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Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “pet”

The luck of a four-legged friend

©MCD - Tiger2018

©MCD

Everything happens for a reason, they say. Some say it is usually the reason you want to believe they happen.

When you come to think of it though, it’s the smallest of things that make the greatest impact on your life. The simplest of gestures, a few words of kindness, the smallest of beings.

For this latter, it is strange how – if you are an animal lover – your whole being lights up at the mere sight of one. Your mood instantly changes. As if you suddenly realise how trivial everything else is. Like Schopenhauer said: “Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character; and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man”. In a similar light, Anatole France stated, “until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remain un-awakened”.

The best part of having a pet as a companion, a roommate and a friend is that you will receive twice-fold (or more) the love you offer it. If you are as lucky as to have a four-legged creature in your home and your life, you will know what it is to find joy at the simplest of things, how to relax by merely a pet or a hug, how the warmth of a purr can take away all your stress, and how to love unconditionally.

It is only when that love that taught you about life is lost that you fully comprehend its importance. It is that unbearable void that is left behind upon a pet’s departure that makes you acknowledge how lucky you are to have been a part of their life and to have had the honour to have them choose you as their partner during their brief passage from this earth.

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals” – Immanuel Kant

Our purpose in life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them” – Dalai Lama

Pets are bundles of love wrapped in fur”

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A vintage outfit

©MCD

©MCD

The rattling outside his window in the middle of the night did not wake him. Nor did the scratching of the metal on the pavement disturb his sleep. He paid no attention whatsoever to the movement on his front yard at the break of dawn.

But when he woke, he found it there. Right outside his garage door.

It was just as he imagined it would be. Light brown with silver, red, blue and yellow lines and a green and gold rim round the wheels.

A motorcycle with a sidecar.

It was vintage but he had always dreamed of one. He even knew the little-known fact that “a motorcycle with a sidecar is sometimes called a combination, an outfit, a rig or a hack”.

In his head, he was already racing in the countryside with the “outfit”, among green trees and pick-nick perfect valleys. Driving like in those old movies he used to watch, and hoping he wouldn’t hit a tree and split from his other half.

But… he lacked the company. The one to sit in his sidecar.

Just at that moment, someone made their presence felt.

A gentle bark and a wagging of its fury tail as it approached was all he needed to persuade him to let his fleece-golden Labrador be his sidekick in this new adventure.

A siren purr

http://cdn.cutestpaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/l-a-the-cats.jpgThey found him on the street behind a bush. His faint yet persistent cry acted like a siren call. His eyes had the colour autumn leaves take just before falling off the tree and they radiated a sadness that should not have been there at his age. He was so small he could fit in the very palm of your hand.

It only took a bowl of milk to tame him enough to get close. He needed a petting and a warm hug. Who knows for how long he had been abandoned out there all alone. It wasn’t very cold, but for him it could have well been the middle of winter. Loneliness messes with your senses.

He perched almost immediately in her lap, as if he had found the home he had been dragged away from. Then he started to purr. That soft, constant, vibrating purr that causes a smile to appear on your face and goosebumps to take over your body unconsciously. Because it was a sensation like no other. Knowing that the simplest of things, the minimal of your actions, can cause someone so much happiness.

She soon felt dependent on it. It was the moment she longed for after every day. To sit on the sofa and allow him to settle in his usual – by now – position. And then begin that sweet chime that only a cat can utter.

It’s amazing how such a small thing can take up the most room in your heart.

Because she soon found that she cared more about that feline creature that had so surprisingly yet decisively entered her life, than for some human beings she had known for much longer.

But that was a bit of a problem though. Because for years he had been her companion, her friend, her confidante, her family, her soulmate.

And then one day he left.

As suddenly as he appeared. But far more painfully for her.

On that morning, when his purr ceased to sound, something inside her broke. It is painful losing something you love so much. Especially when he had your entire heart from the moment you saw him. The image of him lying there still could not be erased from her mind. But neither could all the moments spent with him. Those numerous occasions they had experienced together and which she would never change for anything in the world.

His little paws had forever been imprinted on her heart. And that is what she was going to hold on to. That her life had transformed in the most unexpected of ways with his arrival and she had become a better person because of it.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Transformation

The first rays

https://art-holst.com.ua/img/gallery/51/thumbs/thumb_l_9010.jpgAs the first ray of sunlight fell on her sheets that morning, Élodie knew she didn’t want to get up. She didn’t want to spend yet another day single and alone. And frankly she was somewhat disgusted at how a single day could be so commercialized – as if love was not something that should be felt or displayed every day.

