Qualities that Count. ‘Attentiveness

Attentive –  thinking about or watching something carefully : paying careful attention to something.  merriam-webster

  My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, Proverbs 5:1

 A mark of sensible intelligence is paying attention (attentiveness) to wisdom. Being with wise people, reading wisdom literature, practicing being wise; all these lead toward a good life.  Attentiveness can even make a difference in the animal kingdom. As my friend, Ben, saw in Uganda.

* * *

The house cat, her eyes trained upward to an adjoining room, lowered  her body along the floor.  Assuming a stalking posture, she began her move.

Ben – a young missionary living with his uncle and aunt in Kampala – sat his beverage aside.  This could be interesting.

Seated where he was, Ben could take in the full view. He intertwined his fingers behind his head and watched.

A large circular bird cage hung on a secure hook from the living room ceiling. On a simple roost in the cage sat an African Gray parrot. The house cat licked her lips.

Ben’s uncle and aunt owned a third pet, as well – a dog – which, at the moment, was nowhere in sight.

The cat was viewed by the canine as a bothersome presence – so would find herself at times racing through the house – the dog barking in hot pursuit.

A straight-backed chair had been left directly under the parrot cage – a detail not lost on the cat. She leapt onto the chair and placed her front paws atop its back support. Her leaping advantage established, she eyed the bird a final moment. Before pandemonium struck.

Unknown to the predator house-cat, the Gray was a keen observer. Not only was she taking in her every move, from her perch she had often watched the dog-and-cat-chase through the house.

Suddenly, the bird dropped to the cage floor, raced round and round on it. And vigorously barked – perfectly mimicking the dog’s strong bark.

Throwing his head back, Ben broke into a long, rollicking laugh – as a shrieking bundle of fur bolted through an open door to freedom.

©2016 Jerry Lout





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