…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Monday is menosukhi day - the one in which I go all sentimental. For a few weeks this means you are sharing my memories of two darling creatures, Jade Dog MacWoof and Jasper Cat MacMeow.

Cats do have their way of communicating their needs, that cannot be denied.  However, they are somewhat narcissistic and inclined to be reserved in their love and sharing unless there's something in it for them.  In some ways they epitomise the way of Vedanta;  viveka (discernment), vairagya (detachment), samadhi shatsampatti (6-fold inner balance of withdrawal and forbearance) and mumukshatva (determination to obtain the goal).  For a cat the goal is always to obtain food and as superior a position as possible in the place it calls home, as it is unlikely it has worked out that there is such a thing as Union with Brahman.

Then again…

Inscrutable creatures, no matter how long we spend with one and think we know it.

Every now and then one finds amongst the feline kind one which is a tad more inclined to share itself.  A more affectionate and caring cat.  Of all the cats I have known in life, the two most dear like this were both neutered males.  A small sample, I grant you, but it encourages one to consider this a good combination.  One of these was my darling Jasper.

Certainly other cats had not stayed around long, for various reasons.  So the length of our association probably assisted things.  But there is no denying the fact that Jasper was a total sook.  Right from kitten-hood he wanted to be on my left shoulder (never the right) and learned to balance there without assistance; from my arms anyway.  (It will not have escaped notice of some that YAM has a 'well built' frame, so there was always a platform for his hind paws…) 

Another of his peculiarities was that he would never seek to eat the minute I got home.  I could put the food out, but he always (always!) came to me first for a cuddle.  Only then would he eat.

To be honest, I never realised just how affectionate he was until visitors commented.  Many friends had or previously had cats and almost all of them were a bit jealous of the intimate nature of Jasper.  As mentioned before, he didn’t restrict his love to myself; Jade was his constant companion and he took very seriously her early training and socialising!

Jade in her turn, shepherded him.  I've related a few of the games they'd devise.  One of Jasper's favourites  was to get as high as possible via a route that Jade, had she really wanted, could have followed him, but she drew the line at climbing.  He'd come back down a few steps of whatever (like the back verandah chairs and table) and seem to be enticing her - but she never followed.  She was bright enough to realise this would result in tears.  Mum would not be happy about her being on the table and climbing the tree would only result in injury.  What's more, this was only Jasper trying to get her into trouble.  He had just enough of the rebel in him for that!

However,  climber though Jasper was, there was a tendency to get into a position from which he couldn't return.  It was almost as if he hadn't thought to look down till then, so when he did it was "Oh my Great Cat in the Sky, where am I?!!"

One very memorable day not long before his 5th birthday, the large Jacaranda tree at the top of the yard was just too inviting.  The purple flowers had almost gone and the leaves were freshly resplendent.  Jade came tearing in the back door calling for me to come.  There was a degree of urgency about this so I obeyed the order.  She was under the tree looking back to ensure I was coming.  It wasn't too hard to guess what was wrong.  Sure enough, arriving beside her and looking up, there was Jasper staring back down from a height he had not previously reached.

It was very difficult to keep a straight and comforting face.  The boy had a look of utter panic in his eyes and he had got himself so wound round a small branch you'd think he was trying to play snakes and ladders!!  Honestly it was all I could do to keep from giggling and making matters totally mortifying for him.  Clearly he could see that I was torn between mirth and motherly concern, for he let out the most heart-rending cry ever.  "Get me down from here!!!!!"

I did not have a sufficiently lengthy ladder.  This meant only one thing.

Even if I'd wanted to, I couldn't show you photos of this, as there was no way to manage that and the rescue.  What you have to do here is picture a largish tree with a double trunk which splits into several smaller trunklings at around the six feet mark and then the usual branchings after that.  Getting up to the initial first junction was okay.  The ladder allowed for that.  Crawling up the 40' angle of the trunkling to the right wasn't overly challenging.  I was a gymnast in early years, which had to count for something.

During all this human effort, the J's were mewing and grawfing to each other.  I was thinking how sweet it was of Jade to send up reassurance.  Wish she'd been aiming it at me.

"Shoulder, mother... I said Shoulder!!!"
The next branch was very pliable and my confidence was growing thin.  Then, just as I got within arms reach, Jasper released himself from the curled and huddled position he was in and sprang for my shoulder.  Only he didn’t stop there.  He leaped over, down my back and raced down the barkway at a rate resembling sliding a stair bannister.  Leaving yours truly dangling.

The pair of them snuggled and tumbled at the foot of the tree and gave no further notice to me.

When I finally grounded, they stopped side by side, sitting perfectly and watched me closely.  For this event I have absolutely no witnesses.  You'll have to take me at my word that it was very, very difficult not to imagine the pair of them had cooked up the ultimate entertainment for themselves...

Do visit BOZO and have you met Reverend Goose yet?

Also, don't forget to visit with the ashram guardian, Krishna-ji!


  1. That is a splendid looking cat.

    While people think I have something to say, I'll keep writing!

    Stewart M - Melbourne

  2. Hari Om

    You have indeed chronicled the escapade beautifully!! Would have loved to see it!!

  3. Hari OM
    Stewart - he was quite a stunner, no doubt about him! Thanks for dropping by. (For other readers, Stewart writes "Paying Ready Attention" - and you should visit for that reason!!)

    Magiceye - he he he - that's what all my mates say when I tell the tale. I may have to cartoon it one day! &*>

  4. I didn't see this last year, so I'm glad you provided a link. Great story. I can well imagine it happening.
    Luv, K


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