But when Yuki, her Yorkshire puppy jumped on her bed, with eyes sparkling, nose dripping and tail wagging, Élodie knew that all that mattered was the people you shared your life with, no matter if they weren’t there every second of it.

She got up with Yuki hopping around her feet.

It wasn’t about the candy and flowers that day. Because she had a great time anyway. With friends. People she could share the thoughts in her head with; the things that troubled her the most. People she could be weird and silly with and not care. Love would come and find her either way. She didn’t have to go looking for it.

For now, she felt happy. And she believed more than anything that the dreams your heart makes, your mind cannot follow. Because, sometimes, your dreams are too big to utter. And a love that completes you, will always be one of them. But that doesn’t mean you should make it your life’s purpose.

Yuki knew that too.

That’s why she pushed Giacomo in her path, that next day in the park, when she ran off and began skipping around him – a tall, elegant man who was soaking up sun on a bright afternoon. And that is usually how the best relationships begin – out of a simple coincidence, when you least expect them.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: First Light

(Not) Another regular Friday

http://worksmartlivesmart.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/have-a-bad-day.jpgHer name was Henrietta. It was a straightforward name, albeit a bit irregular for a female. You would think it was easy to remember, and not to be confused. But today when she went two hours in advance of the opening time to pick up the concert tickets for the next day, which she had booked four months earlier, the lady in charge told her she could not find her name on the list. There was a Henry, though, with the same surname, for (weirdly enough) the same tickets. It took 45 minutes to prove she was the Henry, although, the Henry was in fact a Henrietta, who was her.

By the time she returned home, people were already flooding the cafés for their afternoon coffees. She decided to chop some vegetables in order to make a quick salad with some baked beans she was about to boil. Quick, easy, and healthy, she thought. But, alas, her new knives would prove their worth. She nearly chopped off her left index finger together with a slice of tomato. A crimson stream began to flow from that little finger, soon turning five napkins from white to red and refusing to stop. Henrietta rushed to the pharmacy for some first aid. She would have to pay attention to the entire hand now, as the wound was deep and required time to heal.

By the time she was back, the beans were not baked, but burnt. And now she had a black pot to scrub with one hand.

This is when she realized how many things come to us so automatically every day, that we hardly pay any attention to them. For example, how much work that single finger does. How vital it is for the entire hand to function. She noticed how hard it was to do the slightest of things – from getting dressed to washing your hair, to putting on contact lenses – all with one hand.

As the sun set, and calm returned to Henrietta’s apartment, which now smelled of burnt food – she sought solace with Duchess, her fluffy, white Persian cat. But, as her name implied, the feline could not care less for her mistress. So as Henrietta compromised with online videos of cats asking to be cuddled, the power suddenly went out.

For one and a half hours, she sat in the dark in a burnt-smelling home with a bleeding finger and an inconsiderate pet. She was all too happy to go to bed and end this adventurous Friday. It was not so TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday), after all.

 

N.B. Based on a true story.

The time we never had

Siamese-cat-walking-away-Stock-PhotoHere we are, trying to live the present as it comes. Desperately trying to seize the moment, to make the most out of every opportunity that lingers in front of us. We try to convince ourselves that we are doing the best we can with our time. That we are not letting it go to waste, because that would be a shame.

But deep down we know that nothing can beat a ticking clock.

Whatever will come, will do so either way. All we can do is live, so as to say that we experienced everything we could in the timeframe we had. That we sucked the juice out of life and enjoyed it. With no regrets. Other than the (more) time we never had.

People come in and out of your life constantly. Even with them, their time is always limited. Even if it is with a pet. More so when it is with a pet. Because, sometimes it turns out to be more than that. More than simply an animal, a friend, a companion. Cats are usually the ones who own you. They tie you down without you even realizing it. But you don’t mind. You actually enjoy it and are all the more grateful for it too. Because you know that this bond is for life.

Three years ago today, that specific time was up. At least in this world. That eternal bond doesn’t break. You promised it to each other and you know it. That bond is forever. No matter how quickly time flies. No matter how much more time you wished you had.

Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind”. – Nathaniel Hawthorne

The elephant in the closet

elephantinthelivingroom2When it was just a young calf, the little elephant was adopted by a rich high-class, very well-off family for no other reason because they could do so, and because their toddler son had become fascinated by the picture of the animal in a book he had, that he simply had to have one for his own. Most of the first few weeks were spent with the toddler running after the little elephant, tugging at its trunk and rejoicing whenever it squirt water back at it in an unsuccessful attempt to get the kid to stop.

