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Thursday, December 15, 2016

 Rose Burrows (1961)

Charlie walked into a barn one day and discovered a little orphan cat cowering in a dark corner.  Frightened, forlorn and badly undernourished, the kitten was suffering physically and his spirits had been broken.  He was wild and defensive and very cranky...This little cat's name is Napoleon... As Charlie approached him, Napoleon hissed and readied for attack, then promptly ran for cover!  Charlie tried to reach him and received deep gashes from its sharp claws.  Protective clothing was required to rescue the kitten from this unhappy dilemma.
      It was plain  to see that because of his plight, the young kitten did not develop normally, his only preoccupation was survival and he didn't trust anyone because he did not have a mother to love him and care for him and keep him safe. Charlie took the kitten home with him. Napoleon was so frightened that he, literally, climbed walls when he was drawn out of his hiding place.  He continued to hiss, to be on the defensive, always ready to attack.  But Charlie did not give up on him, he kept  feeding him and caring for him, speaking gently and softly to him to reassure him and coax and encourage him to come out and to give him medical attention.  With Charlie's persistent devotion and continued loving care the attacks gradually diminished and Napoleon tamed down and began to trust him. Napoleon's hisses turned into purrs, his attacks into play and he purred away into old age.

The magic of love
Transforms the  ordinary
into the extraordinary!

       As we examine the events, we can see that love really does the work.  Charlie could have said, "why, that miserable little cat is dangerous, he's going to hurt somebody, I'll put him out of his misery!" and reach for his shotgun; he could have simply left him there to fend for himself or called the SPCA to remove him.  Charlie found  love and compassion in his heart for the kitten. His love was altruistic, with no strings attached.  It was love that did not have to be earned.  He did not require that the cat love him or make him feel good, he wasn't looking for anything from the cat.  He acted out of love and love is not in need of reward.  When the cat scratched him, did he take it personally; did he feelthreatened, hurt or offended when Napoleon did not return his love? Did he pity himself and say, "after all I've done for him!" Did he seek revenge? Did he threaten the cat in any way?  Did he try to punish the cat and force it into submission?  Did he take it to an animal psychologist or to a priest or rabbi?  Of course not.  He simply did what he needed to do for himself, taking care of his own wounds, his scratches and gashes, and he continued to nurture the cat.   

Love is the healer,
love knows the way
and love does the work!

       Why is it that when children hiss and scratch and hide and attack, we get on the defensive; or we run to an 'expert' to resolve the problem; when adults loot and rape we lock them behind iron bars or we electrocute them or throw bombs at them?  Are animals more worthy of love than our own children?  Children that are out of control,  rapists and murderers and terrorists are just like the abandoned kitten that had no home, they are disconnected from their love source, from their very own heart; they are acting out of hurt and fear. They just want to be loved.  

  Is it easier or of more value to love a cat than it is to love our neighbor?  If we can reach deep into our hearts when animals are in trouble can we not do the same for our neighbor?

Now, Charlie doesn't have to be a saint or a luminary, he could be rescuing a 'wild cat' in a corner of the prison walls or perhaps he's in a drunken state on skid row. Love is everywhere present whether we recognize it or not. It pours its grace upon the just and the unjust.  Charlie may not even realize that he knows the secret of loving his enemy.  If he does he can never be under attack and if he doesn't then when he perceives himself under threat or attack he will become the lost frightened kitten and behave accordingly; out of fear he will become the aggressor and there will be war.  It is evident that in his heart he knows what love is but he is not aware that he knows.  His life will not make sense until he knows and knows that he knows! 

Outside the heart is a vicious circle, all have a common goal, all want to be loved.  We all want to be loved but if you don't have it then you cannot give it to me and if I don't have it I cannot give it to you, so where are we all going to get it?  We are the love  we seek.  We find it and pour it out and then it is multiplied and returns to us.  Napoleon learned to trust Charlie when he was showered with love and then returned his love!


We do not feel good because the world is right, the world is right because we feel good. Love within shines through and it takes care of the cat and it takes care of us too!  


Joy from the Child Heart I am.


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