Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Premonitions: Quakes, Big Waves, Rough Air

By Cal Orey

Before trip to Canada...traveling brings the kid out in me

I was booked for tea on Queen Mary; surf so
high people were warned to stay off the beaches
Tea Expo is in Las Vegas, June 2016
Flashback: In April, as an author of the Healing Powers series--I booked a flight from Reno-Tahoe International Airport to Los Angeles International Aiport. My destination was the World Tea Expo—the go-to convention for my next book, The Healing Powers of Tea (due next yr., finishing the 3rd edition of The Healing Powers of Vinegar).

Once planning my journey I received signs, hunches, and fears about leaving my home in the California Sierra. The sobering events that led up to May 5—the day of the event—unrolled one by one, and the odds of me going became more of a question: “Should I go?”  Vivid dreams, a nagging gut feeling, and eerie thoughts of possible happenings were hanging over me like a dark cloud.  Take a look at my premonitions before the trip to Southern California—and the end result…

A room with a view of the harbor, frolicking on
the beach, and tasting tea didn't happen
Rough Air to Southern California
The first warning was via e-mail. I got a message early April that the airline of my choice was changing the flight plan; putting me on two small aircraft—not one-- to Long Beach Airport. Due to the time change, I was issued a full refund. While sensing it was a cue not to go…I moved forward. I rebooked with another airline—bound to LAX—a larger airport, big aircraft to give me hope of less rough air.
I ended up adding an extra day to play at the ocean. The 15th floor hotel room overlooks the boat harbor. Being an avid swimmer, and water lover, excitement began to build. True, it wasn’t British Columbia or Quebec—places I traveled to in the past months--it was Southern California—my home back when I was twenty-something. While the flight arrangements felt right for a while, another shake-up in my plans of a perfect trip paid a visit.

Blindsided by Imminent Shakers…
Chatter about the debut of the San Andreas film on May 29 rattled my nerves. Californians were on edge that this was going to be the month of the “big one”.
Ironically, a swarm of small but felt earthquakes started in Southern California. It’s not that I haven’t experienced our Golden State’s shakers: I survived the 7.1 San Francisco earthquake in 1989; 6.2 Morgan Hill quake in 1984, and even a strong 4.8 jolt in Tahoe-Reno that I forecasted to the very day.
Not Vancouver, Canada but I used to live in
Southern California and was looking
forward to beach-going and tea
            But when news hit on April 24 that a 6.1 hit offshore British Columbia (where I was a month prior) and rattled the West Coast—that make me think.  Two days later, when a terrifying and deadly 7.8 earthquake rocked Nepal (near the China border), the outcome and my Asian earthquake forecast for 2015—it was unnerving.

…and a Full Moon, High Surf, Wild Weather
Due to the earthquake drama, I felt being up high in a hotel room didn’t feel safe. And a dream of a tsunami woke me up one morning. Early May my nightmare was coming true in a strange way. Waves up to 18 feet offshore Southern California were the talk and made international news.  Headlines read: “Big Waves Hit SoCal Beaches; High Surf Advisory In Effect.”  Tourists and locals were warned to stay off the beaches due to the dangerous rip currents and dangerous conditions for swimmers. A Carnival Cruise Ship was not allowed to dock at Long Beach and was diverted to San Diego. My fun in the sun beach fantasy was fading…
…as the weather reports rolled in. Instead of the warm eighty degree weather that’s normal for May in Long Beach, the forecasts were for cloudy skies and rain. At Lake Tahoe the snow gods decided to make a cameo appearance. All this precipitation can cause turbulence on a plane leaving the mountains and landing near the cloudy coast. I felt uneasy about moving forward with my seaside tea trip.

The Last Forewarning
I announced via social media, that if a 4.0 magnitude earthquake hit Southern California during the week I was scheduled to go South—I’d cancel the trip. On May 4th, the day I was scheduled to travel to Long Beach, at 4:07 A.M., a shallow 3.8 earthquake rattled a wide area of the L.A. basin. And I awoke to snowy grounds at Lake Tahoe.
That evening, I got a sense to call the airline and inquire about the flight plan I had canceled. I was told two of the four aircraft I would be boarding were downgraded. That means you lose First Class status, cramped plane—not good for a super sensitive who dislikes crowds and commotion. I exhaled. My instincts were right.
Do I have regrets by tuning into my premonitions and canceled? No.  When I made the decision to tune into my gut instincts I felt a sense of calm. On May 5 UPS delivered a large package. It was full of teas from a major tea company—another indication a keen sixth sense can be a gift not a curse.  

2014 Prediction Hits
Here are a few of my predictions that panned out and happened on cue as noted last January in Oracle 20/20:
*The Indian Ocean and/or an Asian country (Japan or China) may be challenged by earthquake and potential tsunami(s). [Japan, 6.5, May 30]
*A tsunami on the West Coast—whether it is from Alaska, or Southern California, or even in the Cascadia Subduction Zone from British Columbia, Canada to Northern California may happen as it has before in past history. [Alaska, 8.5]
* Some bizarre weather events may surprise people in the Gulf States, including flooding from rainstorms. [April 20, Gulf States affected by heavy rain, flash floods; May 25, Texas flooding.]
* The drought in California will most likely continue but it will see some relief from heavy rainfall throughout the Golden State. [El Nino is reported by scientists to bring snow in the fall.]

