Humans have shared their lives with cats for thousands of years. Recently, a number of mummified cats were found in a newly discovered tomb in Egypt. This proves that the ancient Egyptians adored their feline companions. As the centuries have rolled by, cats have continued to be one of our favoured animals for pets. The Ecology Global Network estimates there are around 500 million domesticated cats in the world today.


The first cat arrived in New Zealand with Captain James Cook but it was a century later before they became domestic pets in the country. Today, there are an estimated 1.4 million feline pets in Kiwi homes.

Until last week, I was blessed to have 4 furry pals sharing my life.

For 12 years, Mozart was my solo pet. He had a life of ups and downs due to my schedule. While working in Dubai, I arranged for tenants to move into my house with a reduced rent on the condition they would look after him. However, I was to later discover they had brought their own cat with them and poor Mozart was made to feel a stranger in his own home.

When I moved back in with him, I made sure he felt wanted again. Mozart taught me a lot about life and as I observed his daily rituals, I discovered he lived in the moment. We would call it ‘mindfulness’. He was an intelligent little creature who was also incredibly gentle. I have a track beside my house that leads to a primary school. He used to sit on the carport roof beside the track and watch the kids going to school. Many got to know him and looked forward to their daily chat with him. Mozart ‘wrote’ a book detailing his views on life. It has gone onto inspire readers around the world.

In fact, the book proved so popular, Mozart was asked to write more about his attitude on life. This second book was even more popular. It was a heartbreaking day when his life ended while I cradled him in my arms and for a time, I felt a light go out in my life. His loss left me with a void I found hard to fill.


Two months after Mozart returned to spirit I was at the computer writing when two cats arrived at my glass door. I had never seen them before. One was almost Mozart’s double. In fact, for a moment, I thought I was experiencing a supernatural event and Mozart’s spirit had manifested. However, this cat was taller and longer in the legs than Mozart. His pal was ginger with no tail. I opened the door, and together, they took a few cautious steps into the room. Socrates and Plato have enriched my life ever since then. I soon discovered the kink in Socrates’ tail was caused when he was swung by it until it broke. All Plato’s life he suffered with terrible fits and to just touch around his bottom caused a fit. The vet said he had raw nerve endings caused by the cruelty he suffered with the brutal removal of his tail at some stage in his early life. There was nothing that could be done to fix the problem but I knew where to touch him so we manage okay. These two little creatures suffered so much cruelty, it makes me pause for breath whenever my mind drifts into that thought.

Plato and Socrates

The boys were inseparable and have enriched my life beyond belief. 


Two years ago, the occupants of the house behind me were evicted. They abandoned a little black kitten who soon started showing up when I was feeding the boys and although they were not too welcoming, I couldn’t let her go hungry. I had no luck trying to find a home for her so Molly Molly is now a member of the family too. She is totally black. She is still a bit of an outsider but I make sure she gets the love I share with the boys. She is fascinated with shoes and spends fun times spinning one around the room. She also loves to sleep against one.


Here are 6 scientifically proven health benefits from having a cat in your life.

They lower your risk of heart disease.

Amazingly, their purring helps to heal bones, tendons and muscle tension.

Cats help with restful sleep  

They make you more attractive as a caring person.

They reduce stress and anxiety.

They make kids less selfish and mean fewer allergies for them too.

Plato Relaxing

Have a look at a cat video and notice how your mood improves!!

Mozart shared this thought in his first book: “Tomorrow will be another wonderful day. When I expect it to be good, it always is. Funny how good things happen to you when you’re happy.”


Plato was an amazing little cat. To me he was more like a person than an animal. The way he looked at me I could see he was thinking and we understood each other to an amazing degree. He and Socrates remained close for the years they spent together. Socrates even used Plato as a pillow on cold days. However, last week I had to have Plato put to sleep as he was in a lot of pain caused by biting his foot when he had his terrible fits. Like the sadness I felt with the death of Mozart, again, a light went out when Plato left me.


I know a greater force is looking after me because Nala has now joined the household. She belonged to a family at the other end of the street but decided to move in with me. She refuses to return to her original home so I’m sure her presence is meant to be and she now fills the void left by Plato’s absence. She is a remarkably friendly little being, just like Mozart and Plato were.

Love is the most powerful emotion in the universe. I believe the only reason we are sharing this physical life together is to give and receive love. Animals joyfully give it without conditions. We humans have this important lesson to learn from them.

Ceidrik Heward

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