There are some people in the world whose very essence gives simple pleasure.You probably know someone like that yourself- they possess an indefinable something which is uplifting and joyful. Just being around them makes you happy.
And there are some animals which have the same gift.
Like Peaches, our beautiful, cream Burmese cat.
Last night I was sitting on the sofa watching tv when I heard the customary miaow at the door. Delighted to be admitted, she jumped on the sofa as per usual, contemplated my lap, licked my face, turned around a few times to get comfy and finally snuggled down for a good purr and a deep, blissful sleep.
As I stroked her soft fur I thought about how much simple pleasure Peaches has given our family over the years and probably almost every visitor to our house. Even the most hardened animal-avoider (I don’t want to say animal-hater, such a terrible thought), has succumbed to that sweet, little face and cuddly body and bent down to give her a stroke or tickle under her chin. She always purrs with pleasure and is always delighted to make a new friend.
But over the past months her placid, loving nature has been sorely tested. She’s been poorly for a while and a few weeks ago a scan finally revealed a lump. The ensuing operation was drastic, painful and unpleasant. Yet throughout her ordeal, this little soul accepted what was done to her. She seemed to understand that we had her best interests at heart. Her trusting nature made it possible for her to love us just the same.
There are all sorts of things I could make up about how Peaches felt about what happened to her but the truth is none of us humans really know what’s going on inside our animal friends.
But what I do know is this; when I’m with an animal, I feel joy and I also feel connection to my sense of what it is to be a human being. Animals show us what it means to be alive in this world. If we allow it, they bring out the best in us.
They bring us such simple pleasure.
It wasn’t nice taking Peaches through her ordeal. But now she has recovered, I feel grateful that I’ve been reminded how important she is to me and how much I love her. How sweet and loving she is.
And it also reminds me that there’s nothing secret or mysterious about the people who bring us joy; it’s that they – like Peaches – show love and that’s something that all of us can choose to do.