Release

20 May 2021

Yesterday at the animal shelter, an elderly Persian cat started purring loudly and turning her forehead to meet mine each time I managed to snip off a knot of matted fur that had twirled and tightened around her like barnacles growing on whales.

I hope Divina will still be around in my next visit. I hope to give her a bath and dry her properly.

Shelter trips are sobering reminders of abandonment, broken promises and vulnerabilities.

Shelter people are stretched to their limits to compensate the animals for the suffering in the hands of fellow humans.

This morning I came across a picture of a doctor holding a patient to comfort him. I thought of my encounter with the ageing Persian whom I had named Divina.

Different species, same loneliness.

Different contexts, same gestures.

Different professions, similar offerings.

At the risk of sounding melodramatic, cutting off the knots for the shelter cat felt akin to making a liberation gesture for me.

For some time as I leant against the plastic shelf with Divina purring loudly, I had an idea of the elation divers must have felt when they cut off fishing lines that have trapped marine lives.

Divina leaning towards me each time I snipped off a knot of matted fur from her body.

And today I learnt that some communities celebrated the birth of Buddha yesterday.

May we be free to offer relief to others with all the skillsets we have and in whatever situations we come across. 🌈🙏🐾

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