I spent this past Valentine's Day with the many different species of animals, birds, and other marine wildlife at the Seattle Aquarium. It was the third field trip for Listening to Zoo Animal Ambassadors, and we had let all of the animals know that we were coming to be with them to listen, collect their prayers for ceremony, and perhaps offer a little Reiki here and there.
One of the perks of having a home office is being able to spend time in the company of my animal companions, which means I also get to witness all kinds of mischief.
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I was engaged in a household task when I heard a bang that sounded like something hit the front window. I entered the living room just as Bagheera, my eight-month old kitten, emerged from behind the sofa, but he was moving oddly.
As I watched him closely, trying to figure out what he had done this time, he crouched down with his face close to the floor, and hunched his back. From his posture I thought perhaps he was going to throw up—a not uncommon occurrence in a household with four cats.
Engaged in trying to puzzle out how vomiting fit in with the bang against the front window, the next sound took me completely by surprise. There was a loud “bzzzt-bzzzt,” and when it was repeated I realized it was coming from inside Bagheera’s mouth—he had caught his first fly!
As the fly, apparently very much alive and still kicking, continued buzzing and trying to escape what must have seemed like damp utter darkness, I watched Bagheera. The buzzing increased in intensity and so did the play of expressions. We often consider a cat’s face inexpressive, but his certainly was not at that moment, and I realized that the fly’s buzzing must tickle the inside of Bagheera’s mouth something fierce.
His gaze was focused intently inward. As I watched, Bagheera brought his right paw to his mouth, turning it almost as though he were going to cover a yawn, and then changed his mind. I realized he doubted his ability to grasp the fly properly, and I could practically see the wheels in his head go round as he tried to figure out what to do next.
With intermittent and insistent buzzing sounds still issuing from his mouth (and as I tried really hard not to laugh), Bagheera marched into the hallway and stood for a moment, considering. I swear he shook his head, deciding that this area would not do.
Finally, with the triumphant air of someone who has made the correct decision, he marched into the bathroom, and sat down. As he contemplated his next move I realized he had chosen the bathroom because it is the smallest room in the house—if the fly should escape it would be the easiest place to recapture him.
Bagheera opened his mouth slightly, and when he closed it again the buzzing suddenly stopped. As he looked wildly around, I thought at first the fly had escaped, but Bagheera’s air of disappointment told me that he had not actually intended to eat the fly immediately. He had wanted to spend a little more time chasing his new playmate in confined quarters first!
Bagheera quickly got over his disappointment and swaggered off to tell the rest of the household what a mighty hunter he was. And I had to agree, how many cats can trap, and hold, a live fly?
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©2011 Rose De Dan. All Rights Reserved. www.reikishamanic.com
Think Outside the Cage
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is a mesa carrier in the Peruvian shamanic tradition. In addition she is also a Reiki Master Teacher, animal communicator, author of the acclaimed book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism, and creator of Animal and Reiki Art. As an animal shaman, she views her role as a healer as one of building bridges between people and animals, and of empowering them to reconnect with Pachamama, Mother Earth.
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