The Cat Whose Journey Was The Moon's

In time gone by, there lived a Cat, and even among those rare creatures she was a rare thing.

Now, it is known to all that cats are the chosen children of Creation. They go where they will, lesser beings serve their needs, and they call no creature their master. However, they’ve never been much for making a show of this fact. They could lord it over the lesser things, and make a big fuss over their greatness. The fact of the matter, though, was that those sort of things are done to impress someone, and who does a cat need to impress? Sometimes other beings would seek to ask cats how to live as they did, above all things. Yet, none ever learned, for no cat born ever gave a straight answer.

So, for the life of Creations, cats have simply come and gone, living and seeing and knowing. It is the way of cats to know. They know their place, above all things, and they know what they see, for you can’t fool a cat. This knowing is a peaceful thing, and most cats take it that way.

This Cat was not that kind of cat, for knowing was not enough for her. She desired, more than anything, to learn. Knowing is just a thing that is, but learning is an experience. Learning is an adventure. Learning is a life. So off she went, into the lands beyond. Her elders thought this a bit odd, but let her go, for nobody has the right to judge a cat, not even her own.

The Cat wandered Creation, and where she went she Learned. As she learned, she claimed, for those things she learned became things she knew, and what a cat knows a cat keeps. So she learned how Bird flies, and claimed its flight for herself as it lay beneath her paw. She learned how the fiercest beasts fought, and claimed their ferocity as she danced laughing from their clutches. She even went among Man, and learned his strange and complex (and really rather silly) ways, taking them for her own to master as she wished. All these mysteries and more she conquered, and they were good, yet on she still went.

One night, as she lay reclining in the moonlight, she considered: Where does the Moon go, and where does it come from? Finding she did not know, she went forth, to the highest peak, to speak with the Moon. She sat in waiting, for a cat does not chase after what should come to it, and in time the Moon came calling. She welcomed it graciously, and spoke:

“Good Moon, where do you go? Where do you come from, and why do you do so?”

The Moon answered, for all things know that a Cat who asks you is paying you great honor:

“I go away, far away, always going, always away. Though I ride through the land of Death my journey does not end. From a far-away land I come, but I may never return, and to a far-away land I go, but I may never arrive. The Sun pursues me, and the Sea swallows me, but still I journey on. Sometimes I wish for an end, but still, I journey on. At my journeys end will be a reward, and so I journey on.”

The cat listened, and thought. After a time she spoke again:

“Good Moon, for you the path does not end. But I am not you, and your path is not mine. Shall I go before you, and find your reward?”

The Moon, being weary of its unknowing, agreed. And so the Cat rose up. On the wings of birds away she went, following the Moon’s path across the sky. Past the ravenous guardians of Journey’s End she fought with the ferocity of beasts, and the strange ways of the lands beyond she did not fear, for she knew of strange ways. In time she came to a place that was not yet, and did things that are not named. Strange creatures sought to claim her, but a cat is her own. And in time, she came back to her peak, and in time welcomed the Moon again.

“Good Moon, I have gone, to the end of your path. I have seen your journey’s end, and claimed your reward.”

The Moon came eagerly close, yet hesitated. Would she keep the reward for herself? The Cat simply smiled, for what need has a cat to steal the treasures of lesser things? She leaned close and offered up the Moon’s reward. To its ears the sounds were strange, yet it felt fulfilled. It knew its reward. And yet… it hadn’t learned of it. It had not lived it. The reward was not complete. The Moon turned to the Cat, and asked

“Where is the rest of it? Where does this come from, how do I learn the rest? Why have you taken from me?”

The cat simply smiled. “To know is to know, but to learn is to live. If you have not lived it, you cannot learn it, so knowing will have to do”.

The Moon despaired, and turned its face away. But naught could be done, so it continued on its path. Always it remains in the sky, for it has claimed its place. Yet it is always journeying on, hoping to learn instead of know. It did not bother to ask more of the cat, for no cat born ever gave a straight answer.

So the Cat went back along her way, back to her people. Proud in her new learning, she went back, but when she arrived home she found the strangest thing. Home was no longer her journey’s end. Her people looked at her, and she at them, but they were no longer the same. She sought to know why, but she did not know. She sought to learn why, but it was no longer hers to learn. Finally, humbled, she went and asked her elders.

“How do I return home? How do I find my journey’s end?”

Yet they could not tell her. For no cat born ever gave a straight answer.

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