Q: I am in my house and look outside and see a swarm of feral cats invading my yard. I am extremely frustrated and anxious. I go around to the kitchen and open the door to scare them away, but the cats start coming into my house! There are other people in my house, and everyone wants me to get rid of the cats! I pick-up one of the cats but it starts scratching my arm so I drop it. I try to start shoving them out, but they’re all dodging my efforts. Then a big, Native American blanket is somehow thrown over a cat and it transforms into a giant, stuffed, toy pony that falls to the ground. The whole scene changes. The cats are gone and everything is now outside.
A: Like a proper story, this dream provides the setting, the problem, the climax, and then the unlikely solution. You’re in your house looking into your yard. Feral cats are swarming outside and, in your desire to be rid of them, you inadvertently let them in! Your attempts to get rid of them by force fail, but then, out of nowhere, an unlikely shift: with the help of something more ancient and unfamiliar, the cat is transformed into a cuddly, inert, soft, pony. And just as you desired, the cats are all gone.
I know from conversations with you that this is a recurring dream; these feral cats have been haunting you for a long time. As a recurring dream, you are being presented with a challenge of some kind, a personal difficulty, that persists because (almost like an injury) it requires your attention. So what do these cats represent for you and why are you determined to keep them out?
Cats are companions for many people and bring comfort; they live in our homes, sit on our laps, sleep in our beds, and cuddle-up with us. They are also dependent on us for food and shelter. I won’t go into the varied mythological symbolism of cats here, because I think the primary question is why these cats are so regularly in your dreams, seeking your help, and why you are so determined to keep them out.
In the dream, are you at all concerned that these cats are homeless and seeking shelter in your home? You and I have spoken about this dream, so I’ll share with our readers that when I asked you this question, if you were worried about them, you replied that you were just annoyed with them, and that, perhaps, you wanted them gone quickly so that you didn’t have to worry about them. Out of sight out of mind.
That’s it, though. The more we try to avoid things, the more they bother us. A small part of you, I think, is actually concerned about these cats but avoiding thinking about it. So what does that mean? Every character that arises in a dream is a part of us. These cats, whatever they represent, are a part of you, a part that may be rather soft and even somewhat dependent on others, that you may prefer were not part of you at all. All this work you are doing to protect your home (another important symbol) suggests that you are working hard to keep your defenses up, fortifying walls in order to keep from admitting that something a little gentler, maybe emotional, is being neglected and left-out.
All of your tools to keep the cats out of your house are not working. They never will. In order to get rid of these cats once and for all, you may just have to let them in and engage them. The incredible solution at the end of your dream, the Native American blanket and the toy pony, will need to wait for explanation for another time. But I promise you, if you learn to pay attention to this cat part of you and what it needs, this recurring dream will either change dramatically or will never come back again.
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