As time passed by, the toddler grew older and found other interests. The elephant wasn’t the biggest fascination of his life anymore, but he did often still play with him. One rainy day, he had the idea of playing hide and seek. With the elephant. The elephant was to go hide.

The boy counted to 100, got distracted at 49, wondered off for half an hour, returned to count from one again and, well, two hours later he went to seek the elephant.

By now, the elephant was almost full-grown. So, really, where could an elephant hide? Mind you, the boy lived in a mansion, so it was quite easy to get lost in there. Or, in the boy’s case, get tired. After around half an hour of searching, the boy gave up and was then called for dinner. His mind drifted to other things and he soon went to bed.

The elephant had hidden in the basement closet.

They say elephants never forget. But people do. The boy forgot about the elephant and it was literally months before he remembered that he once had such a “pet”. But he never reached the closet. Because of laziness, of over-privilege, of low-concentration capacity? There were many reasons. Reasons that the elephant could not understand. For in its miserable, unnatural life, it was locked up, voluntarily at first and forcefully later as the closet door could not open from the inside.

The elephant perished in the closet of one of the most lavish houses people could ever build. But he became witness to the truth that appearances are deceitful. Because no matter the grandness of the house, the hearts of the people who occupied it were nonexistent.

Elephants never forget. But some people don’t even remember.

How do you clean a dirty cat?

cat-washing-machineIf you were walking on the sidewalk and came across an average-sized cat with enchanting snake-green eyes but with white fur as dirty as the insides of a garbage can, would you stop and gaze at it, let alone pet or feed it? No? Well that is exactly what Janine was trying to convey to Toby.

His fur had become grey from the dirt he was gathering while playing around, who knows where. It was summer too so the heat made it easier to stick everything on to his fur. But, it was embarrassing having a cat follow you around that was so dirty. It was as if she was homeless and this was her pity victim. Janine would have none of it. Toby would get cleaned up today.

There was only one problem. Toby hated water.

Toby was the kind of cat that wanted its independence – so you would pet him only if he allowed you to, would eat only if he wanted to etc. But at times, he would follow Janine around everywhere. Even to the supermarket, where he would wait patiently outside for her to emerge with the shopping bags so they could continue their walk. It was funny really. But at least he could be presentable as an escort.

Today Janine was going to the laundry mat. Toby, unfortunately for his sake, decided to tag along.

As she was loading the laundry into the machine, Toby opted to play around, hiding in the load, then peeking out and hiding deeper. But when Janine was almost done, he came up with the silly idea of jumping in the machine with the clothes to scare her when he popped out. But Janine did not see him and simply shut the door and hit “start”.

Toby was in the washing machine. Loaded.

As the water began to fill up, he began to gulp. And as the motion began, he began to yell as loudly as a cat can screech. It took Janine a minute or two before she realized where that hair-raising sound came from. When she saw Toby’s eyes staring at her as they revolved among the clothes in the washing machine, she nearly fainted. White as a ghost and in an unprecedented state of panic, she was pressing all the buttons on the machine at once in a desperate attempt to get it to stop. But how do you stop this machine?? Could she unplug it? But where was the plug anyway? Not knowing what to do, she quickly dialed 911.

The fire fighters were there in less than three minutes (their station was two blocks down from the laundry mat).

Their first reaction was naturally a giggle. It was kind of funny seeing a shrieking cat turning 360 degrees in a load of whites. But they quickly got to work: one of them tugged the machine forward and the other managed to unplug it. Then they used five different tools to get the door open and let the water rush out.

Toby sprang out with all the energy he had left. He was a poor sight – a wretched, soaking wet cat. He shook off the water from his fur and jumped into Janine’s lap. At least both now could relax.

The firemen were still laughing as they departed.

But Toby’s adventure had two outcomes: his fur was now clean and silky white as snow again; he stopped following Janine everywhere and instead spent more time inside the house – you know, to avoid getting too dirty and be mechanically washed like that again!

A Dog Named Bob

cute_brown_puppy_dog_with_big_begging_eyesHe was a mischievous one. It was reflected in his eyes if you looked closely enough. But they fell in love with him as soon as they saw him as a newborn puppy sitting silently in a box, wagging his tiny tail and gazing at them with those adorable black eyes. How could you say no to that? Have you ever seen what real puppy eyes have the power to do?

They never regretted taking him in. But they would soon find out how mischievous a dog named Bob can be.

