We Can Learn from Our Animals’ Perspective
(To listen to this reading you may click on the Audio Player Bar below. This section begins at position 1:28 on the audio bar. In the audio, “you” and “she” sometimes refers to the cat, Princess Penelope, and sometimes to the client Leona. The actual names of those involved in this reading were omitted from the audio in respect for client privacy. If you follow the audio using the transcript, who is speaking, whether it is Leona or Princess Penelope will be clearer.)
Listening to our animals brings a unique perspective to our lives and theirs. Enjoy this series of 4 articles that chronicle lessons learned in past and future lives as told by Princess Penelope, a feline currently present on earth with her human, Leona. In this first segment, Penelope illustrates that dying doesn’t preclude being of service.
Hello Princess Penelope (feline in body on earth). Your human, Leona, has asked for information about three past lives when your life and hers intertwined. We’re especially asking for those past lives that have a bearing on the current life.
The first image that comes up for me is, Penelope, I am seeing you as a cow, you are a milk cow. Leona, you are on a farm in a different country. I see grass. I see mud, sunshine, chickens. The farm animals are in service. They are meat and milk and leather and a source of income as well as a source of food and you (Penelope) are very important. And so Leona, I see you as a woman, you have children. Your husband is away; he’s away at war. This is some time ago, 1860’s perhaps. And the farm is, I see a garden. I see a lot of space, there aren’t a lot of trees, it’s like rolling land. I don’t see a nearby neighbor.
Leona you realize that the cow, I’m asking for a name—Maisie. I see you milking Maisie in the early morning with your head in her flank, in that little curve. Milking and enjoying her warmth because it’s cold and her breath makes a fog when she breathes. The milk is warm and she is warm and you’re crying and there is not a lot of milk. You are afraid.
Maisie looks thin to me; I see her ribs. She’s not giving much milk, not just because she’s old, her feed isn’t very good either and so her milk is running out and she’s going dry and you are crying because Maisie is your source of sustenance. It’s for your children. And you are afraid you will starve if she dies. And the two of you, your lives are bound up together because if you don’t feed her, she will die because there is not enough food on the plain. There are predators, it looks like wolves.
And if Maisie dies, you are afraid your children will die without the milk. But there are chickens and eggs. But she is more of a companion than the chickens. You take her out in the morning, you bring her back. You milk her, you feed her, you talk to her. She has these big brown eyes, long eyelashes. She feels really strong to you, like you could lean against her and that she supports you and that if she dies there will be no support and you will collapse.
As it happens, Maisie does die and, though you never thought you could do it, you do what you have to do. It’s a bloody, awful process even though you’re a semi-farm girl, but not really. You cut up that cow that was your friend and skin it. You have to use an axe, sharpen your knives, and you don’t really know how to do it, but you know that this is the key to life.
It’s a very literal representation that even though Maisie is dead she is still supporting you and she allows you to live and the children to live. You dry the meat and preserve it and cook it. It’s so cold the meat can stay frozen outside. You have to barricade the barn against all the other animals that want to eat meat and need meat in this very cold climate.
Your lesson for this time was that you could do more than you thought you could. That you are more resilient than you thought you were and you found an inner strength that you did not know you had. There is value in both the living and the dead and you are deeply grateful to Maisie. The meat lasts until your husband comes home. You tell him about Maisie. He says she’s a good old girl.
Thank you Princess Penelope. Was there anything else?
No. I just want Leona to know that life and death are . . . (sigh) dying doesn’t preclude being of service. It’s very interesting. Even though her friend has passed and L.E. has passed, their lives as they are remembered are still of service and teaching even today. The dying did not end their service.