11 Manifesting Lessons from Elvis

Elvis' grass napFour years ago when my ex delivered to me a nearly grown blind cat instead of the foster puppies I’d asked for, I considered it a major fail.

What kind of foster gig was this?!

I was looking forward to puppy love! Sweet puppy breath and playful antics in the back yard …

I didn’t have time to be hauling a helpless cat from litter boxes to food and water dishes, protecting him from others dogs and cats in the house who might take advantage of his vulnerable state.

And he was unfortunately past the cute kitten stage – he was definitely approaching adulthood. (They’re so much easier to get adopted when they’re young.)

Not to mention, he was kind of hard to look at – with fleshy patches where his eyes would have been. It literally turned my stomach to look at him.

Turns out I could not have been more wrong about this guy!

Elvis (named for the rock star he is) started exploring the entire house as soon as his carrier opened – and found everything swiftly on his own. In fact, he does not love being escorted anywhere. For any reason.

No one needed to show him where the food was – just make sure the dish was full when he got there, thankyouverymuch.

And no one took advantage of his “vulnerable state” – rather, at times I had to protect 100 pound dogs from him when he would play too rough or be ready to pounce on someone’s sleeping face.

Needless to say, blind kitty Elvis quickly became my favorite in life – and one of the most handsome beings on the planet, if you ask me.

(I would never dream of having those eyes sewed shut unless the vet said there was a good medical reason for it!)

Elvis - lily intruder

sitting in the lily planter

I love this guy more than words can say.

That may sound extreme, but I suspect you’d feel that way about Elvis, too, if you knew him yourself.

Let me tell you what this longhair sightless kitty has taught me about life and how to live it:

1. Trust the Universe.
I asked for foster puppies, which would have been a blast, I’m sure, but they also would have been adopted out soon. (I can’t keep any more dogs, but what’s one more cat?) The pups would have been short term joy at best.

So sometimes, when it doesn’t look exactly like you thought you wanted, be open. It might just be better than you could have ever imagined.

2. Mindset matters.
Attitude goes a long way in life, and this fearless feline walked out of his carrier ready to conquer the world. Not for a single second did he crouch in fear or hide from life.

As a result, he rules the roost here. Everyone knows Elvis is “top dog” – and you better stay out of his way unless you want a bat on the head.

3. It’s okay to fall.
Russ got in big trouble when I put him in charge of making sure Elvis stayed safe while exploring the stairs (with an oak railing that was wide enough for an unsuspecting kitty to squeeze through). Sure enough, Elvis fell once or twice. But for all my worry, he was no worse for wear. That was my lesson to chill out a little bit.

4. Choose your own pace.
Don’t let anyone push you into something you’re not ready for – you know the best time. Spring arrived and with the open door Elvis would lay right on the threshold for hours on end, content to feel the breeze on his whiskers. One day I picked him and set him down on the back patio. (I have a very secure backyard.) But he wasn’t having it!

He scrambled back inside like his life depended on it. My bad. Pushing anything isn’t a good idea – trust the right timing.

5. Live and let live.
On that last one where I took him outside before he wanted to be outside, I learned to respect that someone else knows best for themselves. What I want for him clearly wasn’t what he wanted. Live and let live. We can keep stepping over him in the doorway for as long he likes us to.

6. It’s good to receive.
Elvis has taught me all about letting others cater to you. He is a prime time receiver. He never feels unworthy, he has no problem asking others to accommodate his desires, no matter how contrary his wishes might be to your own. That guy has receiving skills like I’ve never seen. He’s an excellent mentor for learning how to put yourself first.

7. Persistence pays.
From a distance most people would never guess he can’t see, since he gets around so well. But every once in a while Elvis bumps into a planter, or a sleeping dog, or a bunch of groceries. He doesn’t miss a beat, though – he keeps moving and just tries a different direction until he finds a way through. Meaning, he doesn’t give up on getting where he wants to be.

I could take a lesson from him on that. (He even pestered the office cats to share their bed until they finally relented and let him join without making a fuss.)

8. Don’t give a rip.
Elvis never once sweated what someone else thought of him. Others’ opinions simply didn’t play into his reality. When I did the “poor blind kitty” routine – he promptly proved me wrong as he took over the entire household. When the 70 pound foster pit bull thinks cats should be nowhere near the dog food dish, Elvis doesn’t care what she thinks. He’ll eat dog food if he wants to. And so it is.

