The many things which can go wrong in life – human beings vs. animals

Woman's face covered with her hands

Feeling like a victim

Human beings have the tendency to believe that they are victims of what happens to them. There are those who attribute all the things which can go wrong in their lives to a divine plan (and subsequently get angry with God and end up being Atheists). And then there are those who believe that they are the creators of their own lives and it is their own fault if things go wrong.

Both positions are typical human, typical of beings who have a thinking (or merely believing) mind and therefore it is almost impossible to talk about the many things which can go wrong in life on this level. Maybe it is easier to step down the ladder and watch primates, and most easily our pets, the dogs and cats with whom we have a close relationship and for whose well-being we care.


There is a difference between humans and animals. Luzzy, the cat, as an example

That’s exactly what I intend to do by telling you the story of Luzzy, a 13-year-old beautiful ex-Tomcat whom you certainly cannot blame to have caused his problems himself by the lack of positive thinking or whatever the current slogan might be.

At about age 6, Luzzy had huge problems with his bladder. First I was not aware until he sat nearby, trying hard and then releasing a mini-pi colored red on the floor. As he let me know that he expected me to do something about it, I immediately took him to the vet. He didn’t seem to have bladder stones and so he got a round of antibiotics and for some time he didn’t seem to suffer as much as before when piing. But – you already got the idea – that was not all she wrote. The same problem appeared and returned so often that my brave vet Elisabetta decided to operate to create an artificial exit because the pipe in his little penis was too narrow to allow him to go potty properly and without pain and suffering.

Luzzy: yellow white caat


Things went well for a while and Luzzy didn’t mind, obviously, that he was sort of a girl now. On this level, gender identity is really nothing of any importance, to the total contrary of postmodern activists of the human kind. Then came an inflammation in the artificial exit, no wonder, as it is not properly closed towards outside and germs have relatively easy access.

Luzzy and Sunny, yellow-white cat and colored-white cat

Luzzy and Sunny: Granpa and young rascal

Then, for 5 years, Luzzy had no problems, except the first signs of aging, like a slight stiffness in the joints. He was altogether a happy cat who didn’t bother much about new arrivals like Sunny, the young prince, and Lucky, the 4-month-old black doggie who mixed up the whole pet family in our house. Read about it here) Luzzy just refused their games of challenge and chasing, he kept sitting or lying where he was and took the wind out of their sails. And they stopped to bother him and now they are good friends, especially Luzzy with Sunny.


What we can learn from Luzzy

Maybe we humans could learn something from Luzzy? I admit that I have difficulties to not respond and remain still when I am challenged from whatever and whoever outside – or even by my own inner antagonists. And therefore I really admire Luzzy and his attitude towards life and the world.

Morle, the super neurotic black cat

Morle, the super neurotic black cat

But, be aware, that is not a general statement about animals or even about cats. I had a super neurotic cat, Morle, who reacted with exaggerated irritation to everything which was bothering to her.


The Challenge

Last week I came home from a conference abroad and Luzzy kept hiding on a shelf and a boatload of red stains was on the floor. Blood! And so much! Not like the other times! And the first thing I did was to bring him to the vet. The ultrasound seemed to reveal a strange thing:

Forasacchi - dangerous Grass seeds

Forasacchi – dangerous grass seeds

A “forasacchi” (in English something like “perforate a sack”), the nasty seed of a grass, seemed to be in his bladder. These seeds are very frequent in Italy and enter into eyes, ears, and noses of cats and dogs and other animals. They have nasty little barbs which allow them to creep deeper and deeper into the opening they have chosen and conquered, and, on the other hand, resist to any attempt to pull them out backward.

Such a thing normally wouldn’t enter the bladder easily when it has its proper closing. To get it out, even of noses and ears, you need to narcotize the animal if you don’t want it to suffer a lot. There is to say that not long ago nobody would have cared about the pain of an animal or human patients and that we have come some steps further in humanizing our actions at least regarding our pets. Mass animal breeding for our exaggerated meat consumption is still a complete torture for the creatures.