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My Senior Dog, My Best Friend

By Cal Orey
Simon has been my muse for more than decade
Update: Simon's surgery went smoothly... He passed the blood tests. One small abscess above the back upper molar, and another small tooth--gone. Down to 38--dogs have 42. My boy survived the ordeal; we decided to leave him overnight to have peace and quiet (Aussie is 2 1/2 and will just want to play) in air conditioning. 
Tomorrow my soulmate with paws will be back home and in familiar arms... Exhale. 
Caveat: There was a "power outage" of sorts (which makes me wonder about watching out for what you wish for because it may come true). My computer was down for a day; taken to the computer gurus. Failing hard drive. But no god-like prediction to when it will go to computer heaven. One new computer for the TEA book is being built... A bit sooner than I had planned but the hard drive had three years of mileage on it. It's all about timing... 
And that brings me back to Simon. I got eerie images of him seeing the "white light" to be with my beloved Seth, his Brittany soulmate-- but he wasn't ready to leave Earth. And so we do live happily together as noted below in the original post. Life goes on...

Here I sit next to my 12-year-old Brittany and 2-1/2 year-old Aussie. Older dog, younger dog. I'm overwhelmed with memories, emotions, and racing thoughts. The rational me says: "Put it in perspective. A tooth gone bad, dental surgery on Thursday morning. Done. It could be worse." But as a journalist on the Internet I find myself playing the "what if" game.  I wish there would be a power outage until July 2...

The vet who has raised my pooch since 8 weeks old gave me the odds of a tumor. We agreed. Less than five percent. Overall, Simon is aging gracefully. He's been the healthiest canine I've ever owned and shared my heart and soul.  But at 12 when we are faced with surgery of any kind at this age it causes a reality check. 

None of us get out of here alive. We all have expiration dates. My dog is not immortal... And I am here but distracted. It's a challenge to go through the motions of the day and week ahead without worrying about the end result. Posting pics of puppy to adult and senior dog seem a bit too beginning of the end like the scenes in Marley and Me. 
A complete day, two dogs... balance

So, we wait. Antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and eye drops for eye allergies. Ironically, my scheduled dental cleaning is this Wednesday but I sense I'm going to reschedule. Too much drama. One procedure at a time. I usually stress about things, like this, that we cannot control. The upside, I caught it...hopefully it's just one molar we've been watching and it will be taken care of. End of story.  And we live happily ever after.

Do Cats Have ESP? (Super Soulmates with Paws)

What Kitty Knows
ESP, Superior Senses, and Feline Intuition

A cat with a track record of sensing oncoming quakes--
clingy with owner and vocal
(Excerpt from Super Soulmates with Paws)
Author of the 
Healing Powers series 
Whether it’s ESP, superior senses, feline intuition or a change in routine, your cat may sense danger, and you should know about it.
At noon on a stormy spring day in Austin, Texas, several household cats started acting strangely. “I was in bed watching the weather channel on TV,” recalls cat owner Janet Shon. “My cats wanted to hide underneath the covers.” The heavy rains and howling winds continued, causing panic in her house full of pets. Eventually, she put them into carriers to calm them, and took cover under the stairwell. “Usually, my cats don’t mind being in the crates during bad weather,” she says, “but this time, they were chatting nonstop and wanted to be next to me.”
Kitty is distant before earthquakes and vocal
            Several hours later, on May 27, 1997, an extremely rare and dangerous tornado (classified as an F-5), with winds measuring over 260 mph, touched down 40 miles to the North of Shon in Jarrell, Texas. Twenty-seven people died in Jarrell. Multiple tornadoes also ripped through the Austin area, killing two people. “It took the roof off the Albertsons’ store,” says Shon with awe. She and her cats survived without a scratch.
            What made Shon’s cats react in such a way? Some say it’s ESP (extra sensory perception), or a sixth sense. Others claim cats aren’t gifted, just blessed with well-developed or heightened senses—scent, sound and sight, that are far superior to our own.
            However you see it, cats have earned their supernatural reputation throughout history. In ancient Egypt, felines were worshipped as gods, and killing a cat was a crime punishable by death. Even modern society gives credence to the idea that cats “know” things. During World War 11, “British families found that their cats were the best warning system for impending danger,” notes Dale Koppel, author of Amazing But True Cat Facts. “They showed unmistakable signs that something was about to happen even before the air sirens were sounded. Their hair would stand on end, or they’d spit or wail. Some would head straight for the nearest shelter.”
            Many people who live through terrible disasters—hurricanes, tornadoes, fires or earthquakes—believe their cats knew something before these disasters struck. But whether or not cats really predict danger is still an open debate. So, what will you do the next time Felix starts acting strange? Will you roll your eyes, or head for high ground? Read on and decide for yourself.