(I will add Elvis is the pro at teaching new foster dogs some respect for cats.)

9. Leverage help. 
I’m not exactly sure I got this “lesson” right, but Elvis often travels further and faster when he’s chasing another cat. Somehow he becomes more fearless as he’s following them. Is it to let others break the trail? Is it to find courage in “drafting”? I don’t know exactly, but it’s hilarious to watch.

10. There are no limits.
Time and time again this cat has blown past any limits I thought he’d bump into. They simply don’t exist for him. Closed door? He’ll open it himself. Screen door? He’ll tear through. Lap full of other cats/computer/papers/dinner? He’ll make room. No one will let you out? He’ll find an open window to leap out of.

He even catches birds and grasshoppers like a skilled hunter. As a conscious creator, this “no limits living” inspires me endlessly. As a bird lover, I’m none too pleased. (I rescue the grasshoppers from his clutches when possible.)

Elvis climbing a tree

close supervision of the tree explorer

11. Life is an adventure.
If we’re doing life right, it isn’t always going to be safe and sound and perfectly protected.

Shortly after he learned how to jump the back fence, my sweet kitty went awol. I cried virtually nonstop until he came back the next day. (I even made Russ hand out the “find Elvis” signs in the neighborhood since I couldn’t stop crying to do it myself.)

When Elvis meowed on the front porch at 4 am, just as I kept trying to imagine he would, I opened the door to find he was so tired he could hardly stand. You know what? Sometimes you have to answer the grand call to adventure. Hopefully only once, though.

Bonus lesson, and maybe the most important of all …

12. Love isn’t conditional.
And on the day that Elvis went on his big adventure in the neighborhood, I learned how conditional my happiness was. I was a wreck without him – completely unable to to feel joy in his absence, even with six other perfectly good cats and three wonderful dogs and a lot of other reasons to be happy. That showed me it’s not good to be so attached to circumstances for how I feel. And to remember that true love isn’t conditional.

So far that’s just theoretical knowledge, I guess, but I’m working on it.

For all the companion animal rescue volunteers who sometimes have trouble feeling like they’re making a difference, please know that you are. Every time you step up to do what you do, you’re putting someone’s new best friend on their right path. God bless you for that.

Thanks to Marci at Tooele Animal Outreach for rescuing that scrawny blind kitten from the shelter, even when you didn’t know what you’d do with him, and to my ex for totally getting my foster request all wrong/right. And to the whole neighborhood for helping keep an eye out for this amazing cat. And to Sandy G for inspiring this post.

Last, huge thanks to Elvis who is living proof of my alignment to dreams coming true even better than I imagined.

  • September 6, 2014
  • Karen says:

    This is so awesome, and of course as a fellow co-creater and rescue animal lover (all 4 of my cats and my dog are rescues), this post really touched me.

  • Cassie says:

    OMG I heart Elvis. Reminds me of my favorite dog that went blind. He was mostly blind for most of the second half of his life. We thought he’d have trouble when my sister moved to a new place, but Chassik figured it out right away. People were always amazed at how well he did even though he was blind. Both of them are such inspirations!

  • Pam says:

    Love this post! I am a huge cat lover and this brought me joy! He is one tuned in turned on kitty! I did hear Abe saying that cats don’t need rescuing! Good for you Jeannette!

  • Thank you, Kate and SC!
    I’m happy to be sharing the inspiration from Elvis. 🙂

  • SC says:

    Jeannette – I echo the other comments. Your best post. My ex got kitty custody (which was the best thing for Mr Peeper, which is why I agreed to it) and even though he refers to our boy as “little bastard” I know he loves him. I miss him nonetheless and I love to read tales of feline hijinks.

  • Kate says:

    Jeannette, this is the most inspiring post I’ve ever read from you. And that is saying A LOT! Elvis came to inspire you and, by extension, all of us. Thanks, Elvis!

  • Aloha says:

    Beautiful lessons

  • Elizabeth says:

    Oh, Elvis. You are one FABULOUS kitty. Atlas would adore you. So glad you are in the world – and with someone who will let the rest of us learn from you.

  • tammy says:

    Yay Elvis!!

  • It took me a while, Sandy, because I didn’t know how to write a post that could capture his fabulousness. I still don’t think I’ve remotely done that, but I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • SandyG says:

    Ohhh! Jeannette, thank you! What a cute guy Elvis is! How cool to honor him with all your insightful observations. What a perfect name for that handsome, amazing kitty. Thank you for letting us meet Elvis. I’ve been so looking forward to this post….Thank you!!!

