People have had a problem with me touching stray animals since forever. For years now, they’ve been so kind as to let me know all the diseases and infections I’m now prone to because I pet that cute dog. Apparently, that’s what I get for being unable to resist the cuteness.
Looking into that dog’s cute eyes though breaks my heart into a thousand pieces and that’s why for me it stopped being a matter of cuteness a long time ago.
It all started when I was a kid. My grandparents had a big house and an even bigger garden with all kinds of animals…
The excerpt is from something I wrote in 2017, Coffee Thoughts Shop 3: Animals and Heartbreak*. It’s from when I was freelance writing “full time” and I’d go to coffee shops to get work done. Well, the little work I could get at the time I mean. Often, work sessions would turn into writing sessions, inspired by then and there events. *Not by mistake, I just like coffee thoughts shop more than a generic coffee shop thoughts.
Today, I’m writing from the beach like last week, and I’m writing about animals, inspired by an event like back in ’17.
My “COOKIE” tattoo
If you’ve seen photos of me from this summer, you might’ve spotted some ink near my hipbone.
I wanted to share the short and sweet story behind it. Well, I’m biased about the sweetness levels, but it will be quick.
Years ago, I found on the street the cutest fluff ball I’d laid eyes upon. He was playful and full of love like animals usually are.
However, my family was against getting a pet because of all the responsibilities that come with one that my tender age wasn’t at all ready for. So I couldn’t get this little four-legged cloud of happiness home with me.
Or could I?
Cookie turns 14 today
A lot of people get tattoos related to their pets, and I know I don’t need an extra explanation or reason for getting one too. But!
As much as I adore my cat, for me, my tattoo is more than just about him. Sorry Cookie, don’t bite me!
On his birthday today, I wanted to honor his presence and all he has taught me.
No one has better mastered the art of mindfulness than cats.
Kids and animals in general are pros at living in the present moment, not worrying about what’s next to the point that they ruin the now.
Our children, who are masters of living in the gray, show us how to live free of our past. They teach us that while life may rarely follow our plans, we are fully capable of equipping ourselves to meet its challenges.
When we undergo this metamorphosis, life takes on an unsurpassed glory. As we liberate ourselves from attachment to rigid ideals and future goals, we are able to engage with ourselves and our families with spontaneity, joy, and a feeling of lightness.The Awakened Family: How to Raise Empowered, Resilient, and Conscious Children, Ph.D. Shefali Tsabary
This is from the book I’m currently reading, and loving. I’m all about spontaneity, joy, and feelings of lightness.
By being himself completely, irrevocably, Cookie helped me in small ways to be more unapologetically myself, by being more like him.
Cookie is a reminder of a strong presence and a love so strong, pure, unconditional, that I had to get it tattooed.
It reminds me of the importance of speaking up to get what you want
The tattoo reminds me of all the convincing I had to do to get my family on board, more specifically, that I actually did it.
It reminds me of perseverance and the importance of speaking up for what you desire.
However, I’m not implying we need to fulfill all of our children’s wishes to teach them the importance of perseverance. It doesn’t work like that.
I lived a happy childhood and though I didn’t need much to be happy, it was very clear to me I wanted to grow up with an animal. I knew I didn’t want to buy one (I hate that animal BUYING is even an option), so when I saw Cookie on the street and fell in love, I knew I had to do anything within my power to get him.
My pledge to all animals
Most importantly, my tattoo is a pledge to all animals.
It’s a pledge to honor them as beings, not human, but nonetheless full of feelings, love, innocence, sometimes even pain that we cause them.
A lot of people keep choosing their taste buds instead of an animal’s life.
Inside these trucks, there are living terrified innocent beings. These trucks are being driven to concentration camp’s slaughterhouses. When the trucks arrive, the animals are so frightened they won’t even get off the truck. They’re not stupid: they know what’s next. So people go on the trucks with electric prods and force them to walk down the chutes to their own deaths. If the animals are small enough to man-handle, like chickens, they’ll just grab them off the trucks and toss them inside.
Inside these innocent living beings are hanged upside down, FULLY CONSCIOUS. In other words, they come in alive against their will and come out chopped up in hundreds of pieces. What’s “natural” about that?
The excerpt is from something I wrote in 2015, Gary Yourofsky’s “Best Speech You Will Ever Hear”.
I still stand by it 5 years later, that with so many delicious, incredibly satisfying plant-based meals, I will never choose one that causes a living being capable of emotions pain and terror.
Happy birthday Cookie!