Sensitive Aussie acted out with a stranger--
minutes later she rear-ended our car
            “Cats have an extraordinary ability to sense imminent earthquakes, usually ten to fifteen minutes before they occur,” explains Ed Lucaire, author of The Cat Lover’s Book of Facts: A Felicitous Look At Felines. “They exhibit nervous behavior such as pawing or scratching at doors and windows, and above-average concern with the safety of kittens.”
            In fact, California Geologist Jim Berkland has turned to cats (and dogs) to predict other big earthquakes, such as the infamous 7.1 Loma Prieta, California earthquake of October 17, 1989, which rumbled through the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 seconds and shook Candlestick Park in the middle of the World Series. Sixty-seven people died and more than 600 people were injured. He believes some cats hold mysterious psychic powers as well.  


            So, what about hurricane warnings?  While scientists use wind patterns, barometric pressure, sea surface temperatures and other climate factors to predict hurricanes, fishermen watch their cats. In fact, cats have long been considered good luck on ships for their ability to ward off storms, sea monsters and ghosts. Europeans of the past centuries believed cats “knew” the way home and would reveal the direction by sleeping on the side of the ship that was closest to port.
            Gail Beecher, a veteran cat breeder from Needville, Texas, got a special warning before Tropical Storm Frances hit the Texas coast on September 9, 1998. Some of Beecher’s pregnant cats began to go into early labor. “When the barometer shifts during bad weather my cats always go into labor early,” she says. “I knew the storm was coming this way.” Wind speeds reached a maximum of 65 mph, and one person died due to the intense flooding of the Gulf Coast.
            “All cats are extraordinary sensitive to even the smallest changes in the weather,” writes Koppel who claims, “you can throw away your thermometers and stop watching weather forecasts on TV.” A resident of Kansas City, Missouri agrees, “I have noticed before a tornado (during thunder, wind, hail and lightning) animals do lie close to the ground and pant. The bigger and fatter the dog and cat, the more it seems to affect them. Also, they sometimes put their head on the floor.”
Dogs bark during thunderstorms, cats are vocal before
rainstorms; used on ships to alert fishermen
            According to Koppel, French fishermen watch their cats’ body language to get a weather report. “They watch their cats closely to predict weather changes,” he says. “Rain? Watch for your cat to pass her paw behind the ear during grooming. Windy? Your cat will clean her nose. Low tide? Wide pupils, of course. When will the bad weather end? When your cat twists and turns.”
            Sound silly? Perhaps not, says John C. Wright, PhD, certified animal behaviorist from Macon, Georgia, and author of Is Your Cat Crazy: Solutions from the Casebook of a Cat Therapist, who’s fascinated by it all. However, to be certain that this is a reliable weather source, Wright says, a group of cats and their body positions should be examined carefully in a weather study for conclusive scientific evidence. In other words, scientific studies are needed.


Neil Tenzer, DVM, of Miami, Florida recalls that his five cats felt Hurricane Andrew’s fury before it arrived on August 25, 1992, with winds of up to 150 mph. Amid the chaos of his family putting shutters on the windows and gathering canned food and candles, explains Tenzer, his cats grew curious and upset about the change in their environment. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this category 4 hurricane caused 58 deaths and approximately $27 billion in damage. “It’s not that they predicted the hurricane—but they certainly sensed it was on its way,” Tenzer says.

            A former North Carolina resident agrees. She was in the path of Hugo as the hurricane headed toward Charlotte in 1989. Hurricane Hugo passed directly over Charleston, South Carolina, on September 21, as a category 5 storm with wind speeds in excess of 135 mph and a storm surge of nearly 20 feet. Hugo caused 57 deaths on the U.S. mainland (mostly in North and South Carolina) and 29 deaths in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to NOAA records. Total damage: $9 billion. “I had indoor cats and barn cats there,” she recalls. Apparently, her cats share the same reaction to all severe storms. “Barn cats always seem to find shelter well ahead of a storm.” 
            Some argue that extrasensory perception is really just super senses. In the case of earthquakes, for example, cats may be sensitive to the earth’s vibrations and sound waves right before an earthquake hits, says geophysicist Bruce Presgrave, from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in Golden, Colorado. Other people suggest that cats are able to detect minute shifts in the earth’s magnetic field or in the earth’s magnetic field or in the earth’s static electricity, which occur before a jolt.


