Our Katz

[Originally published in The Witch’s Corner newsletter, June 2011…Pixie passed away since this post was first published]

Katz

(Salem & Pixie, sitting in *their* spot at the livingroom windows, watching birds & squirrels at the feeders.)

We have six cats, or Katz, in our house, and each one is a unique creature that stands out from all the others with a staunch individualism that only cats can carry off successfully.  There’s Salem, the sleek black prince of the house, who enjoys a great deal of affection, and can’t seem to wait until 5:30am, the time my husband normally rises for work, to come greet us in bed with morning nips to the fingers, purring, chirping, and carrying on. Unfortunately, Salem seems to think that *every* morning must begin this early and in this way…whether the alarm goes off or not.

At the other extreme is our brown tabby cat, Basil.  Basil was born with the soul of an irrascible old man.  He doesn’t want to be touched, he doesn’t really like it when you talk to him, and he puts a lot of effort into pretending not to listen.  He doesn’t even like you to get too close, and goddess forbid, don’t make eye contact.  And just like some crabby old man, he spends a lot of time growling, hissing, and complaining.

(Basil, napping on the back porch.)

Bast is the ‘Mama’ of the group, both figuratively and literally– she’s Basil’s mother.  She also runs our cat community with an iron fist, and if anyone gets out of line– either cat or human– she puts them back into place by giving them a good swift slap to the face.  Apparently this system works very well for her.  So far no one has questioned her authority or tried to usurp her position in the pecking order.

(Mama Bast)

Pixie, also known as “Mistress Pixie Paws”, is just plain weird.  She’s known around the house as ‘Spook’, for the unnerving habit of calmly watching us out of glassy gold-green eyes when we least expect it, and then blinking complacently when we’re startled.  She is a sprite, a magickal creature, one of the elves or nymphs come to spy on us humans.  Her actions are usually slow and deliberate, occasionally totally off the wall and unexpected, and always entertaining.

This cat also has the ability to fall asleep anywhere in almost any position– occasionally even when she’s sitting up, human style.

(Pixie, sleeping on the arm of the couch, where she had fallen asleep sitting bolt upright in a human position, and then gradually slid to the right.)

Pyewacket defies explanation.  He’s a beautiful black angora that is very affectionate, likes to do a little ‘head-bumping’ greeting he has, and absolutely refuses to use a litter box– no way, no how.  Wintering with him in the house is hell.  He is banished to the laundry room, with the entire floor laid in newspapers.  I defy you to pick up one square of newspaper, because if you do, out of this entire room– and it’s big– he will choose that one bare spot of floor to do his business.

We’ve decided that, lovable and affectionate as he is, Pyewacket basically has the heart of an outdoor cat.

(Pyewacket, snoozing in his food bowl on the back porch.)

Baby, aka Duchess, is my ham.  Where the camera is, you’ll find Baby.  She winds up in more of my photos, and photos that I’ll use for particular purposes, more often than any of the other cats.  She also has two names, as you can see.

She is quiet, sort of out in a zone all on her own.  This cat also obviously interacts with beings or entities that only she can see.  We sat and watched her one day in the middle of the livingroom floor, as she circled an unseen being, her hair standing straight on end.  It must have been about the same size as herself, and as she circled it, all puffed up, she would reach inside this space, trying to sniff whatever it was.  Suddenly, it must have startled her, for she leaped backwards, all four paws off the floor.  And then it was gone.  I’m grateful that I had wittnesses to this extraordinary display.

 Cats are lazy, plain and simple.  That’s the truth.  They spend their time eating or sleeping, with a little bit of play and shenanigans inbetween.

But mostly, they sleep…

Sometimes they like to share their space…

And sometimes, they don’t.

Teatime With the Witch: “The Motherpeace Round Tarot Deck”

 
 

Cafe-du-Matin-Print-C102639061.jpg tea time 1 picture by witch_of_endore

Tarot Card of the Day:
Shaman of Swords 

I’m using a deck today that I’ve only used for myself so far,
“The Motherpeace round Tarot Deck” by Karen Vogel & Vicki Noble

I find this deck fascinating for several reasons.  First, the round shape, this just goes against any deck of cards I’ve ever owned.  It’s somewhat odd to handle at first, and it does alleviate the conundrum of ‘upright or reversed’.  I find the artwork fascinating, and even though the card I chose today compares to the King of Swords in more conventional decks, there is still something decidedly feminine about it.  

