Senior

S E N I O R

The unity in diversity of creation works on the twin principle of Similarity and difference. In the previous post I sought to  examine this in some depth. Even in the same species we would observe that this is quite marked. No two humans can ever be the same. Nor for that matter two of any kind.

Photo_daisy
D A I S Y

Here I am reminded of our four cats. when I arrived in Morocco to take up my diplomatic assignment I found that in addition to the beautiful residence we also inherited three cats left behind by our predecessors. There was Senior the neutered Tom who looked like a mini tiger and Daisy and Sandy, both ladies again neutered. Senior was large, well-mannered and serious given to meditating, I suspect about the next meal. Daisy was attentive and possessive about the house but friendly and  followed us everywhere  as if to keep an eye on us. Sandy was always absent and aloof. Their former mistress would make it a point to visit Morocco from time to time apparently just to see them again. She would arrive at the residence unannounced and tell the guard not to bother us as she had come only to see her cats! We therefore only by chance got to meet her once when the only communication was about how we should look after them. She also always came loaded with gifts of special  meals for her cats. We knew how she felt about her cats and did not impose ourselves on her.

K I T T Y
MATURE KITTY

Then one day a grey cute kitten appeared from nowhere in our yard and we said wo not a fourth cat!! The kitten made herself at home and showed no sign of leaving though we tried to find out if she had strayed from the neighbours. so while we were forced to adopt the three cats left by the predecessors, the fact was that Kitty simply decided to adopt us, no questions asked. ( notice her smile). Alas Sandy could never be found for a pic to be taken lol)

All four were doubtless cats in every shape and form. All given to scratching tress and furniture and if they found a rodent each would display cat-nature by capturing it, playing with it and disabling it sadistically before making a meal of it. One can say that they did all the things which cats do and in this they were identical. But there the similarity ended. It felt as if four beings were housed in cat bodies and the four beings were as different as chalk and cheese. Apart from the fact that they were cats there was absolutely nothing similar about them. Those who have kept pets or observed animal behaviour carefully would understand this well.

For instance my Budgerigars or for that matter my Chinese Paradise Fish, no two were alike and I don’t mean their colours. A father Budgey is meant to share feeding his offspring as much as the mother or they wont survive. But one of my father Budgeys was a pathological killer of his own offspring. Entering the nest he would begin by pretending to feed them and the mother but then would proceed to  wound the chicks rather than feed them, to the horror of the screeching mother Budgey. I could hear it happening in the night not knowing what to do for if I separated him the chicks would die of starvation along with the mother who never left her nest. fortunately the mother kept his pathology in check with her calls and the chicks survived with their wounds. The other males were dutiful fathers.

The external form only defines the animals general traits, habits and diet but beyond that the being within is entirely different from one entity to another. One is tempted to believe that for animals too a law of Karma must apply. Limited intelligence cannot absolve pathological behaviour in an animal. His actions too would be deemed criminal in nature. The animal world must have its own ethics, and actions there would doubtless produce their own consequences. In the Hindu way of thinking, good fathers would graduate to being a more intelligent species if not man!

Coming back to our four cats, they were really more than just cats as individuals with differences that had nothing to do with ‘cat-nature’ or ‘cat-form’. This inspired me to write a poem on our four cats which I would like to share with you:

                                          F O U R    C A T S

Here comes Senior –

We inherited him with the house,

Trusting neutered muscularity,

Full fat cat, deep in thought

About fish meals, sidles

Up against your calf

And as you fondle his head

Salivates involuntarily onto the floor

With love,

Then politely shakes off your touch

As he would the rain drops;

That’s how cats are about us.

 

And then there is Daisy

Looking imploringly up into your eyes

Running ahead with tail up

Boldly into your house,

Grazing door jambs, washing machines, footstools,

Your legs, these are all hers,

Persuasive beggar,

As she opens her pink mouth

And articulates a cat call.

 

Sandy on the other hand

Is a vegetarian

And hardly ever around

From secret missions, once

When I opened a window I found

Her sleeping secretly in the crook

Of the sill, private paradise,

Safe from rain and draughts

And marauding dogs –

She doesn’t enter the house, or salivate

But like the others if you pet her

On the head, after a meal, will

Shrug it off.

 

But Kitty, who adopted us

By just moving in, is different,

She calculates,

You can see her doing it

As she moves her head quickly

To size things up,

One of them was that we’d make

Good pets,

Remarkable thought for just a kitten,

Nor did we have the heart

To neuter her, so she turned full female

And unloaded a belly full of kitten

Who in turn have joined

Their mother

With sad trusting faces

To possess us.

LITTLE   KITTY SHE  ADOPTED  US
LITTLE KITTY
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