The last month or so has been, ultimately, quite a new sort of experience for me. Dropping the ‘Spiritual Teacher’ thing, releasing my identification with it entirely, returning to my magical roots (sounds like I’ve been chewing some sort of magical root. I have not.) and more. All-in-all, I think I’ve found myself at a new level of honesty and comfort with myself through it all.
I suppose I’m moving into a new phase of my life right now – a phase where I don’t go looking for the transient semi-gratifying experience of other people’s approval. It was a strange balancing act before this phase took hold. Half way between nervous of what others thought and desperate to hear it. I’m not totally free of those weird little ticks yet but I’m finding myself being carried towards a new place where I am. Nonetheless, I’m less and less interested in it.
Along with the above mentioned changes in this shifting of phase, I’m finding that I am more able to care for others. I am able to be more connected and present with the suffering of others and I am able to recognise the clear difference between what falls to me to do and what falls to other to take responsibility for. An interesting part of this is that we have recently been chosen by one of the local stray cats to be its carer for the time being.
The Continuing Tale Of Mr. Tam
It was an evening, early spring, when we had a couple of friends over for dinner. Entirely unlike me to socialise with people at all! But these are lovely friends with big hearts and open minds and I’m always happy to break my own patterns for big hearts and open minds! After dinner, our friends took their leftovers out into the street and fed them to a stray cat who was passing by. Rosa and I thought nothing of it at the time. It seemed like a fair and kind thing to do.
A few weeks later, the cat they had fed that night appear in front of our house, meowing. Then it disappeared again for a few weeks. It wasn’t until a couple of days ago that – after we had begun to make the garden a nice place to be – that very same cat (now dubbed “Mr. Tam”) appeared from behind the front wheel of our car, which had been ritualistically parked in the same spot on our driveway. Out of character and out of routine, that morning I’d said to Rosa, “shall we go and sit in the garden for half an hour and centre ourselves?” And as we stepped out of the house, there was Mr. Tam, meowing softly and meandering his way towards us.
While we sat in the garden, he kept Rosa and I company – and even got some fuss from Rosa. He stayed around us for the whole time we were out there and, later that day, returned for a meal I served him. The next day, he came back for another and the next another until this morning, when I served his meal up and he came back once more. Only, this morning, I noticed something different about ol’ Mr. Tam… He was looking more alive, more vibrant. His fur wasn’t so rough and his eyes didn’t look so raw and red. “He’s looking much healthier!” I called to my wife, who was about jump in the car to run an errand.
The feeling that you’re improving the life of another living creature is so beautiful. By comparison, deeper and much more fulfilling than to receive things so superficial as approval or even anger or resentment. And, it seems, that Rosa and I have a new feline friend. And he is welcome! Even if he does assume that we’ll allow him into the house immediately! Not yet Mr. Tam! A visit to the vet is in order before you’re coming into the sanctum sanatorium of gato y elgatonacho.
I will keep you guys posted on the well-being of Mr. Tam, as well as the lessons he teaches us about understanding, compassion and kindness. Also, if you guys were wondering why “Mr. Tam.” Well, I had a fat ginger cat when I was younger called “Thomas” and when I was thinking of what to name this cat, I remembered Thomas. But I thought, “It can’t be Thomas or Tom… That’s too similar. He’s his own cat, after all. And, plus, he’s much skinnier than Thomas was… Tam! Mr. Tam! Tammy for short.” And so, his name was bequeathed. Mr. Tam. A cat of the cats.
It’s incredible to wonder about what the life of this cat was like before he came to meet us. And what compelled him to come to us? Was it purely the promise of food? Perhaps. Although, I’ve gotta say, I want to believe that there’s some greater meaning also. A dual-meaning maybe. A maybe duel-meaninged meeting of minds.
When Tam first appeared, I was saying to Rosa that we have to understand that he is a stray cat and that, although he has chosen us for the time being, he may decide to move on in time. A statement which was more for me than for her – she’s been the carer of loads of stray cats in her time. And she told me that it’s been her experience that male cats tend to come for a while and then disappear. So, despite our ever-softening hearts, we are hoping to not get attached to him. Though, I would like to take him to the vets and see if he’s healthy and not carrying any horrible disease. Then he could come into the house one day. That would be nice.
Anyway, I best get on now! Got some bits to do! Just wanted to share this little tale with you and keep you in the loop on our journey and our familiar.
Big love and hugs from us in MadCatLand!
Keep it real!
Live, love and play!