During the Oakland Firestorm some cats fled for safety
beforethe fire damaged their homes
            Smell may play a role in why felines are often good fire detectors.  “For some reason or another, cats may be able to sense a fire or [perhaps notice] something different in the air before humans do,” says Lieutenant Edward Campbell, public information officer for the San Francisco Fire Department. “And that can contribute to why cats are able to get out of harm’s way before firefighters come to the rescue.”
            Indeed, cats have an acute sense of smell—60 to 80 million olfactory cells, whereas, humans have five to 20 million. Keen hearing plays a role in fire detection, too. A crackling fire can ignite a cat’s fight-or-flight response. Many indoor/outdoor cats fled for their lives to escapes the raging inferno, as the black clouds of smoke hung overhead on October 20, 1001, during the Oakland-Berkeley Hills fire. Twenty-five people were killed in the six-alarm blaze that ran wild for almost two days before it was contained.
            Ray and Carol Steiner of Bowling Green, Ohio, have their red tabby Manx’s good sense to thank. On an August morning in 1995, Carol’s three-year-old male cat, Ringo, acted as though he wanted to go outside, twice—but didn’t go out. Then, he made a “high-pitched meow,” says Carol that she interpreted as “follow me.” Ringo led Carol to the side of the house where there was a large bed of lava rock. Without hesitation, the cat began digging into the sharp rocks until his paws began to bleed. At last, Carol smelled the odor of gas and quickly sought help. When the gas department inspector arrived, he found the deadly natural gas leak under the rocks—a flame could have sent the neighborhood into a devastating conflagration.

            How did Ringo sense the impending disaster? “He noticed the difference in our behavior,” says Carol Steiner, who thinks the cat showed extrasensory powers. Both Ray and Carol had fallen victim to a host of ill health effects, such as high blood pressure and slurred speech—methane poisoning, according to their doctor’s diagnosis. Odorless natural gas is laced with a tracer, says Carol, which Ringo must have detected. “We were sleeping 19 hours a day,” she says. “Somehow he was able to detect that gas was the culprit.” So, was it ESP? or an excellent sense of smell? (To be continued)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Touched By An Angel (Excerpt from Super Soulmates With Paws)

Touched By an Angel
Guiding, guarding, warning, comforting and
teaching—are these cat angels?
 By Cal Orey
author of the Healing Powers series

Image used in Cats Magazine with this story

Recently, Jude Balthis had a dream. Her cat Satie appeared on her bed, green eyes staring down at her owner. “It was clear that she had a message,” Balthis says. “She told me she knew I had done the best that I could to protect her.” The large calico had just died a month earlier.
            “I felt very guilty about her death,” Jude recalls. “In her later years, she wasn’t able to defend herself as well as when she was younger. I had secured the porch from other animals by installing gates, but it wasn’t enough.” One night, while Balthis and her family were away, raccoons broke into the barriers and killed Satie.
            Upon awakening from her dream, Balthis felt instantly that Satie had absolved her from blame. “I didn’t cry, even though I was on the verge of tears, because the dream allowed me to understand that she was in a safe place.”
            Companion animals bring us comfort and love, but are they also spiritual messengers who understand more than what seems possible?
            “An angel cat would be a messenger who would help you to know that love is all around you and that miracles are possible,” explains Linda Anderson, coeditor of Angel Animals, Exploring Our Spiritual Connection with Animals. Bernard Ward says in his book Angels: They’re All Around and They’re Watching Over Us, “Angels are here to guide us, warn us, comfort us, teach us or just be a friend and companion.”


            Years ago, when Stephanie Laland was in her 20s, she was distraught about her life. She remembers sitting on her bed and crying. “Suddenly, my two-year-old calico cat Yoko jumped up on my lap and put her paws on my face and licked the tears away,” she says. And while some cats are deeply affectionate, Laland confesses, “this wasn’t the sort of action that my cat would normally do. At that moment she was my little angel.”
            Since then, Laland had turned her life around. She is the author of Peaceful Kingdom: Random Acts of Kindness by Animals and Animal Angels, and teaches workshops for people wishing to boost their bond with animals. She feels she knows firsthand how it feels to be touched by an animal angel.
            Many of the stories in her work suggest that the notion of animal angels isn’t merely whimsy. Take, for example, the story of Mrs. Sweeney, an elderly woman who had always welcomed animals in need into her home. One winter evening, she became ill and wasn’t able to move from her bed. As the fire from the stove went out, the house grew deathly cold. Too feeble and ill to move, she was sure she would freeze before daybreak. In the morning, when her neighbor came to check on her she discovered the freezing temperatures and raced to the old woman’s bed, fearing the worst. But Mrs. Sweeney was safe in bed, very much alive—and not cold at all. She was quite comfortable, with seven cats and a dog draped over her warm body like a fur blanket.
            Many near-death survivors have reported feeling a sensation of leaving their bodies—or traveling through tunnels of light.  Some people report encounters with relatives or even family pets.
            During a down-and-out period, reports Anderson, Debi Reimann, a legal secretary from Lacey, Washington, felt herself floating through a gray mist. She recalled seeing light and feeling an overwhelming sense of love. She saw a vision that appeared old and wise. Even though the “being” told Reimann that it wasn’t time to die, she didn’t want to go back to her painful existence in life. The “being” turned her around, directing her toward the tunnel that would take her back to life. At the other end she saw her cat, Missey Kitten, waiting for her. “The cat was the one being on earth that could touch her heart, and Debi made a decision to come back,” recalls Anderson.


