Jonathan Hardy discusses the themes of wild cat remedies and the treatment of one of his patients
A very exciting new group of remedies is the wild cat group. We have started using remedies prepared from these wonderful creatures only recently but already we are beginning to understand the kind of disease states and the type of patient who will respond to them. I have seen about fifteen wild cat cases in the last four years.
We have a number of wild cat remedies, including Lion, Tiger, Leopard, Cheetah, Snow leopard, Puma, Lynx, Bobcat and Jaguar (of course no animal is harmed in the manufacture of the homeopathic remedies). It is amazing how our everyday knowledge and intuitive perceptions about the sources of our homeopathic remedies is so close to the information which we acquire through homeopathic provings and clinical practice. When I give a seminar for colleagues I like to start with a brainstorming session in which everyone says what comes to their mind when they think of the remedy group we are studying. With the wild cats the following words usually come up in the first minute of the session: fierce, strong, powerful, beautiful, courageous, secretive and predatory. The sort of person who responds well to these remedies will show such characteristics.
The wild cat personality
They are powerful people and can be intimidating. They are often big with a loud voice and can be overpowering, taking over the consultation. They are often very successful and rise to the top in their profession. They exude an air of authority and you don’t feel like challenging them! There can be a theme of power struggles in their lives – mirroring the fights for dominance seen in the wild creatures themselves. They tend to be outgoing, upbeat and energetic with a warm and affectionate nature.
They are strong, self-assured and with a good opinion of themselves. They tend to be ambitious and independent. They are self-reliant and often leave home early to get on in the world. They are proud and sensitive to any perceived insult to either themselves or others.
Honour and integrity are important to them. They cannot stand injustice – they fight against it fiercely. And ferocity is another theme: they can have a raging temper! So you see how our perception of these creatures as noble, proud and strong animals is reflected in the personalities of “wild cat” patients.
One unique feature of wild cat patients which I have not observed in other remedy groups is the tendency to go into a state of awareness which is like that of a predatory animal, with heightened awareness of the body. It is an intense, physical state with awareness of the muscles and every movement they make. There is a heightening of all the senses, increased awareness of the world around them. When feeling like this they experience increased agility and performance at sport.
Another unique feature is the way the patients move. They can be smooth, almost gliding in motion, very poised and purposeful. One of my Tiger patients would literally prowl into my consulting room! They sometimes say they can be very slow and still and then suddenly very fast when needed.
Wild cat children are precocious; often very athletic and confident. They are very competitive and if they have brothers or sisters there is a lot of sibling rivalry. They can be extremely bossy – ordering not only their friends but also their parents around. Sometimes they can have behavioural problems and be angry and abusive, rude and confrontational. They can explode with minimum provocation and go into a screaming rage. On the other hand they can be great fun, the life and soul of the party, singing and dancing and “holding court”. They tend to be dare-devils, jumping from high places and climbing trees.
These remedies are useful for more or less any kind of symptom picture or disease if the patient’s psychological profile indicates that they need a wild cat medicine. The following are some of the conditions and symptoms which I have seen clear up after administration of a wild cat remedy: behaviour disorders like anger, rage and aggression; gastrointestinal problems: regurgitation, dyspepsia, constipation; eating disorders; obesity; chronic fatigue; temperature imbalance; eczema, molluscum contagiosum and premenstrual syndrome.
The patient is a man of 35 who complained of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, tinnitus and swelling of the parotid glands which are the saliva producing glands in each cheek. These symptoms had persisted for years and responded to no treatment until finally I realised he needed a specific wild cat remedy. As usual in homeopathy, personality was crucial in selecting the remedy. This is how he described himself.
“I’m loud. I’m very talkative and happy and easy-going. I say what I need to say. I get tired of my own voice – I always seem to have an opinion and it’s often the opposite to what other people think!
“I’ve a very clear view of what I see as right and wrong and I hate what I perceive to be injustice. If I see injustice I have to attack. I don’t like prejudice or bullying or abuse of power. I don’t think you should patronise people – it’s belittling. But when I’m angry I can belittle other people, I hate bullies but I can become a verbal bully myself.
“When most people first meet me they think I’m loud and arrogant and they might tell me later that they even hated me and found me annoying. I can be argumentative and I’m probably confrontational.
“I’m very affectionate. I love kissing and hugging my children. I’m very physical. I kiss my father and I hug my friends. I’m very loyal.
“I can have roaring arguments with very good friends. But I never bear grudges. My wife says my temper is explosive and that I have a very scary face when I lose my temper.
“I love people with big characters. I collect them and enjoy their company. I’m a lazy lion – I like to sit and think.
“My hay fever is not as bad as it was in the past – it used to be savage.”
He continues: “Sometimes I get into this strange state. It’s very intense and I’m very aware of my body. It’s a physical awareness – my blood, the heartbeat. I’m very aware of the muscles in my arms and legs and I feel very strong. I feel very alive and very alert. My breathing becomes deeper and I’m very aware of it and the action of all my muscles. It feels almost like I’m an animal.
“I can almost visualise the movement of my muscles. All my senses become heightened. I’m very aware of the world. I see more than normal and I pick up more information. I’m more awake and I feel excited. My sense of hearing and smell are more sensitive too. I see more. For example, I see a bird flying overhead and at the same time a man walking down the road and my eyes move more quickly.
“I’m aware of people watching me and when I’m in this state I listen more than talk. I feel very coiled, explosive. I pause and watch and am aware of what’s going on and what’s above eye level, in trees, in buildings. When this happened when I was a boy I used to play football very well. I feel very alive and very aware of colours, and aware of everything around me and all the sounds. I’m very aware that I’m alive when I’m in that state.”
I asked him if he had any dreams.
“When I was a child I had a recurrent dream of escaping. I had to escape with my family through the skylight and across roofs. I had dreams of flying and floating and of jumping off buildings. And then in real life I used to want to jump from high places a lot. I hurt myself sometimes. I used to jump from tree to tree and I wasn’t frightened at all.
“I had a recurrent dream that I was very fast and everything around me was very slow. I have a dream which I call my ‘shadow dream’. Something’s following me – a leopard or a cat – it’s always behind me and to the left, just out of my vision. I can feel it coming. When I was a child it scared me, but now I find it reassuring. It’s a big black cat.”
You can see why I wanted to give him a wild cat remedy – he showed so many of the themes of this group. But which one? Well, he got Lion (“I’m a lazy lion”) – and it did nothing! He got Leopard (from his dream) – and it did nothing. Tiger helped him a little for a while and then stopped working, so I knew I was getting close. I wondered about this “big black cat” and then I realised that jaguars have a black variety. And jaguars are big powerful animals – the top predator in South America.
My patient finally got his remedy: Black jaguar in a 200c potency. His progress has been very good since: the tinnitus is much quieter, the irritable bowel syndrome much better and the parotid swelling reduced. This was a very exciting and instructive case for me.
Other wild cat remedies I have used include Lion, Tiger and Snow leopard. Lion people feel like the “King of the Jungle” – powerful and in control. They are concerned for the welfare of others. They are very direct – one of my Lion patients said, “I don’t pussyfoot around”! Honesty and respect are very important to them.
Tiger people are very strong, powerful and fierce. They are born leaders and tend to work with very important and influential people.
Snow leopard people are very beautiful, immaculately dressed, slightly exotic and dramatic – somewhat like our perception of snow leopards as elusive, rare and special.
Jonathan Hardy MA BM MFHom has been practising homeopathy full-time in Hampshire since 1985. He obtained a degree in zoology before studying medicine and has a special interest in animal remedies.