The grey and black striped cat could have been anywhere in the world. As I sat watching him on a quiet afternoon, my mind drifted to the cats that have touched my life over the years. Images from the early ones when I was young through New Jersey, England, and California filled my mind. Each was a great memory with unique behaviors and personalities.
As I silently watched, a potential meal landed nearby. The cat morphed from lazy inattention to high alert – crouched, still, and focused. A gate creaked as someone entered but this went without notice. A transit train nosily came into the station above us; buses rattled past on the other side of the wall. No matter what was going on, it seemed as if the cat was in a private world with only two living creatures.
I was not sure how long the scene was going to last. Would the bird see the threat? Even if it noticed the grey mound, would it see it for what it what it represented? Could the cat remain patient? When would the time be right? Was success guaranteed?
As I waited an old observation came to mind; “Wicked sets a watch for Righteous, he’s out for the kill.” (Psalm 37.32) The cat, you, and I share live on a similar stage. We are often setting traps, hoping that we will catch our prey. If not, we are likely in a hunter’s crosshairs. We hunt or are hunted. Welcome to our world.
For what it is worth, Life reminded me of the following as I watched the cat.
Targeting others does not mean that you or I is not a target at the same time. Stay alert.
Living in fear is not the same as being alert. The first suggests that I act defensively. The latter is a reminder of the need to remain open to what is possible
This afternoon the bird lived by flying and the cat returned to being lazy in the sun. Life went on. Bad does not always win the day.