Monday, June 18, 2012

The Buddha says that you have the Cat Plague Nature

Some people love to find ancient stories that lead us to great wisdom, providing those stories come from any culture other than Western civilization.  They also love to be compassionate to all (non-vegetable) creatures.  You'd think that the first would inform their understanding of the second.

You'd think, but it seems that one guy didn't:
A 50-something animal nut in Bend, OR saw a stray cat with a mouse in its mouth. The mouse was still alive, so PaPa PETA decides to rescue the little mammal from the big one. In the ensuing melee, the guy gets bitten by either the cat, the mouse or both.

Now...he’s got the plague.
He didn't think that yersinia pestis has the Plague Nature. Other than that, his cunning plan was, well cunning.

Some people have learned the Buddha's lesson on cats:
So I decided, no more cats.

But the cats came anyway. There must be some pipeline among animals that lets them know where they can find a free meal. One day four half wild kittens showed up in the woodpile. Another time two kittens were foisted on me. If I didn’t take them I was told, they were going to the river. When I came back from India, my son had taken in a small gray cat.
Since the world is not full of eager people to take in stray cats, I keep them and feed them. And, often, they disappear.

I took it hard at first. I still take it hard, but I’m learning to let them go. Cats have their own minds and here on the hill, I can’t really think of them as belonging to me. They stop by and offer company and every day I realize may be the last time I see them.

More importantly, I’ve learned I can’t save them. Whatever fate or karma is theirs’ in this world, all I can do is give them shelter while they’re here and say a prayer for them when they go.
That's a pretty decent grounding in the world as it is, compassion mixed in equal measure with realism.  After all, the Buddha tells us that our ego is our biggest obstacle on our path to enlightenment.  Perhaps our hero with the mouse can treat his hospital stay as an opportunity to meditate on ego, and of the virtue of sitting quietly, doing nothing.

And remember, if you meet Yersinia Pestis on the road, kill him.

Via Michael Graham, who has the hilarious talk show host nature.

1 comment:

SiGraybeard said...

I thought the Plague Nature was to be spread by flea bites and not the mammals themselves. In which case, merely being close to the two could amount to being in the wrong place at the wrong time.