Old, Cold Pets

I couldn't resist writing a blog about this after seeing a photo on Facebook of a kitty sitting by the heat register enjoying the flow of warm air on a cold morning. His owner asked "Why does he do this every morning?" The answer is really very simple.

There are two basic principles of energy in Traditional Chinese Medicine: Yin and Yang. Yin is cold, dark, moist, and female. Yang is hot, light, dry, and male. Both of these energies need to be in balance to achieve optimal health and well-being. We and our pets are born with a lot of Yang energy - children, puppies, and kittens spend a lot of time racing around in high-energy play. They love to play in the snow and go outside on a cold day without a coat.

As we and they age, we lose some of the Yang energy, slowing down and displaying more Yin energy. Older people like the heat turned up high in the home (have you ever walked into a senior housing area?). My parents wear sweaters and have lap blankets in our 80-degree house in the winter, while Hue and I wander around sweating in tee shirts. Our dogs are all in their teens; we have heated floors and they love sprawling on them, getting as much warm body contact as possible.

The kitty in the photo is fairly old. He was found about fifteen years ago, standing in the middle of a country road, screaming at me as I rode by on my horse. I ended up taking that kitty on a two mile trail ride on the front of my saddle. The kitty went to a great home, where he has been well loved.

So the answer to the question, "Why does he do this every morning?", is that he is older, colder, and looking for some Yang energy to get his motor revved in the morning. Energetically warming foods such as chicken, lamb, or venison can help. For us older folks, that hot cup of coffee works well. But there are days I'd like to be sitting right next to Muffins with the warm air blowing through the vent.