The Hamleys were a family like any other. With three children and everyone always going about their daily business, going in and out of the house at their own pace and gathering once a day for dinner. That was usually when Bob too would manage to scrape some real food out of the family, using, of course, the power of his enchanting black eyes. It is not that he was not fed during the day. But a cooked family meal always outdid any processed can food. One day they neglected to give him a piece, as they were quarrelling about something, but Bob managed to discretely steal a large streaky piece of bacon from the youngest member’s plate. Nobody even noticed. That is how busy they were…

Bob’s favourite pastime in the mornings was running up to the mailbox and waiting for the postman to appear. For some inexplicable reason, dogs always love to chase this poor man who is delivering letters. Bob would never harm him, mind you, but he would always wag his tail happily, waiting for some attention, and manage to transmit this happiness to the mailman. Which was always delightful.

Another day, Bob noticed a bluejay sitting in the tree outside the house. He was sitting underneath it staring at it for hours. Until he decided, he would ask the bird to come down to play. So he barked the neighbourhood awake as he jumped and screeched up and down the bark of the tree. The bluejay got so startled that it flew into the house through the open kitchen window and fell into the bowl of syrup the mother of the family was using to bake something – nobody ever found out what it was, as the syrup had to be thrown out following the bird incident. The bluejay is OK by the way. It flew straight back out again, and presumably passed by the river to clean up.

Bob was a strangely adorable but very mischievous dog. What is not known though is that he is very famous too. Because one day, the father of the Hamleys decided that his dog’s adventures were too funny and priceless to be kept sealed inside the house. So he sat down, got out his ink markers and began scribbling away. That is how the most famous book describing a beloved dog’s adventures was born. From a simple dog named Bob.

Also part of Daily Prompt: A Dog Named Bob

Meltdown

Are you living your dreamIt’s always there in the shadows. Looming in the cupboard and in the drawers. In the places you least expect it to be. It takes the slightest bit for it to sneak up on you. But when it does, it covers you tighter than the black cape that wraps Batman in the midst of the night. Some find it after the second bottle of wine, some after a nervous breakdown, others during a breakup, but more often than not, it is there in the simplest and smallest of things, waiting to be noticed.

Parker was a quite boy. He was the smartest in his class all through college. He grew up to become a charming young successful professional, and career-wise he had a lot of potential. He lived up to and beyond the expectations of his superiors and everyone praised the fantastic work he did.

Then he went home.

He went home to an empty house. Not even the cat would stay there because it was so cold, as he was at work all day. He ordered in food or picked it up on the way home, never having the time or energy to cook something on his own. He was in a town where there was nothing much to do either and all his college friends where someplace else. He was the only one who had returned to his hometown. And he disliked this, more than he hated the burnt mushrooms on his pizza.

Parker’s life had become nothing more than work and home. And although he enjoyed the flexibility of sometimes working from home, he chose not to. Because no matter how many electronic messages he exchanged with tens of colleagues, not leaving the house meant he had absolutely no physical contact with anyone. Not even the aforementioned cat. The isolation he already had was more than enough.

His job was that of a copywriter. And that did not mean copying other people’s writing. It meant coming up with inspiring and unique ideas that could be used in, for example, advertising a company or product. And Parker was great at that. He had a creative mind, mainly because he dreamt a lot, and could find inspiration in the slightest of things. To him doing this was as easy as breathing. Until it stopped. Being easy that is.

Because it hit him.

It came when he least expected it. It was triggered by the tiredness, the spying on others through their social media accounts, the exasperation of being stuck here when everyone else was seemingly living their lives and doing the things he wanted to do, the not having anyone to follow away, the not being able to fully indulge in a head-over-heels love affair, the simple realization that he had not accomplished half the things he had dreamt of doing by now.

That is when the meltdown hit him. And it struck hard. This time was worse than when he finished college and didn’t know what to do. It was worse than running out of Nutella at midnight on a weekday while studying for a midterm, and even worse than the sobbing that ensues a depressing Gilmore Girls episode. This time it was painful. Because, this time Parker did not want to do anything. At all. He did not leave his home for two weeks, at least. The cat was forced to come over and see if he still existed.

And that is when he realized he would do something to change things. Because he realized that even his cat had moved on, when he saw that someone else had put a collar on it. That was the trigger to get up and do something.

He packed up a suitcase and left.

He would go to the airport and fly out on the first attractive destination he would find. He saw it done in movies so many times. Thinking practical and realistic all this time never got him anywhere anyway, so why not take a risk?

He would start afresh somewhere new. All he had to do was accept the challenge. And he was more than ready to do so.

What point was there anyway to keep on dreaming, if he would never even try to accomplish them? Otherwise, they would just remain that. Dreams. Unfulfilled.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: All Grown Up

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