Friday, May 18, 2012

A Lesson From Cats

When I saw these two cats sharing the same space the other day, the sight stopped me for a moment. These two female cats have hated each other ever since Daisy, the silver tabby, came to live at our house. Prior to that, Misty, the calico, was the queen. She was top cat and ruled the other cats with an iron paw.

Daisy is the cat that I found injured in my barn last fall. At the time, we did not plan to have one more cat. We had just adopted the two black kittens I've written about before, but my husband and I decided that we would not leave Daisy to be dinner for a coyote. Misty had accepted the kittens with only minor upset. Maybe because she had had several litters of kittens, and a maternal instinct kicked in, but she did not like Daisy from day one.

Ever since, the two cats have had a hate-relationship. If they get within a few feet of each other, great bouts of hissing usually erupt. Still, there have been moments that hinted that maybe the hostilities would not last forever. Over time, the cats made tentative approaches toward peace, occasionally walking past each other without the sound effects, and once even looking at each other as if thinking, "Maybe she could be okay."

Then once I saw them outside, and they were actually playing a little game of chase. At least it looked like a game of chase. Unless it was just Misty saying, "get out of the flowerbed. I was here first." But I'd like to think that they had decided they could have a little fun together if they stopped being so nasty to each other.

Anyway, whatever differences they have had were obviously put aside the day they decided to sleep back-to-back on the card table where I work jigsaw puzzles. When I got the camera, of course the perfect picture was no longer there. Daisy, always on alert, heard me turn on the camera and sat up. Misty was so sound asleep, she didn't even move.

I snapped a couple of shots anyway and stood there for a few moments just watching. Seeing the cats together like that in relative peace made me wish that people could resolve their differences, or at least put them aside long enough to discover that we can get along.

What if the groups of people who have battled each other for decades, maybe centuries, just stopped and tried to walk within a few miles of each other without violence erupting? What if people who harbor ill-will toward people of a different race or culture or religion, stopped and just looked at each other and thought, "Maybe she could be okay."?

What if some cultures that arm young children to go fight the "enemy" would give them bats and balls and tell them to go play with the other kids in the park?

What if we all just learned to get along?

6 comments:

LD Masterson said...

Cultures hang on to their hates. Individuals will often find a way passed them in time.

Dana said...

Loved this! I completely agree, and I think what LD said is right on.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

What a wonderful sentiment.

We've had two sets of siblings and they never seem to get along. So those moments when they sleep together are precious. And I always take pictures.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

We humans could learn a lot from animals. I did a post a while back about a lion, a bear, and a tiger who'd been raised together since they were cubs. They share the same habitat at an animal rescue place, and it's amazing to see those animals nuzzle each other. If animals of different species, different species usually considered enemies, can live together in peace... why can't we?

Maryann Miller said...

Susan, that story about the lion, bear and tiger is so cool. It is amazing how different species can bond, even when they are supposed to be enemies.

LD, you are so right about the difference between cultures trying to set aside antagonism and individuals. When we meet face to face, it works better.

L.Diane, we currently have two other cats that are siblings. They do get along better than these other two females, who have now decided they don't like each other as much as they did the other day. LOL

Dana,glad you liked the post.

Patricia Stoltey said...

A lovely post, Maryann, and a lovely dream. If only...