She and Her Cat: Everything Flows (Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko: Everything Flows; Available on Crunchyroll) is a 4 episode short form anime series about a young, single woman (who the cat only ever refers to as Kanojo) and her pet cat (Daru). It’s also a story about love and being present.
The story is told from the perspective of Daru. It tells the story of the last part of Daru’s life with Kanojo, but also the story of their entire life together. The story primarily takes place over the course of a short time period after Kanojo’s roommate moves out. Kanojo is a college student living in an apartment with a friend and has trouble paying the rent on her own. She’s proud of being able to make it on her own, so does not want to move home. Yet, she struggles to make ends meet and pay her rent. The story follows her through this difficult time, sees her earlier life, sees her moving into the apartment, and sees it all through the perspective of her cat. Spoilers will follow.
Daru loves Kanojo. Despite not being able to understand a word she says, he loves her. He makes it very clear that he loves her. He has been present for Kanojo through many different difficult times. He was with her through most of her childhood. She was raised by a single mother and some nights as her mother worked late, Daru was the only one around for Kanojo. As an adult, when her roommate moved out, Daru remains a constant loving presence. He is there for her. He is her cat.
Being physically present for those in need matters. Kanojo is going through difficult times and is trying to do it all on her own. She needs someone to be present. She needs someone to be there. She needs someone who loves her who is not judging, not probing into her life, not trying to change her, but just be there to listen and to be with her.
Our first instinct when we see someone going through a difficult time is to try to interject, offer advice, and try to help them deal with it in that way. Maybe we want them to head on tackle their problem. Maybe we want them to change their ways. Maybe we think we have all their answers. We don’t and often the first thing they need is for someone there to listen.
When we listen, sometimes we help them solve their problem on their own. When we listen, sometimes we just help them to sort out what they are feeling. When we listen, we show love. In James’ letter (James 1:19), he calls on Christians to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. The first thing to do is to listen. Wait for people to explain themselves to you first. Just be with them.
As Christians, we are promised the physical presence of God through the Holy Spirit. We are promised He will be present with us. We are not always promised an answer for everything we ask in our own time. We are, however, promised His presence (Matthew 28:20).
The Lord is better than any cat. Cats are great and all, but they eventually die, as Daru did by the end of the short series. Yet, Daru was there when Kanojo needed him. We can do the same for those we love. Listen first, speak later.