Tales from the kittenbox, The cat and the tree

  • One night a cat and a tree were talking. "Oh cat", the tree asked "You are so small and furry, yet people do not hound you with axes. You have the most beautiful colours, yet people do not kill you for supplies. What is your secret?" The cat looked up at the tall leaf bearer, and thought for a moment. Then it thought for another moment, and it thought long and hard. Then, it responded, "They try to touch me, and =i hiss and turn tail. When they want to feed me, I sniff with suspicion. When they try to hit me with a shoe, I cannot be hit. But when they ignore me, I do approach. When they weep, I hop in their lap and purr. On my terms, i become their building block when times are tough."

    The tree stood still, waving in the wind, thinking about what the cat had said. "But cat, i am not fast like you!" The tree replied. "They cut me with tools, and when i jump, my roots hold me. When they touch me, i grow thorns, but they touch around them. When they struggle, my branches cannot reach to be their roof. How can i become like you?" The tree pleaded to the cat. And as the moon shone through its branches, it fell upon a single seed one of its branches. "You think that you have no choice but to stand here, but you do!" the cat replied encouragingly, looking towards the seed.

    "Death is but the beginning of new life, and life continues beyond your current self. When they cut you, spill your sap, and ruin the wood they would take. When they touch your branches, soak them with toxins from deep within your bark. When you want to protect those you care for, spread your seeds, and become a forest of compassion for them to house in!" The cat climbed up into the tree, and gave the little seed a swat, sending it down to the earth. It then jumped, holding onto the seed, and floating safely back to the earth below. "This seed is you, as is every leaf you own, and every droplet of sap within your arboreous body. Live your life to its fullest, and you will see that within life and death, your choices are yours."

    The tree nodded slowly, as trees do, and all throughout the night, it stood thinking about what the cat had said. When the lumberjacks came back and swung their axes, they still sunk into the bark, but found the wood within rotten and brittle. When the neighbourhood kids came to touch the tree and climb its branches, they found their hands and feed covered in rashes soon after. And after several seasons, and many spreadings of seeds, A forest had spread around the tree. A forest so dark it protected the ground below from harsh sunlight, with moss on the ground still suitable to sleep on. Word spread of this wonderous forest, and soon a tribe of tree worshippers chose to populate the woods.

    And in the middle of this forest, an old stump sat. A cat, old and gray, was occasionally seen wandering around this part of the forest, seemingly greeting the stump as an old friend. And when it did, the tree seemed to nod, though old and stiff it was, and smiled in quiet response to the furry visitor.