Religious or spiritual significance of animals in the dojo
A long time ago I once heard it said that animals could carry with them kami, or Shinto spirits. Therefore, if an animal appears at the dojo, it should be treated with particular respect, considering the kami to be a distinguished visitor of the dojo.
I don't know the origin of this belief, but I think it's interesting. Does anyone know if there any custom to view animals in this way, or to treat them differently in a dojo or places of Shinto significance?
I haven't heard this belief expressed by anyone since, but it sure seems nicer than the indiscriminate crane fly swatting to which I've sometimes bore witness.
Thanks in advance for any insights.