Today's Sunday New York Times has another great story, Nine Lives: What Cats Know About War, written by Times correspondent John F. Burns. The author tells about the lives of the stray sometimes feral Iraqi cats, how they affect the lives of military personnel and others in the compound (including himself), and how the cat population is often a measure of life during wartime (despite the U.S. military ban on caring for stray animals).
The Baghdad compound cats offer some humanity and comfort during the goings on that are anything but humane and comfortable. To read the NY Times story, click on this link.
Also worthwhile is the web site The Cat from Hue, titled from the book by CBS News Vietnam war correspondent (1965-1970) John Laurence. According to a review by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stanley Karnow, the book title "alludes to the filthy, forlorn kitten he picked up in the rubble during the horrendous struggle for the imperial city of Hue in February 1968. I construe it to be a metaphor for himself--as if he, like the animal, was endowed with nine lives."
Another proof that the way we measure the quality of our lives is with the animals that walk the earth with us. Perhaps this is the only way we can bear to look deep within ourselves.