“The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the Earth” … Henry Beston
I have kitty companions. Before the medical crises that changed my life I would have said that I had cats, that they were wonderful, that I loved them and that we “understood” one another. Before the crises I had cats. Now I recognize the “something more” that lies beneath the surface of my snoozing-in-the-sun friends. Now I have kitty companions.
One of my companions died 3 years back after insistently laying next to the site of my big operation – the place where a large, extremely rare, fibrotic tumour had been found, and removed, from my lung. At this point I should explain that Zeus-the-cat didn’t just grow old and happen to die … he passed over 2 months after gluing himself to me. “So what” you ask? “Ah-h-h-h” says I, “He died of an extremely rare form of cancer.” (sound familiar?) Now I know that there are those who would proclaim that it was simply a coincidence, however, I believe that my kitty companions are “gifted with extensions of the sense we have lost or never attained” and that those senses told him that he needed to heal me of whatever deadly little cells had been missed – no matter what the cost. Thank you Zeus!
The latest trek through crises land has brought into sharp relief for me the closeness and uniqueness of the animals who co-habit in this house with me. Sudden and unexpected arrivals at times of pain, a bed filled with one woman surrounded by 3 “guard kitties” when I was unable to care for myself and constant, loving presences during my time of healing have reminded me that I am not the only one who is “caught in the net of life and time”. The love and attention of family, friends and kitties touches my heart and soul and reminds me of the links that spin out between each of us, links made of love, that span all the days of this life as well as the magical and mysterious time in-between.
Humans often think that they are the superior ones but it seems to me that each species – both animal and human – have things to contribute to the welfare of each other and the planet. “In a world older and more complete than ours”, where we have forgotten more than we remember of the natural abilities gifted to us by Life, I believe that it behooves us to pause and reconsider the smaller companions who travel through life by our sides. I believe it is time to redefine the word “friend” and to value those who speak to us in a language that we don’t always understand. Meow and Woof everybody …. Oh that would be “Godspeed” in human talk. 😀
Joyful Journeying Everyone!