GO!

Samhain

Travel to places around the world, make new furiends and pawty with them; let your imagination carry you away!

  
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kaya skye

not fighting my- demons-we joined- forces
 
 
Purred: Sat Nov 1, '08 11:17pm PST 
ooh, i think i've seen that! it's way kewl. so in the spirit of the circle of life and death, don't you think?
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Lola

Proud mother of- the Fab Four!
 
 
Purred: Sun Nov 2, '08 5:47am PST 
Well, I love rituals, but this one is a bit complex...rather than doing it myself, I'll just add two thoughts.

One is about animals in Japan. Japan has a strong tradition of taboo, which includes eating animal flesh. That's not to mean that nobody ever ate living creatures until the modern era, but Buddhist priests were supposed to abstain, and people almost always ate fish, rather than mammals. People who lived in the mountains and ate wild boars and such were considered social outcasts. Even now, although it's all hush hush, people involved in the slaying and selling of mammal flesh (and believe me, the present-day Japanese eat LOTS of meat) are still often from the traditional outcast class.

What the Japanese do to make up for taking animal life is to have periodic memorial services, which in the past often involved setting up a memorial stone. However, as I have noted on other threads, despite their Buddhist heritage, the Japanese can be downright cruel when it comes to dealing with animals. I'd say the Brits are the kindest; the Japanese are a bit behind the times. When my friend was at the Brain Institute at Tokyo University (the Harvard of Japan), he was shocked at the treatment of the experimental animals. His colleague, X, killed experimental rats by holding them by their tails and bashing them at his desk, but he was such a klutz that it usually took several bashings before the poor rat expired. Fortunately, the scientific world caught on to the fact that Japanese scientists were not properly euthanizing experimental animals, and started banning Japanese research from scientific journals. The Japanese got the point, and as far as I know, are now treating experimental animals with the same care as in, for example, the U.S. (Whether animals should be used for experiments is another question, but what is the choice? Criminals? Racial minorities? That used to be the norm. Every time I buy cosmetics from The Body Shop, which bans animal experiments, I wonder WHO they are experimenting on.) Even so, every year at Tokyo University, they hold a memorial service for the animals who have died in the service of science. Apparently, this assuages their consciences regarding their (probably still continuing) rather haphazard way of dealing with lab animals.

The second thing I wanted to say...this is a time for remembrance, but also a time for celebration of fecundity. My life has been immeasurably enriched by Leila's giving birth and her seven little devils. I know that Catster is not generally in favor of letting one's cat give birth, but it has made me realize anew the wonders of nature and of maternal instinct, and enhanced my appreciation of the cat world. I am thankful, in this season of harvest and remembrance, to have been blessed with this experience. And Leila is so obviously happy at giving birth and taking care of her kits, and the kittens themselves are so full of life and curiosity--what can I say? This is the miracle of life, which will eventually fall into the shadow of death...but birth and death are inextricably intertwined, and being able to experience, not just the death of my beloved former pets, but the birth of new life, has given me joy.

No rosemary for me, but I am thankful for the fullness of life.

cloud 9

Edited by author Sun Nov 2, '08 5:53am PST

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Emma Barrett

It\'s good to be- the Queen
 
 
Purred: Sun Nov 2, '08 6:38am PST 
Here in the New Orleans area, and most of South Louisiana, we also observe "All Saints Day" on November 1st. People visit the cemetary, make sure the tombs are clean, and leave fresh flowers. Since 99.9% of the burials in this area are above ground, the tombs are like small concrete "boxes" above ground, and must be washed and weeds pulled away from them. When I was growing up, and we visited my grandparents tombs in an older cemetary (Pre 1850), there was always a man outside selling skulls, headstones, etc. made of marzipan (almond paste). Obviously he was of Hispanic heritage - but all us kids enjoyed it......more candy....LOL...LOL... As an aside to this, having never seen a "traditional" cemetary, when we watched the old black and white horror movies, we thought the cemetaries shown in them were made up by Hollywood. Not until I visited California in 1970 did I see what "regular" cemetaries looked like.

Thanks for sharing these various celebrations which honor animals. Meowmy said that we all honored by her every day, as we add so much to her life. She says we were sent to her by the cats she lost in Hurricane Katrina, and we have helped to heal the hurt of there loss.

Emma Barrett, Louis Armstrong, Benny Grunch, Pete Fountain and Charmaine Neville
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Charmaine- Neville

Hey Dawlin!!!!
 
 
Purred: Sun Nov 2, '08 6:42am PST 
Say WHEN CAN WE SEE PHOTOS OF THE NEW KITTENS??????? All of us "maiden aunts" need a kitten fix, and so glad Leila is doing such a good job as a first time mom.

We do not think you did the wrong thing by letting Leila have her kittens.....you are being responsible in the way you will find them good homes, etc. What upsets our meowmy is when people let a female have litter after litter, with no thought of what will happen to the kittens.

Charmaine Neville - who wishes she were close enought to play with the new kittens....

Hugs and Purrs, way to goway to go

Edited by author Sun Nov 2, '08 6:43am PST

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Lola

Proud mother of- the Fab Four!
 
 
Purred: Sun Nov 2, '08 6:09pm PST 
Oh, Emma and Charmaine--I'm going through menopause, and your posts made me CRY. Crying is therapeutic, so I'm not complaining. My late mother, who I loved so much, was of German stock and loved marzipan...And I am so thankful that there are understanding people on Catster who realize that letting cats do what comes naturally is not always a sin. Momcat is happy, Grandmom is happy, the kits are happy...and, in the near future, new owners will be made happy as well. Maybe I'm experiencing post-partum depression, I cry so easily now--but there's also (very rare) post-partum mania. Take your choice. I warn you, the photos are really awful, but I THINK I got all seven. If not, I'll post more.

Owning cats almost always means facing cat loss--and as sad as this is, it is far better that your cats predecease you, rather than having to be euthanized after your death. But the birth of kittens, or the acquisition of new cats, ALMOST makes up for the loss of the cats in our lifetime. As I wrote recently on another (?) thread, so many cats, so little time...Let us make this holiday not only a memorial to the pets who have died before us, but to the miracle of birth and fecundity. I will die without any progeny, but at least some of my cats will probably give birth, and who knows how many generations that may continue. God is great.
hug

Edited by author Sun Nov 2, '08 6:14pm PST

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kaya skye

not fighting my- demons-we joined- forces
 
 
Purred: Sun Nov 2, '08 6:14pm PST 
yes, this is not only a time for remembrance but for beginnings. you sometimes cannot begin without saying goodbye-but to say hello to new life, new possibility in all its forms...big grin the wheel of life, it turns...and oh why not ENJOY the ride? and enjoy your fellow travelers.
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Freyja

You talkin' to- ME?
 
 
Purred: Mon Nov 3, '08 9:00am PST 
Of course I find this thread AFTER the Holiday is over...Ah well we will join in future celebrations!

'Sides, Mom was pretty busy invoking my namesake Goddess all weekend to help my brother Oliver and two sick foster kitties. Oliver and one of the kitties are all better now, waiting to hear about the third.
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