Mondays With Merlin: My Secret to Living The Dream


dreams quote-sea map- merlin cat

So you want to know my secret to living the dream? You’ve come to the right place if you like the wit and wisdom of Merlin, yours truly, a world’s oldest cat. Mind you, not quite the oldest. That honor goes to a Mancat named Corduroy who is 26. I am a mere kitten by comparison as I inch closer to the big 21. Yes, the birthday of birthdays is on Oct. 2 and I wish I could whisk all of you away to a tropical island with hammocks and salty, sweet balmy breezes. The truth is: I have never been to the seashore, let alone a tropical island where feeling silky sand between the toes is bliss and not cat litter. An old cat can dream and so can you. Layla is planning a few things for my birthday. Nothing major. I have everything I need. I mean what do you give a cat who is 21? A new catnip toy? I don’t play anymore. I have no complaints. It’s been a hell of a ride. Anyway, it’s more satisfying to give to other cats who really need something or to readers, just because it makes me happy.

But what about you dear reader? What makes you happy? Are there dreams sitting on a shelf collecting dust? Have you given up or think it’s too late to lasso that dream? I’ll tell you, as long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late. We live in a time of extraordinary possibility. Look at the words on your screen. How do you think they landed there? A hundred, no thirty years ago you would have thought it magic to have words and images pop up and move by a flick of your finger. Anything you could possibly want to know, all the tools and resources needed to realize your dreams are a click away. Be curious as a cat at a mouse hole. Be just as focused and relentless about catching it, and you will.

That said, the crazy speed of life can blur your vision. How can you go after your dream when there isn’t time to figure out exactly your dream looks like now. Not the dream of three or thirty years ago. Again, be like a cat and take a catnap. Curl up on the softest bed. Wriggle your toes.  Unhunch those shoulders.  Unplug. Pull the shades down. Notice your breathing, nice and slow in your belly.  Visit your dream by simply asking; What do you really, really want? What does it look like, sound like, taste like? Sniff and explore every crevice.  Don’t be afraid to feel it in every pore. You’ll know you’re on to something when an exciting energy burbles up, up, up and whoosh into a purr. Like a cat, you’ll have a good stretch after and pad over to the kitchen for a drink of water. And you dear one will make notes of your vision, of steps, people to contact, things to research with a flick of your finger.  Yes, you can revisit your dream and build from there, unless you’re already living the dream. If so, carry on.

There you have it. Happy dream napping and mapping. I’ll see you next week for a very special Mondays with Merlin. It may be my favorite one ever.

I’ll let you in on a very old secret… A long time ago, say twenty, I went to live with my mom Layla on happiest Gotcha Day ever. Not only did I get out of a horrible shelter cage and into a duplex apartment but it was my birthday. For real. It was the beginning of a magical life with Layla. She was single then and feeling sad. Her dad had died five months earlier and her boyfriend dumped her. Then she met her someone very special who broke her heart all over again. That was a month before I arrived with my sister Coco and it was clear from day one I was no ordinary cat. I was her soulmate cat. And our lives entwined in ways she could never have imagined.  I was thrilled to have a job, a purpose. I could mend hearts, be a healer for others and major domo of her business. I’d do Reiki on Layla’s clients, assist her students and act as doorman escorting everyone in and out. Life unfolded beautifully and within a few months Layla said to someone, ” I love him so much, I don’t know what would happen if Merlin should die.”
I shot her one of my looks. Yes, with my huge blue eyes, I was devastatingly handsome. Die? I was barely two! Not long after she confided to another friend, “When Merlin goes, it’ll be the end of me.” She said it every so often to other people through the years.  You might think it morbid or overly attached but she unconsciously knew when I go, it will be the end of her.  Not death or pining over my grave forever but the end of an old life and a new purpose for her.  So here we are. I’m turning 21 and in failing health. To be frank, I could keel over any day.  I know I’ve been saying that for some time but I’m not kidding. Layla will finally have to face the “When Merlin goes, it’ll be the end of me” music. It will be the end. The end of a beautiful 20-year relationship in this mortal coil. I taught her so much over the years and I must confess, I did a pretty good job as creative muse and soulmate cat. Layla has studied far and wide with many teachers on many subjects. She’s a teacher’s teacher who has a passion for learning, exploring.and sharing. Once I’m gone, it means my job is done, and I’m so happy she’s found her new purpose. She couldn’t have done it with me. It’s not quite a new purpose but a synthesis of everything she loves and knows how to do, but she wasn’t ready until now. Ironically, the new thing that will give her much joy will be an intense time of work while she is grieving. So she’ll have to be careful or it will be the end of her. Ha. Darn, it looks like going to have to keep on eye on her from the grave. Tough job but someone’s gotta do it.

All will be revealed in due course, and I hope your week is dreamy.



32 thoughts on “Mondays With Merlin: My Secret to Living The Dream”

  1. Merlin the world is a better place for you being in it. Your wants are few but for one, and that one has remained a constant all of your long life. You found your one love years ago and healed and comforted her.
    Yes, you might feel your job is done, but stay as long as you are able.
    I had a cat like you once… also a beautiful meezer who lived a very long time. I thought I would die too when he went (he was 18 and had cancer) The day I had to say goodbye a part of me went with him.
    Stay as long as you can old man, Mondays wouldnt be he same without you. May your week be a dreamy one full of time on thee hammock and sniffs of autumn.

  2. Dear Merlin, I know a lot of hearts will break when you finally leave us, but your words are wise and I, for one, will miss you terribly. I will go and visit on Instagram again (I paused while we lost Peanut). You are a special boy – really special.

  3. Merlin my wise old friend you will never die……you will transform into the wizard that you are and be with Layla always waving your magic wand and perhaps taking “side trips in the ether” to visit some of us who would love to “see” you……..My Mom says life can never be the same when I leave too – I had a big job to do when I got here – seeing Mom through two bouts of cancer for one thing…..and we are “closer than close”. Perhaps I can be your eager student Wizard in the next life Merlin – please don’t go until you MUST. We all need you, most especially Layla.

    Love and Hugs, Sammy

  4. TW often said that about Nicky; that she couldn’t live without him. Here she is with me; a totally different kind of cat and we both started a new adventure. Her dream would be just to find a life where she could live comfortably without worrying about money and material things. Not rich—mind you—but comfortable. My dream is to be doted on 24/7/365 1/4.

  5. Merlin, you are so very wise! I’m just barely a year and a half and my human already wonders what she will do without me! That’s because we are enjoying ourselves so much doing things together. Not every cat gets to do that.

  6. dood….ewe noe what……we haz never been see side either…ore smelled fresh ocean fish waterz, or sat witha spy glass in paw; while on de sand & cuzzed burdz ona diffrunt eye land….but its grate ta dreem we can…..thatz kinda what trout townez all a bout…N dood…ya noe ….in purrson yeerz yur gonna bee like 100……hope ya get ta bee on tee vee !! ♥♥♥

  7. Merlin, your gift of you to Layla has really enabled her to be who she is today. A cat is a person in cat disguise. You are her muse, her being, her all, as you said yourself, in so many wiser words. She will be fine, but will miss you greatly.

    For many of Emma Peel’s 20 years, she was my only friend. I so wanted to be with her when… it was her time. I kept conveying this to her telepathically, and she knew it. One day, I went to change the laundry. She was in her cubby in the basement. I said, “Hi, Emma.” I put the spun-dry clothes from the washer to the dryer. Then I went back to her cubby.

    Emma had crawled from her cubby to the middle of the floor and expired.

    She knew I wanted to be there. She made sure I was. She was beautiful.

    Merlin, you are so beautiful and so is Layla.

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