Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Birth of a Sun Bengal

Hello, it's Chloe here . . . I've had such an exciting week, have you a moment for a chat?

Just between you and me, I find it very hard to forget that I'm a Snow Bengal, and that my ancestors came from high up in the snowy mountains.

I'm purr-fectly happy for most of the time, but every now and then, and you can't really blame me, I do get a bit homesick for all that snow.

So, when I looked out of the window last Thursday morning . . . oh, was I excited!
I couldn't believe my good luck!

There it was . . . snow, wonderful snow . . .  snow covering the houses, snow covering the ground, and snow covering the trees . . . snow everywhere!
A beautiful blanket of white . . . just what a Snow Bengal dreams about!

I couldn't wait for my Mum to put on my harness and for both of us to get out into the garden.  The thought of that crisp snow beneath my paws had me rushing down the stairs so fast that my Mum couldn't keep up.

Oh, what fun I had . . . it was every bit as good as I'd expected!

There are, of course, one or two drawbacks to snow . . . for instance, no-one ever explained to me how you can have a successful toilet dig in such conditions.   But that's a very small thing compared to all the fun.

Someone had helpfully built a great big snowman on the lawn . . . perfect for a cat to climb up and get an excellent view of the snowy garden.

After that I made my way along the branches of one of the snowy trees . . . although I must admit that this wasn't a total success.  An icy branch was a little more slippery that I'd expected and I slid off and fell into a snowdrift.
Luckily, I don't think my Mum was looking.

But, oh dear, with all this excitement, and so much to enjoy, I wasn't prepared for the terrible disappointment that came when I woke up two days later.

I poked my nose out from the covers on my Mum's bed and the air smelt warmer.  This was a very bad sign, and I was worried.

You'll never believe what had happened.
Rather than stay here, giving pleasure to everyone, that selfish snow had decided to thaw!

My whiskers quivered with shock when we opened the garden gate and walked down the path.

Everything had changed.
Instead of a lovely carpet of shimmering snow, the ground was muddy, and puddly, and slushy . . . and look how the great big snowman had shrunk!

So here I am back home, curled up under my Mum's jacket and trying to sleep.

Sad to say, it seems that, for most of the year, a Snow Bengal can only get the snow she needs by closing her eyes and dreaming about it.

 But, wait a minute, I've had another idea.
What if I called myself a Sun Bengal . . . just until there's another fall of snow?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Waking Up?

Every now and then, as I'm sure you'd agree, we each experience life-changing moments.

For me, one such moment took place in my twenties.
It was a beautiful spring morning.  I was driving along a Somerset lane, enjoying the signs of regrowth in the hedgerows, and watching the young lambs gamboling in the fields.  All was well with the world.

It was then that it happened.  All at once, I found it impossible to disassociate the carefree lambs from the lamb chop I'd enjoyed for lunch the previous day.

Until then I'd been completely successful in mentally separating the meat on my plate from its source in the fields . . . from that moment on it was impossible.  Reality had struck home.  I could, of course, have accepted the reality and continued to enjoy eating meat.  But I didn't.  Since that moment I've been a vegetarian.

Wouldn't you agree that we're living at a time of facing such realities . . .  a time of coming to terms with what we've successfully ignored for far too long?

Plastic pollution is a prime example.
Ever since 'Blue Planet II' we've woken up to the reality of the vast quantity of plastic that's choking the world.  It was there before, but we'd chosen not to see it.

Now plastic confronts us everywhere, from the pen on the desk to the wrapping round our sandwich.  In finally recognising the situation, we've acknowledged our need to find a solution.

Quite recently we were faced by another reality when scientists published the warning that the sixth mass extinction is under way.

Since that announcement you've probably found, as I have, that evidence is constantly presenting itself.
How many butterflies did you see last summer?  Are there any thrushes nesting in your garden?  And what of the hedgehogs that were once regularly flattened on our roads?

Other emerging realities are hitting the headlines, including that of the gender pay-gap, historic and current sexual abuse, and regional inequalities . . . I'm sure you could add to the list.

But perhaps the most powerful wake-up call is the undeniable reality of man-induced climate change.  Weather patterns have altered worldwide, the Arctic is melting at an alarming rate, whilst a lack of rainfall in parts of Africa is making farming  in those areas impossible.

We have finally recognised that, unless we accept and deal with this reality, our planet will be robbed of the essential components for life.

Do these enlightened moments mean that we are emerging from what Christopher Fry called 'a sleep of prisoners'?

Could this be our time of waking up . . .  our moment to throw off the captivity of illusion?

Click here, and let's answer that question with the wisdom of Fry's own words.