Talking to the Animals

IMG_1808 - 2014-08-20 at 16-28-37

What to do about stress? When you are stuck in a situation where there seems to be no way out? Chill. Roger here is willing to give you a graphic hint, but in no way will he demand you take his demonstrative advice. He gives it for free. It’s free but you don’t have to take it. Roger nailed me the other day. I was cleaning his cage and he wanted to play. He was playing. One thing that seems to be ubiquitous with cats is that when you are trying to accomplish your work they will always choose to sit or lie exactly where you are working. Their skill at determining the exact most central focus of your work is as eerie as it is precise. When Roger laid this trip on me I did what I could by boosting and gently shoving. Roger thought I was playing. He embraced my forearm and began to kick with his powerful hindquarters. Friggin strong cat! They all are strong but some have the championship potential. The tiny wounds Roger graced me with are not yet fully healed. And I remind myself how peaceful and comic he is when sleeping. What a clown. What a champ. He practices restraint – a noble quality.

I’m having a third cup of coffee this morning. It’s 44 F degrees, a little bit of autumn creeping in. The window behind my desk is open and I shiver slightly. The air is fresh, making the shivers worth it. It reminds me of life in the same way that walking barefoot in the snow does. I lived in the sub-tropics for 23 years. Coolness has a strong effect on me as a result because I went without for so long. Like I said: it reminds me of life, which is good.

Back to the cats. I consider myself to be way lucky to work with these critters. There’s the clown factor, which rides shotgun with the awe I feel at the capabilities that Nature has provided to these animals. Friggin awesome! Their sweetness and loving affection does not hide their fearsome abilities. Most everyone knows how they are. My mom had this thing she did when beholding a cat. She would do this little inhaling hiss, a sound I can’t to this day describe, but when I heard it I knew she was blown away by the beauty before her. Again and again and again. I know that I inherited this propensity for awe from her. She’d be right pleased to know that I am now taking care of cats for a living. Likely she does know. It would be just like her.

Readers of EyeYotee might like to know that, if everything goes well, I will be writing the official blog on the upcoming upgraded Taos Stray Hearts Animal Shelter’s website. The executive director gave me the news yesterday. I am thusly honored. I’ll have fun, no doubt. She gave me free reign as to what I can write. Animal stories are way fun to write, but people work there too. They will get their due.

This all brings me back to the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness, which states:

“The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non- human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.”

“The capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors”? Ever have a cat hit ya with a mind game? You can see that they are fucking with your head; you can see it in their eyes. That’s what I’m sayin’. This capacity is what makes working with them all the more challenging, and equally fulfilling. These are conscious critters. They can feel and emote with them best of us. Qualities and abilities that we humans once claimed as ours alone are not that at all. It’s life, plain and simple. One of our volunteers is a neurobiologist. I’ll have to ask her about the Cambridge Declaration. She is adamant and generous in giving to the cats. She knows. I know she knows. Maybe we can talk. That would be cool as all get out. 

It’s that time. Sunrise has begun and twilight holds the court as I wrap up yet another post at EyeYotee. I’ve got other things on my mind besides animals, I just couldn’t get to it this morning. Some things I did not want to write about. Sometimes silence is best when mystery and the potential for discovery are afoot in the land. And Magic. Of course. And yer like dude’s acting all tricky and stuff. Yeh, maybe.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.





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