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The Zen of Cat

A Story by Jim Willis


The Zen of Cat copyright Jim Willis 2001

The Zen of Cat, copyright Jim Willis 2001

Jim Willis
The Man was very sad. He knew that the Cat's days were numbered. The doctor had said there wasn't anything more that could be done, that he should take the Cat home and make him as comfortable as possible.

The man stroked the Cat on his lap and sighed. The Cat opened his eyes, purred and looked up at the Man. A tear rolled down the Man's cheek and landed on the Cat's forehead. The Cat gave him a slightly annoyed look.

"Why do you cry, Man?" the Cat asked. "Because you can't bear the thought of losing me? Because you think you can never replace me?"

The Man nodded "yes."

"And where do you think I'll be when I leave you?" the Cat asked.

The Man shrugged helplessly.

"Close your eyes, Man," the Cat said. The Man gave him a questioning look, but did as he was told.

"What color are my eyes and fur?" the Cat asked.

"Your eyes are gold and your fur is a rich, warm brown," the Man replied.

"And where is my fur the darkest?" the Cat asked.

"It is darkest along your back, your tail, your legs, nose and ears," the Man said.

"And where is it that you most often see me?" asked the Cat.

"I see you...on the kitchen windowsill watching the birds...on my favorite chair...on my desk lying on the papers I need...on the pillow next to my head at night."

The cat nodded.

"Can you see me in all of those places now, even though your eyes are shut?" the Cat asked.

"Yes, of course. I've seen you there for years," the Man said.

"Then, whenever you wish to see me, all you must do is close your eyes," said the Cat.

"But you won't really be here," the Man said sadly.

"Oh, really?" said the Cat. "Pick up that piece of string from the floor - there, my 'toy.'"

The Man opened his eyes, then reached over and picked up the string. It was about two feet long and the Cat had been able to entertain himself for hours with it.

"What is it made of?" the Cat asked.

"It appears to be made of cotton," the Man said.

"Which comes from a plant?" the Cat asked.

"Yes," said the Man.

"From just one plant, or from many?"

"From many cotton plants," the Man answered.

"And in the same soil from which grow the cotton plants, it would be possible that other plants and flowers would grow? A rose could grow alongside of the cotton, yes?" asked the Cat.

"Yes, I'm sure it would be possible," the Man said.

"And all of the plants would feed from the same soil and drink the same rain, would they not?" the Cat asked.

"Yes, they would," said the Man.

"Then all of the plants, rose and cotton, would be very similar on the inside, even if they appeared outwardly very different," said the Cat.

The Man nodded his head in agreement, but didn't see what that had to do with the present situation.

"Now, that piece of string," said the Cat, "is that the only piece of string ever made of cotton?"

"No, of course it isn't," said the Man, "it was part of a ball of twine."

"And do you know where all of the other pieces of string are now, and all of the balls of twine?" asked the Cat.

Next > "...you would agree that all the string is related?"

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