            Eventually, Missey Kitten, the cat who’d given her owner the will to live, died. About a year after her death, Reimann was in her car and stopped at the traffic light. “Suddenly,” Anderson explains, “she heard purring next to her in the passenger seat. Turning to look, she saw Missey sitting on the seat. Mesmerized by this vision, she just stared, ignoring her green light. Seconds later, a drunk driver plowed through the red light on the other side. Reimann, who was too preoccupied to enter the intersection, never came in contact with the out-of-control car, and drove away with a memorable vision and her life. Some would say Missey Kitten used her angelic powers not once, but twice to save her owner.
            These afterlife stories, where cat angels come back from death to visit loved ones are more common than you’d imagine. Laland tells the story of Olivia, a friendly white cat with blue eyes who’d won the hearts of her owner and the other two cats in the household.
One day, Olivia was killed by a car, Laland explains. Everyone seemed depressed at her passing on. Even the other two cats in the household seemed lost, and they took to hanging out in Olivia’s old favorite spots.
            “One night after Olivia had been dead for some time, Olivia’s owner looked up from her reading to see Nell, one of her other cats, standing outside the window. Nell didn’t seem to be trying to attract her attention, so she continued to read. Suddenly she heard this great ‘woompf,’ as though the window was going to cave in. She got up and went to the window, hoping by her stern expression to convince Nell to be a bit more patient,” continues Laland. “Nell was no longer there. Instead, she saw a little white cat. She felt thrilled, hoping for an instant that somehow the little white at buried in the garden was not Olivia. But when she ran to the back door to let her in, the cat was gone.”
            The cat owner felt Olivia was admonishing her for not treating her other cats with the same lovingness that had come naturally with Olivia. “Her husband said later that the loud noise as the sound of a cat so spoiled that they threw her out of heaven,” adds Laland, “and she landed on the patio steps.” But, she writes, “I think Olivia wanted to give me one more chance to remember her as she was, instead of as I saw her when we buried her under her favorite dwarf maple.”
            So, was it Olivia or just her owner’s imagination?
            After Gandalf, my lovable 18-year-old gray-and-white cat died, I missed him and so did his cat-pal, Alex. While Gandalf had been bold, brash, and affectionate, Alex was shy, gentle, and aloof. However, just months after Gandalf’s death, Alex’s personality changed. He began to chase the dog, and nudge strangers. I like to think that Gandalf is still visiting us, although some might say that Gandalf is now a part of Alex.


            Many animal experts believe that there is a link between life and death. “Cats are so special and have a spiritual nature. And because they are so open spiritually they can be conduits for this unconditional love that comes from God or the creator or spirit,” says Anderson.
            Laura Pasten, a veterinarian from Carmel, California, adds, “A guardian angel is a companion animal. A cat that just comes into your life quickly and leaves is an angel that comes in for a purpose.” Some people believe that an angel is just supposed to point you in the right direction, or make a point and move on.


            So, what about the absurdity of it all?  Is it possible that a four-legged, furry feline could be a messenger of God? “It’s logically possible,” says Mike Meyer, PhD, professor of philosophy at the Santa Clara University in California. “Santa Claus is possible, although we have lots of good reasons to believe that he doesn’t exist.”
            But what would be a sign that a cat is a real angel? “It would have to be something pretty incredible,” he says. “If a cat parted the Red Sea and helped all the felines in Egypt escape, or lifted the Empire State Building—that would be a miracle,” says Meyer.
            Regardless of your beliefs, if you listen to the stories, each tale of animal angels led their owners to a spiritual connection that provided comfort and guidance. You, too, may experience an animal angel encounter—whether it’s a short-term sighting or a long-term gift of unconditional love. When you consider that Jill Hartman claims in All About Angels: A Biblical Look at God’s Messengers that an estimated 69 percent of Americans believe in angels, it just might be worth paying attention.

(Reprinted with permission from Cats Magazine, December 1999 issue.)

Super Soulmates with Paws: A Collection of Cat and Dog Tails and Tales

Homeward Bound
How do lost cats (and dogs) find their way back home?
One spring day in a small town in Illinois, a black cat named Zephyr disappeared. “I was heartbroken, as was the rest of my family. He was truly my friend at that time,” recalls Cassandra Fink. Zephyr’s owners spend hours combining their one-and-a-half-acre yard and apple orchard looking for their beloved pet and fearing the worst. “We realized he must have run away.”
            Then one night the cat’s owners heard a soft meow outside and found Zephyr standing at the door looking well-muscled but extremely skinny. “The semi-trucks for the trucking company next door traveled back and forth to the city of Kankakee. We realized then that he had hopped aboard a flatbed semi and ended up there,” explains Fink. It had taken the cat two weeks to trek the 30 miles home!
            Zephyr is like countless cats worldwide who find their way home—even when home is hundreds of miles away.  Many cat owners have tales of incredible journeys, and most have no idea how their cats do it. A number of these cases come to the public’s attention when they are reported in newspapers, but many more go unreported and unstudied. Those that are studied teach us a lot about our feline (and canine) companions, but leave us with as many questions as answers.

