Sylvia's writing to freedom

How we treat our domestic animals is a reflection of how we treat life in general 25/08/2011

A few weeks ago we had a little kitten roaming our garden and staying close to our house. The kids spotted the kitten, played with it and saw that the kitten had no idea where it came from or where to go to. My youngest son J. was literally in love with the kitten, my daughter A. and the girl next door were already asking around within the neighborhood if any of the neighbors was missing a kitten. No luck so far. We let the kitten sleep outside the house, made a safe and comfortable place for him to stay. The kitten had no intensions in leaving our garden, so we decided to make a plan the next day.

When we opened our front door the next morning, the kitten was still there and ready to play. We kept him outside the house to not upset our oldest male cat too much. Our male cat Lana is possessed with taking care of his territorium and when there are new smells of other animals, he’s spraying the whole garden and inside the house to let everyone know that he’s in charge. He’s castrated, but that doesn’t seem to bother his spraying behaviour. This all started when we moved into our current house where the neighbor cats had claimed the garden for many years and had to give it up to the new renters cats. So we had a lot of fights going on, I kept my cats inside the house at night since the meanest cats were like gangs checking the neighborhood at night. We already encountered the mean fat red tomcat and his right hand the pirate cat. We call him the pirate, because he is blind in one of his eyes after a fight. We knew what we were dealing with, kept the new kitten out of sight of Lana and discussed plan B.

The girls had been asking around if the kitten had an owner nearby. Some people said that they had seen the cat already walking around for weeks in the adjacent neighborhoods. Everybody was concerned, but not ready to step in and help out. The grandmother of the girl next door even forbid the girl to be part of seeking the owner of the kitten and said that she herself has already enough cats. That was quite funny since nobody asked granny to take the kitten in any way, wich means that she didn’t trust herself on this point and feared to be charmed into taking care of the kitten. This granny had indeed 2 cats around her house who literally abandoned her and I would dare to say due to lack of real care. They also have a lot of animals up into the mountains where they own a piece of land, but there isn’t a real taking care issue when it comes to the cats that live there. The cats take care of themselves.

So plan B was taking care of the kitten and in the meanwhile keep searching for the owner. The outflow of plan B in case that we didn’t find the owner was to bring the kitten to a shelter. We would love to keep the cat, but after months of adapting problems between our oldest male cat Lana and the last kitten we took in our home last summer, it wasn’t a real option to go through again. Although it was tempting. Our 2 oldest cats, Lana and Lupa, were abandoned in a cardboard box with their sister Katja before they were brought to the shelter where we got them from. They are traumatised for life, but we deeply care for them. Then last summer another cat came on our path and was up for adoption. The new one called Siep is an open, friendly and exploring cat and so much fun to be around. Siep had no adapting problems, but the traumatised cats had. With this experience we made ourselves believe that bringing the kitten to a shelter would be the best option. I kept wishing for it’s owner to be found since that would be the best option of all, as I believed. My partner P. warned that it also could be a case of abandoning the kitten for their owners to be able to go on a holiday, which is still common here.

The kids decided to make flyers to hang throughout our small village. They took a charming picture of the kitten, wrote a message on the flyer and made strips to tear off with our name and celphone number. Again A. and the next door girl went from home to home with the kitten, where they hadn’t been yet the day before. So now we had to wait. We decided to make our cellar into a guest room for the kitten. He already showed that he was cat box trained, so we made a cat box, put water and dry food in the room. The kids made him a box with a towel to sleep in and a few homemade toys. We’d gone through all these efforts, because letting him free in the garden could make him leave. Then when the owners would call us, we wouldn’t have their cat anymore. The kitten enjoyed his stay in our cat hotel and J. went in there every 15 minutes to make sure all was alright. In between that A. checked on him and also I went in from time to time. So no lack of attention.

The next morning A. and I were doing groceries when her phone rang when a boy/young man living down the street called us. He had seen the flyer hanging on a lamppost next to his house. The boy studies in Rome and is over for the summer holidays to visit his mom and sister, they all live in the same house. He told A. that the kitten was his and that he had him for 2 weeks now and that the kitten must have escaped the garage. We arranged for him to come by after lunch to pick up his cat. We were relieved and sad at the same time, because the kitten was so much fun.

The boy came by to pickup his cat and thanked us a million times. He said he was glad that we had found the kitten since people around here do not really care. To us it’s normal to act in this way, all life is life and therefore worthy. He took the little kitten in his arms and he looked so happy. I felt relieved that the cat was back with his owner who obvious cared a lot about the little creature. After spending 3 days with the kitten it already felt empty without him, but he lives so close, we will probably see him many times again.