For today, the Shaman of Swords is telling me…Don’t stick your foot in your mouth, rise above the fray, get to the root of the problem; because the circumstances which have arisen are actually rooted in much older and deeper issues. 
Yesterday  I was having quite a time with a headache.  It’s not an issue that I have to deal with very often, and I muddled through the day until the afternoon, when I finally decided to do something about it.  I have to admit, I took an Ibuprofen, but along with this I got out my book of herbal remedies and scoured it for something that would alleviate headaches.  I chose mint, mostly because I like the flavor in my cup of tea– this is how I was going to take it, and I have an over-abundance of this herb, all harvested from my own herb garden.
  
Below you’ll find a list of herbs that will help with headaches:
 

Herb for headache #1: Feverfew

Feverfew is a very popular migraine herbal remedy, and because so many people are interested in it, we’ve given it a page of it’s own! Check out our article on feverfew here.

Herb for headache #2: Peppermint (mentha piperita)

For hundreds of years peppermint has been used as a headache remedy. From tea to extract, there are lots of ways to enjoy peppermint. Be warned that peppermint is not the thing to take if you have heartburn or similar stomach acid problems.

Peppermint is just as useful for it’s aroma and cooling properties as an essential oil. Read more about this herb for headache on our home remedies page.

Herb for headache #3: Passionflower (Passiflora alata)

Passionflower is a calming herb. Taken as a tea before bed, it can help you sleep. At least one clinic trial has found it to lower anxiety. It is also believed to have anti-inflammitory and pain killing properties. Great for migraine!

Herb for headache #4: Ginko (ginko biloba)

The leaf of the ginko tree is an extremely popular herb for headache, but the medical evidence is still hotly disputed. Ginko is said to improve the flow of blood and get more oxygen to the brain, hence not only relieving headache but improving memory and alertness as well. There are some nice teas sold with ginko and peppermint, so why not give it a try?

Note that Ginko is one of those herbs that can cause side effects when taken with headache medications, including aspirin and lithium.

Herb for headache #5: Cayenne (capsaicin)

Yes, that’s right – the pepper. Many peppers have an ingredient called capsaicin, which among other things seems to raise the pain threshold. It’s gained attention in the medical world in recent years especially for its treatment of cluster headaches, and it’s often given in the form of a nasal spray.

Cayenne pepper is an excellent spice to have on hand (well, don’t put too much ON your hand or you may burn it!), and may lessen your migraine.

Herb for headache #6: Willow (salix . . .)

White willow bark is an especially popular herb for headache because it works much like an aspirin, relieving your headache pain and causing the inflammation to go down. Like any painkiller, it should not be taken long term. Once again, be very careful about taking willow with other painkillers and medications – check with your doctor!

Other herbs for headache:

Meadowsweet, valerian (excellent if you can’t sleep), skullcap, chamomile (also common for relaxation).

Recent studies point to butterbur extract (petasites hybridus root) as a migraine treatment. Butterbur has been recommended for migraine before, but now the scientific evidence is starting to catch up. The dosages in recent studies for both children and adults range between 50mg and 150mg. It is recommended that you use a reliable standardized and safe form of butterbur. In a recent German study, Petadolex was used, which is a butterbur extract.

Below you can pay a little visit to our house.  Included is a video of Mistress Pixie Paws and her very odd eating habits– she doesn’t like to get her face dirty and very rarely lowers her face into a bowl; you’ll find Miss Cletus on her favorite perch; the kitchen makes the perfect place to dry my herbs; and my pretty boy, Salem, is caught keeping watch over my Big Black Book.

Click to play this Smilebox collage

 

 

 

The Family Chicken– Miss Cletus

Every magickal household seems to have its odd array of animal creatures, and ours is no exception.  We have a chicken named Cletus who grew up in our household with the kids.  She learned to sit in someone’s lap and watch tv; she had a favorite blanket at the foot of my bed; she was used to perching on someone’s shoulder and when she grew up and got heavy, she still assumed this was her rightful perch.  She chases the cats, sleeps in her indoor kennel at night, lays an egg a day, and is one of the luckiest chickens I know…