Jeff Plate is one of the most accomplished and hardest working drummers in rock and roll. The New York State native began taking drum lessons at the age of 12, after a sports injury ended his dream of becoming a pitcher for the New York Yankees. Best known for his work with Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Jeff has performed on every TSO release since the band’s inception in 1996 and has been part of every TSO winter and spring tour,) he has been the drummer for Heavy Metal icons Metal Church since 2006, and has also worked with Savatage, TSO guitarist Chris Caffery, and former TSO violinist Mark Wood’s Electrify Your Strings program. Jeff shares his rural New York state home with wife Cathy, two cats and a dog.Continue Reading
When Two Cats Are Better Than One
As regular readers of The Conscious Cat, you’ve been hearing directly from Allegra (and Ruby, too) how much fun it’s been for her since Ruby joined our family. It’s been an absolute joy to watch the two of them together, but what has been particularly wonderful for me is the transformation Allegra has gone through in the last six weeks. She has gained confidence, the behavioral challenges we’ve been working with for the past year have improved considerably to the point of being almost non-existent, and she continues to blossom and come into her own in ways I never expected.
I wrote about this topic for Pet Connection, and I thought you’d enjoy this slightly different vantage point. Click here to read the article.
Living and Working With Cats
For the last fifteen years, I’ve been fortunate that cats have not only played a fundamental role in my home life, they’ve also been a significant part of my work life. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
It all started with two office cats at the veterinary hospital I managed. First, there was Virginia, who I fell in love with at my initial interview despite the fact that her introduction to me involved claws and runs in my stockings. She ruled the office with an iron paw, assisting me with paperwork, often by sitting right on top of it, and kept me in line with frequent swats at my mouse hand.
Several years after Virginia went to the big office in the sky, Buckley took over as office cat. In addition to supervising my work and making even the less glamorous aspects of my job more fun through her joyful presence, she had another job at the clinic—to provide comfort to the animal patients and to distract their worried owners. There were times when she disappeared from the office, and when I went looking for her, I found her on the bench in the waiting room, next to a client waiting for news about a sick pet, cuddled up to the person, asking to be petted, and making them smile through their worry. Other times, she curled up next to a recovering cat or dog in the treatment room.
When I left my job at the animal hospital to start my Reiki practice, Buckley came home to live with me and Amber. She quickly took on the job of Assistant Reiki Practitioner and helped me with the (human) Reiki clients I saw in my home office. She became an active participant in the healing session. She would get up on the Reiki table and often curl up next to or on top of the client. I realized after a few sessions like this that she intuitively knew where extra energy was needed. I often skipped treating the areas Buckley laid on during a session and concentrated on others instead. I knew my little healer kitty had it covered.
Amber provided a contribution of a different kind to my home and work life. She was a wise old soul in a feline body; she was my touchstone. Her peaceful presence provided love, comfort and grounding for me in ways that no one or nothing else could. When I began to think about starting a blog, she provided the creative spark, and The Conscious Cat was born.
And now it looks like Allegra is continuing the tradition. She recently took on the position of Assistant Reiki Practitioner Trainee. As you can see in the photo above, she takes her job very seriously. At just over a year old, she’s still a little too rambunctious to be allowed in the room during treatments, but she helps me get the room ready. She enthusiastically greets my clients and provides kitty therapy by letting them pet her and giving kitten nose taps, so that by the time they get on my table, they’re already a little more relaxed than they were when they first walked in the door. She loves being in the Reiki room after a session and really seems to gravitate toward the energy. I think as she matures, she will carry on Buckley’s legacy.
Sharing your life with cats, doing work you love, and doing it with the cats you love – it doesn’t get any better than this.