Archive for the ‘My cats’ Category
Last day of 2012. What a year. Lost my blog in February, got it back in October but never got back the urge to put something new online every month. No urge to write, to share. Just a gentle giving away of something formerly held in fond regard. Buddhists call it non- attachment. Letting go.
So that was my year–a real letting go of all kinds of stuff. Looking forward to the new year and a new grandchild.
We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. — Anaïs Nin
John Piscatella lost his wife to cancer in 2006 and spent the next four years writing the most amazing love poems I have ever seen.
John posted those poems on Reflections of Florine, and I happened onto them one day while clicking “next blog” on Blogger. I’ve since scoured the internet trying to learn more about this man and his wife but can’t find anything. I wrote him an email and got no response.
John and Florine met and married in college, had no children, and spent forty-six years together. If ever a man loved a woman more, I would like to know who. I’ve had Reflections of Florine opened on a tab, and now that I’ve read all the poems, it’s time to close the tab.
Below is the last poem John posted on July 29, 2010. There are hundreds more love poems on his site. I would love to know more about this devoted couple. One thing appears certain in the poems: John really, really loved Florine.
We dance the dance
of eternal harmony,
like a first kiss.
we dance fiercely
like tigers unchained.
Movement on movement,
breath on breath,
decanting liquid life
beneath the rhythm
of a single heartbeat.
we are one with the night,
to the moment
and the music
in each other.
© JOHN PISCATELLA
“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!’”
— William Hutchinson Murray
When my son was in third grade, his teacher told me that he was her classroom barometer. If she wanted to measure how well things were going in class, she would look to Jay for an accurate reading, not because he was overly sensitive to his environment but because he represented the general strength and character of the group. Her observations of him helped her to regulate the classroom climate.
We are all sensitive to our environment in varying degrees. Schizophrenics, for example, are very out of touch with what is going on around them. Children, on the other hand, tend to react to every dropped pencil and cough and crumpled paper. That’s why classroom teachers rely on students like Jay who can remain focused through most of the distractions. When he loses focus, she knows something is amiss.
I’d like to think I used the same technique in my teaching and parenting. My kids certainly seem happy today. I’d also like to think that my son inherited his barometric abilities from me, but that may be a stretch. I have been told many times that I am “too sensitive,” usually by people lacking sensitivity.
Lately, however, I am feeling what might rightly be called “too sensitive.” Something’s going on that is really bothering me, and I don’t know exactly what it is. If you don’t want to risk being saddened by my attempt to work this out, click now. I don’t know where this is going.
Looking back at some of my old posts, I realize that I’ve gotten away from the funny/cutesy/inspiring sorts of things I used to post. Janice’s comment back in February reminds me of this.
I wish every site I opened had a giraffe, giggling baby, kitten, puppy or something cute and uplifting on it. I suspect folk would be an awful lot more light-hearted!
Of course, in February my pregnant daughter and her husband were still living with me. I felt much more connected to life and love than I do now. That may be part of it, but also in February we didn’t have a thick flow of crude oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico.
I think the oil spill is what really kick-started this general feeling of discontent I am experiencing. The Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20th, a few hours after my granddaughter’s birth. Emotional highs and lows like those rarely occur on the same day. I have been up and down ever since.
I know this disaster weighs heavily on everyone’s heart, but I grew up in Louisiana. A part of me will always be attached to the highs and lows of that state. Most of my family still lives there. Louisiana has taken such a beating, first from Katrina and now with this horrendous oil mess. It is all so bewildering and sad.
Despite these double tragedies, I try to tell myself that these hearty people will be fine. They still have some of the best cuisine in the world. They still have their community spirit and devotion to family. They still have access to fresh running water and clean toilets, which forty percent of the people on the planet do not have. Isn’t that enough to make those who’ve lost their homes and livelihoods feel better about their situation? Probably not.
Psychic pain doesn’t have degrees and increments; it hurts all over when it hurts at all.
Considering the pain of others does not help me feel better. It makes me feel worse. Considering the state of the nation and our failing economy and endless war and on and on is robbing me of joy.
What makes me feel better is seeing how both of my children have managed to surround themselves with things that give them joy.
My daughter has a new baby and a great husband with a large extended family who work together to insure each other’s success.
My son just moved from the high-rise district to the historic district in San Francisco. He is masterful at keeping himself happy.
I think happy kids grow up to be happy adults. My two were happy little children, despite losing their dad at such young ages. Jay was such a calm, focused child. Jill was so full of energy. We were a happy little trio.