     Researchers really don’t know how these extraordinary cats find their way home. But they do have some idea about how some other legendary travelers navigate. Birds and bees seem to navigate by the sun, stars or moon. As for salmon, which swim all the way from the open ocean back to the very stream where they spawned, researchers think they smell their home waters. Other animals can orient themselves with the help of magnetized cells in the brain, which act like tiny compasses, and help them decide which way is north. Marine mammals may even use the sounds that rumble through the seas to get their bearings. “Cats may have similar abilities,” says renowned author and animal expert Michael Fox, Ph.D.
In a classic study done more 75 years ago, zoologist F.H. Herrick, of Cleveland, Ohio, took his own cat in a bag from his home to his office five miles away, traveling by streetcar. When he let the cat out of the bag, the cat fled. However, the cat returned home the same night, even though he had been left in an area he was unfamiliar with. Puzzled by this astonishing ability, Herrick put the cat in a closed container, took him various distances from his house—from one to three miles—and released him. The result:  The cat came home in a variety of situations and from any point on the compass. How exactly do cats do that?

            Animal experts also say the sense cats use most often and that gives them the most information is scent. By sniffing bushes and buildings along their route, cats can use the information they glean to help find their way home.
            “Cats have a very sensitive nose that equal dogs, and their eyesight is certainly better,” says Ted Cohn, DVM, at University Hills Hospital in Denver CO.  “Certainly for short distances visual clues are very important.”
            Cats also use physical cues from nature, such as the angle of the sun to find their way. “They may be able to use the sun as a compass, as well as sensing a time difference between their own internal circadian clock and the local time. But the father away they are from home base, the greater will be the discrepancy,” says Fox. Therefore, visual aids and memory don’t completely explain how lost cats find their way over long distances.
            That’s why many researchers believe cats are sensitive to the earth’s magnetic fields. This sensitivity may enable them to find their way back home—even from hundreds of miles away. “A magnetic field can be described as a set of imaginary lines that indicates the direction a compass needle would point to at a particular spot,” explains Psychobiologist David Jay Brown of Ben Lomond, CA.
            It’s also believed that cats possess a homing mechanism that is triggered by brain cells containing magnetized iron particles. As they do with other mammals, these cells act like built in compasses. So some cats, like a wayward senior striped tabby named Alfie, may have been guided by the influence of earth’s magnetic fields.
            Early one summer, Alfie’s owner, Elaine Hahn, moved to a new home in Palo Alto, CA, about five miles away from her old home. For the first few weeks after the move, Hahn received regular phone calls from her old neighbor, who told her, “Alfie is here. Do you want to come and pick him up?” For two weeks, Hahn got into her car and drove five miles to go pick up Alfie. He had not only hiked five miles each time to get back to his old house, he had crossed six lanes of traffic to do so!
            Alluring as it is though, the magnetic field theory doesn’t entirely explain the homing instinct, according to Brown. “If you have a compass and you’re not in the middle of nowhere, you can’t figure out the direction of your destination unless you knew your position in a certain geographical area. So it’s really a big mystery.”


            The mystery deepens when we consider that some cats find their way to a place they have never been before. This is known as psychic trailing. It occurs when a cat is geographically separated from its owners by a move, an accident, or even a natural disaster and, weeks or months later, finds them.
            “It is related to the strong human-animal bond,” explains Fox. “Animals are able to tune into the ‘empathosphere’. It’s similar to ESP. And it’s this realm of feeding/sensing that accounts for their ability to find their way home—even hundreds of miles.”
            Adds Brown:  “This unusual ability that cats have to navigate may be related to a well-known phenomenon in psychics. This happens whenever two particles interact and are thereafter connected in a way that transcends time and space. Perhaps this can occur between animals and people, too. I suspect that the stronger the bond, the more likely you’re going to see that phenomenon.”

(Excerpt from Super Soulmates with Paws: A Collection of Cat and Dog Tails & Tales)

Blast Belly Fat and Pounds in 7 Days with VINEGARS

Sweet Vinegar Secrets

"To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist--the problem is entirely the same in both cases. To know exactly how much oil one must put with one's vinegar."
-- Oscar Wilde

Note: (Both 2 day and 7 day diet plans are in the book to zap 7 lbs+ in 1 wk! Then, onto the top ranked heart-healthy, ranked #3 diet plan in the U.S. Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle...The Healing Powers of Vinegar is available at Walmart, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online bookstores.)

As a former diet and nutrition columnist for Woman's World magazine (touting the latest zany weight loss fad diet for the week--often the big cover story), I can tell you both millions of women (and men)--and popular celebs--want to lose pounds and body fat super fast--and whittle their waistline. Yep, we all want that flat tummy. So, can taking the ACV cure do it alone? 

Nope. While ACV does work wonders and can help you lose weight, I know that on this planet it takes more than one magic bullet to shrink your tummy. Here, take a look at some tips to team with that tablespoon of ACV (I prefer Bragg Organic brand) in water a couple of times a day (lemon and raw honey can improve the tart taste), which can help to suppress your appetite. Psst! It's the acetic acid that may boost your metabolism and help to dissolve unhealthy body fat. (I discuss this topic with a nutritional expert in Chapter 16 "Fat-Burning Vinegar" in The Healing Powers of Vinegar.)

