The Zen of Cat(猫之哲学)

     说实话,一开始我并不明白文章所说的道理,可能是我天生愚钝。于是我查找别人对这篇文章的评论,终于明白了——生命原本是一个无所谓开始更无所谓结束的圆圈;告诉我们,每一段生命的结束都意味着新生命的开始。

      The Man was very sad. He knew that the Cat’s days were numbered.The doctor had said there wasn’t anything more that could be done,that he should take the Cat home and make him as comfortable as possible.
  The man stroked the Cat on his lap and sighed.The Cat opened his eyes, purred and looked up at the Man. A tear rolled down the Man’s cheek and landed on the Cat’s forehead.The Cat gave him a slightly annoyed look.
  “Why do you cry, Man?”the Cat asded.“Because you can’t bear the thought of losing me? Because you think you can never replace me?”The Man nodded “yes.”
  “And where do you think I’ll be when I leave you?”the Cat asked. The Man shrugged helplessly. “Close your eyes, Man,” the Cat said. The Man gave him a questioning look, but did as he was told.
  “What color are my eyes and fur?” the Cat asked. “Your eyes are gold and your fur is a rich, warm brown,” the Man replied.
  “And where is it that you most often see me?”asked the Cat. “I see you…on the kitchen windowsill watching the birds…on my favorite chair…on my desk lying on the papers I need…on the pillow next to my head at night.” “Then, whenever you wish to see me, all you must do is close your eyes,” said the Cat.
  “Pick up that piece of string from the floor——there, my ‘toy.’” The Man opened his eyes, then reached over and picked up the string. It was about two feet long and the Cat had been able to entertain himself for hours with it. “Now take each end of the string in one hand,” the Cat ordered. The Man did so.
  “The end in your left hand is my birth and the end in your right hand is my death. Now bring the two ends together,” the Cat said. The Man complied.
  “You have made a continuous circle,” said the cat.“Does any point along the string appear to be different, worse or better than any other part of the string?” The Man inspected the string and then shook his head “no.”
  “Close your eyes again,” the Cat said.“Now lick your hand.” The Man widened his eyes in surprise.
  “Just do it,” the Cat said.“Lick your hand,think of me in all my familiar places, think about all the pieces of string.”
  The Man felt foolish, licking his hand, but he did as he was told. He discovered what a cat must know, that licking a paw is very calming and allows one to think more clearly. He continued licking and the corners of his mouth turned upward into the first smile he had shown in days. He waited for the Cat to tell him to stop,and when he didn’t, he opened his eyes. The Cat’s eyes were closed.The Man stroked the warm, brown fur, but the Cat was gone.
  The Man shut his eyes hard as the tears poured down his face. He saw the Cat on the windowsill, then in his bed, then lying across his important papers. He saw him on the pillow next to his head, saw his bright gold eyes and darkest brown on his nose and ears. He opened his eyes and through his tears looked over at the circle of string he still held clutched in his hand.
  One day, not long after, there was a new Cat on his lap. She was a lovely calico and white…very different from his earlier beloved Cat and very much the same.

=============================译文===============================

男人非常伤心。他知道猫余下的日子不多了。医生说已经没得治了,他只能把猫带回家,并尽可能地让他在剩下的时间里过得舒服些。
  男人把猫放在腿上,叹了口气。猫睁开眼睛,呼噜呼噜地叫着,抬眼看了看男人。一滴眼泪从男人的脸颊边滑落,落在了猫的额头上。猫有点不高兴地看了他一眼。
  “你哭个什么啊,伙计?”猫问道,“因为你无法承受将要失去我的念头?因为你认为永远都没有什么能代替我?”男人点了点头。“是啊。”
  “那么你认为我离开你以后,会到什么地方去了呢?”猫问道。男人无望地耸了耸肩。“闭上眼睛吧,伙计,”猫说。男人疑惑地看了他一眼,但还是听话地闭上了眼睛。
  “我的眼睛和毛皮是什么颜色的?”猫问。“你的眼睛是金色的,你的毛皮是浓郁而温暖的褐色的。”男人回答道。
  “那你最常在什么地方见到我呢?”猫问。“我经常见到你……在厨房地窗台上看鸟……在我最喜欢的椅子上……躺在桌子上我需要用的文件上……晚上睡在我脑袋边的枕头上。”“那么,无论什么时候你想见我,你只要闭上你的眼睛就可以了。”猫说。
  “把地上的那段绳子捡起来——那里,我的‘玩具’。”男人睁开眼睛,伸手捡起了绳子。绳子大约有两英尺(约0.6米)长,猫曾经能够玩着绳子自娱自乐一玩就是几个小时。“现在用两只手捏住绳子的两端。”猫命令道。男人照做了。
  “你左手捏着的那端就是我的出生,而右手的那端就是我的死亡。现在把两端连在一起。”猫说道。男人又照做了。
  “你做出了一个连贯的圆圈,”猫说,“这个绳子上的任意一点同其他点有什么不同吗?比绳子的其他部分更好或者更差吗?”男人审视着那根绳子,然后摇了摇头。“没有。”
  “再次闭上你的眼睛,”猫说,“现在舔舔你的手。”男人惊讶地睁大了眼睛。
  “照我说的做吧,”猫说。“舔舔你的手,想想我在所有我熟悉的地方,想想所有的绳子。”
  要舔自己的手,男人觉得很蠢,不过他还是照做了。他发现了猫所知道的秘密——舔爪子能让你平静下来,并让你能够思考得更加清楚。他继续舔着,他的嘴角开始上翘,好多天来第一次露出了微笑。他等待着猫叫停,可是没等到,于是他睁开了眼睛。猫的眼睛已经闭上了。他摸了摸猫温暖的褐色皮毛,可是猫已经去了。
  男人用力地闭上了眼睛,泪如泉涌。他看到猫蹲在窗台上,然后是他的床上,然后躺在他的重要文件上。他看到猫在他脑袋边的枕头上,看到他明亮的金黄色的眼睛还有鼻子和耳朵上深褐色的毛发。他睁开眼睛,透过泪水看向他依然捏在手里的绳圈。
  不久以后的某一天,他的膝上有了一只新的猫咪。她是一只可爱的白色花斑猫——与之前那只他深爱的猫是那么的不同,然而又是那么的相同。


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