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WILD COOT: At long last

Harry Russell

WILD COOT: At long last

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This old lady, having just returned from Old Blighty, confirmed what I have been trying to tell Barbadian citizens for the longest time.

    Do not fear death, it is but a transition to rebirth. My contention that even an ant has a soul is postulated on the natural logic of things. There is DNA in everything, it is the building block of nature and we are but part of nature with DNA in other things being measured in relation to us from the time that we started developing from snails, (after the big bang?) some as animals, some as birds and some as trees. Did we ever have dinosaurs? More than 10 000 years ago?

I got bare licks for the column entitled Religious Findings. A gentleman sent me the relevant passages from the Old and the New Testaments predicting an “unextinguishing” fiery future for my poor soul. Not satisfied, he bombarded me with several emails. I only got him to stop when he could not answer a simple question. “Can a snake talk?” I likened the serpent to the fox in the Grimm Brothers Red Riding Hood. It is all allegorical. Now even my friend Hoadie is getting into the act.  

As I have said before, I might have already inhabited this earth as a citizen of Guyana, Haiti or Africa or all three according to the images of my dreams. Maybe I have been recycled over many years. (Check with Miss Ali). Until I had a chat with the lady who first contacted me by email, I firmly believed that any coming back would be in the form of a man. However this lady convinced me that the recycling does not have to be with the same DNA.

Out of the blue our household got a new arrival. It was in the form of an adult female cat. It announced its presence by a persistent miaouing that lasted a whole night. Well you know the Wild Coot is a sucker for a sad story; he got together a tin of sardines and fed the cat. Big mistake!

The cat has not left since. We call it CAT. What is peculiar about this cat is that it follows me wherever I go in the house or outside on the premises. If I go cutting grass or trimming trees, it follows me; if I am watching television, it watches television; if I go to bathe it sits outside of the bathroom and ashamedly stares at my ageing nakedness.

I am seriously beginning to think that there is something familiar about this cat. Latest research had found about 90 per cent of human DNA in cats. My old lady friend’s voice kept ringing in my ears. Could it be that one of my previous lives has returned in the form of a cat or worse still one of my previous female acquaintances has returned to haunt or console me? The cat tries to talk to me. It looks at me with sad and expressive eyes as if to say, “Wild Coot, you are wasting your time with these warnings in your articles. That gentleman Mr Rawle Brancker is whistling in the wind albeit in a good cause.

“He who feels the pinch can tell you about the pain. The banks’ motto is to maximize profit. Having said that, the new fandangle banking structure does not allow for what the gentleman is proposing. We really miss the trained branch managers of Barclays as against the loquacious fellows today who often seem to misspeak.”

Anyway, I told the old lady about this cat. She asked what’s its name? I said CAT. She asked me “CAT who?” I asked how do you mean?

My lady friend told me that I should cultivate a relationship with the cat. The other day when I was writing my latest article it sidled up to me and I swear that it quoted from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. “Men willingly believe what they wish.” When I heard that, I tried to talk to it. “Rex non potest peccare”. (The king can do no wrong).  She replied in Latin. Republic?

What I found particularly ominous is that there was no mention whatsoever of this feline species in the good book Pedro and Corey can bear me out. Mention was made of ants, lions, leopards, wolves, doves, sparrows, jackasses, lambs and even dogs, but no cats. Not a good sign.

On the other hand, Shakespeare made, according to research, 49 references to cats in his plays, the most famous of which appeared when Lady Macbeth accused her dithering husband of cowardice – “like a cat in the adage”. My friend told me that cats symbolize the ineptitude of decision makers. It may be the harbinger that tells us not to be a fool out of ignorance and to derive understanding from our own internal wisdom.

 Harry Russell is a banker. Emai [email protected]