ON LOVE AND LEAV­ING

A note from the edi­tor

Animal Scene - - FUREEDOM WALL -

It was no happy co­in­ci­dence that Al­lura, the adorable baby cat I’d been fos­ter­ing, had crossed the rain­bow bridge while we were work­ing on this is­sue. I would tell my friends that she prob­a­bly just wanted a re­peat ap­pear­ance in An­i­mal Scene (read her story in Fur The Win), what with her pass­ing co­in­cid­ing with our Month of the Dead is­sue.

Be­hind the jokes, how­ever, was grief that brought me to the brink of de­pres­sion. I lost some­one I loved so dearly and my fake laugh­ter couldn’t hide my des­per­a­tion to see her again.

It was a good thing the op­ti­mist in me even­tu­ally won out. I now look at her

box of ashes and the clay im­pres­sion of her tiny paw with bit­ter­sweet hap­pi­ness: I know she is no longer in pain.

We know death is com­ing. We know it’s what makes life all the more spe­cial. It’s odd how what we know about death fails to buf­fer how we feel about it. Still, I didn’t want to shy away from the sad­ness of death in this is­sue; af­ter all, giv­ing trib­ute to those who have passed away is the one happy thing we can do while we await our turn.

We grieve our dead an­i­mal com­pan­ions be­cause we love them like fam­ily. We give them names, talk to them, and even think of them as peo­ple in an­i­mal bod­ies. Check out what Me­gan Ca­bal­car has to say about this ten­dency of ours to­wards an­thro­po­mor­phism.

Speak­ing of sim­i­lar­i­ties, an­i­mals grieve like peo­ple, too, as Rox­anne Li­ba­tique shares in her piece. Cats can also suf­fer from sep­anx, just like us. Don’t fret; Au­rus Feal Sy tells us what to do if our fe­line friends hap­pen to be on the clingy side.

Let’s also re­mem­ber the an­i­mals who are about to die out on us: Alex Bichara writes about five Philip­pine an­i­mals fac­ing ex­tinc­tion. Gregg Yan also tack­les shark con­ser­va­tion -- we don’t want any more deaths on our hands.

In­ter­est­ingly enough, it was be­cause of a dead lizard’s car­cass that a new habi­tat for their species was iden­ti­fied: Check out Clifton Sawit’s ar­ti­cle about the North­ern Sierra Madre for­est mon­i­tor lizard.

Lastly, if you’re a sucker for hor­ror films like I am, you’ll en­joy Marielle Al­mario’s col­lec­tion of spooky an­i­mal sto­ries.

It took a small, sickly cat for me to learn that love is what makes us move on af­ter death. As Emily Dick­in­son beau­ti­fully put it, “Un­able are the loved to die. For love is im­mor­tal­ity.” Let us take com­fort in that fact.

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