Cheryl's Blog

Week 19 – I finally figured out why this video makes me cry.


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Topic of the Week

I finally figured out why this video makes me cry.

I just finished watching the video about Anna Breytenbach, an animal communicator, who worked with Spirit, a black leopard rescued by the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa.  I was sending it to a friend who hadn’t seen it yet and I decided to watch it again (for the tenth time #x1F600; ).

The video tells the story of a leopard originally named Diabolo, who was rescued from an abusive situation and brought to a sanctuary.  Once there, he refused to leave his shelter for nearly seven months.

As an experiment, Anna Breytenbach is brought in to communicate with Diabolo, not only to try and help him, but to give validity to the art of animal communication.

It’s an amazing, short story and I encourage you to watch what happens (I’ll include the link below).

Each time I see this video, I’m captivated by the commanding presence of this leopard with marble eyes.  And I feel deeply touched by the gifted way in which Anna cares for and protects him with her immense sensitivity.  She’s able to reach this cat in the most elegant and beautiful way and ends up not only transforming his life, but the lives of the staff around him.

I always tear up when Jurg Olsen, the sanctuary manager, talks about his experience with the leopard after Anna offers her assistance.  Jurg was quite skeptical at first.  He found it hard to believe that human beings could actually communicate with animals.  But, after Anna finishes her work, he sees the leopard come out of his shelter for the first time in seven months.  He then has his own communication experience.  He’s so moved by what happens, he can barely speak.

When I finish watching this video, I always cry.

Why am I so captivated by this story, I wonder.  I find it compelling for reasons I don’t completely understand.

I love animals. I was born to a mother who adores animals and from a young age I watched her communicate with our pets in the most extraordinary ways.  My mom has certainly inspired my own relationship with and love of animals, too.

But there’s more to this video that touches me so.  A kind of hidden message that speaks directly to my soul.

It sparks a deep yearning I can’t explain.  As if something significant is trying to reach me.

Could it be a desire to share my life with more animals?  Maybe.  Might some part of me want to study the art of animal communication?  Sure.  I’d go to a workshop with Anna in a heartbeat if she were closer.

But I don’t think that’s what’s really going on.

So I sit here with computer in lap, fingers on keys, trying to uncover the deeper message.  Writing is how I process my life and it often gives me access to insight beyond my noisy, thinking mind.

But after writing on and off for more than three hours, I end up back where I started… in the mystery.

Sometimes the soul sends an invitation to a party not yet named.

And I guess some things are meant to be felt, not understood.

So I put the video away for another day, knowing that I’ll watch it again and wonder.

That’s when my cat, Poupon, saunters into the room like a small, gray leopard, stalking his prey.  He jumps up on the keyboard, and then steps onto my lap, marble eyes fixed on mine.  He stares at me for a few moments then nuzzles his head against my neck and that’s when the message hits me.

It’s about love…

I start to cry as I feel this pure, unconditional connection between my cat and me.

I want more of this love in my life.

A love unencumbered by bad moods and failed history.

A love devoid of stories and fear and hurt.

A love that feels so risky because it means so much.

A love we can’t live without.

So we rescue animals to feel the connection we unconsciously hope will rob off onto each other.

Yes, that’s it.  We all want more real love.

I shut the laptop, lean back against the soft cushions of the sofa, and pull my little cat close.

He’s teaching me about the healing power of love and today I share this lesson with you #x2665;.



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You can watch Anna and Spirit here.

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