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Cindy, come home!

March 20, 2011

I just made the obligatory walk in the forest with my cats. It is wet and the temperature is moderate. The first plants are growing, spring starts and I will be outside more often in the next weeks and spend the time with garden work.

The recent walks were well attended. Wendy takes part again (I think I told that already in my post Walking with the cats {3}) and three days ago even Sumo aka Indi came with us. Sumo is very attached to me and every time I come into the kitchen or go to the living room, where she mainly resides, she goes up and meows at me and tells me that I shall spend some time with her — what I of course do. When it is time for a walk and I cross the road and go the few steps to our gathering place between the trees from where we always start our strolls, Sumo follows me and also comes to the wood but she keeps distance and only tags along the first hundred meters.

Sumo is still afraid of the other cats, though none of them ever harmed her. Sumo is an old lady and she prefers to be left alone and not be bothered by the other members of the cat family. The walk three days ago was the first event, where Sumo came with us and made a complete round. She always stayed some 20 meters behind and I had to wait for her at every turn, but she completed the walk and I hope that it will not be her last attendance.

The cats were surprisingly disciplined today. Cindy was always beside me and so I walked at a faster pace and choose a longer route and the cats were very exited because we went to an area where we have not been for a long time. At one point I thought we had lost Cindy, but she suddenly reappeared in front of us and I realized that she had bypassed the group by using a hidden sideway that only she knows. Cindy is at home here, she knows the most secret places and hideouts, she knows the forest like no other cat.

Cindy is a wild cat, she has long legs and she looks a bit like a lynx. Maybe there was some interbreeding a few generations ago, I don’t want to rule out, that she has inherited Lynx genes.

She is always active and does everything with lightning speed. She climbs up, rather runs up the trees till the top at the same speed other cats run on a plain field and because of that she unfortunately is a dangerous predator who catches animals that normally would be safe from cats. I’m sad to say that she already brought a squirrel as a present into the kitchen. I don’t count the mice and voles and birds anymore, that we regularly get presented from her.

As I said before, Cindy knows the forest like no other cat. This is her territory, this is her kingdom. In summer she often spends a whole day or two in the forest and just when my wife Herta and I are getting worried (I mean, really worried) she rushes in and jumps around franticly meowing and looks at the food cups and at me, making clear that she is hungry and wants food right now.

Occasionally Cindy stays away even for a longer period of time. I remember one incident last summer when I started looking for her after she was gone for five days. I walked through the forest for many hours, calling her name all the time. I took the familiar ways and the more obscure ways, I crisscrossed the forest from north to south and from east to west. Cindy didn’t show up.

I was very desperate. Hunters are not frequenting this part of the forest but they are in the neighboring areas and Cindy has a very wide territorial range. Had she been shot by a hunter? Or encountered a fox and lost the fight? Or had she eaten poisoned bait or been caught in a trap?

While I walked around in search of her, I was imagining how it would be if she would suddenly appear and run to me and leap at me and how I would take her and hold her in my arms. I imagined, how she would role on the floor in front of me as she always does and how I would pet her and rub her belly and she would stretch her legs and purr and nibble at my hand a little bit and maybe turn around and start kneading.

Cindy didn’t show up and after about four hours I was exhausted and discouraged and quit sure that I had lost my friend forever — I felt miserable and forlorn, and was fighting the tears. Wandering aimlessly around for a while I came rather by chance to the big clearing in the middle of the forest and to the point where a big colony of young trees are growing. The trees, mainly conifers, are not higher than one meter and a half. The ground is littered with branches and splinters from fallen trees and the underbrush is very dense and nearly impassable. This was Cindy’s favorite spot. Here she could hide and nobody could follow her. Nobody except her could penetrate this little jungle.

I stood still and listened to the wind and I called Cindy’s name. I had called her name so many times before, I didn’t expect to reach her, I think I called just to commemorate her. I waited for a while and listened to the wind and then I called her name a second time. If I remember it right I didn’t call out loud, I rather spoke her name.

And as I listened to the wind and the twiddling of the birds, I heard something that resembled a faint meowing. I called again and the meowing became louder. It sounded now like Cindy’s voice and it sounded a bit distressed and as she was meowing again and again it became clear to me that she had a hard time working her way through the dense jungle towards my position. “Cindy, come” I said, “Cindy, I’m here, please come. I need you!”.

It did take another 30 seconds or so till Cindy crawled out of the underwood, completely covered with needles and leaves and with all kinds of seeds from the bushes sticking in her fur. I had passed this place once before on my search but she probably could not come out fast enough then or she maybe was too far away to be heard by me or maybe she just meowed at the same moment as I was calling her name.

“Cindy, my baby, my little love” I said, tears running down my cheeks. She leaped at me and I took her in my arms and held her like a little baby. And I let her down to the ground and she rolled on the floor in front of me as always and I petted her and rubbed her belly and she stretched her legs and purred and nibbled at my hand a little bit.

It was exactly like I had imagined it. It was like I had thought the moments of our reunion could be. The pictures that I had in my mind while I was running through the wood in search of her had become reality.

