animism is described thus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animism
this morning at oh-dark-thirty as i exited my apartment on my way to work, i heard a plaintive "meow". looking up the exterior stairwell, i saw my upstairs neighbor's gray tabby, left out in the cold. again. sad to say, i knew that if i allowed him into my place to warm up, my own two cats would have attacked. so we talked for a moment while i rubbed his fur, then i had to hie me to work. later, i let the apartment manager know what was going on. yeah, i ratted someone out. it was easier on the cat owner than being confronted by me directly.
apartment rules for keeping pets indoors aside, this encounter was distressing for me because i hate to see animals (or children) being neglected or abused. it is one of the few situations in life in which i will intrude myself without hesitation or subtlety into the affairs of someone else. (something like dr. seuss' lorax: "i talk for the trees.") in my ethos, it is incumbant upon each of us to step up and take a vocal stand in defense of those who have no voices. which also explains why i've been known to actively interfere with illegal hunters, why i despise trappers as the second-lowest form of humanity (the lowest hasn't been discovered yet), and why we all need to understand planet stewardship while there is still a planet to protect.
note: if you haven't already been exposed to this recommendation, i heartily encourage you to buy, borrow or steal a copy of fred pearce's book, With Speed And Violence (subtitled: why scientists fear tipping points in climate change). extensively researched, cogently presented, it intelligently describes the multiple environmental thresholds which we are about to cross, or already have, and the consequences of doing so, in terms which non-scientists can easily follow. i've been advocating awareness of earth and life processes for years, but i lacked much of the recent hard evidence which he presents. read it, at your peril. read it, and pass it on to someone you care about. read it, and weep. read it, and become extremely angry.....
so the tabby was gone when i came home. i can only hope that his errant owner let him inside. guess i'll find out, if i hear the thunder of little cat-paws through my ceiling tonight. if i do, i'll sleep more soundly.