Now I am home alone and having difficulty finding my joy. I don’t know exactly what it will take for me to shake this current malaise, but I know it will eventually fade. Meanwhile, I remain open to the possibility of finding joy right where I least expect it.
What’s bothering me is what bothers anyone. You get older. Your children grow up and move away. You lose people you love. Natural and man-made disasters happen. Sometimes these hit close to home. You have peaks and valleys, highs and lows. My mother’s home-spun wisdom speaks to this.
Be grateful for the valleys because that’s where the crops grow.
I think I feel a little better now. Thanks, Mom. I look forward to coming home for the 4th. I’ll try to bring my smile because I know you guys could use some over there, and I could sure use some hugs.
OF COURSE there’s no such thing as magic cats, right? Cats can’t just suddenly appear inside a locked house, and even when they do, you can’t blame them for the feeling you might get that you are losing it, that you’re slipping into some other realm where such things as magic cats are possible.
I thought I’d put her outside, yet there she was, sitting on the floor staring at me. Obviously, I only imagined putting her outside.
And there she was again the next day, sitting there staring at me when I knew I’d put her out. Obviously, I have a hole in my house. The guest bathroom is under renovation. I check it. The new bathtub is sitting soundly atop the drain hole.
I’m just tired from scoring, I decided. I’m stuck in my head and not paying attention to what’s going on around me.
Third day, same thing. Mama is sitting there staring, getting my attention. I’m baffled. Twenty years here and not a single animal break in. What’s different now? How is she getting in?
I go to my bathroom and check everything.
She’s managed to tip open the trapdoor to the plumbing. I see how she got in. I secure it thoroughly with duct tape. Problem solved.
Next day, same thing. Mama’s suddenly sitting there staring at me.
I check the trapdoor. It’s still taped securely. I check the other bathroom. The tub is still there. I call my son-in-law, who started this remodeling project.
Mama’s getting in underneath the bathtub, I say.
That’s impossible because the tub has a flat bottom, he says.
I continue scoring, although now I’m getting spooked about this cat that keeps magically appearing in my house. I’m getting tired too, and I’m losing my focus, distracted by all the mystery.
Maybe she’s not sneaking in, I think. Maybe she’s materializing or astral projecting or teleporting. I ponder transmogrification and other such silliness. I wonder if she has supernatural powers. The ancient Egyptians worshiped cats for some reason, didn’t they? Why?
I think about The Golden Compass and The Temple of My Familiar, stories where animal familiars appear out of thin air to do whatever it is they do. It’s all witchy and arcane and absolutely impossible. At the same time, I can see how a highly imaginative or a highly superstitious person could get those notions if an animal or bird sneaked into their house.
Yes, animals sent from the unseen to serve you will always cheer you up.
I keep scoring. I get a call about the death of my friend. I start to feel a bit unglued. I can’t think clearly. I wonder if I’ve injured my brain with this chronic scoring. For example, when Hitler outlawed jews it would have been unfair for him to hide one himself. Too many sentences like that can hurt your brain. So can grieving.
This brain freeze/mind warp cat/scoring thing wrapped itself around the death of my friend and started to feel really heavy. When Mama showed up on the fifth day, I’d had it! I called my son-in-law to come over. I made him undo the new bathtub drain connection and pull the damned tub out. It wasn’t flat after all. It was curved. I made him stack boards over the hole where the drain pipe is until I can get someone in here to finish it.
That’s all it took. Mama hasn’t materialized her familiar self since. I imagine her sleeping better now, curled up in her pink chair, knowing the house is safe from invaders. Such a helpful little kitty.
Here’s 47 seconds of another magical cat.
“I am often amazed by cats. They are graceful and calm, and very much at peace with themselves.” —David Cain, Raptitude
These beautiful striped Bengals are the most expensive cats in the world. Kittens sell for $1,000 - $1,800. Adult breeders can fetch as much as $3,500 or more. Part of that hefty fee no doubt goes to photography shoots like the one above, where this prized Silver Bengal could just as easily have been a dog or a baby. The focus is on the girl rather than the cat.
Less ambitious shots can be found on the site Bengal Cats of Adventure Beach. These breeders really have an eye for the exotic.
Exoticism is an extreme form of romanticism. All things living, natural, earthy, soft, and colorful are romantic. Romanticism contrasts with classicism, which is black, white, grey, hard, traditional, and man-made. My affinity for cats and kids and color makes me and others like me largely romantic in nature.
If I were still teaching, I would use this photo as a prompt for a writing assignment.
Describe this photo shoot. Where are they? What are they doing there? Who are the people involved in the shoot? Who are the girl and the cat? What makes this picture romantic? Is this a great shot or not?
I think it’s awful but even awful has its place.