tarbaby behind bars
Yesterday I went to see TarBaby at the cat and dog hospital in Twin Oaks. Glad I did. Tar was having an I V hose run to his leg. The needle was held in place by a cushioned sleeve made especially for such needs. The place on his leg that's shaved had the needle in it. He was overjoyed that I came to see him. He understood he was in place for awhile, wasn't anxious for me to liberate him. At first, he recognized me by sight and scent, but was a little hesitant to be touched until I took off the shirt I brought to put in the cage for him to use for a bed. I'd worn it 3 days, so it carried my scent. Before I left the house I'd put it over the shirt I was wearing to take it off when I saw TarBaby. Placing it in his cubicle he started purring loud. He'll prefer it to stainless steel to sleep on. Plus, it has the scent of home in it. I took the purring for gratitude.
I petted him and petted him, talked to him, called him ElGato, the name he especially likes, explained to him I can't take him home yet. He knew already. I felt like he knew this was a hospital stay, that it was making him feel better, that he was coming around. Didn't like what was being done to him, but seemed to understand. I'm suddenly seeing TarBaby an old cat. I expect he has some years left in him. I believe Nash Williams saved TarBaby's life. He was that close. He was too far gone to be able to turn around on his own. His spirit made the turn, but the body couldn't follow.
I went back today and took Tar another shirt I'd worn for 2 days. The other one had different hospital scents on it by then, so he had a fresh shirt to sleep on that smelled only of home. He was happy to see me. He was unplugged from the I V and looking good. He'd been eating well. Again, he felt no compulsion for me to take him home, appearing to understand his time there is not yet done. There are antibiotics yet. I'll go back tomorrow and visit him every day. I'm glad I had the insight from the experience with Jr to know how valuable a visit is. Each day I'm letting TarBaby know I've not abandoned him, that I will take him home when his health is ready.
The same as it doesn't feel right that Jr Maxwell has gone over yonder, it doesn't feel right that TarBaby is alarmingly unwell. He's been a mild mannered cat from when he was born. The personalities of the three cats are the same grown up as they were individually as kittens, except for the changes experience makes. When they were 2, 3 and 4 weeks old I was feeding them formula from the vet with a syringe. Tapo and Caterpillar were ravenous. Tapo the most. Tapo wanted to be ingesting every second she was awake. As a result, she's round as a black soccer ball grown up. Tapo and Caterpillar would climb my pants leg, sometimes one up each leg at the same time.
At first, I couldn't tell TarBaby and Tapo apart. For a few days I fed one of the black ones, then Caterpillar, then the other black one. The other black one turned out to be Tapo for a couple of days. TarBaby suddenly was weak one morning. He'd not had any food for a couple of days. Tapo was getting fed twice. I had to start feeding Caterpillar first so I could pick up one black one after putting the other black one down. TarBaby wasn't at all aggressive for food. Tapo and Caterpillar were ravenous, could not be ignored, while TarBaby stood back and waited his turn. He's that way grown up too. He's like totally Mr Cool, like Matt Dillon in his teen movies.
All my life I've lived among people that believed 4-legged animals were nothing to even notice. Targets. Something to torment. It was all right to sell them, leave them, kill them, whatever. They're just animals. Now that I've lived with 3 dogs and 4 cats, I've learned what The Garden is. It is innocence of duality that gets we with the forebrain in trouble not knowing how to handle it, groping in the dark. We believe we can control one thing and another, and that belief we're in control is as big an illusion as there is. Cats don't need to control anything. Neither do dogs or any other critter without the forebrain.
Strangely, we with the forebrains hold as the ideal transcending the forebrain and getting back to non-duality, The Garden. I live with the 3 cats as with 3 people who live in The Garden. They're in it and I'm not. That, as I see it in my own case, explains their charm and gives me insight into life in The Garden, or freedom from belief we have to control things. To live in the present moment as completely as they do, we'd have to shut down thoughts of future and past, self and other, motivations and let whatever is happening be what's happening. I found Jr one who let whatever was happening be it, no compulsion to change what is already over, no need to control anyone but himself.
TarBaby is free to let what happens be what is, unless it's in the form of a dog. Then it's martial arts alert; back and tail up, ears back, teeth showing, claws extended, fury in the eyes, a hiss that says welcome to the meat grinder. He has a good set of claws for face slashing, the last resort and a serious threat. Or they can shuffle him up a tree at running speed. I saw when they were kittens their fascination learning they have claws and what all they can do with the claws. We have similar fascination with our fingers when we're little, learning what they'll do, when we're still in The Garden, though looking for the EXIT as fast as we can go. I want to be free. I want my own mind. I want to use words. I want to believe things unbelievable. I want to worry day and night for life. Aarrrghh!!! Can't get back in the exit door. It's locked from the inside.