Cats the World Over

Black Cat from the U.S.

I was mulling over ideas for an image contest I might enter… not having settled for anything yet, I looked through a gallery of stock images for white cats. The search term didn’t work that well and I ended up with all sorts: black cats, torties, tabbies, Siamese, Tonkinese, grey cats, tigers, cougars, women in costume…

At first I was just flipping through, stopping at this picture or that, thinking “this one would look good but I would have to paint the tail in” and so on. After a while, I got sad. My tinnitus changes to suit my mood (and reinforce it, I suspect), so I heard the pop equivalent of plaintive violins. I can’t identify it. A male voice singing kindly, as if over a guitar in the deepening summer dusk. A little bit distant, as though I looked over to the next hill slope and he’s sitting there in the honey-warm heather, warbling away on his own.

It’s a wonder I haven’t just drifted away in my sleep… stopped breathing, as the world I live in is not this one! Some of those modelling photos made me uncomfortable: they brought it home to me that I’m surrounded by a host of people living on a different planet. If we’re all on that other planet, who’s on this one?

Back to the cats. I wondered what the unwitting feline models would think if they realized people were putting them in pictures of their own, painting them, or just looking at their cute little button noses from the other side of the world. Each cat was individual… I could imagine how I would have loved each one.

I’d just finished that sentence (not wearing hearing aids as they were tiring my ears) and there was a loud bang, one of those that you feel all through you. You thought somebody was attacking and threw your arms protectively round your head, then realize something fairly major has fallen down or exploded… by ‘fairly major’ I mean not just a pile of books toppling to the floor. I whipped round, my heart hammering. Samson was chasing a moth and had knocked over a heavy tower of tape cassettes.

He wasn’t in the least bit repentant, just chased the fluttering will ‘o the wisp all the way down the stairs and back again, even with me standing on the landing shaking a fist. I looked over my shoulder just now, and he was skulking round by the foot of the tower again… doesn’t care if he knocks it down. Chased him out of the room a second time, but he’s immediately come back.

Sigh.

Where was I?

“Each cat was individual… I could imagine how I would have loved each one.” Sitting looking as though butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths… and I believe them.

Why should that make me sad? I have Samson and Delilah (otherwise known as Springy and Squishy). I’m thinking of other cats I’ve known… Sharky heads the list, followed by Thor, Fusspot, Lucky, Tarquin, Scampi, and others. Tarquin was a black moggy with a white bib; I named him after a character in a Georgette Heyer novel. (Well, I was 12 or 14 or something like that). Mum said Tarquin was the stupidest cat she’s ever known. A comfortable, friendly boy though; I miss him.

Does this mean that we can never look at something we like with without feeling pain? The only item I can look at and think “I’ll never lose this,” is my bed!

The accompanying picture is one of the cats I hovered over for ages in the stock photo gallery… he has kind eyes and a modest expression like Thor. if I could have given him a hug, I would have. The original picture can be found at One White Whisker. The cloudy sky is one of mine.

Later, when Mum came upstairs, I told her about the tower of cassettes being knocked over. She said (unsurprisingly), “yes, I heard.” Then added, “my friends tell me it must be nice to hear somebody moving about the house.”

KABOOM.
“Who did that??? Don’t DO that!!!”
(Sound of cats thundering uncaringly up and down the stairs).

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5 responses

  1. My mum’s cat is very much the kind of feline to make a huge racket and hardly notice – though if *you* make a slight sound, he runs and hides under a chair.

  2. shussmallworld | Reply

    This made me both identify and feel a bit sad. I so relate to seeing every kitty, whether in passing or in pictures, and wish that I could take them all home and just “have” them. There’s something special about EVERY kitty, and I would like to be connected to that specialness.

    Cats, for being so small (in the relative sizing of things) are capable of making quite a lot of noise, while at the same time also having the ability to make no noise at all if it suits. We frequently refer, to whichever is zooming around, as “Thunderkitty”.

    Today when Snowy had a bad spot of the afternoon, I snuck Bird out from my room because I knew he would get up in her lap and love all over her and invite her to love him back. He did that, and she was transported from the bad things to the enchanted state to which kitties can take us — if they so desire.

    God bless kitties, even with their thoughtlessnesses they are His gift to us mundane humans.

    Hope you are doing/feeling all right 🙂 I loved the sky behind the black kitty.

    Admiringly,
    Shu

  3. Mum’s cat Cheeky is quite nervy and will run away if you move too abruptly… she’s always been that way. I suppose as humans are so big and she’s so small, it’s just caution.

    Samson, on the other hand, after his shy beginnings, doesn’t seem to be worried at all (once he gets to know you). He’s wary when you stroke him but at the same time purrs and grins and soaks it up. And (provided you’re not a complete stranger) he doesn’t run away when you’re busy or noisy.

    Thanks, Shu, I guessed you would know what I meant. I’m OK, just got melancholy scrolling through all those cat photos. That was a good idea with Bird and Snowy… cats do seem to know how to pull us back into the present (except when scrolling through their photos, that is, LOL!)

    I’ve worked out the photo of the black cat above was taken when at least three of my previous four cats were alive… you might say he’s a contemporary of theirs.

  4. It’s odd, one of our cats is oblivious to all noise except the vaccuum and the other hops in the air at the slightest sound. I giggle when we mute commercials on a show or pause a movie and they wander into the now quiet room and settle in on our laps contentedly just in time for things to be unmuted and the timid one to hop away again at the slightest noise. The other usually just opens one eye and then settles in for a nap…

  5. Ours do that too… when I turn the TV down, they look almost grateful, especially when I’ve done it especially for them. 🙂

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