What do you see in this pair of eyes? Certainly not happiness. I am deeply saddened by the story and image of this poor mother, who had just lost four of her five newborn kittens.
According to the news story, the female stray cat and her five newborn kittens lived on the awning of an old building. The tragedy was uncovered when a passerby witnessed a man living in the flat above the awning poking at the kittens with a broomstick and swiping them to the ground. The man probably had found the noise produced by the kittens unbearable. Four of the kittens were badly injured and were later collected by the SPCA. Only one managed to escape. The photo was taken when the mother loitered around looking for her lost kids upon finding out what happened. The sadness and fear in her eyes are enough to dispel any notion that animals do not have emotions.
One of the newspapers covering the story, in typical yellow journalism fashion, branded the man a jerk. There were times when I would agree with such an accusation and feel fully justified in wishing the culprit the worst. Gradually, I have learned to see that there might have been some previous experiences that turned the man into someone who would commit such an act. As the book Mindfulness in Plain English says:
“… people can appear very cruel and wicked, yet we must realise they are not that way by nature. Circumstances in their lives make them act in unwholesome ways.”
The book teaches us to not only stop harbouring animosity such people but also bless them, and here is how we should pray for them:
“May my adversaries be well, happy, and peaceful. May no harm come to them, may no difficulty come to them, may no pain come to them. May they always meet with success.”
This is what the book calls “loving friendliness”. Sound noble, but by no means easy to do.