Reiki Cats: Hawayo and Takata

Muriel Stockdale strode up Fourth Avenue in New York City on an unusually cold November morning in 1996. An artist and Second degree Reiki student, Muriel was en route to support my Reiki class at Beth Israel Medical Center’s HIV clinic.

She stopped moving when she heard a plaintive meow, and noticed a homeless man selling kittens out of a box. The second of Muriel’s two cats had recently died. The kitten continued meowing as Muriel lifted him from the box with his orange brother.

The sale took place in front of a pet store, so Muriel went in to purchase a carrier. But the store owner wouldn’t take her money, insisting she accept a Rocket Man carrying case as a gift. Muriel draped her shawl over the lid to protect her kittens from the bitter cold and hurried to the hospital, where her determination took the three of them safely past security.

The director of complementary therapies was happy to have kittens in his office for the day. By lunch, the kittens had visited every office and lapped up a bowl of milk.

Muriel had an appointment that evening, and left the kittens in their Rocket Man carrier with a note of introduction for her husband.

She came home to see the always dapper Chris playing with the kittens on the floor in the semi-darkness, his coat beside them, scarf still around his neck.

“Who’s are they?” he asked. The response, “Ours if you want them,” brought a sigh of relief.

Naming the kittens was easy. Muriel felt they were a gift of her Reiki practice, and so they become known as Hawayo and Takata.


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11 thoughts on “Reiki Cats: Hawayo and Takata”

  1. Dear Pamela,

    Wonderful story!

    I thought you referred to Muriel as a student since we never stop learning more about Reiki. I consider myself a student even though I have been certified as a Reiki master.


  2. I loved reading how Muriel’s practice of Reiki and art endowed her with the precept to act diligently and aggressively to rescue the kittens—- a win-win all around. What’s more it was a ripple effect—– a classic example of Reikii balance in action. When I treated one of the feline hospital patients at the veterinary center last night, a nearby barking dog curled up for a nap. Reiki rocks!

  3. Cats and Reiki make for an amazing combination. I’m a professional Reiki Practitioner who works with pets, and I’ve found that cats in particular are incredibly receptive to the energy. One time, I was working on a cat in the home of a woman who fostered cats for a local rescue group, so in addition to my “client,” there were at least ten other cats in the house. I had my back turned to the rest of the room and was focusing on the cat I’d been asked to work on. When I turned around after the session, there were all these cats zonked out in various positions of relaxation behind me! I guess they all got a “residual hit” of Reiki energy. In particular, the woman was amazed that a couple of the cats who had “joined” the session were ferals that she hadn’t even been able to touch, let alone get to relax.

  4. Hello Pamela,
    Thanks for this link to help me get my comment tot the correct place!
    I love the story and photo of theh cats and felt it was a blessing to be able to see it and I am sure I will open it and look many more times.
    Cats are such wonderful healing creatures!!
    With Best wishes,


  5. It’s no wonder that Therapy Pet programs are so successful. Every time you hear about a story like this it makes you smile. This is a smiley story. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Good question, Lisa, thanks. I referred to Muriel as an artist and Reiki student so it would be clear that she is not a Reiki professional. I could have used the term “Reiki practitioner,” as I often do, but sometimes people assume that means a professional practitioner.

    I don’t think of a Second degree practitioner as being “under” a Reiki master, but rather a different scope of practice. Starting with Usui and through Takata, being a Reiki master meant being a teacher, and only a small number of students were invited by their Reiki masters to take this training. This distinction has been all but lost as many Americans (and subsequently others) moved away from Takata’s teaching and practice standards.

  7. What a lovely story. Thank goodness her husband was like-minded and wanted to keep the kittens!
    I have a question, though. Did you refer to Muriel as a Reiki student because her status as Reiki 2 practioner places her under a Master, or was she, at the time, in the midst of her Reiki 2 class?
    Just wondering, I would like to thank you for all of the illuminating and beneficial posts of yours I’ve read since I subscribed.

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