The cat in the tree.

The weirdest thing happened to me today.

I was at the end of a biking session through the outskirts of the village where I’m residing. Near the end of the circuit I spotted a rosehip bush.

I’m a big fan of rosehip fruits (I think?). They are tasty and have lots of vitamin C. Thing is – they are usually tough and hard to ingest. When it’s cold outside and then hot again they “thaw” and become softer.

So I’m particularly on the lookout for soft rosehip fruits.

This particular bush was known to me and I thought – let’s stop and see if the fruits are soft.

I dismounted my bike and proceeded to inspect the fruits. True enough – they were soft – and BIG. Tasty! Trouble was, I didn’t have any bag of sorts to pick some up.

While thinking that next time I have to bring a bag I saw a orange patch of fur in the tree just next to the bush. WTF?

At first I thought it was a dead cat. Someone found it funny to put this dead cat in the tree. The height was about 2 meters, the tree was rather fluffy and with small branches.

As I rounded the tree to see what the hell was this I saw the “dead” cat slightly moving. Damn.

I looked closely and the cat was actually alive, just stuck in this weird contorted position in the bushy tree. It was possible for it to come down but I guess some kind of freeze occurred in its feline brain.

It did look scared and it meowed sadly. I petted it tentatively to accommodate her and not have her scared for the next operation. I picked her up with some difficulty (bushy tree and thorns nearby) and put her down. She bolted towards the village instantly.

The weird thing was the following: I was listening to Fast and Slow thinking ebook. I just finished listening to a part about the invisible gorilla experiment (if your attention is focused on something you might miss weird/strange things).

More than that – stopping by that rosehip tree was a rather random decision. I inclined toward not stopping but barely convinced myself to stop.

Thirdly – the cat was orange on an brown-orange tree. Very hard to spot if you weren’t looking. Not making any sounds either (until I looked at it and talked to it).

If I somehow missed seeing it and continued on my journey the cat would still be there. If someone would tell me later that there was a cat in that tree I would’ve found it impossible. I didn’t see it so it didn’t exist.

It was like some hidden power made be decide to stop and look for rosehip fruits and look up by chance. (it’s not a very favored fruit in my country and I doubt many people would be interested in that particular location). Of course, it’s also pure chance but when weird stuff happens to you, you tend to attribute it to some “deus ex machina”.

The reason I mentioned it is that it was a weird and notable experience. Like the universe decide it to show me the practical side of the “invisible gorilla” immediately after I’ve learned about it.

That’s one interpretation of course. Another is that the importance and meaning of events is not intrinsic. That is – they have no absolute truth value to them. They are what we interpret them to be.

The world is thus not the world, just our interpretation of it. Choose to interpret it differently (through experience, chance or learning) and the world changes (from our perspective).

Food for philosophical munching! 🙂

On a side note it also dawned to me how much my thought patterns influence my mental and physical state. If my thoughts say “you’re depressed, you’re in a shitty situation, the future is bleak” then I’m going to act accordingly.

I tried inserting (consciously and with some power) some positive thoughts (“you’re happy, everything is great, the future is awesome”) and I’ve noted a spike in the mental well-being.

That’s obvious in theory but not often experienced in practice. To know about the fire it’s not to feel the fire. (Lord of Light by Zelazny has a beautiful thought provoking section on this topic, about words and their meaning).

I think I’m going to consciously inject positive thoughts, to form some sort of habit and reflex AND to create some positive mental inertia. I’ve tried this before (CBT stuff) but now I feel I understand and believe in it more.