While he considered Humanity to be just another animal among many, and was quite happy to be so included, a sharp form of cognition, reasoning and self-awareness created technologies that shaped the entire planet and its biosphere. Thus he considered Humanity to be responsible for that biosphere, not destroy it callously or wastefully, to nurture and shepherd it, for the benefit of all, guided by a democratic, rational society.
But he was saddened by the clashing fuck-ups of humans experiencing a spectrum of consciousness with selfish stupidity at one end and intelligent compassion at the other, greed and hatred winning often enough to bring the productive social contract undone. It was all politics, warring factions and history unfolding, the power and profit the true reigning gods, though knowledge, peace, love and hope of a beneficial future for the masses alive today and yet to be born were worth dreaming of and struggling for. The hope was for the advancement of Humanity democratically in charge of the biosphere.
He was a rational, evolving animal with no stolid unchanging Self to realize, no soul, no reincarnation, no meaning to existence, no eternal life in Heaven, no salvation, no one Grand Narrative on how to run his life. He learned and created many narratives to fit his temperament, adventurer, scholar, dancer, nurse, scientist, activist, artist, lover, philosopher, Change being ever the catalyst. His carping ego was a dream among many sensations, emotions and brainwashed delusions. Thus he was free, to just BE, enjoy existence to the max, along with his fellows, then dissolve back into the interstellar dust, of which he'd always consisted.
In some dreams he was chased by bears, apparently a family totem, as a doorstop in the shape of a big black bear, made out of meteoric metal, was the one item bequeathed to him by his paternal grandmother. He dreamed once that he rescued a bear cub from a pack of cruel hunters, pulling it into the protection of his car and hugging it closely, lovingly, to his chest till the danger passed away.
He was a cat-walking contradiction, a gregarious loner, innovative and beyond fashion, he was an independent and trying to control him was like herding cats. He was what the cat dragged in, he was the cat’s whiskers, he was top cat like his pet cat Teddy, big as a panther prowling the urban jungle, who old warrior neighborhood cats came into the apartment to give obeisance to, till the neighbors poisoned him from jealousy. He was Fritz the cat, for sex did him in, randy as a crazy tomcat on heat; an alley cat living in a dumpster, always prepared for a cat fight, instead of going quietly, he had to growl and yowl in hissy fits; making enemies, they threw dead cats at him but he survived. He was happy when a black cat crossed his path and the cat caught his breath.
All the goods were wrapped in cloth of richly patterned satin, bound with gold, jewels and silk ribbons, looking like a load of shimmering Easter eggs and Arthur had his heart set on capturing one of the alluring, glossy items to enhance his jungle lair with. But riding atop one mule’s load was a small parcel wrapped in brown paper and tied with string, innocuous and intriguing and Arthur aimed for that mysterious treasure, there was something magical about its humility.
He signaled to his wildcat friend to follow the mule train and, as the panther descended through the branches, Arthur leaping at his heels, suddenly he had become one with the big, black cat, he was Bhageera and he sprang upon the civilized explorers, snarling and scratching. Once they’d fallen back and scattered, he ripped off the uninviting package from the jittery mule and leaped back up into the canopy, bounding away through the tree-tops with the prize gripped in his maws.
Another night the black cat was a wise guide through the underworld of a nightmare, where as a psycho seer, he could see into the future. An earthquake and tsunami, an Ebola pandemic, a nuclear winter, seventy years from now this petrochemical civilization had passed, the planet was a jungle where only wildcats thrived. And one led him through a labyrinth of ruined buildings, of depopulation, pollution and scarcity. A vicious Lion King ruled over the last techno tribe, he had the secret of longevity and, as a Big Brother demagogue, demanded total surrender in return for the pill of eternal life and most gave their complete loyalty for a shot at defeating death.
Gays were hunted down and shot, for species procreation was once again the supreme paradigm, all men impregnating all women. Auz as a socialist democracy and haven for freaks was long-dead history, the American-way of pay through the nose had taken over and China had built their ants-nest towers to fill the land, but right-wing or left, people were made slaves nonetheless.
Oh which world would be the one to dawn, the dystopian or utopian? The black cat led him on, through the longest night, towards a breaking light, hopefully of post-Malthusian growth and advancement, where the cat and the human lived in loving symbiosis and Enlightenment thrived.
He leaped out of bed and saw before him a fork in that infinite highway upon which he’d trod for what seemed an eternity. He could go right or left or straight ahead. To that which was expected of him, obedience and silence or into oblivion, the life of defiance and rebellion. He chose the middle path, that of liberation, a contemplative, a wanderer, too old to buy into anything, he went with the energy line wavering in his mind's eye, the path of least resistance and total commitment, he felt free enough to be nothing, and his new suit of clothes glowed more bright with every gutsy step he took.
He wasn't a hippie dropping out and hiding down on the commune, nor an anarchist desiring to burn the cities down. He contributed to society, was in it but not of it, a freak chilling out in his zone, getting by, getting enough, having fun, enjoying all that was available, libraries, movies, music halls, MP3s, push-bikes, jet-travel. Modern life was a buzz, but not as a communist, nor a capitalist, more a fatuous wanker who dreamed of a democratic socialist revolution. He was one freaky cat.
Oh yes, he purred with satisfaction, reveling at being a bum enjoying the fruits of civilization; there should be enough for everyone, in this fucked up world it was honorable to be egalitarian, yet as far as he was concerned he was the cat who got the cream and, like all humans, a walking contradiction.