Sitting in the first class cabin on an Alaska flight bound for Minneapolis, then on to Fort Meyers. On my way to a memorial service for Bob. It's a beautiful day way up here, clouds way beneath me, round and full and bright.
Some wonderful person just brought me some roasted nuts. I know they're roasted, not because the package says so (there isn't one) but because they're warm! AND I'm drinking Bailey's on the rocks out of a glass made of Glass! Dear God, they're going to have to pry me off this flight! Thank you, Karri Meleo!
Here's a piece for today... A Friend in Need... from 2008...
My friend, Eric Anderson (the minister and musician, not the actor and musician, although he has been that, too) posted a question today about what is our moral and ethical obligation in the face of the suffering inflicted upon all the animals that live in, and around, and off of the Gulf of Mexico. How do we respond?
I think we have to speak for those who cannot. We are not the only ones who are going to suffer due to the catastrophe unfolding down there. The difference, however is threefold.
First, we all speak the same language (human) and we can ask for help... physical, medical, economic. I know, I know, how's that working out? But it's something...
Second, we're land dwelling. We have someplace to go. We can get away if we have to... or even ignore it.
Third, we're bigger. Think about it. How fast do you think a tiny seabird can survive once its body has been covered in oil? How about a turtle who just laid her eggs on the beach? How about those babies when they hatch?
One of the greatest things I ever saw anyone do was when my friend Dave the vet dropped everything five years ago when Katrina hit and went to Louisiana and worked in an emergency shelter/clinic/ER taking care of all those displaced cats and dogs who somehow got left behind. Somebody has to be there for them.
The piece above is a tribute to my late cat, Wheezer. Like all my animals, he found me, showing up on my porch one day with his sister... two feral kittens, no bigger than grapefruits. The sister took ill and Wheeze stood guard in front of her, hissing and swatting at all comers. When she passed, he was alone, sitting on my doormat until Padi and I scooped him up and took him away to get fixed. We told each other we'd release him back to the wild once the stitches healed, but both of us were just waiting for the other to say "Can we keep him?"
My favorite memory of him is when I would pick him up and look at his face. He'd squeeze his eyes shut the way cats do when they trust you, then he'd open them and he'd reach his paw out and place it gently on my lips. I'd giggle and shake it off, and he'd just keep putting it back there... saying... something... what? I've got you, too? I'll never know for sure, but there was a connection there.
Like I said to Eric earlier, like Dr. Seuss said long ago, "A person's a person, no matter how small".
When are we all going to figure that out?
photography by Dorothy Pierce at Just Moments Ago