It was Never about the Cats

Months ago, an expectant feline found sanctuary at the halfway staircase leading to our cultivation centre and gave birth to four little kittens. This is the second occurrence where another cat came in to give birth. It was simply a gesture of kindness to permit both the feline and its kitties to stay on for no one really knew what to do with them. And since that space is merely a service area, an understood consensus was agreed upon from the point of compassion that they be allowed to stay on until they were able to fend themselves, trusting that they would leave once they were matured enough.

Days passed by quickly and it is kind of interesting just to stand at the doorway upstairs looking down to observe the many reactions toward the cats. Some passersby were oblivious to their presence, and some who were catching their breath from the two storey climb would take the opportunity to look. A few would take moments to lower themselves and stroke the cat and/or the kitties while the others who are obvious cat lovers, would hold them on their palms staying a little longer to play with them. My comrade took the initiative to purchase cat food to make sure that the feline was able to continue the lactation process for her kittens. On my role, whenever I could, I would get a pack of full cream milk which the feline loved very much.

As the kitties grew very quickly and soon were able to move around, we had to take extra care walking along that limited area, manueuvring our way to make sure not to step on them. Many a times the feline just watched quietly, resting majestically on the stairway, ignoring those who have to cross pass her.

Soon the moments came as expected when the stench of their excrement and urine became unbearable – no one thought beforehand of creating a sandbox for them. Prior to that one kitty died and it took much courage of a beloved friend to send it off. And yet another time another kitty caught the flu and the same kindred spirit brought it to the vet to administer its eyes. Nature seems to find its own way of flow, from unconditional love and motherly instinct.

To avoid the stink I fenced the grille and brought the feline and kitties to the first half landing stairway where many a times later, they managed to find their way back to their former birth place somehow. Many of us struggled within on how to address the cats as they grew bigger by each day. One of us offered to bring the cats to be neutered but there was no follow up. There was also enquiry to adopt part of the kittens but felt heart-wrenching in separating them.

Finally came the day where the earlier same kindred spirit took the initiative to send them all to the animal home. Strangely, the very day when she wanted to send them off, one of the kitty went missing. I felt sorry for it and she promised to come back to look for her another day and to reunite the lost kitty with its mother and siblings. I looked within my mind to why I was feeling so and realized it was not about anything concerning the kitty, nor was it about compassion, but rather the ancient feeling of being separated and the meaning of loneliness. Indeed strange how such feelings are deep-seated, missing the reality of what is within and projected outwardly as a sorry state drama. And to avoid and camouflage that pain I saw how the mind created stories of possibilities where a kind person may probably take the lost kitty home and take care of it well. So insidious is the mind, trying ways to repress those feelings and to finally meet it again another time when similar conditions were to arise again.

There were many lessons from these cats’ presence – from the witness and experience of being kind-hearted, courageous and responsible for living beings which can be said, totally unrelated to ourselves without expecting anything back in return; not to mention the camouflage and false appearances of seemingly good thoughts hiding ancient thoughts of pain and shame if there was no integrity and willingness to looked within the mind the moment it surfaced. How true that it is said that there is no current issues but ancient stuff brought into the present to be re-experienced.

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