Happy Birthday!

September 19, 2011

Are the last days of summer, with the prospect of a dark and dreary autumn, most likely followed by an uncomfortably cold winter, a good time for celebrating birthday? It is a moot question, because people, who have their birthdays now cannot change that. One could argue, that celebrations of one kind or another are especially useful in cold and hard times because they cheer us up and give us the strength to survive the cold spells and gloomy days. That is the reason, why Christmas is in December and not in May.

Many people around me are celebrating birthday in September. My wife Herta had her birthday on Sunday. A few of my colleagues in the music schools also celebrate birthday this week. Gina, a Facebook contact and amiable regular visitor of my blog, celebrates on Friday.

Happy Birthday to all of you!

Herta is now as old as I was, when the until now most happy years of my life started. Gina is a little bit younger, she has the most happy time of her life still ahead — if she goes my way.

Contributing, one could even say instrumental to my years of happiness, of beatitude and serenity were two little cat friends with the name Lizzy and Harry. They are unfortunately both dead now, though they live on in my heart. Their memory will be preserved till I die, maybe even a bit longer. I wrote about them in my blog and I put pictures of them on Picasa, just in case…. https://picasaweb.google.com/w.h.mato/

Will someone someday look at these pictures and read the blog posts? I don’t know, there is so much other stuff on the web.

Cats are merciless predators and cause significant ecological harm, especially to dwindling bird populations. Cats are in the UN list of invasive species. For this attribute alone they constitute the perfect fitting companion for us, because we humans are also an invasive species. We are not in the UN list, but we are in fact the most ferocious and destructive invasive species that ever roamed this planet (that we are not included in the list of invasive species is a serious omission, but UN listings,surveys, studies are known to be often deeply flawed and not even worth the paper that they are printed on).

We should be grateful that the cats still are willing to team up with us, most other species try to avoid humans. Animals despise us and flee us because they realize our destructive impact on nature. Cats usually don’t shun humans, they are forgiving, trusting, open minded, they approach us unbiased and nondiscriminatory, and yet many times we betray them and abuse them.

Cats are shot dead by hunters, they are tortured to death in research laboratories, they are killed by careless and mindless car driver. Little kittens are given to children who harass and abuse them and when the cats grow up they are dumped at overcrowded anima shelters, to be euthanized after a few weeks of misery because nobody takes them.

In project “Acoustic Kitty” the CIA attempted to use cats for spying on Soviet embassies and surgically implanted microphones and antennas into the unfortunate animals. The first spy cat was killed nearly immediately by a cab, other cats simply refused to take the suggested direction despite intensive training. In 1967 the project was abandoned and the invested 20 million US$ declared a loss.

Cats may be ruthless predators, but they will never be as licentious and corrupt, they will never sink so low to even remotely consider working for the CIA!


I love animals, and I would like to make friends with rabbits, ducks, donkeys, geese, deer, you name it. Rabbits are friendly, innocent, and funny. They are not as intelligent as cats. Predators have always to be more intelligent — mice run away and hide, carrots don’t.

I would also like to have ducks again. In 2008 two ducks with the name Susi and Wulliwu joined our family for half a year. I will tell this story in another blog post. The cats went along quite well with the ducks, I’m not sure, if they would harmonize with rabbits.

Deer are beautiful, they are aesthetic, elegant, adorable. I adore them! We encounter frequently roe deer during our obligatory daily walk in the forest. The deer obviously know us already and don’t consider my cats and me as a threat. They often look at me interested and questioning, but when I come nearer than 7 to 8 meters, they turn away and disappear in the bushes. They are not afraid and don’t panic, they just avoid close contact.

I always dreamt of sitting beside a deer, gently touching and hugging it. Such a moment is unlikely ever to happen, but who knows — unexpected things happen all the time. Becoming friends with a deer would be one of the highlights of my life.

Bonobos are very intelligent and social. Unfortunately they are one of the many, many endangered species, we should leave them alone. Bonobos would also not be happy with the climate here. Elephants and Dolphins would make immensely interesting, but very unpractical companions. They are not cuddly, they could not lay down at my feet or take place on my lap while I’m writing on the computer or while I’m playing music.

I also don’t have appropriate facilities to accommodate elephants or dolphins.

In the end, my feline friends, despite their environmental crime record, seem to be the best suited animal companions. Thank you for accepting my friendship!


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