Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘humans’

Gaea Cleans House

518hlTbe79L30 by Arthur Butt. Reviewed by Gabriel Constans.

What a great opening line. “The day the human race died started typically enough.” Thus, begins 30. A perfect short story with a powerful punch. Mr. Butt has crafted an excellent end-of-the-world scenario, with an unexpected character, and unanticipated ending.

The tale is told in the first person by Artie, who discovers that nobody else is on the Long Island expressway, as he’s making his way to work. No one accept a lone hitchhiker. Artie picks her up, and learns that her name is Gaea (Greek Goddess for earth).

The story reminds me somewhat of a play I wrote a few years back, which was produced and performed in New York. It is called The Goddess of Cancer. The play has a variety of women with cancer, who meet her (cancer) in person and discuss their predicament.

30 doesn’t take long to read, but it will leave you thinking. How did everybody die? What are we doing to the planet? If we call this globe “Mother Earth”, why don’t we treat her like one? Arthur Butt has created a memorable short we should all digest and ponder.

Talking Behind Our Backs

Private Eye Cats: Book One: The Case of the Neighborhood Burglers
by S. N. Bronstein. Reviewed by Gabriel Constans.

517t6UgzCvL.jpgCatwoman has nothing on these cats. They may seem like your everyday, ordinary felines, but there is something quite different about sisters Nugget and Scooter in Private Eye Cats: The Case of The Neighborhood Burglers. They aren’t superheroes, but it becomes apparent that they speak English (when humans aren’t around). Turns out cats all over the world speak their native language, and they’ve kept is secret, until now. That’s the author’s premise, and for all I know, S. N. Bronstein may have the real skinny.

This story reminds me a little of the film The Secret Life of Pets. In addition to the cats conversing when their people (Tony and Misty) are gone, as the animals do in the movie, it also has sharp dialogue and humor. Nugget shares some of their secrets. “We play the games that most humans fall for such as waking them up on weekends at 6:00 in the morning by knocking something over, or crying over nothing so they come running to see if we are hurt or in some kind of trouble.

While figuring out a way to catch some local burglars in their neighborhood, Nugget and Scooter accidentally let slip a few words out loud to a local English teacher (Tyronne Williams). After recovering from shock, Mr. Williams says, “And if I did write this all down and turned it into a book, who would believe it? Would they say it was a funny story but none of it could ever really happen?” Read Mr. Bronstein’s Private Eye Cats and decide for yourself. Are your cats talking behind your back, or just meowing around?

Losing A Pet

They say cats have nine lives. I wish that were true, but the facts contradict such myths. Everything dies, including the felines, dogs and other creatures we choose to care for and have in our lives. Most animals tend to have a shorter life span than humans, thereby increasing the chances that our beloved friend will stop breathing long before we leave our mortal bodies behind.

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An excerpt from Good Grief: Love, Loss & Laughter.

To add insult to injury; is the often callous or dismissive attitude and comments of others when we’ve lost a non-human friend. People don’t always understand the emotional impact losing a pet can have. They disregard our pain when we try to talk about the cat or dog we’ve had for fifteen years getting sick and needing constant attention. They scoff at our tears, when our affectionate tabby is lost or killed by a car. They belittle our sense of shock and disbelief when the dog we loved and cared for tenderly for the last eight years suddenly dies.

Yet, for some, pets, animals, and companions (which ever you prefer to use as a label for non-human creatures) are some of the closest and endearing connections we experience in life. Being responsible for any of the varied creatures placed in our care takes time, attention and devotion. And, just like people, such continued time and attention creates attachment, bonding and lasting imprints.

The love and commitment we give and receive from our animal friends, in some respects, are quite unique from that of other relationships. Sometimes, they are the only living beings that love us unconditionally and don’t argue, judge or hurt us in any way. They also provide forms of communication beyond words. There desire to be touched, patted, combed, and talked to, provide warmth, softness, connection, meaning and continual reminders of enjoying the present moment.

A lady I recently met was shocked when told by her veterinarian that their beloved kitten had cancer and should be euthanized. She refused and is currently seeking a vet that will give Hospice-type services for her cat, and provide whatever is needed to make sure her family friend dies comfortably at home enjoying as many precious moments that remain. Like human beings, there should be an alternative for animals beyond that of further treatments or mercy killing.

Losing a pet also awakens other losses we’ve experienced; whether recent or long ago. When a cat of ours, named Sushi, was killed by a dog a couple of years ago, I unexpectedly found myself remembering my childhood collie, named Pinky and the grandmother I used to visit when Pinky was still alive.

The loss of your animal friend should be treated the same as that of a human. Talk about the loss; share your pictures, memories, tears and grief. Walk, run, swim, workout, hike, bicycle, dance, play or listen to music a couple of times s a week by yourself or with a friend.

Breathing exercises, visualizations, relaxation, stretching, meditation, affirmations and yoga have all been shown to relieve stress, anxiety and positive endorphins to help the body heal.

Relax in a hot tub, hot bath, shower, sauna or sweat lodge and let the emotions seep from your pores and evaporate with the steam.

Put together a collage, altar, memory book, picture frame, treasure box, video or CD of your cat, dog, bird, horse or rabbit.

Have a service or gathering. Memorials and/or funerals; provide validation of your relationship with that being; acknowledgment that their life was of value; and societal affirmation that all living creatures are to be honored and respected.

If you’ve lost an animal friend, at any time in your life and would like some additional support (outside your circle of family and friends) contact the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals), an empathetic therapist or your local grief-counseling center.

Further reading at: Good Grief: Love, Loss and Laughter.

We Have Everything To Fear, Including Fear Itself

An excerpt from the succulent Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.