  • I didn’t mean to make anyone cry, but I guess it makes sense since I cried a little myself when I wrote it.
    Glad you could feel the love, Brenda. Thanks for chiming in with it!
    And Robin, isn’t it funny how we soon look past the things that at first seem so hard to miss?
    Yay for our kitties! 🙂

  • Robin says:

    Your post fills my heart with memories of my dear cat, Puddy. he lost an eye to his feral mother (who was blind). He spent his entire life (12 years) living big outdoors. I was so distraught after the accident. (wild blind mother we could not catch, swatted his direction when she was eating, connected with his left eye) I spent four days looking for him (crying the whole time) I finally found him hiding in an old shed. I had to stop sobbing just to reach out and see if I could pet him. The second my hand connected to his fur, he started to purr. We knew right then, it would be ok.
    He taught me so much in his lifetime. I hated that he lost one of his beautiful blue eyes, but like you, I stopped seeing the socket, and saw his beautiful sweet face instead. He didn’t care if he was missing an eye. He was happy, confident, and sure of his surroundings. He had a great life! We were so lucky to have known such a great teacher like Puddy.
    Thanks for your Elvis post! 🙂

  • Brenda says:

    Aaahh, that was the best Elvis fix so far! A crazy cool heart-stretch, a few cleansing tears, cool lessons from a master manifester (both of you) 😉 and I’m good to go…or would that be ‘let go’?! Thank you for sharing your big love for this gorgeous feline. It melted my heart – again. 😉

  • I’m going to tell him you said that, Kitty! Thanks for sending the love his way.
    And Deanna, isn’t it great what our animals inspire us to? Gotta lov ’em! 🙂

  • Deanna says:

    Jeannette – well. you have me crying this morning. what a fabulous kitty!! I have a Kitten (my kitty’s name) and a Dolly-dog – my Dolly has taught me so many manifesting lessons – I am still learning from Kitten – I have never had a kitty before and her feline-ness is still surprising to me. thanks for posting about your fabulous Elvis!

  • Kitty says:

    I (heart) Elvis. He is my LOA hero. Thanks!!!!

  • How funny/cool is that, Sam?! I love it!
    Sounds like a great book to me already! 🙂

  • Sam Curtis says:

    Talk about a coincidence – which of course it isn’t! – I recently sold the manuscript for a non-fiction narrative title all about… Life Lessons From a Romanian One Eyed Rescue Dog. Your post basically emulates most if not all of the chapters but in kitty form! I must message you at some point with the author’s (who is also a good friend) website. Think you would love it 🙂

  • Well, that’s a huge compliment – thanks, Kim and Elizabeth!
    This post has been in the works for a while because I wasn’t sure how to do justice to what this guy brings to my life.
    Thanks for the encouraging feedback that I didn’t completely miss the mark.

  • Elizabeth Essig says:

    Best post yet. Palpable connection and Beautiful story. Nicely done.

  • kim Falconer says:

    This is my favorite of all the posts you’ve ever written!
    It makes me so happy I have to cry. 🙂 xxx

  • You know, Ming, my dad who house sits on occasion has said something along the lines of how Elvis isn’t blind – he’s seeing/sensing things that might be hard for us to explain, but he’s tuned in in a way that is pretty amazing to watch.
    I agree with you on both counts – he has no limits and he’s very inspiring. Thanks for the work you and Candy have done with him!

  • Ming says:

    What a beautiful post about Elvis and everything he has taught you. Oh he’s so proud and happy about this and you know that!! The few times I have connected with Elvis he’s always brought tears to Candy and my eyes because of how profound he is.
    I love how he has no limits. What? A little blindness going to get you down? No way. (I remember number 11 very well :))
    Thanks for sharing how he continues to inspire you and us all.

  • Indeed, every time I think something’s going sideways on me, Sabeen, I look over at Elvis and remember how much Universe knows to deliver it than I do.
    (Well, maybe I don’t remember to every time, but he is a perfect example of why it’s a good idea to chill out about how things are unfolding.)
    Thanks for reading, Sabeen. 🙂

  • Sabeen says:

    Your love for your amazing co-creator friend is palpable Jeannette. What a fortunate pair you two are to be learning and loving together! I love all of the lessons you wrote about but I especially love “when it doesn’t look exactly like you thought you wanted, be open. It might just be better than you could have ever imagined”.

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