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Animals: Life of the Finite

Joined: 3/31/2015
Posts: 2
I once had a cat. Well, make that two, but this story is focused on one; his name was Tiger. There are many different theories on how we, my family and I, decided to name him that, but I’d like to think that it was due to his striped fur and rather aggressive demeanor—although, he was only feisty if we annoyed him a little too much. Moving along, after many years of joy together, Tiger slid into depression—or so we assume because the oldest of my siblings, who spoiled Tiger the most, went off to college; Tiger was never the same. He became reclusive and ate less; the fat rolls that he flaunted before dwindled into bones. He was a self-wrought dying boy, and we could do nothing but give him as much attention as we could muster.

One week, we knew it would be his last. Barely moving, he laid in the kitchen only eating and drinking what he willed. His breathing became haggard and his health was undoubtedly lost. Returning from church Sunday morning, we found him frozen as a doll; lifeless, yet still soft, a mere shell of what he was. Spiritless eyes and a weak body, it was over; our life together was over.

Lives are precious. The longer I live, the more I realize how short it really is. Cats are a finite being—such as ourselves—we will all inevitably die. Some would say that they lived a long good life; however, compared to an immortal, that life is extremely short, like a cat’s. Cats are a mirror to our lives. We who are plagued with depression and anxiety, we harm both ourselves and those around us. When we die, we do not leave harmlessly; we are leaving others behind to deal with the loss. Tiger is an example; he became selfish and did not care about us, he wanted my brother who had gone away, and because of that his health deteriorated. He became like a self-centered human who no longer cared about his family. He ironically became like us, beings who live only for pleasure and not for others.

Cats cannot think as humans think, as we think. They are even more insignificant than us, their lives worth even less than ours, yet their small deaths still induce pain. Why? How can something so insignificantly small cause pain in humans, a being exceptionally greater than it? Love. My family loved Tiger—in a non-obsessive way—he was essentially part of the family. Even an immortal can feel sorrow and loneliness, the longer we live, the more we’ll understand. I would write that Tiger will live on in our memories, but he won’t; he’s dead. There’s a meaning to the word finite. Treasure life because every life matters, Tiger mattered and you do too—but even more so.
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