As catty as they get

Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods. — Christopher Hitchens

My friend Kabsat Kandu is not impressed with Hitchens’ insight. He cites a pithier one by Winston Churchill: “Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”

“That’s why,” Kandu says, “I’d rather take care of my pigs, which bring me extra income, rather than cats, which steal food from my kitchen.”

Feral cat
A feral cat roaming the slopes below a Baguio ridge. I tried to tame it with food bait for several months, without success. But that's ok. Cats have the right to self-determination too.

Continue reading “As catty as they get”

Community of bitches

Nocturnal trysts
It doesn't take much for dogs, if given enough freedom, to go feral and back to their undomesticated ways. Is that good or bad?

No. The title of this piece is not what you might think it is, you dirty-minded reader, you.

“What’s wrong with that?” Kabsat Kandu asks. “Bitch, witch, itch, glitch—they’re just words to describe something. The dirt is in the extra thoughts you put into them.”

But really, we’re talking clean unadulterated fun here, I assure my feisty neighbor. Continue reading “Community of bitches”

Leaving cemeteries as clean as we found it

Shouldn’t it be obvious enough, like it’s staring you in the face?

The news today is that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority has collected stupendous amounts of garbage that accumulated over the November 1-2 weekend in the various cemeteries of the metropolis. Well, you buy flowers and candles, you bring them to the cemeteries, and you leave them there. What do you think will happen? That the dead will later rise and clean up after you?

IRAIA thoughts
IRAIA thoughts

I’m thankful we made the decision not to bring flowers and candles to the cemetery, but just ourselves, with our mindful presence, deep thoughts and memories.

If we had to offer flowers and candles, I’d rather that we offer them at home, or wherever we are staying, so that the flowers and candles are kept fresh as long as possible, and don’t go to waste in one universal implosion on the night of November 2.

And of course, if I had given more attention to it, like in past All Saints-All Souls days, I would have made an additional offering of wine, in copitas for easy gulps,  so that my dead ancestors and and I could sit down once more for an evening of relaxed reminiscing. Other gentle souls in the vicinity would have been welcome, and in the morning, we would have emptied a bottle or two.

We would have cleaned up afterwards, and not rely on MMDA to pick up our self-inflicted trash. Leaving cemeteries as clean as we found it — I’d have thought our ancestors taught us how it’s properly done, all these years. #