In Praise of Cats

“I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.”
― Hippolyte Taine (French critic and historian)

“I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.”
Jules Verne (French novelist, poet and playwright)


“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”
Jean Cocteau (French writer, artist and filmmaker)

“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”
Ernest Hemingway (American novelist)

“I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.”
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

“If you want to write, keep cats.”
—  Aldous Huxley (English author and screenwriter)

All photos (except the cat with the book) are copyrighted by Heather Joan Marinos and they may not be used or reproduced 

© Copyright 2017 Heather Joan Marinos. All rights reserved.

 

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The halcyon days of summer

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
― F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby

As a child, I used  to love those quiet summer days when I’d lie down on the grass and gaze up at the sky, marveling at its perfection.  I’d close my eyes and feel the sun’s warmth on my skin, and listen to the gentle rustling of leaves from the large oak tree nearby.  I would lie there for hours, as midday became late afternoon.  Sometimes the weather would shift, surprising me, bringing with it a new set of  sensory delights. Mesmerized by the different cotton ball shapes, I’d track the movement of the clouds as the warm summer breeze caressed my face and I waited in anticipation for what was sure to come next:  the sun shower.  I’d laugh out loud as the raindrops tickled my skin, and stick my tongue out to taste the drops.  Before I could count the minutes, the shower stopped, leaving behind the fresh smell of rain. Then it was time for me to go inside for tea time with my mother. I’d jump up, shake the grass off, and — with the hint of a smile on my lips — I’d leave my peaceful afternoon reverie behind. There would be more summer days like that.  Plenty more.

Although those sweet childhood days have long since gone, I still enjoy summer days like that.  In youth, we take much for granted — not at all concerned about the passage of Time.  As we age, we become acutely aware of how precious each and every moment is.  We are grateful for each and every sense that we are blessed with. It becomes more important for us to look (and really see)  the beauty all around us, to listen to (and truly hear) the sounds that make us smile,  to breathe in and smell that first summer rain, to taste and savour a freshly picked apple, and to touch  the hand of a loved one (like it was the first and may possibly be the last time)

To live life as if Today is all we have, is to savour and love each and every minute.

Don’t put it off until tomorrow.