* Graze: Eating smaller, more frequent meals is key to a trimmer tummy. (I even feed my pooches their premium dog food in smaller meals. And they've always had lean and lanky, elegant bodies--no belly fat which can lead to heart woes to diabetes 2 for both pets and humans. No kidding.)

* Fill Up On Fiber: High fiber diets can help you. Low-fat, fiber rich foods provide bulk, which is filling and promotes regularity. Both add up to a flatter stomach. This is oh-so true year-round.

* Eat High-Potassium Foods: Potassium-rich foods help decrease unwanted water retention--and flatten your tummy. Apples, bananas, cantaloupe, dried apricots, vegetables, salads (paired with lean protein, olive oil and red wine vinegar, fat-burning herbs), and watermelon are high in bloat-busting potassium. They act as natural diuretics, which may reduce what looks like a kangeroo's pouch-type tummy. (Recently, I bought a $4 seedless watermelon and it is so sweet, juicy, and it's amazing. Forget the kind I grew up with with those pesky black seeds! Check out the link above to learn all about this watermelon treasure.)

* Shake The Salt Habit: Salt can cause water retention, which may cause the stomach to look and feel bloated. Read food labels and if you see a food item is too high is sodium, forego eating it.

* Eat Natural Foods: Foods full of chemicals and high in refined sugars are calorie-dense and can pack on abdominal fat.

* Lose The Soda: Carbonated beverages can add to that bloated feeling. Instead, turn to water--it's a natural diuretic, so it'll help you shed bloat. As a past Diet Coke fan, I have learned to stock the fridge and pantry with Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water. You can do it--and you won't want to go back. And, get a move on--drinking water, too, to stay hydrated. Aerobic activity, like these other fat-blasting secrets of the stars, will help you to melt belly fat. It takes 15 or 20 minutes before you start to burn fat. Try a half-hour of walking or swimming.

OK. Sure, ACV can certainly help you stay on the Whittle That Tummy track, but don't forget these other secrets that really work.  As a size 4, I can and do wear a tankini (exposes partial belly) and a one piece--yep, my tummy is flat on a good belly day. Do these secrets work? Uh yeah. But don't forget ALL vinegars on fruit and vegetables--not just the apple one.
P.S. Forego overindulging in alcohol or you may be frowning as you peek down at an unsightly "beer belly." Not pretty for guys or gals (at any age).

Monday, June 22, 2015

Honey Home Cures for Summer


Tune into Live (now podcast) KSFO to hear about honey, bees, and The Healing Powers of Honey.

Did you know?... Known as Mother Nature’s “nectar of the gods,” honey was praised for its healing powers as far back as 5,000 years ago by Egyptians.
Drawing on the 21st century honey buzz, health author Cal Orey reveals enlightening honey home remedies, straight from the book The Healing Powers of Honey: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Remarkable Nectar! (Kensington)

Here are 10 common health ailments from A to Z and amazing at-home honey cures. These are tried-and-true folk remedies based on scientific studies, real-life stories, medical doctors, researchers, and beekeepers. But caution, consult your health-care practitioner before putting to work any honey cure.

1 ALLERGIES (Stop seasonal misery): Dealing with annoying sneezing, a runny nose, and coughing is no picnic, thanks to seasonal pollen. But honey may come to your rescue.
What Honey Rx to Use:  Try eating a tablespoon of locally produced honey. Proponents of honey tell me that your immune system will get used to the local pollen in it (it should be within a 50-mile radius from where you live).
Why You’ll Bee Happy:  By taking the honey cure, you may lose your allergy symptoms. It’s worth the effort and is less pricey than a visit to the doctor or an allergist. Honey may enhance the immune system to build up a better arsenal against airborne allergens—and help you breathe easier. Honeycomb may line the entire breathing tract.

2 ANXIETY (Beat the jitters monster): When anxiety hits (often worsened by stress) you know it like when an earthquake strikes. Anxiety can wreak havoc on your nervous system and up your odds of experiencing heart disease, stress eating, and other health problems.
What Honey Rx to Use: If you’re under pressure and feeling high anxiety or sense a stressful event is in the works, make a cup of chamomile tea. Put in 1 teaspoon of your favorite honey. Repeat twice a day as needed.
Why You’ll Bee Happy:  Honey—all hundreds of varietals—is touted by folk medicine healers for its calming effects. The natural superfood can help sooth your nerves rather than put you in higher anxiety mode. The relief if provides may be due to its multiple vitamin B content—anti-stress vitamins.

3  COUGH (Outfox irritating hacking):  A cough is another unwelcome visitor and can make you feel terrible. Let’s face it, cough medicine can be pricey, doesn’t taste good, and may or may not do its job.
What Honey Rx to Use:  A teaspoon of buckwheat honey is recommended before bed. Or you can make syrup of 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Repeat each remedy as needed.
Why You’ll Bee Happy:  A group of Penn State College of Medicine researchers discovered that honey may be the cure. The findings showed that buckwheat honey at bedtime was more powerful for curing a cough in children than a cough suppressant found in over-the-counter medications. It is believed that honey will act as a sedative to the nervous system.

