Sympathetic Joy Meets Smartcatchers

The nicest thing has happened.  We’ve won a prize from our fellow blogger Caren Gittleman, at Cat Chat With Caren and Cody.

This is big deal for us.  While we have never actually met Caren, she lives in the Greater Detroit metro area.  That is my home town, away from which I moved many years ago.  Matter of fact, just yesterday I was reading the bankruptcy-court opinion approving Detroit’s Chapter 9 petition and what a tale of woe that is.  But I digress.  Detroit is a nice connection between Caren and me.

Caren also celebrates Passover.  This is my favorite Jewish holiday, because it’s about liberation from oppression and that’s one of my most favorite aspirations.

Plus, this is especially nice because we never win anything.  Well, we won a six-pack of lithium batteries one time.  We’re glad to have them – we’re just saying.

This time we hit the jackpot.  We got over a hundred dollars’ worth of litter mats from Smartcatcher.

The boys inspect the loot.

mat2 002These are no ordinary litter mats.

Here is an ordinary litter mat.  We were struggling with this one before our victory.

mat1 001The first time I cleaned it, it tore in two places.  We’ve been glad to have it – we’re just saying.

These Smartcatcher mats will not do us like that.  They are thick and luxe.  Plus, they work.  Allergic to housekeeping as I am, I appreciate this.  No more, or greatly reduced, tracking through the house!

If you are a friendly person who reads cat blogs but who doesn’t actually share a house with cats, you may be wondering why this is such a big thing.  If you do share a house with cats, you need no telling.

These mats cost a lot, but they are worth it.  Right?  Let me recapitulate for you.  They are thick.  They are luxe.  They work.

Bugs inspects the box.  The box matters more than what came in it, of course.

mat-gifSo if that were all there was to it, that would be enough.  Daiyanu, as we say at Passover.  “Daiyanu” stands for the gratitude we can feel if we pay attention to the smallest things that make life more wonderful.  These mats are those, but not so small.  Cat people will understand.

But there is more.

Give-away competitions offered by bloggers are, I think, a nice way to keep the human in the commercial.  As you all doubtless know, we cat people need mountains of highly specialized kit and equipment and doo-dahs, well, not just need, but must have, covet.  We are talking about sharing a house with cats, after all.  So no ordinary things will do.  These giveaways are a sweet way to expose us to the mountains of highly specialized kit and equipment that we need and must have and covet.  Yet it’s not just about materialism, because one lucky winner amongst our blogging community gets, for free, something important to the well-being of ourselves and our favorite felines.

This is what has happened here.

And if that were it, “daiyanu” as we say.  But there’s more.

When Caren announced our win, a bunch of bloggers commented over at Caren’s
to congratulate me.  I especially appreciated Brian’s comment: “Congrats Anita! Hey, let your cats try it too!”

Now this kind of thing really makes me joyful.

In the Buddhist tradition, there’s a practice called “sympathetic joy.”  When others win, we’re happy.  When we lose, we do not whine.  We rejoice for the other one.  Zen Roshi Joan Halifax explains it this way:

“Learning to feel joy for others can help transform our own suffering and self-centeredness into joy.”

Watching Caren’s readers express joy on my behalf models how I’d like to be when the tables are turned.  Which they most often are, because, as I said, we never win anything.  I’m not whining.  I’m just saying.

I like to think, as Halifax supposes, that those who are sympathetically joyful, those who are that generous, “hav[e] a good home life and livelihood, encounter[ ] good friends and teachers, and [live] . . . according to strong inner virtues.  These supports help us learn to  rest in basic goodness . . . .”

To rest in basic goodness.  That is just what I need.  I collide, way too often and too painfully out there in this messed-up world, with aggression and accusation and blame and judgment.

I had a good dose of it hurled my way just yesterday.  Now it’s not like I didn’t participate in the situation that inspired the nastiness.  I live in a community that is pretty loose, so I have to defend my home turf strenuously.  I’m working on creating more harmony, but we haven’t arrived there just yet.  So let me tell you, friends, without the kind of modeling that Caren’s good readers offer, without their sympathetic joy, I could be pretty damn depressed about the whole mess.