The solution

In the case of Luzzy, Dr. Elisabetta Scorzoni managed to enter into the channel with a tiny probe

Luzzy, the cat, after the extraction of the forasacco

The sleeping beauty: Luzzy after the extraction of the forasacco

and, guided by the ultrasound images. she could get the seed out and so Luzzy didn’t need to undergo surgery. The blood stopped immediately and after three days his reduced and contracted state of suffering ceased and he became normal again. The heavy antibiotic treatment had to go on for several days because this specific seed has the nasty property to induce certain inflamations and resulting illnesses if left alone.


The life lesson for us humans

Coming back to the introduction: Animals have the huge advantage to suffer just as much as is unavoidable and they don’t increase their problems by ways of thinking, or better by the “inner chatter” which so often disrupts the human experience of physical illness. Humans might tell themselves “poor thing”, or “how can God (or whoever) allow that these things happen to me”, or “will I ever be healthy again?”, considerations which make them miserable in addition to the physical pain which often is perceived stronger than if it would be when the person could stay in the pure acceptance of reality without attributing to it all sorts of assumptions and distorted thought processes.

So what was the purpose of telling you this story? I guess it is the life lesson:

We can learn from our animals how to encounter life problems:

Take the problems as they are, find competent people to help you to handle what is bothering you, be patient and take all the necessary care to heal, and come back into normal life as if nothing had happened. Most important: don’t invent stories about the reasons and whose fault it is and who is to blame. Just stick to the facts as they show up and release everything which has gone by.

Easy for our cats and dogs, not easy for ourselves, even when the patient is the animal and not us!

14 comments on “The many things which can go wrong in life – human beings vs. animals
  1. Uta says:

    Heidi, this is a great reminder! I will think about it when problems or illnesses rise. Me too, far too easy I fall in this nasty state of mind and think “why me?” (even when knowing that this is a unnecessary thing to do). Then I ask myself why I get into this brainfuck and the answer is somehow that there is also some tiny joy in suffering.

    I will keep the picture of Luzzy in my mind and smile my worries away with him/her.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for this one, too!
      I guess you thought that the other one got lost, but it didn’t. I appreciate your dedication to let me know your reception of Luzzy’s story despite of tech difficulties!

    • Uta says:

      Ohhhh wow – yes! It was showing an error like I have to accept posting policies or something like that. So probably my fingers had been flying to fast 😉

    • admin says:

      Fighting with technology – our present style of life…

    • Uta says:

      Good Idea – How would I do that? Send an article over contact via email?

    • Heidi Hornlein says:

      Yes, exactly, with some photos and what you want to let the people about you

    • Uta says:

      Great – but give me some time – I am a bit busy these days 😉

    • Heidi Hornlein says:

      Sure! Looking forward to read the story!

  2. Uta says:

    Heidi, this article is a great reminder! I will keep the picture of Luzzy in my mind.
    Far too easy I slide into this brain fuck when getting sick or facing a other difficult situation. Even when I know the is unnecessary and useless, I find myself being sorry for myself. When I ask myself why I am still doing this, even knowing better, the answer is, that there is still some tiny joy. Sound sick …. And then I stop it

    I love your stories. Tense to read more soon

    • admin says:

      Hi Uta, thanks for your comments! I am glad that you can find inspirations in the story of Luzzy. I certainly do learn from all my animals and have done so for about 30 years. Before I had no idea what a life with animals is and how much they contribute to ours!
      I am just refining another story of Rönchen, called later Fta Black and I guess I will post it within tomorrow. I bet you will like it too!

    • Uta says:

      Definitely! I will come and look for it 😉

      I had a lot of animals when I was a child. My beloved cat schnurri was dying in my arms at the age of 18 years. We had the doctor coming to our house to release him. He was sick and we just did not want him to suffer more. The relationship we had was special and he is alive in my heart.
      Now we only have turtles and fishes. And all animals which you can imagine in a small village at the forest

    • admin says:

      Uta, if you feel like it, you can write about your experience with Schnurri. It will bring back your memories and I would be happy to publish it as a guest post!

  3. simon watson says:

    A great post on animal vs humans my friend. Actually, I found it compelling reading and I am so happy the Luzzy is ok now. lol. There is also some good advice at the end on how us humans should RE/act. Thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks!

    • Heidi Hornlein says:

      Hi Simon, I am really glad that you liked the story about Luzzy. I find it really amazing what we humans could learn from animals if we really would be willing to watch them and understand them – and then look into ourselves and aplly what we learn. Thanks for your comment!

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