What’s this about a cat?

‘Stop catching the cat’ came to me as a message in a vivid dream. Friendly enough at first, a big black cat would jump up into my arms as I tried to walk down a long hallway and, trying to do the ‘right thing’, I would catch him in my embrace. But every time I caught him, he’d scratch and hiss at me until I set him free—only to have him jump right back into my arms.

On and on it went until I heard a voice delivering the most important message of my life: ‘Stop catching the cat’.

Sitting bolt upright in bed, I knew in a split second what my dream—and this capricious cat—were all about.

Now, there are a lot of ways to interpret dreams and especially ones featuring cats it seems, but to me ‘stop catching the cat’ meant choosing a better way to be in the world.

It meant stop choosing the difficult path … stop being anxious … overwhelmed … in chaos. Stop ‘embracing’ what doesn’t serve me and start making better choices to protect myself against the inevitable ‘scratches’ of life.

It meant being kind to myself.

Being calmer.

Looking after myself.

Second, it meant recognising that I am in control of my life, that I get to choose whether to pick up the ‘scratchy cat’ of worry and doubt and anxiety and chaos (or anything else that doesn’t make me feel a million dollars) or to finally put it down once and for all and move forward in a freer, gentler way.

I get to choose to make the best choices for me at any given moment—across health, happiness, home, family, self, career, friends, finances—and so do you.

‘Stop catching the cat’ is about moving forward and feeling better.

Because, after all, isn’t that what we all truly crave?

  • Susy Greenaway
    February 3, 2015

    you would be proud of me Nattie as I’ve sat down with a coffee in Mum’s favourite cane chair and read and enjoyed your beautifully written thoughts and ideas. Congratulations on taking this big step and I look forward to enjoying your adventure along the way! And I’m going to definitely read Christine Northropp’s book again!! I look forward to seeing what comes next…..

    • Nat
      February 5, 2015

      Thanks Suz. One of the fastest ways to get to a calm place in your heart and mind is to be grateful … I am certainly grateful for beautiful friends and memories that can never fade. X

      • Susy Greenaway
        February 5, 2015


  • Sharon Schofield
    February 3, 2015

    Wow Nat, congratulations and thank you in particular for the scratchy cat paragraph, that is exactly where I am at, I am no longer going to pick up that damn scratchy cat, it is a great way to think about it. Good luck and I really look forward to stopping chasing the cat! xx

    • Nat
      February 5, 2015

      Every time you feel yourself reaching for that cat, Shay, remind yourself there’s a better way. Turn your back on that scratchy cat and keep walking. You’re amazing just as you are. X

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