Sunday, 27 December 2009

A baby in my arms

The more I think about it, there is not a thing in the world that makes me marvel as much as the knowledge that humans can have relationships with other animals – that we can cross the divide between species.

I've spent a long time today with a kitten in my arms: a little baby, only just over eight weeks old, snoozing away completely comfortably, snuggled up to me.

Occasionally Otto would twitch while dreaming. Occasionally he'd change position. Occasionally, he'd get partly up and nuzzle me and purr and give me a lick, before settling down again and dozing off. Utterly sure that he was safe to relax and rest. Utterly confident that I would not harm him.

How incredibly, utterly beautiful.

I am in awe.


  1. Syb,your descriptions of your experience with this kitten are wonderful to read, simply for the tenderness beneath the words.

    I tried to find a way to write you aside form posting here, but now that I have been banned from Hell Hole, I cannot do so. I do understand that domestic violence affects both men and women, although recent discussions with an acquaintance who is a psychologist have made me question how common the abuse of men in relationships really is. Even looking at statistics, we must admit that the many (if not the majority) of victims of domestic/physical/sexaul abuse are women. Sorry I couldn't find another way to tell you this. But, I did want you to understand that I am educated, intelligent, and informed enough to not realize that such issues affect both genders. Please know that.

    Again, this is a lovely and concise write-up about Otto. What is admirable about your writing is that you rarely waste a word.


  2. I meant to say "to realize". I type too quickly.
    I apologize.


  3. Alexis – thank you for the kind comments. It was a very short piece for me, but it just didn't seem to need anything more.

    As to other things, I'm sure you can understand why I don't want to bring that discussion here. But suffice it to say, that I most certainly would not want to imagine that I didn't know you to be "educated, intelligent and informed". I added the comment about male victims not because of statistics, but simply because sometimes it's rather easy, I think, to forget that they do form part of the complete picture. And also that, within the context of that discussion, it's possible to see that male victims face a slightly different set of circumstances than mentioned, but which equally make choice more difficult than some might assume.

  4. Syb--your piece was short. But, as I said, it contained not one extraneous word. I have tried, in my own writing, to move away from the overly intricate style I am sometimes inclined towards. To only keep that which is essential is not the easiest task for those of us who are more loquacious. However, writing that possesses clarity can be extremely powerful, and that is a quality that your writing appears to possess.

    It wasn't my intention to bring any of the discussions at any forum to your blog. However, I hadn't any other way to write you as you don't seem to be at Facebook, for example.

    It is indeed easy for people to overlook the male victims of domestic violence, rape, and other sexual/physical/verbal abuse. I remember one friend of mine saying to me a few months ago, when I mentioned another male friend who had experienced physical abuse from a former girlfriend, "Do you mean to say that men can actually get abused, too?" The ignorance of this question astounded me, although I am accustomed to what I call "collective ignorance" (my own term, although I put it in quotes). I hope that as time goes on men will feel more freedom to speak of incidences in
    which they are abused, raped, etc., for I think that the only way that society (as a whole) can become more widely informed of such things is through increasing awareness of them.

    Speaking of kittens, when I was a child, I owned a kitten named Lancelot. My mother and I got the kitten from the Humane Society. Unfortunately, he had many health problems and was very fragile, and, to make things worse, my father did all he could to make the kitten feel unwanted. Eventually, the kitten ran away, presumably to die. I always wanted to own another cat, yet the loss of Lancelot was something that neither my mother nor I ever got over. I am very affected by the death of animals, and this is one reason I have no pets at this point in my life. I do not want to become too attached to that which I fear I may lose. I am fully capable of crying for a few hours upon finding a dead Swallowtail butterfly in my yard. Thus, you can well imagine how I react to the death of a pet. I am both stronger and more fragile than people would guess.

    Best always (& Happy New Year, too),