Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: stress

The therapeutic purr


Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Some people would recoil at the thought of a cat climbing on their lap. I find their attitude difficult to comprehend. After all, a purring cat is beneficial to our well-being.

The purring of a cat:

  • relieves anxiety
  • lowers blood pressure
  • softens hard hearts
  • helps knit broken bones.

I’m not so sure of that last point, but I read it somewhere and thought I’d throw it in.

The greatest therapeutic value of having a cat is that the cat’s desire for attention and need for care takes our mind off our own problems. I have witnessed the benefit of having a cute and friendly companion in the life of people with anxiety, beset with all manner of imaginary  problems. Caring for their cat helped anchor them to reality.

Is morning coming earlier?


Most readers of this blog will now be on Daylight Saving Time. Here in Saskatchewan we didn’t set our clocks ahead. When I was a boy, the province was on Mountain Time and towns and cities could choose whether to go on Daylight Saving Time. In addition, the eastern half of the province lies in the Central Time zone and some towns there opted for Central Time. It made for much confusion, even on a short trip. The frustration prompted a decision to place the whole province on Central Standard Time year round.

Recent studies suggest that Saskatchewan may be on to something. Setting clocks ahead for DST messes up our biological rhythms, which can be disruptive for people who have difficulty getting to sleep. Besides insomnia, the studies note an 11% increase in traffic accidents in the week following the time change, an increase in workplace accidents and a 55% increase in heart attacks. A move to Saskatchewan (or Indiana, or Arizona) would eliminate that stress. (I’m not aware of any studies on the effects of the stress caused by relocating.)

Home office blues

The other morning I sat down in front of my computer and thought of everything that needed to be done. I had a talk to prepare for Toastmasters the next evening, a blog post to do, an article to write, income tax returns to prepare for a couple, and bookkeeping files for three clients that needed attention. And my office is really in need of a good cleanup. All seemed equally urgent.

So I started to do a little research for my talk, sorted through the information for the income tax returns, looked at what needed to be done on a couple of the bookkeeping files, answered some emails, checked the weather and the news, and finally realized I wasn’t getting anywhere.

So I took a coffee break, and spent a little time combing our long haired cat. Being as this is a home office, I can take a coffee break any time I want. The cats are wonderful stress relievers, also a good excuse to take a break now and then.

Some helpful Bible quotes came to mind: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might,” and “He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.” That made me feel even more guilty for my procrastination.

Then it dawned on me, more clearly than it has before, that I am not a procrastinator, I am a ditherer. The answer to all the work before me is to START SOMEWHERE! Pick one job, give it my full attention until it is complete, then move on to the next. As long as I am dithering about which is the most urgent, none of them are getting done.

So this is my motto from now on. Everything I do to get one job completed and out of the way will make it easier to get to the next job and get it done.

Wish me well. I think I still have a genetic predisposition to be a ditherer, but I hope that writing out this confession will have some sort of therapeutic effect and help me overcome the dithers.

Non-drug treatments for anxiety and depression

There was a full page ad for Nexalin in a recent edition of the Budget. This is a device which emits a low frequency electrical wave that is said to produce positive results in treating anxiety, depression, insomnia, arthritis, chronic pain and similar conditions. These treatments are available at some chiropractors and other alternative therapy clinics.

I would like to suggest a better solution for these, and other, ailments — get a cat.  Research shows that owning a cat will lower stress, anxiety and blood pressure. Cat owners are less likely to suffer from depression and their risk of having a heart attack is reduced by 40%. There is research showing that the vibrations produced by a purring cat are exactly the right frequency to stimulate the healing of injured bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. These vibrations also help heal wounds and swelling.

Besides, cats are just a whole lot cuter. You don’t need to make an appointment and travel to the nearest clinic offering this kind of therapy either. Your cat will make his own appointment to de-stress your day.


What cats are good for

Here on the flatlands the days are getting longer, the temperatures milder, and our three cats are showing signs of spring fever.  Even bulky old Panda.  None of our cats are purebreds, but a predominant breed is evident in each by their size, shape, coat and temperament.  Panda is an all black Maine Coon cat.  We consider her to be the same age as our oldest grandchild, meaning that both Nathan and Panda will be 11 in July.  Young boy, old cat.

Panda is accustomed to the slow pace of a home occupied by seniors, but she has been around when all four of our grandchildren were tots and has grown accustomed to their antics, too.  The seniors in this household have occasional and unpredictable bursts of energy, often leading to shrieks and/or bellows and hurried footsteps.  Panda has seen it all and doesn’t blink an eye.  She has lived with us in three different houses and thoroughly explored every nook and cranny of each house and yard.

Angus came along two and a half years ago, an all black kitten with definite Siamese characteristics.  He has grown to a hefty size.  Last fall a half starved creamy white kitten showed up on our doorstep and asked to be allowed in.  We think his mother was a stray that was occasionally seen by the children on the farm yard next door.  They left food for that cat, but could never get close to it.  What gave this kitten the courage to so boldly walk into our lives?

At first the kitten would go back to that farm yard for the day, but always came back at night.  In the almost dark house, we would see this little white shape moving silently from place to place and called him Spooky.  That didn’t seem quite right, so now he is Pookie.  As he grows, his colouring becomes more defined and he is a flame point siamese.  He and Angus will get into the most vicious squabbles, then a few minutes later will be curled up together in a chair.  Panda has made both of the newcomers understand that she wants no part of their antics.

I am older than the last time I wrote.  Seriously.  As of yesterday I am 71 years old.  I feel I am on a fast moving conveyor to my final destination, with no option to step off for a rest or to slow it down.  I don’t feel much trepidation about arriving at the end of the line, but there are so many things I want to do before I get there.  One of them is to put into writing some of the things that I have learned along the way that might be helpful to others on this journey through life.

This blog is a warmup exercise for the more extensive writing projects I have in mind.  I am thankful to have gone to school when they still taught grammar.  But I am realizing more and more that writing a coherent sentence is not always the same as effective communication.

I am also a bookkeeper, so between that and my writing I spend a large part of my time in front of a computer.  Both can become quite stressful at times.  Then a cat comes along and rubs against my legs.  Or Panda will just come and sit on the floor near me, waiting for me to notice.  It is a great stress reliever to then get up and spend a few minutes combing Panda or providing whatever attention one of the cats feels in need of.  Now that spring is getting closer, it seems that they mostly need to be let out or let in.  It seems that a cat is always on the wrong side of a door.

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