The following article appeared in Organicstyle magazine July/August 2004.




In a grim corner of the world, cats and monks create moments of pure delight.




About 20 cats are lounging on the wooden floor of the Nga l'he Kyaung Monastery in Inle Lake, Myanmar. Their tails lift and fall lazily. With a gentle nudge from an orange-robed monk, they are up on their toes and ready to perform the trick that -- according to local legend -- one learned how to do and the others just picked up on. The monk holds a kitty-size hoop three feet above one furry head, and with a quick bounce, the cat leaps cleanly through it. Others follow, and I wonder, "Is this the origin of the word copycat?"


Traveling in Myanmar in the new millenium is draining. Grim evidence of the 42-year-long military regime's rule is everywhere on the frightened faces of citizens looking over their shoulders, in abandoned schools and hospitals, and in the makeshift villages of people forcibly relocated. Small slices of the sublime do, however, abound -- the temples of Bagan at dawn, a quiet boat trip down the Irrawaddy River, the gentle manner of the Myanmarese. And, of course, the hoop-jumping cats. They aren't coerced into performing -- they seem to realize that they're an integral part of this tourist attraction. Together with the monks, the cats have devised a way of functioning that somehow makes sense amid so much that doesn't. They have created a little space for playfulness and humor. And they taught me something vital: There is always, even in the darkest times, something joyful waiting to be discovered. Just keep your eyes open and look for it. © Organicstyle Magazine



Bengal cats can bring out human emotions. The best of those emotions can be described as an epiphany and ultimate bliss. One such occasion of bliss is when the rosettes on a spotted cat align themselves in certain non-patterns; the sensation this has on humans is like winning a jackpot in a slot machine.



However mother nature's message back to humanity may be a bit different. Affairs in the world have gotten way out of balance to say the least. Between pollution of the earth, water, and air, and humanity's lack of awareness of how the ecosystem works, mother nature is asking for our help...... In an effort to get our attention, nature is now causing weather patterns to appear on marbled bengals. Look at the marble patterns, think about the weather, and see if you can intuit a link with nature........


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