Who approaches?  Stand and declare!

mat2 017-cropLike we didn’t know who was coming.

mat2 021-crop

The turf must be defended strenuously.

mat2 019-cropmat2 020-cropmat2 018-cropInterloper.

mat2 025-cropNot so easy, pal.

mat2 024-crop
Fight moves to big-box turf.

mat2 037

mat2 040-crop

mat2 031-crop
mat2 030-crop

So for all of you out there who cultivate sympathetic joy, and who freely offer it to others who win, when, this time, you do not, may each and every one of you win things that are important to you every single day of your lives.

mat2 050-cropI also want to give a shout-out to Smartcatcher’s wonderful co-founder Salina Tam.  When I got a shipping notice informing me that my mats had gone out to a supposed person whose name may or may not be “Anita Money,” of Gardiner, Nevada, both Salina and Caren hung in there and bird-dogged for me, over several weeks, until the post office got things sorted and the mats finally arrived in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Nothing but good going on here, friends – from so many good people.

So these mats are more than just mats.

Happy Passover, happy Easter, happiness to you all, in full measure, to offset all the other stuff.

mat2 046-crop

mat2 047-cropcatrun

About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
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15 Responses to Sympathetic Joy Meets Smartcatchers

  1. I have to tell you, this had to have been the most BEAUTIFUL blog post I have ever read where someone featured an item that they had won. You have an incredible heart and a brilliant mind! I am sooo happy you love the mats (I told everyone they were great!) and after seeing the photo of your old mat, OMG you sooooooooo deserve these!! I think the blogging community as a whole is full of people with beautiful spirits, I am blessed to be a part of the community and to know people such as my readers and YOU!!!! Happy Passover and enjoy those mats!! xoxo

  2. dezizworld says:

    Concatulations!! Those mats look pawsum!!

    Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses 😀


  3. I feel like I’ve just received a beautiful sermon! Thank you, Anita. The litter mats are exceptionally classy, I can see why you’re so joyful. And I love the cat in the box antics. Congratulations on this happy occasion.

  4. What a purrfect Easter surprise!*(purrs)*

  5. Sparkle says:

    Concatulations – those are amazing litter mats! And what a lovely post to accompany your win.

  6. Oldcat says:

    The cats are on the mats….Congrats!

  7. Concatulations on winning the beautiful litter mats! And having the sweet boxes to play in, too! Hope Passover has been kind to you (well, with such a beautiful prize, I think it has!)

  8. dawn knapp says:

    Congratulations, Anita! Yaaaaaay! And thank you for sharing the photos of the turf war. Seeing your boys brings me joy, too. Enjoy Passover…and enjoy resting in the goodness always…or whenever you feel like it…

    JhaJha and I appreciate you.

  9. Marcy Benham says:

    How fun!! Who doesn’t love winning useful stuff!?! I hope the boys enjoy the mats as much as you do! And I particularly enjoyed the pix of Barney peeking out of the big box while Bugs looks so annoyed. Also the pix of them “shaking paws”, blurry as the action was. At least I choose to think they were shaking paws vs. swatting at each other. What a fun day! Happy Spring, Anita and boys!

  10. Connie says:

    YAY for the win, YAY!! for new boxes.. YAY! for box wars..:)

    I’m sorry you were in the midst of someone else’s drama, it really stinks when someone else’s unhappiness spills over and they feel the need to force it upon others.. May more good things come your way (and theirs)

  11. Mags Corner says:

    Congratulations! Those look like superb mats and your review on them is great! The pictures of the cats and the boxes are so cute. Cats do love boxes don’t they and they are so much fun to watch having fun in them. Hugs and nose kisses

  12. Pingback: Catself Blog Reviewed Smartcatcher Frisky Cat Litter Box Mats - Smartcatcher Mats

  13. Thank you for the shout-out Anita! I was SO HAPPY that you finally got them. Nothing makes me happier than to hear that cat owners enjoy using our litter mats. Here at Smartcatcher we are all cat owners, and we understand what cat owners are struggling with. That was why we hand-selected premium materials to make our litter mats, and we employed quality assurance techniques. We even offer 1 year manufacturer’s warranty against defects. I promised that our litter mats will not break easily like your old litter mat. If they do, please feel free to contact me immediately.

  14. Anne Daigle says:

    Love the mats. On joy–years ago, my high-school age daughter was in a band festival in Houston at Rice stadium. After her school performed, she watched the other schools and left her purse in the stands. This was in October–there was money and a camera in the purse. Naturally she went home disappointed and disgusted. Fast forward to mid-December when a package arrived in the mail. Her sister opened it and when her sister came home from school told her, “Yes, Elaine, there is a Santa Claus”. The purse was in the package intact camera and money, no return address.

  15. cat9984 says:

    Congratulations! It’s a wonderful post. I see the boys are in perfect cat mode – love the box more than the present.

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