A Tale of Two Cats, One Castle, & the Golden Rule

by John Perkins

Two cats live with us – Jaggy, a beautiful four-year-old female, and Simon, a handsome two-year old male. Jaggy is the alpha and has never quite accepted Simon as the orphaned and adopted newcomer. They’re both tabbies and have markings that suggest a common jaguar ancestor. Jaggy’s snuggler-to-ferocious hunter temperament reinforces that suspicion. She demands to go outside and patrol the neighborhood. He’s a stay-at-homer.

They both covet what they call “the castle,” a four-level cat stand in my office. It was bought for Jaggy long before Simon’s arrival – and now he has his own three-level one in another room – but of course the castle is always greener in the other cat’s yard.

I’m sitting at my computer creating the long-awaited and much anticipated Great American Novel, when out of the corner of my eye I spy Simon as he creeps into the room and bounds to the top turret. Aware that Jaggy is in the house, I set my computer down and wait.

It takes but a few suspenseful moments.

Jaggy appears in the doorway, glaring and, like Yeats’s “rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards” the castle. Her alert ears are flat-topped, her fiery eyes undoubtedly filled with visions of an ancestor stalking giant crocodiles. Simon is totally unaware, foolishly relaxing, and staring through the window at Hot Nuts, a gray squirrel hard at work tearing up the daffodils in our garden.

I’m paralyzed with anticipation.

Suddenly, sounding a fierce war cry, Jaggy leaps to the third-level turret.

Simon jumps to his feet and stairs down at her.

She glares at him and swipes the air with a paw.

He tries to appear unperturbed. “Don’t be silly,” he says. “You know the Golden Rule.” He rolls onto his back, exposing his most vulnerable parts. “We never hurt each other.”

She gives him a sullen look. “Okay, but if you really wanted to ‘do unto others’ and all that, you’d give me back my castle.” She utters a low growl. “It is mine, after all.”

He rises onto his haunches, his eyes narrow. “What about the idea that ‘possession is nine tenths of the law’?”

Her paw reaches up and scratches air again. “History kind of defies that, doesn’t it? Just look at what happened to Native Americans and what’s going on in the Middle East and Ukraine today.”

“Hmmm. I hadn’t thought about that.”

“Well, you should.” She stretches, steps carefully from the castle to the nearby table, and sits, casually scratching her chin with a back paw. “If you don’t think about it, you’re like most of the world’s misguided human leaders.”

He lowers himself to his belly, leans over the edge of the top turret, and peers at her. “You mean. . .”

“I mean that humans seem pretty stupid.” She lets her paw drop from her chin to the table. “If instead of constantly fighting, they did to each other what they would have done to them, they might not put the world in the predicament it’s in now.”

He sits up and cocks his head. “What’s that got to do with us?”

She throws him a Cheshire Cat grin. “We could serve as an example – right now.”

“Oh, all right.” He jumps down to the floor and heads to the room with the other cat stand.

Jaggy watches him exit and then leaps to the top turret. She gives me a wink. “There’s your Great American Novel.”

About the Author

John Perkins, a renowned NYT Bestselling Author and founder of Dream Change & Pachamama Alliance, is a leading figure in the fields of shamanism, economics, and transformation. Having apprenticed with shamans in the Amazon rainforest and studied with shamans from various cultures, his books, including the Confessions of an Economic Hit Man trilogy, have collectively spent 73 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and sold millions of copies worldwide. Perkins continues to inspire audiences globally through his speaking engagements, and his work has been featured extensively in major media outlets and documentaries. 

He is also one of our Imaginal Ambassadors of Reboot the Future, supporting our mission to foster a compassionate and sustainable world by treating others and the planet as we’d wish to be treated.

To explore more about his impactful contributions, visit his website.

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