Friday, August 08, 2008

"I feel like walking the world...

...like walkin' the world." Suddenly I See, KT Tunstall

Phew! I just got to P'ville, and I am so, so thrilled to be here!!! Momma and I woke up at 3:45 this morning (yes, that's 3:45am) and I took her to the airport to catch her obscenely early flight back to Apple-turkey. I already miss her. :( We had a good drive out here, shopping and talking and eating our way across the south! And now I am drinking caffeine to keep me going because I'm supposed to meet some friends for lunch/dinner/touristing. I'd like to drop off my stuff at the house where I get to stay this week too, but I didn't want to show up at their doorstep at 7 in the morning and be like, "Hi! Which room is mine?"

So, update on the eyes: I am all healed in terms of, I can wear my contacts again. :) Praise the Lord! There were no complications, no infections, and my vision is just like it was before. It's funny though--I'm still more light sensitive than I used to be, and I get tired easily--I guess an eye injury effects the whole body, just like any other type of injury.

Update on the cat: she never came home. I think she disappeared to breathe her last--cat's seem to know when it's coming. Here are a few pictures of her with us, and at some point I will slow down enough to get a good cry out. Until then here are a few pictures in loving memory of my sister's cat, Lillian Amanda Thomson. (I know, I know--but don't you dare laugh--we had her since I was seven, and I loved her dearly, so there.)

"Helping" me work.
Last picture of her--cuddling with Momma in my room.

Admiring Fred's wedding dress.Bumper sticker we saw a week ago: "My Cat is smarter than your honor student."On the way to Granma's, she sat in the between Momma and I so we could BOTH pet her.

And finally, a few delicious thoughts, because I miss my cat.

As a little girl, I always assumed that cats are for girls and dogs are for boys--much the same way children divide colors into boys' blue and girls' pink. As I grew up, I realized the reason for this somewhat understandable (though often untrue) division. Females and cats are known for their devious and intricate social "tricks" and nuanced forms of communication that can be oh-so-subtle. (P. G. Wodehouse disagrees--he says that "The trouble with cats is that they've got no tact." But of course this is not true-for when a cat is offended, what does he do? He delicately twitches his tail and faces away from you until you've noticed your error and he chooses to forgive you.) Cats have the cleverest possible ways of getting whatever they want--without giving up any of the pleasures and freedoms that they desire. As Hippolyte Taine notes, "I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of the cats is infinitely superior." Or as Mark Twain said, "Of all God's creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat."

Yes, the cat is a dignified creature. I am constantly amazed at the unerringly graceful demeanor and movement of the cat, regardless of the circumstance in which it finds itself. Leonardo da Vinci noted that "The smallest feline is a masterpiece," and indeed, "Her function," according to Georgina Strickland Gates, "is to sit and be admired." Indeed, "Two things are aesthetically perfect in the world - the clock and the cat."(Emile Auguste Charti)

Yes, and cats are so very dignified, so very--for lack of a better word--human. Even what a cat is named must be considered carefully. We named ours as small children--but even at the age of five (when I got Tex) I was aware that some mushy-gushy name would be an affront to the dignity of a cat. T. S. Eliot describes this phenomena, saying "The naming of cats is a difficult matter. It isn't just one of your holiday games. You may think I'm mad as a hatter. When I tell you a cat must have three different names."And then when you holler at the cat for something it did to annoy you...well, "After scolding one's cat one looks into its face and is seized by the ugly suspicion that it understood every word. And has filed it for reference." (Charlotte Gray)

Daddy once said that our cats added a warmth to life that we never would've known we missed, perhaps, but it was that much better because of them. We've noticed how cold and dark it seems without them now, and I thought of Jean Cocteau's quote, "I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little they become its visible soul."

After two years of Tex being gone (and again, I dream about him every so often, and especially around the time he passed away), I'm not worried that I'll forget Lilly, for "No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch." (Leo Dworke) How true it is. :) But these fuzzy blessings--for that's what they are, I think, a daily measure of grace from heaven in the shape of a cat--have so much personality! They are individuals, and they have just a tinge of original sin in them to keep them interesting. Missy Dizic described them as "Sneaky, evil, and cruel. True, and they have many other fine qualities as well."

I will finish with one last quote (since anyone who hasn't had or lost a cat they loved will be unbelievably bored by now). "As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human kind." (Cleveland Amory)

Isn't life ironic?

1 comment:

MagistraCarminae said...

Dear Em-
Glad the eyes are better, glad you have safely arrived, and so sorry about your dear kitty!

Love,
Chris