A few days later while walking by the house of the owner of the kitten I saw the kitten walking freely in the garden where the gate was wide open. I automatically talked to the kitten and he responded by walking towards me, I stroked him, he snuggled. When I was ready to walk a way the kitten started following me, so I did put him back into the garden and lucky enough for both of us he found a grasshopper to chase and was distracted.

Later that day I spoke about the kitten being loose again with the kids and A. said that she also noticed this and spoke about it with the owner. This family has proven already that they want to be nice to animals, but in reality it comes down to almost abusive behavior. They once had taken in a rejected rabbit that after a while started to eat a way through his wooden home. They watched it talked about it and did nothing, till the day that it became a real hole in the side of the wooden rabbit home. They decided that this was the moment on which the rabbit had gone too far, they slaughtered the rabbit and had him for dinner. Also the abandoned and traumatized dogs they took in are a almost too big task for them. The boy is quite good with the animals, but the mom and sister do not care much. Now with the boy at university in Rome the animals are left alone with these 2 women. So there I had my second guess on the sanity of my action when I gave the kitten back to the boy. Was he taking the cat with him to Rome? Was the kitten staying with these women? I decided to keep an eye on it and ultimately offer to take in the cat myself if things would go wrong.

For a while I didn’t see the kitten when I walked by the house of the boy. The garage was always closed, so I figured that they had become responsible and waited with letting the cat go outside when it was more used to it’s surroundings and a bit bigger. They do live close to the main road that goes through the village. At dinner one time I mentioned to my kids this fact of seeing these neighbors as more responsible now. A. looked a bit weird at me and had this undecidable look in her eyes. Then she said, “The kitten is dead mom”. WHAT! I didn’t want to believe the words I just heard. I felt anger coming up. A. said, “See that’s why I hadn’t told you”. I was mad, mad at the world, mad at these people and in the end mad at myself. And that was the only point I could work with, the only point I could explore and change.

I was mad for believing the picture of the young man holding the kitten as if he was in love with the animal. I was mad that I hadn’t been using common sense, while I knew about this family’s history with animals. I knew that they were irresponsible with the kitten and I hadn’t acted upon that information. I wanted to believe, that this young man would care as an equal for this little creature so badly, that I didn’t see what was here presented to me. And that is a shitty experience, not knowing if I could have saved this kitten’s life.

During this same period I met at work a family where the mother of a family of 4 had a 15 year old daughter and a 5 year old. She, in public, was the most perfect mom I ever saw. Later I heard from my boss that the oldest daughter had found a listening ear in her. The 15 year old girl explained how she was the Cinderella of the family. Her stepfather, looking like Ken and working in the finance world, was headhunted by her mom to have a beautiful child with, her little half sister. The 5 year old would be given diamond necklaces while the oldest had to watch and hear that she wasn’t worthy of getting anything. During their stay in the country house of my boss, the oldest had to mop the floor, wash the towels, all kind of chores that are included in the price of the country house. When my boss told the mom that the girl didn’t had to do all of this since it was her job, the mom responded, no she has to do this it’s good for her discipline.

So the kitten story hit me just even more and the anger I felt after hearing about the death of the kitten was accelerated by the Cinderella story. So what did I learn from this? Whenever the picture presented to you is too good to be true, investigate what is really here, because you might allow and accept reality to fuck with you. And that isn’t bringing any orgasmic feelings.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be mad when I heard the kitten had died.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be mad at my surroundings after hearing that the kitten had died.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be mad at the owners of the kitten for their irresponsibility.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself blame the owners of the kitten for their irresponsable behavior.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself judge the owners of the kitten for not taking real care of the kitten.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to blame the owners of the kitten for having animals without giving them basic care.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to blame the owners of the kitten for not seeing animals as their equals.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be mad at myself for not directing the situation while the facts were in front of me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to get carried away on the rush and energetic feelings of the anger.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to use the anger as an excuse to not be aware in the moment when  A. told me that the kitten had died.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not believe that the kitten had died and instead choosing anger to hide my feelings of guilt.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to feel guilty about the death of the kitten.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to judge myself for not acting in the best interest of all when it comes to the care of the kitten.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to blame myself for buying into positive pictures people present and try to sell to me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to desire that the death of the kitten had never taken place.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to see myself as a better owner of animals than the owners of the kitten and my neighbor.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to participate within the polarity of better and less within the care for animals.

When and as I see myself participating within this pattern of losing myself within the energetic rush of anger when I sense unfairness .I stop and I breathe. Within this I realize that the energy of this experience is directing me and I am not the directive force here. Thus I stop this participation in this energy as anger/ blame and judging others for my experience of myself and do not participate, but breathe myself here in and as the physical.

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