Furballs

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Ubiquitous.  Ever-present.  Omnipresent.

© — I love animals, and chose to do my volunteer work at Pet Network. Pet Network resides at Lake Tahoe and works in collaboration with the Nevada Humane Society to care for animals…cats and dogs, mostly.  I cleaned floors (a continuous job at an animal shelter), polished windows, chatted with cats and dogs, and picked up, well, you know…stuff.  It was wonderful work.  The people in this profession…yes, they have people, too…are simply divine.  Everybody walks through the front door happy.  And dogs and cats suit me well as friends.

I noticed them almost instantly.  They were, well, ubiquitous.  They wait around every corner.  They just sit there, quietly.  Until you walk close to them, and then they follow you.  Quietly.  They don’t follow you far, but they don’t have to; the next one will follow you in its place.  They are highly prolific; this speaks to the obvious and excellent health of the population.  You can reduce the population by simply sweeping them out, but within an hour, their numbers are fully restored.  They are likely closely related to Tribbles, first discovered in season two of Star Trek.

Furballs are diligent and hard working.  They have a relentless capacity for focus.  They can, for instance, sit, as a Buddhist monk would, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just watching.  They keep an ever-present and continuous eye on the Pet Network facility.  No one, or animal, enters or leaves the building without the knowledge of the furballs.  Not being able to reach the phone or alarm pad, they could never call for help if something were to go wrong.  And they do not communicate verbally with humans.  But they do know, and they know much of we do not know.

They appear friendly enough, these furballs.  They are never harmful, although they are not good friends with a vacuum; they are more docile with the gentle edges of a dust broom.  They are very social: they are usually found in small, nesting groups.  However, they prefer to choose their own friends; trying to push them into an impromptu group always leaves stragglers that run to corners.

Pet Network has many furballs in-house, as does your local animal shelter.   And they are, as with the dogs and cats, available for adoption.  I strongly encourage you to go see the furballs, and find one that is perfect for you and your family.  They can bring you joy, and be your ever-present friend.  They are very loyal: they will never leave you.  They travel very well, and will happily sit in your car for hours eagerly awaiting your return.  They are wholly non-judgmental, and they are eternally forgiving.  They are easy to keep, and easy to breed, if you so desire.  I must note, however, that this creature does not take well to water or grooming, and it is slow to learn tricks, other than short flights.  A fine pet, just the same.

Ubiquitous, ever-present, omnipresent, furballs.

 

The Question of the Furball

We have at Pet Network this horde of furballs.  But what is the essential make-up of a furball?  What is it that brings them into being?  What do they actually know?

From a scientific perspective, furballs are only matter arranged in a way that brings us the experience of a furball; e.g., fluffy.  We have long since thought of matter as being comprised of atoms, and atoms consisting of protons, neutrons, and electrons.  We have more recently looked into the components of atomic structure, starting with hadrons, which are either baryons or mesons.  And then we see that baryons are comprised of fermions, and mesons are comprised of bosons, and that the whole furball consists of quarks and leptons.  (Sort of; I’m not a quantum field physicist.)

At this point, our vision gets a bit fuzzy.  We will doubtless look beyond quarks and leptons, and we may be on to something with dark matter.  There is no difficulty here, as we couldn’t see beyond matter at one point, nor could we see beyond atoms.  Science rolls along, looking deeper and deeper, finding new things to study, and changing its opinion about how our world works.  This looks like something we will be doing for a very long time, perhaps forever.

Questions among scientist arise anew, and one question persists.  Dr. Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D. (The Secret and What The Bleep Do We Know?), a professor of quantum physics and member of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory’s Fundamental Fysiks Group, is quoted as saying, “What I thought was unreal now, for me, seems in some ways to be more real than what I think to be real, which seems now to be unreal.”  Along with, “All we know is that you are, if you will, the acme of perfection.”  To explain further, Dr. Stephen W. Hawking, Ph.D., of Cambridge University and Cal Tech, says “God not only plays dice, He also sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen”, in a rebuttal to Albert Einstein’s comment “God does not play dice”.  You get to decide who’s right.

We do know this much: questions from great minds pour forth fresh with new findings and new perspectives.  And one persists.  Are we, and our furball friends, simply the creation of fate whipped together by a cosmic explosion and evolution?  Is there some mystical order to life that we have yet to understand? Does the Law of Karma explain our existence? Or is this the choice of God?

So, I’m left wondering, is not the furball also the acme of perfection?  If anybody has the answer, please come find me; I am very, very, very, interested.

And exactly what does a furball know, anyway?

Bob Hansen

Copyright – Robert W. Hansen – 2012

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