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The Jumping Cat
June 2, 2009


I dont know that dreams mean anything. the most dramatic event in a dream could have happened simply because it made most dramatic sense. the question, then, is if drama in real life also happens sometimes just for the sake of drama. I watched the cat preparing to jump, and hoped it would not.

there were lots of people exploring the landscape. I had been on this landscape before in a dream. There was a dirt trail that led to a small almost-island. Not sure where the intentions or focus of the action was, or who was watching, but in a smaller narrative there was a woman below me on a lower tier looking out into the same vista as I was. We were in a wooded area but it was virtually a cliff.

A young cat, grey, bobbed its head up and down, looking wide-eyed in the same direction for a point of landing. It found nothing but jumped anyway. Of course it would find nothing, it was a cliff, couldn't the cat see that? i guess not. it's true that in terms of color value/ light and dark, it was hard to tell what was close and what was far. The view was foresty, and only with our human eyes apparently could we tell that we were standing at a cliff. There were tall trees, but they were too far even from a cat's reach. The woman on her tier and I above her on mine watched in horror as the cat fell a great height. It was doomed. But the cat's claws grabbed hold of a tall tree it had been falling next to, and although scraped up, the cat survived. it scrambled slowly back up the trunk, onto some branches, and back onto solid ground. We were shocked and relieved. We called the cats over (there were two, one who had not fallen as far), and we tried to determine which one was the one who had almost died. The grey cat, I said, it was definitely grey because i watched it try to find a point of focus before it jumped. we felt each cat's ribs for damage, petted the cats to let them know they were alive and being cared for. It was a heavy moment, full of awe and respect but also sympathy. It was folly, but it was also resilience. Evolutionarily it was failure and success.

Mostly I felt sorry for the cat to have experienced such a traumatic event and barely gotten out alive. I wanted to bring the cat home with me.