His countenance showed concern. Yet he strained a smile and requested me to accompany him. As I followed Radhanath Swami, I wondered where he was taking me.
It was a hot summer day and as we walked through the corridors of the monastery, a pleasant breeze flowed in from the nearby sea. Our march ended at the parapet of the first floor. Radhanath Swami peered down into the adjacent Laxmi Narayan Garden . “Do you know that cat?” Looking in the same direction I found an ugly cat bleeding profusely in the leg. Many stray cats loitered in that area. At night they moaned and shrieked, as they fought for a mate. The monks often lost sleep because of these creatures. Looked like this cat too was injured in one of those night brawls. “Served it right!” I thought.
Radhanath Swami interrupted my thoughts.”This cat is staying with us for a few years now; must be a spiritualist from a past birth. He’s also one amongst the residents of our monastery.” A chill tingled up my spine. Gripped by shame, I cast another glance at the cat. How lowly of me to have despised that soul!
“It’s our sacred responsibility to take care of him. Will you please take responsibility of getting him cured?” Radhanath Swami disclosed why he had brought me there. I consented and rushed the cat to the vet clinic. The injury would have been fatal if the treatment had been delayed, as the vet later conveyed.
One week later as I watched the cat spring out of the sack that brought him from the vet, I looked on him in a different perspective–as another member of our monastery.
-Punnet (Monk at Radhagopinath Monastery).