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"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different." — Hippocrates (philosopher)

A Life of Service, Feline Reiki Master Saqqara

Saqqara, Light and Shadow March 2010 ©Rose De Dan 2010

Saqqara, Light and Shadow March 2010
©Rose De Dan 2010

Almost immediately after the death of my mother on March 21, my healer cat and Reiki Master Saqqara was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The tumor was already causing fluid issues near his left lung, and it was very clear that I would lose him sooner than I ever expected.

After almost 14 years in partnership teaching classes and offering healing sessions with me, Ankh Ka Saqqara passed into Spirit on Wednesday, April 21, 2010, exactly one month after the death of my mother. He was the equivalent of 84 years of age in human years or 16 and a half in cat years.

Saqqara was much more than a beloved companion, he was a very integral part of both the classes and healing sessions offered for people at Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing. Both he and my other healer cat Shaman (crossed into Spirit two years ago) helped create the principal philosophies: equality between species, and animals as teachers and healers.

Of course I knew none of that when I first met him. I was living in Worcester, MA at the time, and had not yet taken training in Reiki or shamanism.

My vet, Dr. Anita Trom, called and asked if I would be willing to raise a five-day old kitten. She told me that the poor little guy had been found cold and unconscious, lying next to his dead sibling, under a tarp on someone’s porch. It was believed that dogs had frightened the mother away. Without her care not only was the young kitten starving, but flies had come and laid their eggs in his tender skin.

After reviving him, Dr. Trom said that she had removed maggots from various places on his body, including his eyelids. She warned me that meant that she had had to open his eyes prematurely and that since he was only five days old he would still require bottlefeeding every two to three hours.

Fosterling Saqqara in Rose's hands ©Rose De Dan

Fosterling Saqqara in Rose’s hands

Having fostered kittens before, I knew that meant quite a bit of lost sleep, but felt drawn to say yes. I made one stipulation that I recall vividly to this day — I requested that the office help find a home for him when he was old enough as I had many more cats than I do now.

Finding him a home might have remained an option had he not required hernia surgery two days later. Many vets might have given up, but Dr. Trom made an effort to save him despite her estimation that he only had a 50% chance of surviving the operation. He pulled through, and for the remainder of his life there was a lumpy area on his side from the surgery as testament to his tough nature. I still feel deep gratitude for how much care and skill Dr. Trom offered to a kitten so small and homeless.

After such a rocky start in life, I felt that this scrappy kitten needed a long life name. I wondered how many of the cat family’s fabled nine lives he had already used up! In an attempt to offset that loss I named him, and in so doing probably sealed the deal for his staying.

In choosing his name I was drawn to the Egyptians who held strong beliefs for the afterlife as well as having revered cats. I felt that someone must have been watching over this little kitten who had been virtually raised from the dead. It seemed that gratitude was due to Bast, Egyptian Cat Goddess.

And so he became Ankh Ka Saqqara: Ankh after the Egyptian symbol for Life, Ka for their word for soul, and Saqqara after the site in Egypt which contains not only the oldest stone-built pyramid in the world, but which also became the focus for the burial for other sacred animals such as the cat.

It was only in later years that I would realize that his name meant so much more.

to be continued…

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©2010 Rose De Dan. All Rights Reserved.

Think Outside the Cage

About Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing:

A pioneer in Reiki and shamanic healing for people and animals, Rose De Dan has seen firsthand the profound healing impact of this work on the lives of others. A Reiki Master Teacher, mesa carrier in the Peruvian Q’ero tradition, and animal communicator, she teaches classes, workshops and teleclasses for those interested in learning more about energy medicine.

Rose is also author of the acclaimed book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism, and creator of Animal and Reiki Art. As an animal shaman, she views her role as a healer as one of building bridges between people and animals, and of empowering them to reconnect with Pachamama, Mother Earth.

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7 comments to A Life of Service, Feline Reiki Master Saqqara

  • Ramona Gault

    Dear Rose,
    We’ve never met but your post on the oil spill pulled me into your orbit. I just read the first installment of Saqqara’s story–just amazing! Indeed, an extraordinary cat. I hope it helps you to write the story and post it. My condolences to you; I am a great lover of cats and have two now, so I empathize. Much love and blessings!

  • Jane

    A poem for Saqqara

    calm soul
    rests next to mine
    little heartbeat
    Saqqara’s presence changes things
    I sense the shift now
    but he already knew
    all is well

  • Jan Thompson

    Dear Rose,

    I was very saddened to hear about Saqqara’s passing into Spirit. He was one cool cat, no doubt about that!! He was ALWAYS around, and usually laying on my chest or on my legs during my sessions with you. I am going to miss that.

    I am looking forward to reading many stories about Saqqara’s life escapades in future newsletters. You did a great job in “raising” him … or perhaps he did a great job in “raising” you!

    I know that you shared a wonderful bond with him, as you do with all of your animals. I am sending good thoughts, special love,and many virtual hugs to help you through this difficult time.

    Take care, Rose.

    Be Well,


  • Dear Rose,
    I have great empathy for you. I too am a Reiki Master and also an Elemental Shaman. My “Reiki Master Cat” (22 in cat years/104 in people years)just made transition five days ago. Her name was “Boween”(aka: The Divine Purr Tender).
    The very next day, after her passing, I saw her during my morning meditation and I recognized that she is still working/healing with me but now as one of my spirit guides.
    Blessings to all Animals, but particularly to those who continue to teach us how to love better even in their passing.
    Many Blessings,

  • Nicholas Lesiecki

    Saqqara lent his healing touch to nearly every session I had with Rose. I can attest that there was something very special about him, and I’ll miss his presence terribly.


  • It is so hard to lose a friend and gentle,
    healing spirit as Saqqara. I am so glad I had
    an opportunity to take care of him for a weekend. May his spirit send you peace and comfort!


  • It’s never easy when our loved ones transition and though working from the other side, doesn’t feel the same. I’m honored to have met him briefly on New Year’s day and send my deepest sympathy, prayers and blessings to you and your family.


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