April 21, 2013

Nobody asks to be born.

Nobody asks to be born. Although our parents may, in their way, choose us and have affect the circumstances of our birth, we don't ask to be born or have a say in who our parents are.

 Parents determine the coordinates we start with: the places, the opportunities, the values, and the expectations of what the world has to offer. But those starting points and directions bring with them blinders - shutters, baffles and barriers - that are part of the finiteness of their lives.

If you have an open mind and open eyes and ears, you might see through the cracks in those protective walls, and peek through the edges of the blinders, and see your own journey - your own unexplored territory.

April 02, 2013

The value of unconditional love.

From time to time, maybe once per week, I remember something about Tiger or Sylvester. These were the brother cats whom Grace and I raised from kittens, and whom we considered like our sons for twenty years. Sylvester passed away after 19 years in October 2011, and Tiger at 20 years in June 2012.

I think that they lived the longest and lovingest lives possible. Their loss has continually crept back up on me. In quiet times, in the evening, or in the middle of the night, the tears just come.

They were constant sources of comfort and reassurance. They were the little ones who needed me to take care of them. They were the heartbeats of our home which kept on beating when we were out for the day. They were the someones who always welcomed us home, and kept our home from feeling empty or lonely.

I'm absolutely a cat person, and I find that there's something solid, immediate and uncomplicated about the love of a dear pet. I'm almost of a mind to say that "pet" doesn't capture the relationship properly - companion is a much more accurate label for the relationship. Tiger and Sylvester were each other's closest companions, and each of them was also an incredible companion to me and my wife.

I have often thought that I'd like to raise two more cats someday. Siblings, so that they can remain their own little tribal family. Nothing will replace our two boys, and maybe because of that, I might not have a cat again, but then again, considering how much happiness being a cat parent brought me, maybe one day I will.