Prowling Life In Search of New Meal

Sept 20 The sun has emerged from a long delay of streaming clouds and pounding rain, the results of tropical storms off the coast of Florida and Georgia. Almost the Autumnal equinox, soon the sun will sink lower in the sky, night elongate, and time change. I always miss the heat of Summer and its warming effect on my skin and mood. It is a beautifully righteous early fall day, perfect for simply watching nature, changing of leaves. In that space where mind is settled, and thought free-flowing, I watch the stray cats prowl the woods behind my house in search of new meal.

I love cats, their predator awareness, conscious decision about every choice in life. The way they spend half the day meditating in rest, content with whatever may happen. Slow and precisely measurable in their movements, I like the way they come to a meal and take only what they need, leaving the rest for others. Independent and mostly responsible for self, cats balance life with both passivity and activity.

Sadly today my girlfriend accidentally hit one of the strays that frequents our street. Seriously injured, Tra' stopped traffic, picked her up, and then ran here to get a pillow and soften her lay. A gray about 3 year old tabby, She brought her to me on the backporch and laid her in my lap where I intended to ease her parting by just holding her in peace. She lay motionless, blood leaking from her nose, pooling one side. Her eyes were closed and clouding. I placed my hand on her body to try to ease her pain, helpless to do anything more.

My cat, Spyder scrambled in, sniffed her cautiously, and then backed away sensing something wrong. One year old she had never experienced death before but innately had great respect for the process of dying. I held the gray tabby stroking her softly until her breathing ceased and movement declined. Death a great part of the cycle of life, still surprises me when it occurs. At any given moment anything can happen; moments like this are a reminder to live while we can, our time is yet to come.

Often we live in denial of our mortality especially in younger years. Many of us do not recognize that accidents can happen to us. Each day we try to challenge life and circumstance, death there to remind us- drink each moment like it's the last. I saw in this tabby's passing get it while you can, there are no promises of future tomorrows. Animals seem to hold this kind of awareness like police officers in the street or surgeons performing life saving skill. Olympic athletes too occupy this state of mind like soldiers in times of war. Death reminds us how trivial our worries can be and what in life is truly important. Sometimes it takes this kind of incident for us to realize what we have and to not go about things nonchalantly. How much more impact could we put into each moment if we had knowledge this moment could be our last.

My awareness of blessing has been different ever since I plunged 85 feet off of a cliff and almost lost my own life. I am a thousandfold more sensitive now to everything great or small. Mortality has been my catalyst for new perspectives, making each moment that much sweeter. I hope I honored the death of this tabby by using words to pause us in our wandering. Bless her soul, I give thanks this moment for each day, the people, and things in my life. A reminder to live complete, I awaken to do something I haven't done before, reinforcing those things I love and cherish in life. Like an astronaut, privileged to witness unknown and ancient space, I am the feline prowling nature in search of new meal.