Mindfulness, Plus Fur

Posted by Eliza, September 18th, 2015

photo 3-8Like many of you, animals have been an important part of my life since before I can remember. When I was four or five, we had a lovely cat (with eyeliner Liz Taylor would have envied) named Sheba.

I still hold onto the guilt I felt after she ran away: I was sure it was because I tried to feed her the cornflakes into which I’d experimentally dumped a little orange juice. As an adult I know she probably was reacting to our impending move, but part of me still wonders why she left me. Our animal companions become such a part of our inner as well as our outer lives that we often hold their memories tight, and long after they’re gone.

Today, though, I want to bless them, to thank them and to sing praises for our fellow animals, especially the ones who humble their wild selves to live with us. They love us, forgive us, and most of all, remind us of the time.

I don’t mean dinner time, though that’s of vital importance: the dog stares hauntingly into your eyes, the cat rubs her whole self along your legs, and the guinea pigs squeal their lettuce greeting. And they let us know that they have hungers, just like we do.

No, I mean time, as in what little we mortals have upon this earth. My little dog turns nine in a few weeks, and I’m delighted with how well she’s doing. Sure, she has a bit of arthritis, and she’s carrying a bit of extra weight because it curtails our walks sometimes. (So am I, for that matter.) But she loves to chase balls, play “catch me” with her stuffed toys, and chase squirrels and cats away – you see the theme. She revels in stinks and pee mails on our neighborhood rounds. She’s feisty when she feels threatened, and so loving when we settle in for the night. She’s alive!

And I treasure each day, each moment, each moonset and sun rise because of her constant reminder to enjoy it. Now. I’m more alive thanks to her.

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