4 ENERGY DRAIN (Beat low energy): Getting your cough under control is a good thing, but then what if your energy plummets?  Liquid gold may be the answer again.
What Honey Rx to Use: Each morning include a teaspoon of bee pollen in your breakfast. Go ahead and take it solo. Or try The Honey Association’s Energy Drink recipe:  ¼ pint orange juice, ¼ pint natural yogurt, 2 tablespoons clear honey. Place all the ingredients in a liquidizer and blend until smooth. Pour into two tall glasses. Serves two people.
Why You’ll Bee Happy: Honey is a source of natural unrefined sugars and carbohydrates, which are easily absorbed by the body. That means, you’ll get a quick energy boost with long-lasting effects. Athletes include it in their daily diets. It was even used by runners at the Olympic Games in ancient Greece.

5 HEADACHE (Bye-bye, pain): Fatigue and headaches are not to be taken with a grain of salt, because it can hurt oh, so bad. There are different types of headaches, and some kinds may benefit from the honey bee’s gift.
What Honey Rx to Use:  One cup of tea with 1 teaspoon of honey (the darker the varietal the better) is the remedy. Repeat as needed. Also, drink plenty of water and relax.
Why You’ll Bee Happy:  “The way honey might work for tension headaches,” says New York Headache Center’s Alex Mauskop, M.D., “is by treating hypoglycemia, which can cause tension and migraines.” He adds that some antioxidants can help prevent headaches, as can magnesium and vitamin B. So turning to antioxidant-rich honey may be a sweet remedy.

6 INSOMNIA  (Find sweet dreams): Getting rid of a headache is a challenge, but not getting adequate shut-eye can have long-term effects, too.
What Rx to Use: Take 1 or 2 teaspoons of your favorite honey, especially before going to bed. Try sipping a cup of 2 percent low-fat milk with a dash of cinnamon. The tryptophan in milk will help to calm you.
Why You’ll Bee Happy:  It’s a magic trick, according to The Honey Revolution author Ron Fessenden, M.D., providing needed glycogen to the liver so the brain doesn’t go in search of extra fuel in the earl A.M. hours when you should be in Dreamland. “Consuming honey before bedtime also reduces the release of  adrenaline, a catecholamine that raises blood pressure and heart rate,” adds the honey guru.

7 SORE THROAT (Take the sting away): Not sleeping is miserable, but a sore throat can drag you down, too, where don’t feel like walking or talking. Honey has been used as a home for centuries to help sooth one of the symptoms associated with a common cold—namely, a killer sore throat.
What Honey Rx to Use:  For relief of symptoms, take a spoonful of your buckwheat honey, as often as you need, to relieve irritation. In between, sip a cup of tea with honey. Also, try pure honeycomb and honey sticks. Don’t forget all-natural honey-lemon lozenges, which also coat the throat for quick relief.
Why You’ll Bee Happy: One, honey will coat your sore throat, the symptom of the cause. Two, the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties will help heal the culprit causing your pain.

8 WAIST WHITTLER (Blast belly fat): Twitches to tummy bulge… if you have a bulging tummy, you’d probably consider a sore throat is easier to get rid of. But wait; there are things you can do to get a flat tummy.
What Honey Rx to Use:  Both morning and night, drink an 8-ounce glass or mug of tea (dandelion or parsley boasts diuretic effects), with a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Team this potion with grazing and watch your fat and sugar intake.
Why You’ll Bee Happy: Honey and apple cider vinegar contain the bloat-busting mineral potassium. Also, turning to honey will help you to eat fewer sugary treats and enjoy a flatter stomach.

9 WOUNDS (Heal cuts and scrapes):  Once you get a flat stomach, what do you do if you stub your toe or cut your finger? Honey is believed by scientists, such as Dr. Peter Molan to be one of nature’s most powerful wound dressings, which really works.
What Honey Rx to Use: Try manuka honey, available in many forms. It’s available online in lotions, creams, and bandages. Apply as directed.
Why You’ll Bee Happy: Honey can numb pain. It is osmotic and attracts water. Since bacteria are mostly made of water, they are sucked dry in the presence of honey. Bacteria are further inhibited by honey because the golden liquid produces hydrogen peroxide and is acidic (like vinegar). Honey activates the immune response by providing glucose for the white blood cells. It speeds up the healing process.

          So go ahead and use the type of honey advised or your own preference; all-natural, raw honey, dark varietals are recommended for best results. (Warning: To avoid infant botulism, do not fee honey to a baby who is younger than one year.)

v Eating antioxidant-rich honey can help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes—even help reduce body fat and unwanted weight!—and increase longevity.
v Pure, raw, unprocessed honey is a healthier sweetener than table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. It’s chock-full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins—and only has 21 calories per teaspoon.
v Super “bee foods” (including nutrient-rich bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly) are used and touted for their healing powers by beekeepers and medical experts in the present-day.
v You’ll also enjoy Cleopatra’s milk-and-honey beauty treatments and eco-friendly beeswax household uses—all made with the amazing honey bee’s gifts!