Nature Blindness Hinders Our Relations With Cats
"Those poor nature-blind people, poor dears, if only they knew what they were missing.."
Nature-blindness hinders our relations with cats; a long and perhaps almost unintelligible title. This is what I mean. A lot of us are nature-blind. A lot of the people who visit this site are not. One is Ruth from England. She is nature-sighted. All of us can be nature-sighted. The term was used by Simon Barnes in his article in the Times today 24th September 2009. I used a different term, "disconnected people" with the same underlying meaning in another article, The Declawing Disconnect.
People who are nature-blind are very close to being nature-sighted. It is just a hair's breath away. Just around the corner. After all nature is all around us but if you are nature-blind you don't see it or connect with it. You don't see and experience a lot of what living is about.
Being nature-sighted is the ability to connect with nature and with ourselves as we are born of nature. Modern life pulls us from this and in doing so it also disconnects us from our cats and at one extreme it results in cruelty to cats and the declawing of cats (one and the same thing) when combined with other unhealthy habits and training.
As Simon Barnes says, once you are in touch with nature and are nature-sighted you will always be able to enjoy it and you will never hurt animals again because you will have empathy with them. You will see and smell the simplest things in nature and receive pleasure from the experience.
How do nature-blind people become nature-sighted. Well I am not sure but I am sure that these are some of the things we can do:
- Spend some time to simply be in nature. This could be almost anywhere. To sense all of it is important.
- To slow down a bit and reflect
- To ask some profound questions about our lifestyles
- If we have a cat sit next to him/her, stroke her, spend time with her and do it all gently and not in a rush. It can take time to connect with nature because nature works at a natural and much slower pace generally.
- As Simon Barnes says an affinity with the wild world, nature, is in us all, it is part of us and the human condition. We should spend time to tap into it and enjoy it.
I say all this (and it might seem very unrealistic and impractical to some people) because I am convinced that it can help to "reposition" the mindset of some people who dislike cats and who are at least apathetic about them (and of course all animals).
People who dislike cats brand cat lovers as pink fuzzy headed animal rights activists and the concept of animal rights is tainted by these people - unjustly. People who fight for animal rights are nature-sighted. I argue that they see the world more clearly and they see the whole world not just the man made bit, which so often fails.
It is particularly important now to become nature-sighted to begin the process of learning to live in harmony with the planet rather than abusing it. And that goes to all animals on the planet including cats.
Nature-blindness hinders our relations with cats because it means we are blind to the cat's character which is wholly natural. And if we are blind to the cats character we misunderstand the cat and learn to be fearful of the cat and then learn to hate it.
I believe that nature-blindness is the major reason why people mistreat cats or at least base their relationship with cats, wild, domestic or whatever, on the wrong footing. It leads to or encourages abuses such as (there are many more):
People who are nature-blind should be nature-sighted not because it will improve their relationship with cats but because it will improve their life.