We were so fortunate to have “one of the greats” in our life during our time living in Mexico.
His name was Striped Cat.
He basically came with our rented home in Mexico. There was nothing in the house but a half empty bag of dry food left out on a table and so I assumed a cat would be showing up for a feeding at some point. A day or two went by. I was very curious and really hoping whoever it was hadn't been scared off by the move of the previous tenant and it hadn't been too long without food. Sure enough, a few days later, he showed up.
He was cool. Magic. Magestic. Striped. From the jungle we lived in - the land of the Maya in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I fed him and he showed up every day after. I was thrilled!
We worked a bit from home at the time – in a bedroom turned office on the second floor in the front of the house. Striped Cat would jump up on the roof of our jeep, somehow make his way to the top of the carport, then jump a few feet over to the balcony outside where we were working. He would meow to announce himself and ask to be let in. I never understood how he knew how to get to us there but he did. He made it clear we were his people and he was our guy. And so it was.
He became part of our family. He was just the most chill, cool rock star of a cat there ever was. We had a rescue dog for a period of time who we'd take for walks down to the golf course. Striped Cat would trot beside all of us and join us every time. He became "Uncle Striped Cat" to another little rescue cat, Sylvester that we had taken in. Held him under his knowing wing and seemed to be transferring all of his knowing of life to his little charge.
After a visit to the vet one day for some dental work, he had his blood work done as is routine. It showed that he had both Feline Leukemia and Feline Aids and his prognosis wasn’t good long term – actually not even short term. In Mexico these diseases are common among the large feral population. Cats fight, blood and saliva is exchanged and disease spreads. Usually the vets put cats down that are living outside with these diseases so they don’t continue to spread them and they don’t die a horrible death.
We loved him, he was incredibly special and although it was recommended, we simply could not put him down. He had a reason for being and a life to live with us. We decided to keep him safe indoors and see what happened. It was also a risk to our other cats but not only had they already been living together and they never fought. The diseases were never given to them and we had periodic testing done to be sure. I felt that would be the case and never doubted the idea of bringing him into our family. As a matter of fact, Sylvester is still happy and healthy now 13 years later!
Our love affair with him was grand. I called him the “Mayan keeper of time.” He was with us for our epic life chapter in Mexico for 8 years then moved with us to California where he was with us for almost 4 years more. The doctors couldn’t believe he lived as long as he did with his precarious health.
We said he ran on love. I believe with all my heart that is why he lived so long. And why it was so very hard to let him go when his health finally failed. He was nothing short of a miracle to the doctors but it wasn’t a miracle to us…it was unconditional love.
I talk more about what I consider the phenomenon of unconditional love in the Animal Method™ ebook.
It is one of the greatest gifts that animals have for us. We are so fortunate to experience this kind of love while we are on our journey here on earth. It is a gift that once received we can return to them in total safety as they have no agenda with our love other than to receive it. From there, we can give this love to those around us and to the universe at large.
If animals live in this natural state of unconditional love, then I believe we can tap into this once we have a heightened awareness to it.
Animals are our teachers and guides. This is one of their most valuable lessons for us.