ON LOVE AND LEAVING
A note from the editor
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.