Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Of cats and men

I’ve been re-reading a book by Rod McKuen called Listen To The Warm, and in particular  a poem called “A cat named Sloopy”, in which McKuen says:
A dozen summers
we lived against the world.
One Christmas, in 1959, McKuen stayed out all night, and all the next day. When he returned, Sloopy was gone.

I think when we invite animals into our lives we take on a sacred bond of trust, which we break at our spiritual peril. It’s not always easy, but we need to be vigilant.

People sometimes associate dogs with men – the bigger the dog, the better -- and cats with mad old women. But for me there is something rather appalling about regarding an animal as little more than an expression of, or an extension of, oneself. They have their own lives and personalities.

There is no doubt that when we domesticate animals we tame them.

But they also tame us.

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