Help Is at Hand
Once upon a time there was a cat named Larry who found himself snowbound on a high mountain range. Larry, our tom cat, had been dismissed from his position as a special emissary to a Queen in a distant land. Apparently he had succumbed to some type of forbidden temptation and was sent here as punishment for those misdeeds.
One day, while Larry was trudging through the snow, he came upon a kitten. Too tiny to be alone it seemed, but she appeared to be abandoned nevertheless. The kitten mewed and mewed, then cuddled up to Larry as soon as he came near.
Now Larry knew nothing about kittens. He had been a favored cat at his Queen’s court and never had to look after anyone but himself. So here he was with a kitten on his hands and no understanding of how to deal with it. “Surely there must be another cat lurking about,” he wondered, while twisting his head from one direction to another to see if he could spot one. But there were no other cats to be found. So Larry allowed the kitten to climb on his back and travel with him as he continued his wanderings in this snow-covered mountainside.
Up ahead appeared a cave and Larry quickly made his way for it. “Here they would be safe and out of harms way,” he thought. For it was bitterly cold out this day and winds were mounting. “So any good shelter would be a welcome relief,” he said to himself.
Once inside the cave, the kitten climbed down from Larry’s back and began to explore. It was quite dark in the cave, except for a faint light that drifted in from the entrance. Outside their newfound lair the winds were howling and snow was blowing all about. Inside, there was a flickering of the light as this outer effect of blowing snow seemed to dance as a cluster of shadows upon the cave’s walls.
Larry7 was tired and lay down for a rest. The kitten he hoped would do the same. Upon awakening, some few hours later, Larry discovered that the kitten was nowhere in sight. It had wandered off it seemed, to venture deeper into the cave, looking for excitement as small creatures were want to do.
The kitten, apparently, was following a mosquito that had caught its attention and deeper into the cave they both went. This mosquito, for its part, had been awakened from its Winter sleep by the presence of these two intruders. This mosquito had never seen cats before, but did not concern itself with this as it had its own worked to do and that took place deeper inside the cave.
Now Larry, our tom cat, was somewhat concerned about his new friend, the kitten. So he began mewing as adult cats would do to try and get the kitten’s attention. The kitten, for her part, was totally distracted by the buzzing mosquito who was heading deeper and deeper into the cave. At some point the mosquito stopped to rest and the kitten began playing about in that area.
When the kitten heard Larry mewing, she began to mew herself and tried to find her way towards the sound she now heard. Larry, by this time, had become quite frantic. “What if this kitten lost here way and was in danger,” he wondered? “That would be such a tragedy.” He hoped he would locate her soon. In the meantime the mosquito picked up the pace and began heading further into the cave toward a purpose that only the insect could understand.
Eventually, the kitten found her way back to Larry after many mewing calls and responses on both their parts. The two greeted each other and licked each other’s faces in a typical style one would see with long lost friends. Larry wanted to know where the kitten had been and she then tried to explain. She had followed the path the mosquito had set which took them both deeper into the heart of the cave. It was only when she heard Larry’s calls did she think to turn around and head back.
“But why follow a mosquito?” Larry asked.
“I don’t know,” the kitten replied. “I had just never seen one before.”
“Oh, and will you follow anything that you’ve never seen before?” Larry asked somewhat sternly.
“I don’t know,” the kitten replied again. “Such things are all new to me. I’ve never had any experiences such as this. When my mother left I thought she would return soon. But she never came back for me. When you showed up, I followed you. And when the mosquito came by, I took to following him. I seem to be trying to find my way.”
“I see,” Larry reflected. “You are lost and confused. You are looking for direction and you will follow anything or anyone that is put in front of you.”
“It seems so,” the kitten replied.
“But what if you were to get lost and die?” Larry shot back, somewhat exasperated.
“How can that happen?” the kitten asked.
“If you follow anything or anyone without concern for your own needs, you will surely get lost. Because their path can never be yours. You must at least follow your own kind, other cats to be precise, in order to learn how to be that type of creature. That is why cats follow cats and only mosquitoes follow mosquitoes.”
“But then, how do I know which is right for me?” the kitten asked.
“Well my little friend, you are a cat. Of that there is no doubt. And as a cat you need to understand cat life. Given that, only cats will be your best instructors.”
“And what about mosquitoes?” kitten repeated.
“Mosquitoes have nothing to teach you except what they know,” Larry explained. “And I repeat, they are not cats!”
“So I must remain with cats only?” kitten interjected, trying hard now to understand what was being shared.
“Not necessarily,” was the reply. “In the beginning, when you are young, older cats will teach you about you. But when you get older, then you will begin teaching you about you.”
“How will I do that?” Kitten wanted to know.
“By listening to that voice inside your heart that tells you where you might go and how you should behave.” Larry answered.
“And that voice is me,” kitten asked excitedly?
“That voice is you,” was the reply.
“Why can’t I hear it right now,” kitten asked?
“Because you are new to this place and you have much to learn from those around you. But at some point, when all that basic learning is done, your own inner voice will begin to emerge and take you further along your way.”
“I am eager to hear that voice,” kitten asserted. “Is that how you operate?”
“Well yes,” Larry answered. “Now that I think of it, I do listen to my inner voice.”
“So that is how you found me,” kitten interjected.
“Well yes,” Larry hesitated, feeling somewhat puzzled now himself. He was realizing that he had been describing his own process to the kitten, a process he too was learning as he lived it. “Odd,” he thought. “I’d never thought of this before.”
“That’s because you were afraid,” said the kitten. “And before that you were lost in a land of spoiled and selfish beings.”
“How is that,” Larry interjected, now the one who was looking for answers?
And kitten replied: “While you were at the Queen’s court you had nothing to learn because all was done for you. When you were kicked out of that privileged lifestyle you had to start fending for yourself. And when you found me you felt obliged to care for another.”
“And when I cam along,” the mosquito interrupted, “you had to find that lost part of yourself that had once again gone wandering.”
“You mean the two of you have been teaching me,” Larry reflected, feeling quite surprised. “And not the other way around?”
“That’s correct,” the kitten and mosquito said in unison. “You, sir Larry, were the one that was lost and we were the ones sent in to help you find you.”
“Then you are both parts of me,” Larry asserted?
“That is correct,” the two protagonists replied.
Now it was Larry’s turn to be stunned. He thought he was helping the kitten when all along it had been the reverse. “And that pesky mosquito had been part of the process as well,” he surmised. “Well,” he continued, “I will listen to myself more often. This life can certainly be quite and adventure.”
The kitten and the mosquito had disappeared at this point. They were only bit players in Larry’s grand adventure. This was all about finding himself he realized. “Isn’t that strange,” he thought, “how sometimes you don’t even know that it is you who are lost when you are out trying to help someone else.” And with that realization Larry felt pleased. His life had meaning and purpose after all, and he was likely to find it in the oddest of places with many surprises still ahead.