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A wild tiger was being itself . . . wild . . . and scaring a nearby community. They asked Master Tarantino if she could rid them of the perceived menace. Though no humans had been attacked and the tiger kept to its own area in the forest, the people lived in fear that one day it would decide to have one of them for lunch. The Master agreed to go speak with the tiger.

Upon arriving in a clearing in the middle of the forest, Master Tarantino sat on a soft anthill and waited. She waited patiently. The ants didn’t seem to mind, other than a few thousands that crawled up and down her body, underneath and on top of her garments, to investigate the strange large object that had caved in their roof. The sun set and arose and set and arose again before she heard the tiger’s footsteps.

“Well, it’s about time,” she said to the unsuspecting tiger, which stopped short in his tracks. He sniffed the air to see from which direction the sound had originated and soon saw the woman sitting atop the ant community. “The people in town are afraid of you and asked me to make you go away.”

Of course, the tiger didn’t speak English or human for that matter, so all he heard were squawking sounds that arose and fell from the mammal he assumed was trying to communicate.

“People are scared of the unknown,” Master Tarantino continued, “and do not realize that we are all one and connected. You are no different than I. We have simply been born into different looking bodies and circumstances. You cannot grow vegetables or fruit trees and thus need your fangs and claws for protection and to catch your food.” The tiger remained as still as a statue, not yet certain if this creature was friendly or foe. “Therefore, we kindly ask that you consider living somewhere else, stay away from town and promise not to eat any people.” She suddenly stood, raised her arms, and bowed. In so doing, her sleeves flapped in the wind and frightened the poor tiger out of his wits. He reared up on his hind legs, turned, and ran as fast as he could.

Master Tarantino returned to town and told the villagers that she had spoken with the tiger and he was in full agreement. He had left immediately upon her request.

The tiger returned to its mate and told her about his encounter with the strange mammal. He said they looked dangerous and made quick threatening motions. He warned her to not go into the city or anywhere near the smell of such terrifying creatures.

More phenomenal stories, & tales, at Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.

Orangutan Tang

Orangutan Tang

The orangutan is closely related to the chimpanzee, the gorilla, and humans. Its name comes from two Malay words meaning “man” and “jungle.” They enjoy eating fruits and vegetables, and love to play and get into mischief. This smoothie resembles the orangutan in its playfulness and rich, brownish-red color.

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Yield: 4 cups

1 1/2 cups rice milk
1 cup plain yogurt (soy or dairy)
1 banana
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon orange extract

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.

Pour into tall glasses, serve and become a little mischievous.

Great-Am-SmoothiesExcerpt from Great American Smoothies: The Ultimate Blending Guide for Shakes, Slushes, Desserts, & Thirst Quenchers by Gabriel Constans

Take Down The Nets!

Take down the nets!

sperm_whale_tailSperm whales are truly astonishing creatures; a deep-diving family-focused creature with a lifespan that rivals humans and the largest brain in the animal kingdom.

You wouldn’t think that an animal as big as a sperm whale would have much to fear, but they do. These endangered mammals face a deadly threat off the California coast: mile-long drift gillnets that can entangle their fins and tails, holding them underwater until they drown.

Help us reach our $50,000 goal to fight for endangered whales and other threatened wildlife»

Drift gillnets are set off California’s southern coast, left out overnight to catch swordfish and thresher sharks. These large nets create mile-long “walls of death” that will tangle up many sharks, turtles, marine mammals and fish that encounter them. Held underwater, air-breathing animals like whales and turtles will drown if they can’t get free.

Sperm whales are already endangered. Like humans, they tend to go several years or longer in between births and raising their young; which means that it will be a long time still before their population can recover from centuries of whaling. In 2010, the National Marine Fisheries Service estimated that 16 sperm whales were entangled in drift gillnets—a number that their small population just can’t handle.

Oceana is campaigning to remove these destructive nets once and for all off the U.S. West Coast and have them replaced with cleaner fishing gear. We can’t risk losing more whales to deadly nets.

Give by May 15 to help us fight for sperm whales and all the world’s oceans»

Thanks to supporters like you, this year Oceana stopped a proposed expansion of this fishery into a protected area for endangered leatherback sea turtles; but we can’t stop this fight until we can guarantee that all ocean waters off California are safe from these deadly nets.

For the oceans,
Rachael Prokop
Oceana

Adopt A Dolphin

Dear Gabriel,

dolphin_adoptionDolphins, like humans, use calls to communicate and stay together.

But if blasted constantly by seismic testing for oil, it’s easy for babies and mothers to get separated.

Adopt a dolphin»

Dolphins are among the most intelligent animals on Earth. A mother and baby will use calls to communicate, just like humans.

They also form tight bonds with each other, seeming to grieve for lost family members.

Those emotional bonds are too often ripped apart. Seismic testing for oil drilling can send noise blasts hundreds of miles, every 10 seconds for weeks, which harm dolphins and drown out their voices.

With one simple act – adopting a dolphin – you can play a big role in saving baby dolphins from that deafening noise.

Oceana’s comprehensive campaign to stop seismic testing in the Atlantic and implement stronger international bycatch rules is pushing us closer to a day when these gentle, smart creatures are safe.

Adopting a dolphin with the Dolphin Gift Pack Adoption means getting:

• A cozy stuffed dolphin for you or your loved one
• Personalized adoption certificate
• Dolphin cookie cutter
• Seasonal cookie recipe

We’ll do the gift wrapping for you for just $5!

Each adoption helps fund our work around the world – from protecting sea turtles and whales from drowning in fishing nets, to keeping oil drilling out of the Arctic, to stopping seismic blasts from harming dolphins.

Cross some gifts off your list with animal adoptions from Oceana.

If you’re interested in adopting a different ocean animal, browse our online adoption center to see all of our great selections.

For dolphins and all other ocean creatures,
Emily Fisher
Oceana

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