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cat

I know. I sound anthropomorphic. I am assigning human traits to a cat. However, how would you pose it?

Last night, I heard a racket outside of my closed bedroom door. It woke me up from a deep sleep. So I went outside to look and couldn’t believe my eyes.

Here she was, my female Siamese in a sitting position pushing a baby mouse up against her own furry belly with retracted claws and the poor creature was squeaking in terror. Then she patted it, again with withdrawn claws, gave it a little lick and sat still with a blissful look on her face.

Oh, this scenario gets even more bizarre. She takes it like a kitten by the nape of the neck and carries it like a kitten to the bathtub pipe that it had climbed up to get into the house and sat watching it go back down the pipe. (I bet that this mouse won’t ever be back in the house.)

Now I show her every few mornings a mousy movie on Youtube. She watches with rapt attention and I thought that with her sitting in my lap during these films, she’d get inspired to be a better hunter. Boy, was I wrong!

Okay, I suppose that it is okay that she wants to send the babies back to their homes unharmed. Fine.

Her last three mice before this last one, she killed and I flushed their bodies down the toilet. Yet now she is in a new mode with mice, apparently. I guess that I accept it. What choice have I, anyway?

My male Siamese, he’s getting older. He is thirteen and the Siamese don’t live as long as other breeds. So I treat him as I do elderly people who want four things primarily:

1., Food and drink delivered when wanted.
2., A place to poop and pee.
3., Heat galore … You should have seen my mother’s apt. in a retirement center at almost 80 degrees F. It was almost enough to put a person not elderly in a swoon in heat exhaustion during winter months when our younger bodies got adjusted to much cooler temperatures. … So the male Siamese hugs radiators in the house in winter.
4., Cuddles and hugging, being told that you are good, petting and so on so as to feel valued and important. So I take the old kitty boy and give him the royal treatment, just as I did with my mother. And I mean every word and petting that I lavish into the task.

He can’t hunt anymore. That is fine by me. He just wants to be in a stupor of heat. So be it. (He’s not stupid. He’s just gotten feeble through being elderly and I will tend him until he dies since he is part of my family and he used to be a great mouse hunter, even better than the girl cat, who recently killed the three mice that she brought to me so I could flush them down the toilet.)

Now I have no idea as to the way that the girl originated the idea that mice are babies, friends or however she views them. Yet herein with her new outlook or stance, she has been teaching me a lesson. It’s a simple one.

We can change out of our primitive nature to slaughter. We can back away from killing and treat others with tenderness. This is one of the messages that the girl cat shows me and if cats can act this way, so can we humans.

From a different angle, the boy cat (increasingly moving toward his demise) also reminds me to treat everything alive as much as one can do so with loving kindness. How simple is that orientation to undertake?

Mei-Ling, the girl cat, shows the way forward, certainly, which might be to accept everything that comes your way in life and treat it with acceptance, kindness or something like that. I’m still trying to figure out her message that I can retain to fit my condition in life.

Sally Dugman s a writer from MA, USA.

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