The Special Grace of Animals

I have to admit, I am a lover of animals.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved dogs, cats, horses, hamsters, birds- most any kind of domesticated animal. Being a nature girl, I am also drawn to wild creatures, especially deer and turkeys (yes, I especially love turkeys!), and beautiful birds like cardinals and hummingbirds.

Most of my friends have pets. If you want to get someone really talking, just ask them about their favorite Lucky or Lady. It’s the easiest icebreaker of all.

A Young Casper

I have a special pet cat. His name is Casper. He was a birthday present to my daughter from her girlfriend, probably sixteen or seventeen years ago. I’m guessing that “Casper, The Friendly Ghost” was probably the big movie hit at that time. We have had numerous other cats and dogs but Casper has survived them all.

What amazes me is Casper was diagnosed years ago with feline AIDS. How he has ever lived this long is a true mystery to us. He is free to roam our large yard, eats mostly dry food, gets plenty of fresh water and sunshine. He has rarely taken medicine. Perhaps this is the key to kitty longevity.

Lately, we have been especially mindful of Casper simply because of his age. He doesn’t see well anymore but he keeps eating and, he keeps performing all of his necessary bodily functions. To me, this means he is doing ok. He doesn’t cry and he still loves to be stroked and scratched lightly.

I have been watching Casper in the morning as he searches for the sun. He will find it and either he sits very still or lays down to soak it up. I watched him this morning and the one word that came to my mind was prayerful.

Prayerful Casper

I can take a lesson from Casper on being still. Sometimes when I am worried about something or a bit knotted up, he reminds me to take it easy, one day at a time. He clearly has the mantra down pat; he is the walking poster child for serenity. In his younger days, he climbed trees and was an excellent mouser. Now he is content to spend his remaining days in luxurious devotion to the sun.

No matter what animal we love, we are the lucky ones, aren’t we? My husband loves the saying, ” I want to be everything my dog thinks I am”. My son John, as a child, would lay down on the ground to be at face level with Casper. He would lightly stroke Casper’s head and look lovingly at him. I believe we can feel the soul of an animal if we are quiet and take the time to connect.

“With their qualities of cleanliness, discretion, affection, patience, dignity, and courage, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats?” –Fernand Mery Her Majesty the Cat

Join me on my graceful journey.

15 Replies to “The Special Grace of Animals”

  1. JoAnne,
    I cannot tell you how happy I am that this was the FIRST thing I read this morning! Maybe we can talk about this at another time (that’s a hint for a grabbing some coffee with you and Cally!) You made me smile; you made me cry (because I lost my Daphne over a year ago); and you verbalized some of my own thoughts about our furry family members. We can learn from our pets, like Casper. They do have it all figured out, and they have the important things in life correctly prioritized. I’ll be looking for a similar ray of sunshine to sit in and to soak up today.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Diana Stavroulakis

    1. Hi Diana! I am so glad this story touched you. I would love to get together for coffee and I’m sure Cally would join us. I’ll email you…take care and it’s always good to hear from you! Joanne

  2. peaceful,this story was so peaceful and touched my soul, being an animal lover i think some times that god shows me little things that the rest of the world dose not take the time to notice like a halk or a red winged black bird and im so thank full for that,and that he shows you to its a blessing to our souls

    1. Shel, you were one of the people I was thinking about when I wrote this story. I know how you love your Coco!

  3. What a beautiful story, & what a handsome boy Casper is! On a late cold November nite in 1996 (which happened to be my mom’s bday), our son drove home from college with a 6 week kitten in his hand. With no choice but to keep him, we rushed him to the vet early in the am. Diagnosed. With feline AIDS, Jim was told to leave him to be put to sleep! Disobeying the vet, he brought him home. Smokey lived a happy life indoors till he passed away July 26, 2011, on our wedding anniversary! The power of love is amazing!! Thanks for the awesome post today

  4. Thanks for the beautiful story, Mom. I worry about Casper sometimes since I haven’t been around home as often as I’d like. It was really wonderful to hear such a heartwarming take on how amazing of an animal he is, even in his older age. Thank you.

  5. I have a sweet old kitty, too. She is probably 14 years old. She was the runt and kicked out of the litter at a very young age. We took her in and nurtured her, but she is still very skittish. She hides from most people, but if I am upset, she is right there in my face, braving all the crazy people and trying to calm me. In her advanced age and with a dog in the house, she only does that in my room now. I know her health is failing and I need to take her to the vet, but I am afraid they will take my sweet baby girl from me. She doesn’t want to go anyway…

    1. I thought of taking Casper to the vet but Michelene said “to do what?” And she is right I believe. For now, Casper is peaceful and what else would I wish for? Your kitty sounds like a real gem!

  6. Joanne, this is a very poignant ode to your cat. I found a uncanny resemblance to how we seek the sun…the Light in our lives. But as you say, your cat is truly a lesson on staying still within the Light after we’ve arrived in It’s presence…absorbing all It is and can give to us, and well as helping us to understand what we are and what we could give to this world if we open our spiritual eyes to see.

    Blessings for the day,

    1. How beautiful Marianne! Thank you so much. Yes, Casper does stay still within the Light and basks in It’s presence! Blessings to you too!

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