I have decided that there are two universal languages on this planet. One is the unspoken language between human and human and human and animal, and then there is the language of music. Both, I believe, are universal because they don’t need one particular language and both require feelings.
Do you remember the story I wrote both for this paper and for Chicken Soup books about the French cat? In case you have forgotten, I will retell it now briefly because it is the best example I know of universal language.
Gene and I were in the French Alps in 1985. We had been away from home almost three weeks, and I was almost ill from missing our beloved cat, Perry Fat Cat. My son was taking daily care of him, so it wasn’t that, it was my own feelings of being without Perry.
Early one morning, we started loading up our car for the next day’s adventure. Parked next to us was another car, and the two people whose car it was began doing the same thing. The lady was holding a beautiful Siamese cat, and when I saw them, tears simply came. I simply ached to hold Perry. What happened next was one of the sweetest moments of my life. My face must’ve been an open book. The woman holding the cat must have read my longing, because she simply walked over to me and held out her cat for me to hold. Not a word was spoken.
Picture this: A French woman, a stranger to me, understood the universal language of love. As she offered her cat to me, I humbly accepted. I scooped its lovely fur into my arms and buried my face into it. Not knowing me, its claws came out but only for a second. Almost immediately, it retracted them and nestled into my arms. Not only did the French woman read my feelings, but so did her cat. I am telling you — holding that beautiful feline made it possible for me to wait another week to hold my Perry simply because all three of us understood and reacted on the language of love.
I could go on and on. As an animal behaviorist, I know for a fact that domestic animals understand just about every feeling in their human family. I am aware that they can learn many words in the native language, but I mean, beyond that. They feel your sadness, your worry, your pain. There is documentation to prove that a family dog or cat will quite literally try to “take” their human’s pain by laying across what is causing the pain. They know if a person is safe to trust and love, and respond strongly if they sense the opposite.
Frankly, I trust nobody my animals don’t like. Maybe I will expound more on this subject later, but next week I will discuss the other universal language — the universal language of music.
The view from the mountains is wondrous.