Thursday, July 3, 2008

Allegorical Cats, Metaphorical Cats, Statistical Cats and Mystical Cats

Graceling readers: notice anything peculiar about this cat?

(Or should I say, this cat-sa?)

(with thanks to my pal Rebecca, the clever one who
informed me that there are white cat-sas that have Katsa's eyes. ^_^)

I want a cat, but I do everything at my own pace, and this is a thing I need to prepare for slowly. It's a big responsibility for a person who only likes to be responsible for herself. I mean, I don't even have a plant. I'm ready for a cat, though, it's time for a cat, so these days I have felix catus on the brain. I'm remembering the best cat I ever knew, this deep gray, green-eyed little lady called Jane. Jane and I grew up together. She was the kind of cat who knew when you were crying under your covers and scratched on your bedroom door so she could come in and keep you company in your despair. She did a lot of loving things, but not the disturbingly loving things our other cats did, i.e. kill mice and leave a pile of perfectly dissected internal organs on the doorstep as an offering. Actually, my sisters and I did catch Jane chasing a mouse in the yard once. We rescued the mouse, sat Jane down at the picnic table, and then sang the Aerosmith song "Janie Got a Gun" to her. I think it was meant to demonstrate the terrible consequences when Janes resort to violence. After a bit of that she started to look rather glum, so we sang a few rounds of "For Jane's a Jolly Good Fellow." I think it made quite an impression.

I wrote an ode about Jane once, actually. It contains the lines, "Of patient demeanor and pleasant expression, / Her outlook is upbeat and wards off depression." Hmm. I seem also to have written, "The picture of her fuzzy face / Is captured in my soul's embrace." I could go on. The ode is 52 lines long. Yes, indeed, she was that kind of cat... (The kind that inspires flashes of poetic brilliance, I mean. In case you didn't pick up on the brilliance. You might not have, if you're not an English major, like me.)


Finally, bringing my cat-themed post to a merciful end, if you have sympathy for endangered big cats and for people who struggle with stuttering, AND if you have 15 quiet, uninterrupted minutes: please, please listen to this wonderful segment from NPR's Radiolab about conservationist Alan Rabinowitz. I first heard it years ago, and recently, to my enormous delight, stumbled across it online.

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