Sunday, May 10, 2009
A Salute to Cats on Mother's Day
There's an old insult to the effect that 'A Cat would make a better Mother than YOU', and indeed it is one of the insults hurled at Scarlett by Rhett Butler when he has become totally disenchanted with her general selfishness and obsession with her fantasy vision of Ashley.
I never comprehended this, even before I had Cats of my own. Cats are among the most conscientious, loving and attentive parents in the world. Both males and females tend to be extremely loving towards their offspring and any other Cats in the household, whether or not related by blood. I have known Males to sit with kittens while the Mother was having a quick meal. My cat Isis would stand aside to allow her kittens to eat, never touching the food herself until they had their fill.
Mother Cats moreover have been known to adopt young animals from other species. Cats who nurse orphaned puppies are common... This photograph is of a Cat in Amman who adopted chicks as well!
I have far more faith in the natural maternal instinct of other Mammals and creatures than I do in humans, in all honesty. Humans have been known to perpetrate every crime imaginable on THEIR offspring, but animals in general treat do right by theirs.
I therefore believe that any human Mother should be proud if some one declares: 'You are almost as good a Mother as a Cat would be!'
I am grateful to my Cats in the past who allowed me to participate in the extraordinary miracle of birth by witnessing and aiding in the delivery of their litters. There is nothing to match the thrill of the moment when new life arrives in the world. Mother's Day is an ancient Spring festival that celebrates fertility and life. The Mother is the fountain of life, the first source of life's nourishment for her child as well as the guardian of the hearth and all traditions.
There are those who claim Mother's Day to be an artificial holiday created by card makers... but the Wheel of the Year embodies the entire cycle of life, death and rebirth and Mother's Day is very much a part of that natural cycle.