Walking with the cats {1}

January 19, 2011

In don’t think that I would be brave enough to “walk with the comrades” like Arundhati Roy did, even if I had the opportunity. Fortunately there is no armed conflict in my country and there are no rebels in the forests here. I’m walking with my cats instead.


I just read the newest post by Tom Engelhardt on http://www.tomdispatch.com and before that I visited the blog of Glenn Greenwald http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald. There are many informed and courageous journalists around, who raise their voice and try to expose the hypocrisy and dishonesty of US politics, growing social disparities, corruption and cronyism, and the appalling destruction and suffering caused by American warfare.

Earlier in the day I visited http://www.democracynow.org/. Amy Goodman is another brave soul who tries to be heard in the cacophony of meaningless sound bites, outright lies, misinformations and deceptions that are poured over the population by the corporate media.

Amy is included in the S.H.I.T. list of some 8000 “Self Hating Israel Threatening” jews which Masada2000.org compiled. I once heard that the list was put down by the web host but it is still there and I loaded it onto my HD (with several backups) because it is an important data base for finding decent and intelligent people.

My blog is not a news aggregator and I have no intention to regularly comment news events and global or national developments. I will occasionally refer to news as a starting point for my free flowing associations or collate and analogize news to expose glaring absurdities.

Like this from WikiLeaks cable gate:

One new cable reveals that the British government has been training a Bangladeshi paramilitary force condemned by human rights organizations as a “government death squad.” Since it was established six years ago, the Rapid Action Battalion force has been accused of carrying out more than 1,000 extrajudicial killings. Despite the killings, U.S. and British officials have embraced the unit. In one cable, the U.S. ambassador to Dhaka, James Moriarty, writes that the Rapid Action Battalion is the “enforcement organisation best positioned to one day become a Bangladeshi version of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

I compare this information with a “Spiegel”-report about an official from the UN World Food Program, who visits villages in northwestern Bangladesh. People run to his car and are begging for food and he cannot give them anything. The budget of the agency declined from 5 billion US$ in 2008 to 3.7 billion US$ in 2010 despite major disasters like the earthquake in Haiti and the flooding in Pakistan.
Photo Gallery: The Limits of Aid

My cats don’t have to starve, just today a big parcel with cat food arrived. I’m very uneasy and uncomfortable as I write this sentence — isn’t it silly to care about my cats when nearly one billion people are starving? Maybe I should make a plan how to donate my severance money that I will get next year. A click brought me to Peter Singers site http://www.thelifeyoucansave.com/

But why should I donate a part of the little spare money that I have when 1,530 billion US$ are spent for weapons and military operations each year? A tenth of this money would achieve all “UN Millennium Project” goals, which are:

Eradication of poverty and hunger
Universal primary education
Gender equality and empowering of women
Reducing child mortality and improving maternal health
Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Ensuring environmental sustainability


My blog posts will occasionally be nothing more than a diary. Here is an example:

The temperatures are a bit lower today but still unusual warm for mid January. As I wrote before, my cats don’t have to starve because a big package with cat food was delivered at 2 PM. I had ordered the food two weeks ago from an online seller. Normally it doesn’t take two weeks but the parcel disappeared somewhere on the way (despite electronic tracking) and the online shop had to send a second parcel.

The shipment included a brand of organic cat food that we never had until now and I was eager to find out if the cats like it. I decided to make a walk with them because usually they get food when we come back from the walk.

My wife Herta occasionally walks with her girlfriends and participates in small trips and excursions and when they come home they always end up either in a pub or they are invited by one of the participants and they have a feast together. Cats and humans seem to be very similar in this regard.

I put on my boots and a jacket and Princess Min Ki instantly headed for the door. Rosy and Cindy followed. I went across the road into the wood and waited for a little while in the area where we normally gather. Min Ki was beside me.

Princess Min Ki has developed the unfortunate habit of lurking in the underbrush trying to ambush the other cats. When she attacks the other cats and succeeds in surprising them it is clear, that she is only playing, because she stops right in front of them. My cats never would fight with each other! The other cats nevertheless don’t like this game because they know that Min Ki not only wants to play but also wants to show them that she is in charge. Min Ki is in charge in any case but her fellow cats don’t want to be reminded about it all the time.

Rosy and Cindy didn’t show up, they obviously didn’t want to give Min Ki the chance to attack them. Unexpectedly Sumo aka Indi came, but she waited in a few meters distance. Sumo is an old cat, she was a neighbors cat who joined our family last year. Sumo is very insecure and fearful and she often hisses at the other cats though she never lashes out nor makes any other threatening gestures. The other cats have excepted her as the odd aunt of the family. I will tell more details about Sumo in another blog post.

Wendy often approaches Sumo and sniffs and wants to make friends with her, but until now to no avail. Wendy is the most friendly and peaceful cat I have ever seen, she likes all the other cats and it is a joy to have her around. Wendy unfortunately is not so keen on walking in winter, she is a typical house cat.

After standing with the two cats quietly for a little while I turned and went onto the path leading to the clearing in the middle of the forest. Min Ki came with me, Sumo followed in some distance. The clearing is on a hill. It is a very modest hill but it is nonetheless the highest point of the forest. One can go from there either straight ahead down to a little lake between the trees or divert right and go down to a small valley where a drainage channel starts that finally ends in the little lake. From this valley one can either go to a tree nursery at the edge of the forest or turn left and follow a small path parallel to the drainage channel.

When we reached the clearing, I went into the direction of the drainage channel. Min Ki followed me, Sumo stayed behind. In the valley I just looked around, Princess Min Ki also looked and she sniffed at the little trees and bushes. In the last month we made our walks always in the night and it was the first time since autumn that I saw the forest in daylight.

It is astonishing how much green vegetation exists in the forest even in the deepest winter. The ground is covered with moss and branches and needles and there are tiny little conifers sticking out everywhere. Many of them look like miniatures of christmas trees and I am very careful not to step onto them.

The forest was not muddy despite the fact that all the snow had melted just two days ago. I would have expected at least the area around the drainage channel to be muddy, but it was not and there were also no puddles. The compact layer of old leaves, needles, branches and moss had easily absorbed all the water.

There was also some green grass and Min Ki took the chance to chew on it, which is very welcome because it could mean that she will spare the remaining houseplants of my wife. When she was finished with chewing grass she made a short round examining some surrounding bushes and trees and then we went back up to the clearing. Sumo was not there anymore, she had gone home, but Rosy and Wendy suddenly appeared. I suspect that they had followed us all the time. They often walk with me hidden in the underwood just to trick Min Ki.

We went back to our home, Rosy took the lead, Min Ki and Cindy walked behind me. At home we gathered in the kitchen and I opened a can with the new organic food. All the cats loved it and they cleared their cups completely. I’ve never seen such a universal acceptance of a new brand of food and I was very relieved that they agreed with my choice and liked the meal.

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