Mortality and What the Cat Dragged in for Dinner

Dear Sunaina,

Yesterday was a very interesting day. After working on the Jeep, again since its brakes are now acting up, I walked down the mountain to meet more neighbors. They were young, vibrant, full of optimism and effort, and we had great conversations about growing natural foods and medicines. Their gardens were amazing, but they were missing the compost component which I will be helping them to achieve. We will implement Black Soldier Fly composting, as well as Vermiculture and Huglekultur. I intend on getting into these projects with them very soon, as I will be implementing them simultaneously at the homestead under my care.

When I returned in the afternoon I trimmed up the Macadamia tree, as well as some of the Banana trees, and then harvested some Borage seeds. As I trimmed the seed heads from the last Borage plant I heard the wild flapping of a bird who had been caught by a cat. This bird was incapacitated and mortally wounded. The cat, well fed and killing for fun, stood attentively as I ended the birds suffering. What I did next may shock some, though for anyone that has known me long enough it will be no surprise, I prepared the bird for dinner. I know cats, and after a few choice organs were eaten, the majority would have been discarded and left for the decomposers. Last night, one of the cats that I feed fed me.

Look what the cat dragged in, from the garden. The cat killed a dove, and I ate it. Yes, yes that happened. Curried dove, green bananas, ginger, and turmeric in quinoa, amaranth, and millet.
Look what the cat dragged in, from the garden. The cat killed a dove, and I ate it. Yes, yes that happened. Curried dove, green bananas, ginger, and turmeric in quinoa, amaranth, and millet.

I cooked the bird in a curry with fresh green bananas, fresh ripe tomatoes, fresh ginger and turmeric, lots of spices, and a combination of quinoa, amaranth, and millet. It’s not something I have ever made before, but if I said that it was the best and most appreciated meal that I have had since my arrival I’d not be exaggerating. It’s not the first time that I have done something like this, and it always perplexes and amuses me when people protest the act, as if it were cruelty, when I see it as compassionate and appreciative of the animal’s life and demise. I’m responsible for that animal’s death, because I am responsible for the cat that killed it, or the window that it ran into, or the car that ran over it. The bird was likely old and not as reactive as it used to be, or it was young and inexperienced, either way it isn’t somehow sullied by its death.  It was not a rotten corpse, it died in my hands, so it was definitely edible. It’s no different than had it been hunted except my will and action is not the reason for its death, an animal under my care is. I fail to see why someone wouldn’t eat it, it cannot be brought back to life, I’m not a vegetarian and it was a bird that is commonly eaten. I appreciated the surprise meal.

Last night I saw the stars in a clear sky for the first time since I got here. There is no light pollution, south of me is thousands of miles of nothing but ocean, and the sky was incredible. In all of my travels, I’ve never seen it so clear, it was the most awe-inspiring night sky. The shimmering lights in the depths of space, galaxies upon galaxies, constellations were clear and defined, and I was reminded of the wisdom in astrology and the reasons the ancients used the stars to map the seasons and for navigation. I’m so glad that we haven’t been able to reach the stars, as to alter them unnaturally.

This morning the Dove’s partner mourns, occasionally flying into the area where her life was taken, calling for her repeatedly. Their life-long partnership broken by a natural ecological cycle. It reminds me of our mortality, the certainty of it, and the pain of love and loss that brings such value to the experience. There is beauty in risk, the giving of our love and selves to another and the courage and commitment to share life until its incalculable and unknowable end. I mourn with him for his loss, tears destined to fall.

Today I’ll do some general maintenance, nothing too exciting just lots of sweat and muscle…and car work. Once the internet data resets I can send some pictures.

Aloha,

Colin

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