What Cats Do
Animal Stories from All-Creatures.org

FROM

Stuart Heady
March 2014

If you treat animals with respect and never betray their trust, if you give them love and encourage them to be themselves, they come out from behind a kind of mask of wary distancing. They become people with an ability to meet your gaze and relate to you, possibly in a verb way....What cats seem to be doing is to provide a reminder that we are the same, not better or different. Many people who live with cats still don't see them as people. They don't seem to see the possibility of getting the soul to reveal that it is there.

Our eighteen year old Vanessa had a total stroke Monday night which locked her jaws together. She could not move. Tuesday was the final appointment at NW vet in Stanwood. They are very kind people. They set up the room with nice cloth on the table and music.

We decided to have her lie in state for a bit.

cat lying in state soulGracie, an 8 year old from the Navajo reservation, sat near for a good while, at least a couple of minutes. Then she got up to sniff. She hissed, then got down and ran off.

Living with cats, one of the things you see is that they see a lot and have strong feelings about what they see. Most likely they get what is going on better than we do. For us, words get in the way a lot.

If you treat animals with respect and never betray their trust, if you give them love and encourage them to be themselves, they come out from behind a kind of mask of wary distancing. They become people with an ability to meet your gaze and relate to you, possibly in a verb way.

Vanessa was a highly unusual cat who was very present. She was without any fear at all and would meet your gaze with a shrewd and intelligent just brilliantly burning brilliance. She also could engage in multi-syllabic back and forth.

You get a sense that there is more there if we are smart enough to go there and explore the relationship.

What cats seem to be doing is to provide a reminder that we are the same, not better or different. Many people who live with cats still don't see them as people. They don't seem to see the possibility of getting the soul to reveal that it is there.

Interesting. This has been going on for some time. The Egyptians were more aware of cats than we are. This would seem to suggest that human conscious does not increase at all quickly.

Yet we must do what we can.

*****

Vicky put this together about three years ago, for a library in Albuquerque, as a series of "Read at your library" posters.

cat sentience Vanessa

She set the shot up and then brought Vanessa over to see if this would work. Vanessa, however knew what cameras were and would always play to them. She knew what she was doing. This captures a look we were very familiar with.

Boy will we miss her.   


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