I have been thinking about how important animals are to us. What a difference they can make to our lives, and how marvellous it is to share the world with them. This strikes me often at work, when I see how important pets are to people, and especially people who live alone. I know this myself also – the pleasure I used to get from having the cat greet me when I got home after work. She would hear my footsteps and start miaowing at the door, or run to the gate or to the door of the car if she was outside already. The unselfconscious enthusiasm she seemed to show for me was very restoring.
Dad’s cat is very loving too – she follows him about the yard, and when she is inside, will sit almost on top of him, and look at him from very close up. It’s gorgeous.This eye contact with animals or birds is special – a kind of inter-species recognition and wonderment. It is illustrated in this fabulous poem I read earlier in the week, which also pays respect to the amazing qualities of creatures unlike ourselves, the things they can do, the gloriousness of being alive in whatever form that takes.
Warbler (by Jim Harrison)
This year we have two gorgeous
yellow warblers nesting in the honeysuckle bush.
The other day I stuck my head in the bush.
The nestlings weigh one-twentieth of an ounce,
about the size of a honeybee. We stared at
each other, startled by our existence.
In a month or so, when they reach the size
of bumblebees they’ll fly to Costa Rica without a map.