Sunday, April 24, 2005

Dido reflects on cats and people

People are strange - give me a darn good feline anyday (preferably Ringo).

Take people. To begin with they don't have much fur. Never trust a creature without fur I say. No fur? Grrrrrrrrrr. How can you trust smooth furless skin? People talk of smooth talkers, but we felines talk of smooth skinners. Hmmm I just realised that living with the firegeni is teaching me compromise; I am learning to tolerate furlessness - it's a price I have to pay for this relationship.

Listen to this! Humans actually SHAVE off any fur they have, even a suspicion of it. Or they peel it off. Erm...judging by the wails produced in some quarters while the process of "defurestation" occurs, take it from me, it's very painful. The yowls and screams would make any cat - even a big brave one like me - flee with terror. I have decided that any creature that shaves off their God-given fur needs to be institutionalised and taught the benefits of fur. All except the few whose furlessness I am learning to accept. (The demands that love makes on one are exhausting.)

Humans are even funnier. They not only shave off what they are supposed to have, they use what they do not have. Have you ever seen a human with claws and fangs for instance? (barring vampires I mean and they aren't strictly "human" - no really they aren't). Well believe me humans use them very efficiently, even there are none visible, and the damage they do is unbelievable.

Many humans also use nonretractable metaphoric "nails" to inflict lasting psychological damage. This is, strangely, on the humans closest to them. An indifferent scratch here and a deliberate rip there in the fabric of human vulnerability, and within a year you have a shredded human. A careless cruel word here and a bit of sarcasm and snideness there, and one is well on the way to pulverised human psyche.

Frankly the damage humans do to one another would make a decent cat blush. We cats don't spend time being catty (and while we are about it - bitches aren't really bitchy). Humans eat each other up - literally, and smack their lips after it too.

Ask me why I prefer a leopard or tiger anyday? Go on ask me.

It's becuase we sagged pe pellet standard felines do a darn good job of many things. We cuddle like experts, we are deeply philosophical (as you would have noticed), we are very good at washing people (sluuurrrrrp, slllll sllllll slllurp) and cheering them up.

And we are pretty good at loving the fur - oops I mean skin (sigh) off the humans we own.

Friday, April 15, 2005

"trust me" Kaa (Jungle Book)

Image of a politician? Think Jungle Book. Think Kaa. Wide mesmerising eyes, hypnotic sway, hissing promises and constant sibilant echo "truuuust me". So who are we supposed to trust? Bush backed Blair contingent with pointy shiny shoes? Or the other trumpeted election calls? Do they actually care about the country and the world, and are their motives genuine and unselfish?

Frankly I don't trust politicians. (that's probably obvious!). In today's context a "politician" is synonymous with "smooth walker sweet talker". Election politics has changed over the years into a media constructed debacle where one sees politicians and their polished manifestos generally through the filter of the media. Election campaigns are as carefully planned and sophisticated as blockbuster movies in terms of effect and success. This no doubt means we see the politicians "made up" in more ways than one. What we get are smoothened, refined, planned delivery, with many takes, cuts and edits. We rarely get politicians "live".

So what do we do with the edited politics of today? Our suave smiling polite politicians? Genuine politics can only come out of an altruistic desire to serve people but one wonders if there is such a thing as altruism in the heart of a politician. An ancient example still shines vividly. Standing at the height of his success and popularity in public, John the Baptist says with humility (of Christ) "He must increase and I must decrease". Perhaps the analogy might appear odd. But here is humility and altruism that modern politicians know nothing about; a leadership without self seeking moitves and sans any desire for glory and recognition, without any desire except to serve people and God. I hope there comes a day when we might see raised up, a man, of principles and humility, with a heart for people and the world.

But on a final note...Machiavelli's The Prince presents such a difficult dilemma. An altruistic honest politician, according to him, is nothing but a suicidal bid for extinction

Thursday, April 14, 2005

to trust or not to trust.

Having spent an evening with two endearing kids, playing games, cuddling them and being cuddled (as well as being leapt on and smothered) I couldn't help but think about the nature of "trust".

Kids trust, and trust completely. They snuggle up to you with open arms and hearts, no holds barred, no fear, no distrust. It is a sad fact that one learns the art of distrust through the years in order to survive, for without distrust we would be destroyed. People encourage you to trust, but lets face it, we live in a world where trusting as a child does, with complete faith, is often nothing short of a recipe for disaster.

Ever so rarely we drop our guard, let our vulnerabilities be seen and let ourselves be known. But that is rare. So rare. If one possesses one friend with whom one can do that, I think it is one of the greatest privileges and gifts of life. Nothing, just nothing, compares to that gift. We might have all we want, but if we do not possess at least one person with whom our guard is completely down, where our hearts are open without fear or distrust, we do not have what we most truly need - the freedom to be what we most truly are.

Sadly most times we are compelled to fold our arms, shut our hearts, bar the doors, smell our fear and nurse our distrust and run for cover, terrified that our openness will destroy us, make us vulnerable and hurt. Most of us have been there, done that and that's it. No more. Bye bye trust.

Dido says that if one's instincts are in good working order, you can scent danger long before it hits you and run. But if you smell "safety" you can smoothen your fur and with a contented stretch, purr long and loud. She at the moment is feeling somewhat injured at the indignity of having been bitten by a child! "I bite" she told me with immense dignity. "I do not get bitten"! "The worst indignity," she said, sniffin with irritation "is being sucked on like a soother. Huh you talking of trust? I don't trust no kid within a mile of pe pellet leopard."

Four legged philosophy...

I was wondering whether I should start off with a good old rant on something (as promised by subtitle "random fired rantings"). There is much that can be the target of a good healthy rant: the state of the world, injustice, poverty, environmental issues, the pervasive influence of consumer mentality and individualisitic capitalist ambition, the Merkin empire and its commitment to daisycutter philosophy, gherkin behaviour of people, the looming elections, the place of wimmin in the church, dear Tony Blair courting votes and disaster in shiny pointy black shoes and standard political smile, and my own immense stupidity in refusing the perceptive advice of friends (and having to meekly swallow humble pie dished out with "I told you so's" ad nauseum in my tired ears). I could go on and on but you get the general drift of possible rants.

I was, however, pondering on something philosophical today. Is it possible to converse with non-human entities? Hold it! I never said nuffin about occult, spirits or stuff like that. I am not one to converse with floating insubstantial jelly like entities, and have a deep dislike of disembodied voices and transparent wispy beings. I refer here to four legged entities of the feline ilk ("the big cat variety not the icky miaowing ones" hissed Dido just now). The kind that carry their superior constitution of "polyester fibre" and "inner sagged pe pellets" with dignity, and have pride in their high conformity with toy safety standards.

Let me explain. Visiting us - Dido (the leopard) and me - is a very astute tiger named Ringo. In the past week some extremely illuminating texts, literally philosophical gems, were exchanged between Ringo and Dido. Although I was merely human, I could fully appreciate the content of these texts. Moreover I have personally had some sound insightful comments from both felines over the past week. (Ringo in a fit of passionate loyalty did resort to certain tactics and I had a very touching text from him stating, "leave such morsels to mine angry tiger teeth").

If God decreed that He should speak out of the mouth of a dumb ass to a dumb man, why should not pearls of wisdom be offered from the lips of erstwhile philosophical felines? If four legged philosophy was permitted by the Ancient of Days in the ancient days, why pray not now? We listen to garbled trash that passes for "the philosophy of life, the universe and everything" that oozes at us from the mouths of the most ridiculous sources.

So my question is this "In a world of oozing floating twisted philosophy, does four legged sagged pe pellet philosophy count?"