I owe lots of things to my first cat, Jiji (I was not responsible in naming her)… Well, she was not mine per se, I was sharing her, with two more friends. Besides, a cat doesn’t particularly belong to anyone (unlike a dog, whoops) but to its own self. If we have met, let’s say, about five years ago, you would happily kick my ass right now, as I was a dog person – if we fall in the trap and assume there is a dog/cat person. Moreover, I always thought of cats as selfish, spoiled, little bastards.
My transformation slowly, initiated, when a stray Felis silvestris catus gave birth to five little kittens, just outside my door…I had never seen her before, so I was really surprised that she came over to my door to give birth (shall I take this as a sign? Well, yes I will, thank you) . In the beginning, I didn’t pay too much attention, because I was preoccupied with non important, insignificant matters during that period of my life, so I guess, I was self-centered. It wasn’t until the third day I noticed that the kittens were no longer five, but only two! And then it hit me. I kinda felt responsible for the loss or disappearing of the other kittens. Still, at that point I wasn’t very fond of cats …However, I felt that this cat was struggling for survival/for keeping her kittens warm and fed… so I moved her into a safer and warmer spot, offering her food to eat every day. At first, she was really scared and not friendly at all, but as days passed by, she was starting to do the cat magic-as I call it. Purring and rubbing with its tail and body, all over mine, asking for a cuddle and some affection. She felt safe there with me, and I took that as a compliment. However, she never let me close to her kittens so I couldn’t really see them. A couple of days later I found her, decapitated at my neighbors yard…it was their dog who was held responsible- Bruna, the rodvailer (sweet dog nonetheless).What was I supposed to do? And what about the kittens? I remember seeing them for the first time…
I just saw two psychedelic little creatures, meowing, looking, right, at me…Well, that was pretty much enough.
I had no choice but to take them, so I convinced a friend, who owns a roof garden to adopt them, as I had no suitable space for them. So the cat journey began at that point…
It was very interesting to see them grow, fight and play. I never thought a cat’s life would be so fascinating! It is damn true that these little creatures have some tiger DNA in them. I had also noticed some changes in me as well. Having a cat makes you happier. But is more to that…We all know, by now, some of the health benefits a cat can offer…reducing anxiety and stress, improving your mood, help with autism and depression, lower cholesterol , reduce the risk of a heart attack, to name a few. To go even further, cats are mysterious and secretive. Ancient Egyptians even worshiped the cat as a goddess (Bastet). Although the domesticated cat has pretty much nothing to do with the ancient Egyptian cat (i am taking a guess here, better do some research on your own, on that matter) cats have always been useful hunters. In ancient Egypt they were capable of killing snakes such as cobras and at my grandparent’s village they are very useful hunters for mice and a few other, non welcoming house residents like cockroaches. Although it is hard to see our domesticated cats like that (especially our male cat Pako- he is a zen master) we must never forget that their nature is predatory : hunting, killing-if necessary, chasing and observing. Most of all, they are great company. If you feel lonely at some point a cat (along with a fire place) can be really good friends.
Now I am not going to make a dog versus cat post. I love dogs, also, as all the animals, but I cannot resist of mentioning some truths – coming from a brain-washed (cat) mind, that is, so not really objective here.. A dog is always dependent on you, and can be a bit clumsy, whilst, a cat really knows how to take care of itself, on its own. The greatest bonus of having a cat, is that no matter how much love they receive-even when they are sinking into the warmest, cuddliest hug, they will get up at some point and seek solitude. Yes, a cat always needs some solitude. It’s therapeutic. Freedom and Independence. They keep reminding you this, every day.Unlike a dog which will come straight at you when you whisper their name, waiting for a command, a cat will certainly take its time, and come to you only when they chose to do so. Every time I am around Blanca, the dog, I notice myself: i turn into this bossy character giving orders all the time. I don’t enjoy it. I feel there is too much ego there, and I keep feeding it. Sometimes I feel, she is unable to take initiative at all… she, just, waits for me to do something and then she follows. On the contrary, being surrounded by the cats, I feel as equal.
Oh boy, look at me, defending a cat over a dog… if only you knew me five years ago (yes, keep repeating myself, I already said that, now moving on…)
All I know is that I am more affectionate due to cats, I welcome hugs and cuddles
I guess, all I am trying to say is that when things like these happen, I am so much fascinated by Life. Turning someone from a dog person to a cat person (long live the trap!), may sound ridiculous…I mean what’s the point really? They are both animals… They should be treated with Love, all equally. But it is deeper than that: people, animals, circumstances, nature, and cities, come through your path. If you are open and accept all as it is, you might change your perception. When things like that happen I feel blessed. I feel gratitude when someone or something comes in my way and proves me wrong! In that way, I learn, I experience, and my mind transforms into a vacuum cleaner, sucking the Unknown. Nothing crosses your paths for no reason (the cat giving birth outside my back door). Either you pay attention or not, is, just, another matter.
This is a man’s world but it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a cat or a kitten…Thank you Jiji and Pako for coming into my life. So many great things and meows have followed!
note: today’s post is dedicated to Claudio, Sunshine Jansen’s main collaborator (aka Fairy of Disenchantment)! Also. infinite gratitude and appreciation to Maria and Stella.