surprised that they are being acknowledged with eye-to-eye contact by a dog.

Was this a snapshot in time moment, when a human feels a spiritual connection with another life form, in a chance meeting, on a dirt trail?  Did each of those human beings feel a spiritual connection with a dog?

After Leaf took his snapshot of each person he passed, Allen heard comments from the people. They said things such as, “There’s a lot going on with that dog,” or “What a interesting personality — such a character,” and “Such beautiful eyes!”  Almost every person smiled at Leaf and then at Allen. In each person’s face the eyes grew just a bit brighter and more alive.

There is a saying in ancient religious traditions that soul equals soul. Leaf and the people he passed experienced that age-old wisdom for a moment. As a snapshot in time, two souls, regardless of the physical body each inhabited, met an equal.

An individual remembers a snapshot in time for as long as possible. It becomes a moment of light connecting with light, soul with soul; of remembering what was lost, what was forgotten, and who and what we are.

But the moment slips away. The veil quickly takes its correct and proper place, covering the light, bringing each of us back to daily life.  The moment is gone, and the snapshot fades from memory before we’re ready.

As Leaf moved to the next person along the trail, another moment in time, another snapshot may have been recorded in memory. Maybe not all of them faded quickly.

On Friday Cuddles, our cat, and Leaf finally had enough of Linda’s absence as the end of Allen’s vacation neared.  The cat and dog lay down on the back of the couch and looked forlorn.

Allen told Cuddles and Leaf that Linda would be home soon, but they wanted to see her NOW. 

Visit www.angelanimals.net/nlimage81.html to view the photo Allen took shortly before he left to pick up Linda at the airport. It is a snapshot of two souls waiting to be reunited with their missing loved one. Visit www.angelanimals.net/nlimage80.html to view an image of Leaf.

What are your memorable snapshots in time with animals?

Allen and Linda Anderson
ANGEL ANIMALS NETWORK – Where Pets Are Family
www.angelanimals.net

To subscribe to Angel Animals Story of the Week, send a blank message to AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com
What are your memorable snapshots in time with animals? You can post your comments at our Angel Animals Facebook page: www.facebook.com/angelanimalsnetwork and “Like” Angel Animals while you’re there.