sometimes a cat is just an animal but still has a lesson to teach
Walter was a cat - not a cat that acted like a person - a cat that was an animal. He never seemed to worry about his dignity or grace or decorum, like other cats. He was totally without any apparent premeditation and completely ignorant that life had great questions. Oh, Walter had answers- he just had no questions..
As one of our cats for many years, Walter was clearly content to be well fed and comfortable. He would come to one of us and draping himself any way he landed on us, he would be asleep immediately and purr so loud that often he woke himself with a start and would make his escape into the shadows of the room digging into our leg with his claws to make a fast getaway. It was hard to relax with Walter.
Now don’t get me wrong, Walter was a loveable creature but he just existed in the moment. Like a Buddhist - he did not remember a second ago and thought nothing about the second to come. He did whatever was completely in accord with his nature at that moment.
Walter was very good a catching things. When I fished for cats (I had a small toy fishing pole fitted with a cat toy as bait), He didn’t chase it. He seemed to ignore it. But then he had it. I never saw him do anything to get it.
He would go out in the morning ( had a cat door in our door) and after some time he would return with something. It could be anything. Oh yes, the usual birds and mice which he laid in front of us but also many other creatures. Not knowing he as a cat he had preferences, anything that moved was fair game. We were presented with mostly live frogs, large bugs, etc. and even a turtle. When we were not enthusiastic about these treasures, he was not dismayed. He watched us remove the creatures and then went to get more.
One day, we returned home to find Walter sitting in the middle of the living room staring at a full-grown rabbit a few feet in front of him. The rabbit was as still as a stone garden gnome and Walter seemed in a trance. As we looked at the rabbit and then Walter; the rabbit decided it needed to be somewhere else and at once became a blur of action. It ran all over the house with us in pursuit, closing doors to other rooms as we went. During all this mayhem, Walter sat - it seemed that he considered his job done and had no interest in catching the rabbit again.
After bounding all around the room and ricocheting off most of the walls the rabbit found the open door and was gone. We sat down exhausted glad the adventure was over.
Walter continued to sit immobile in the middle of the room.
I looked at him and said, “Walter the rabbit was nearly as big as you. Don’t you know you can’t catch a rabbit or anything that big?”
He looked at me like a dog would with his head tilted slightly to one side and stayed that way for several seconds. Then he laid down and fell asleep.
I don’t know if he understood me, but he never caught another rabbit or anything that big again.
I think that like most people Walter did things that he could not reasonably be expected to do because he just never thought about it. He just did it. Once it was pointed out to him he couldn’t do it, he never tried again just like many of the rest of us.