When we are confronted with that which is amazing and wonderous and profound, too often our first response is to reduce that experience with mundane explanations, even if in doing so, we are compelled to distort and forget that which we knew, if even for a brief moment, to be true.

These are the wonderous stories of the Heart Family.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I live with Giants

Noble Heart

One is frequently accused of "anthropomorphizing" when describing animal behaviors when in fact we are simply acknowledging their true nature. Our cultures, our religions and our science are all dependent on the belief that humans are somehow separate and different, when in fact we are all connected.

Even before I truly understood who my cats really were, I experienced many instances of wonder and amazement with them.

One example is how Noble Heart, our grandfather spirit, at a young age would find ways to constantly challenge himself.

One challenge he especially enjoyed was to put a small brown paper bag or small box on his head so that he could not see his surroundings. Then, with his head held carefully to keep himself purposefully "blind-folded" he would attempt to walk the length of the room he was in. His body would be stiff, his steps slow and purposeful, as he slowly made his way. Inevitably he would gently walk into a solid object such as a chair or wall. When that happened, he came to a complete stop, paused to consider his situation, then deliberately took two to three steps backwards, rotate himself so that he would be pointing in a slightly different direction, and then move forward again, trying to maneuver around the obstacle without ever removing the bag from his head.

Only when he reach the far end of the room would he drop the bag and visually assess his route and his success.

I have no idea what "science" would say about this behavior, but to me, it was absolutely clear that he was testing himself, with a physical and a thinking challenge, to see how well he could manage to maneuver through a space without using his sight. There was no denying the gears running in his mind as he deliberately worked himself through his blinded obstacle course.

As I know him now, I am not at all surprised he would do such a thing.