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The Cat Who Loved The Bird
Once, there was a cat who loved a bird; and the bird, she loved him too.
Every day they would find each other at the point where the earth meets the sky, and there their attachment grew.
Their love was made of soft down and amber, and it glowed in the moonlight like a candle in a desolate world.
The cat trimmed his claws and filed his teeth to protect his love, and he taught her to move like liquid fire between the tall stalks of grass—silent, sinewy, sonorous. And the bird stilled the beating of her wings, and she taught him to dance like air to the music of the clouds.
And so they lived, and so they loved, and so they played, and so they fit together the ragged edges of their differences like an infinite jigsaw puzzle, there where the earth met the sky.
And they were happy. Yes, they were happy.
The bird forgot the sky in the wide spaciousness of her love’s soul; she delighted in seeing the spray of sunlight on her feathers reflected in his eyes. And the cat—the cat found a richer depth than night within his love. He never tired to hear the echo of his voice in her feather-light bones.
Yes, they were happy, but a love such as theirs could never be easy. The night’s song drew the cat out of sleep; the wind beckoned the bird to follow, follow, follow it.
The cynics insisted the cat would devour the bird before a year had passed; the romantics argued breathlessly for love everlasting.
The reality was neither so pure, nor so tragic.
They lived and they loved where the earth met the sky, but the settlement weighed heavily on both of their sides…
“A bird may love a fish, but where would they [live]?” ~ Joseph Stein
A bird may love a cat, but could such a love survive?
Yes, vowed the cat; yes, vowed the bird. But neither could deny the truth beating in their chest. The cat craved the darkness; the bird craved the sky—no matter the heat of their passion; no matter how hard they tried.
It was a cosmic joke of the greatest proportions, to give two creatures such as they a love to challenge the laws of the universe—but no safe abode to contain it. The gods laughed at their predicament, only too well acquainted with the world where sky and earth connect.
Yet, the cat loved the bird, and the bird loved the cat, and while such a love could never be easy, it was as simple as that.
The bird needed the sky, while the cat sought the night, but still their hearts met between the hunt and the flight.
There is a place beyond the point where the earth meets the sky—where birds can flow like honeyed dark, and cats can also fly; where the wise ones call growth what we call compromise—a place of in-betweens, where metamorphosis resides.
It is there that the cat and the bird made their home, and the flame of their love continued to glow.
Sometimes, a cat is a cat and a bird is a bird—a cosmic joke is a joke, and the end is the end—but sometimes, just sometimes, beyond the horizon exists another world. When things are simple, but not easy, we can go there—perhaps.
The bird who loved the cat and the cat who loved the bird did just that.
And so they lived, and so they loved, and so the earth turned—like this story—without beginning, without end.
Accepting the Ugly & the Beautiful in Ourselves.
Author: Toby Israel
Photo: Kevin Law/Flickr // lucahennig/Flickr
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