(so, I’m gonna try to do NaNoBloMo: write a post a day for all of November. I want to get into the habit of actually writing and publishing regularly here…So here goes not-nothing :))
My friends just moved out of a house they lived in for 4 years. I lived in it for a few months too. It was an old powerful house in the country, where they had grown huge gardens full of medicinal plants, vegetables, legumes and they were even starting to grow rice. They decided to leave that house because after many people living there, and some conflicts, there was only two of them left. One was leaving the country for 6 months, so the other didn’t really feel like staying on his own. They needed a new start I guess.
But there wasn’t really only two of them. There was also a cat, named Minette. When I was living there I spend a lot of time with her: we were the only hardcore cuddlers in the house. Minette is now leaving with my friend in an appartment in the city, and she is sleeping all day. She is sad. In some ways, I feel like I understand her. I loved that house, the old stones the house is built with and the flowers and the big stone you can see from the farther end of one the gardens, a big stone in the middle of a field that feels so magical and imposing I never thought to go and touch it before just this moment and now I never will be able to.
Yet, I don’t think I really understand what Minette is going trough. She lived in that house, almost non-stop, for four years. She curled in every corner of the house, she ran trough the fields and chased, and rested under the trees. In reality I cannot described the life she lived there, I cannot imagine what it is like to be a cat, her relationship to the land. I only can guess how her whole body learned the land, how she made it her home. There was a time we humans did that too (some still try). There will be a time we will again.
For the moment, I have no idea how that’s like. I havent lived somewhere longer than a couple years in a long time. Most places I lived where in cities, and in all cases I didn’t spend that much time out, making friends with the trees and all the other beings. Maybe one reason I didn’t, maybe one reason I cannot bring myself to truly connect with the living world, is because I always know I will have to leave someday down the line, and it is too much to loose. But Minette had no way to know that, to know she would have to leave, that she shouldn’t get attached. And more tragically, she had no agency, no way to participate in the decision of moving in and out.
As I’m writing this, I’m just remembering, there’s a dead fish on a plate next to me. I was excited yesterday when I learned my friends had cooked fish. After being vegetarian for ten years, fish is the only meat I can eat and I really like the taste and how nutritive it feels. WhatI didn’t excpect, maybe since I’m so used to canned fished, is for ki* to be so intact. I put ki on my plate with the other food anyway. But as I was eating the rest of the plate, I couldnt keep my eyes of kis. They seemed whitened by death, full of fear and a certain anger. I tried to eat it, but I couldn’t. Maybe it’s because the veil between the worlds are thin this time of time of year, but I was very aware ki was a dead being. So now ki’s just rotting there on that plate, dead for nothing.
Me and my friends are doing what we can. They had to leave that house. I have to eat what my body truly needs. I wish there was an easy answer where no being would have to suffer. But there are only hard questions and trying to do right in a messy unbalanced unrooted world.
When I started eating fish again two years ago, I would light a candle and say a prayer for the soul I took. When I started eating fish in cans, the easiest way to eat it, I didn’t keep up that practice. I didn’t even think to do it this time. Maybe it’s not too late.
As for Minette, how to even make that loss right by her? She is old, and I’m afraid she will let herself go, too sad to hold on, to wait for the new land they will move into someday. I hate cities with all my heart, and I can use the internet. I can’t really imagine what would make life in an appartment liveable let alone enjoyable for her. I know there is no easy fix for “mental illness” when the reasons are structural (and they often are), and that holds for cats too.
Maybe I’ll just tell her: I’m sorry, it’s terrible what happening to you. It truly is. You didn’t get to choose to leave, and where you went. You have the right to be mad and sad, and to grieve for as long as you need. But if you can hold on, stay alive, one day, there will be another land for you to fall in love with. And I I’m not sure if it’s enough to hold on too, I’m still waiting for my first one, you see. I’m not sure the hope is enough for me to hold on either. But let’s try okay? Let’s just try.
*“ki” is a pronoun for living beings which replaces the objectifying “it” .For the moment I am keeping “She” for Minette because “ki” for her would feel a little distancing (maybe just because the pronoun is new? because she’s like my cuddle buddy and I humanize her? idk) though she did not chose her gender… I’ll keep thinking about it!