Sunday, February 24, 2019

Rescuing-a-cat dream (10-16-18)


After wrestling with my own reminiscences, I seemed to struggle with a series of unusual dreams.  The one I remember most distinctly consisted of Susan and I being on a ridge looking down at our property in a sort of canyon.  I wanted to go along the ridge path away from the house because I could see some interesting scenery and rock formations I wanted to check out, but Susan wanted to hang about closer to the house.  Just then a herd of horses and a donkey careened into our yard and my first thought was that I would wait until the herd left before going back down to the house.  Then the donkey began mauling our cat and the cat didn’t try to get away.  It belonged there and was going to hold its ground.  I ran down through the herd and shoved the donkey away.  I picked up the cat and as I walked toward our back door the donkey tried to grab the cat’s legs, but I continued shoving the donkey’s head away.  Inside the house I set the cat on a couch and could see that it had several patches of hide stripped away.  It didn’t seem in pain, but it was very upset.  It didn’t look at me expecting help.  It stared at a right-angle from me as though I wasn’t there.

I woke thinking about my transition from intending to wait until the herd departed to my rushing through the herd to rescue a cat.  I have been a risk-taker throughout my life.  I might on one hand know that I am 84 years old and standing on a cliff, but then when my cat is being harmed I don't think about my personal well-being and instead rush down to its aid, and I know I would indeed do that if I had a cat.

I hadn’t been thinking in terms of getting fit enough to rescue my imaginary cat from a donkey, but during our ongoing hot spell I have been working-out more and have been feeling stronger and more fit.  My wandering mind may be thinking in dreams about how I might use my increased fitness.  I have been thinking off and on about getting a cat.  Maybe instead of a herd of horses and a donkey I am worried about how my dogs might treat a cat.  As it is, whenever I’ve picked up Duffy, Jessica has jumped up as though she was going to grab one of his legs.  So perhaps Jessica was the donkey in my dream.  As to what I might personally get from this cat I might acquire, the answer seems to be nothing.  Cats are independent.

Years ago Susan and I had two cats.  The small female was Susan’s and the large male was mine – at least that was how the cats split us up.  The male liked to fight, but he wasn’t very good at it.  I rescued him on more than one occasion, but my Ridgeback Trooper also rescued him; so when I saw Blackie in a fight or stare-down with a cat across the street, I would open the door.  Trooper would chase the other cat away and I would follow him out, pick Blackie up and take him back into the house.


Another theory about the dream occurred to me.  The idea of horses seemed strange to me as I recalled the dream.  I never had them, but Susan did, or rather her dad did and she had some experience with them.  And she often said that one of the big reasons she liked Rhodesian Ridgebacks was that they moved like horses, coltish while young and regal when a bit older.  They had the same sort of stride.  The donkey as I already observed behaved in the dream a bit like Jessica.  Jessica never injured Duffy, but I was often afraid she might, and if I got a cat I would worry more about Jessica’s relationship to it than Ben’s or Duffy’s.  So the dream could mean that I am very comfortable with horses (Ridgebacks) but worried about donkeys (terriers).

I don’t regret getting Jessica, but she is a high-maintenance little girl.  Ridgebacks being hounds aren’t as demanding.  Maybe if later on I have occasion to get another dog, perhaps I should accept the idea that a Rhodesian Ridgeback, though larger than I assumed I would be able to handle “while old,” might in fact, be much easier on me than a smaller dog of a feisty variety.   Duffy of course is very easy to live with, but he is too small to handle himself as an only dog at the river, or be serious protection if I ever needed it.

The dream may have described a metaphor of an ongoing condition.   Drawing my attention to something I already know and could have described in non-metaphorical terms, but I am partial to dreams.  They sometimes bring ideas or conclusions I ought to entertain or take vividly to mind.

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