Sunday, June 8, 2008


I miss my cats. The skeletal frames of the local feral population serve as inadequate substitutes. Risking flea infestation for a momentary cuddle isn’t worth it. Plus it’s heart breaking to contemplate their pitiful existence in a country that can’t even ensure its human populace gets fed.

With my mind drenched in karma theory and the death/rebirth cycle I no longer see animals the same way. I don’t see a cat. I see a spectrum of lifetimes and a current feline manifestation. I can’t help but wonder what they’ve done to wind up in this form. Jains would say this body is penance for bad karma in previous lives. Regardless, their furry bellies, Egyptian features and resourceful nature beg for human adoration. I wonder about their level of consciousness – whether there’s any awareness (or even desire) to achieve a human form – which is the only means to reach enlightenment according to the Jains (they teach that not even a godly form can achieve liberation from samasara – the cycle of rebirth). I wonder if they have even a faint memory of resentment or sorrow, of desire or anticipation. I wonder if they are capable of gratitude. And finally, I wonder if they’ll eat this extra chapatti I’ve folded into my pocket.

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