The Secret Lives of Animals

Who knows what they get up to in their private lives and what they know about other dimensions of life? We are such an anthropocentric species that we can’t imagine the richness and depth of the lives of animals.

I love writing stories about the character of the animal which seems to emerge as our relationship develops. Yes, it looks like I’m humanising them but it is just an attempt to describe aspects of their personality and soul in a way that we humans can understand.

Here’s a story about a cat I’ve come to know and appreciate.

Madame Myf in Rehearsal

After her hour of coiffure and pomade, she steps carefully into the rehearsal chamber, a room specially chosen for its resonance capacities.
“Ka,ka kaa kaaa ka
Wa,waar, wha,warrr
Ell, ell, ellll, ell, LLLLellll
Now her voice starts to warm in those rich tones that both touch your heart-and send you crazy every time you hear them. The chamber is lacquered in a ceramic cream tint and the curtain of a soft green silken texture which together produce a balanced harmonious ambience. She feels comfortable in here and enjoys the serene coolness which the room offers on a hot day. Her vocal exercises were developed for her favoured role of Tosca though lately she has started to harbour a secret desire to play that naughty girl, “Carmen” . Indeed the minx part of her has disdainfully seen off many a Tom, dick and Harry with her imperious stare and indignant vibrato -a decided “No” to their requests for a bit of hanky panky.
The madame is, after all,mistress of her domains and from time to time recalls her many victories against rivals -both domestic and professional. Take that insipid step-sister of hers, well, it didn’t take long to establish who was boss in the weeks after she was brought home. What were they thinking of ? Just what was the appeal in that grey and mousy face?
“They thought I might be lonely! Humph. I showed them all who was boss after my first hissy fit when that scaredy cat Penelope ran trembling to her room.”
Affection was withdrawn for a while but if only they knew how little she needed in those times, her robust self-confidence buoyed by many vocal triumphs. Of course things have changed now.
“All life is impermanent”as Chin, her Buddhist Thai friend likes to remind her.
“No, no no! It will not do! This is by and large an Anglo suburb” To think that she was one of the first to protest about the location of a Buddhist temple in her area. Then she met Chin and was drawn to his calm demeanour and those wonderful almond eyes. He could have had a starring role in Turandot. Unexpectedly, they became friends. He was the Yin-calm, gentle, receptive-to her excessively stormy Yang. In her very few reflective moments, she realised how much he had taught her, though she had to admit that initially, she had been a resistant student. To learn was to admit what was not known and that was a sign of weakness in her view of life. It was a dog-eat-dog existence in Madame Myf’s world.
She stumbled when leaving the purpose-built chamber, a third time this week. That sawbones and potion seller had mentioned arthritis. Ridiculous in one so young! Then there were the other things, she would prefer to give them no credence but at 4am she would wake and prowl the house, thinking, murmuring, meowing, jumping on her mum’s bed and demanding reassurance
“Who am I?”
“Where am I?”

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