It happens not too often, that our dreams and wishes come true in exactly the same way as we imagine them. As far as I know this is a rare occurrence in everyones life and I celebrated this special moment with my little friend appropriately. I was sitting with her for 20 minutes and talked with her and played with her and we had a really good time. After we had told each other everything, the more trivial notions as well as the precious secrets, and after we had done all the things that we had postponed for so long because there was never enough time, we went home together.

Herta was very relieved when we arrived home, she had worried about the cat but also had started worrying about me, because I had been away for more than five hours. Cindy got the best food that I had at home and the other cats of course got also a portion of this special food so that nobody could complain about being shortchanged.

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This morning Cindy scratched again on the door of my sleeping room and I let her in and she laid down on the blanket looking at me and purring. It was much too early for me to go up and I wanted to sleep again but I nevertheless put my hand on her little body and whispered a few sweet words to her.

Cindy and I don’t have many common interests, She is not interested in politics and science and also not much in music. I already wrote in my blog post Cindy, the piano cat, that her interests are rather in the field of outdoor activities like catching mice in the adjacent forest, climbing to the top of the highest trees and racing at top speed through the various pathways of the forest.

But there is one interest that we share, and it is an eminent one: We both want to have a good and easy life, we both want to live as long as possible and we try to avoid pain and suffering. In the spirit of this common goal we stand together and do the best to weather the storms together and to come around the adversities of life. There is no doubt about it, we will never part ways and we will support each other as good as we can till the end of our lives.

As I thought about this and other things and various memories of the adventures that we had together until now went through my mind, Cindy turned on her back and I had to caress her belly and she stretched and put her legs upwards. She was the embodiment of coziness and languorousness. After a while she turned to the side and pressed her little head against my cheek. She did it like Lizzy had done it.

As she laid so close to me, I heard her breath. Cats usually breath much faster than humans, up to two times as fast. But Cindy’s breathing was rather slow and steady, projecting a feeling of calm and peace. I continued to listen to her and I asked myself if she in return would listen to my breath? She was for sure listening because when I interrupted my breathing with a long soft sigh, she also softly sighed.

We were laying there for some time, enjoying these precious moments of serenity and quiet bliss.

Cats are such erotic creatures. Unfortunately my little cat girls are much, much too small. They are the completely wrong species for anything that would be an equivalent or in some strange way remotely resemble intercourse. This is really sad and a serious deficiency in an otherwise perfect relationship, and there is no solution to this problem. If my lovely cats would be big enough, they would most probably rather like to have me as dinner than to have sex with me. I’m aware of the danger and I know, that I shouldn’t try to seduce lady tiger.

In anyway, I’m married and therefore better should bury such naughty thoughts in the lowest and deepest drawer of my consciousness. And you should not read it! And if you read it, you should forget it!

Or laugh about it.

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When I started this text, the first version of the first paragraph was:

I just made the obligatory walk in the forest with my cats. It is wet and the temperature is moderate. The first plants are growing, spring starts in a few days and we will be outside more often in the next weeks and not be idle and lazy and radiopassive anymore.

I read the two sentences again and again and though: NO, I cannot write this!

I’m still alternating between hope, relieve, fear, despair. The real story will only come out later, maybe years later. I decided not to buy potassium iodine pills, they could do more harm than good, but I will reduce or even completely abandon cheese (which is the only dairy product that I still eat). It is probably not a bad idea to become a vegan (my son is a vegan, so I should also be able to live with this diet).

Whatever the outcome of the nuclear crisis in Japan may be, we have to use this event to implement some reason into the public discussion. This is what I wrote in my blog post You want to save the world?

POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants), heavy metals (arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead), and the pollution of air, water, food with various other man induced substances could cause an epidemic of cancer.

Industrial produced food (especially GM food), EMF radiation from cell phones and computers, and an unhealthy lifestyle with too less exercise and too much sensory stressors (constant noise, constant distraction by phones and computers) could cause a general decline of health.

The overuse of antibiotics in factory farming and in healthcare could cause an increase of fatal drug-resistant infections. Complete hospital wards could have to be quarantined and sealed off completely to prevent the further spread of “superbugs”, with corpses left rotting in the hospital beds.

The continuing spread of HIV and other STDs and the danger that these infections become an uncontrollable epidemic is vastly underestimated. HIV and other STDs could become a health concern for the general population (search the Wikileaks archives for “Steve Jobs”).

And if developments of this kind are not enough to raise eyebrows and make people feel uncomfortable:

Birth defects could increase dramatically. The already mentioned epidemic of cancer could become more severe and reduce life expectancy to 60 years and below. A worldwide ebola epidemic could kill two billion people or more.

Don’t forget the nuclear option: A nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan could settle the Kashmir conflict once and for all and kill a few hundred millions.

When catastrophes of such unimaginable proportions will become reality, far more individuals than the few unwavering souls that I mentioned will think about alternative ways!

I didn’t mention the possibility of a nuclear meltdown of power plants, I was not aware that this could become an existential threat to mankind. Maybe there are other dangers that we are facing and that I just cannot imagine right now? Who knows what else is in the cards?

Oscar Wilde once remarked, “To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” Well, I’m bracing for the next unexpected catastrophes.

I’m also bracing for the unexpected solutions, for new ideas and unexpected opportunities to avoid predicted catastrophes. Why should unexpected events always have negative implications?

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