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Psymon (the “P” is silent, as in “psychedelic” and “psittacosis”) is just the most recent of many feline friends to have ingratiated themselves unexpectedly but permanently into my life and heart over the past four decades. I first noticed him during the dead of winter 2018, when I saw him, often accompanied by an all-black cat I’ve named, ummm, “Blackie.” (The “B” is voiced, as in “bafflegab” and “blowsabella,” which, I’m sorry to tell you, isn’t the name of one of Old Possum’s Practical Cats. I completely agree that it should be, though.) I’d see the two cats hanging out in the barn, or running in the snowy woods, and sometimes, worryingly, on the road. All my best efforts to entice them onto the porch for food failed, and I’d resigned myself to the thought that they’d either freeze to death, be run over, or be killed by predators. “Can’t save ’em all,” I’d think to myself in an attempt to bring reason to bear, while I fretted from day to day. Story of my life.
But. One cold day, almost exactly a year ago, I opened the front door and found an orange and white cat waiting for me, glaring intently at the entrance and drumming his paws rather impatiently on the brick patio. The moment he saw me, tail waving high, he marched into the house and has never left.** Proof positive, I suppose, that any cat can be saved, once he decides he wants to be. (I think that’s pretty much the way it works for members of the two-legged species, as well.)
My siblings are bonkers about cats. I’m used to that. I’ve borne years of anthropomorphic fantasies about a line of household pets that included a sensitive and gorgeous special breed, country cross-varieties vaguely named after T.S. Eliot characters, and a few city “patio cats.” I’ve witnessed naming deliberations for new kitties that drag on for weeks, with “Pockets” being a near winner and a friend begging them not to saddle it with a noun handle for life. They eventually settled on human names for their animals, which pleased everyone: Eleanor, Titus. Titus, nearly two decades old, is still with us, and shows up occasionally in pictures, like the time he was sporting a small wide tie that my brother said made him think of “a night manager at Denny’s.”
What has just dawned on me, however, is that another family member has been something of a dark horse when it comes to passion for felines. I mean, I knew my dad liked cats, but I finally realized the degree of this affinity today when my mom texted us with a charming innovation my dad used to solve a problem with their old cat.
A cat always lands on its feet. Generations of young (and not so young) boys have conducted experiments testing this. These reveal while not universally true, this saying proves generally so. The question is why?
“Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics” by Gregory J. Gbur, answers the question. He blends whimsy, the history of technology, the development of physics and cat curiosities to explain why cats land on their feet.
Just thought I’d share this picture of Keo “guarding” middle daughter’s gerbils: Read More View Post
I woke up on the bus. It was silent, unmoving. I was right across from the driver’s seat, so I had an unobstructed view out the windshield. I was not looking out on the expected scene of night streets of New York City. I felt a moment of dread. I must have fallen asleep and slept past my stop, and now I appeared to be in a parking garage.
It was a Friday evening, and I had had conflicting social obligations in different boroughs. One group of friends on the Upper East Side was hosting several Japanese friends whom I hadn’t seen in a year or two, and there was no way I could miss that party. The other party was a house-warmer for my former roommate, who had just moved into her own apartment near mine in the Bronx. I felt obliged to be there as well. The Express Bus was my answer: a more expensive alternative to the subway, but much safer, and a direct ride from the UES to my neighborhood in the Bronx; no train switching, no riding with weirdos in the night. Since my grandmother lived in a nursing home in the UES, I took the Express Bus at least once a week after visiting her, so I knew how great it was.
I present to you the Minecraft Cat Fountain. Read More View Post
I won’t be able to match other’s writing skill, but this subject is dear to me, so here goes. We currently have 7 cats in the house. Smudge, a large Tuxedo female with a big black mark across her nose (hence the name), is an inside/outside cat. Mr. C puts her out most nights because […]
We keep acquiring cats at my house. The tally is currently four but destined to grow, as my youngest daughter frequently asks when she can get a kitten. Most people can just blow off this kind of request, but we’re different. We’re the crazy cat family.
My wife and I each had several cats growing up. My family named cats after spices: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and my cat Curry, by far the dumbest cat I’ve ever seen. We got him from the neighbors across the street before he was weaned and consequently, the little Siamese guy would sit and suck on your shirt for hours. I once saw him climb to the top of a free-standing ladder in front of a second-story window, stare at his reflection, and begin shifting his bottom for a lunge.
A few years ago, another member did a post like this, and it was just good fun. Cats Rule! Read More View Post
Yes, my friends, it is once more time for our furriest advice columnist to come out of hiding and do her thing. Tired of all your advice coming with that human perspective? Well, this is your chance to get advice from a more advanced being: Miss Gráinne O’Malley. Read More View Post
I’m self-employed and work from home with no set schedule. I prefer to keep one, but it doesn’t always happen. I don’t always sleep well, and sometimes, I really, really want a nap. I carefully choose my times for when Morgana is sleeping.
It never works, though. Somehow, she has a super-kitty sense of when one is trying to sleep. I get settled into bed, and there is the thump of her arrival up onto the bed. Wasn’t she just asleep in another room? Doesn’t matter. Now, she is on the bed with me and wants attention. If she is on the ground, and I reach down, she doesn’t want attention. If she’s on one of the cat trees by my chair or on one of the cushions on the other side, she doesn’t want attention.
Here is one I wrote many, many years ago about one of our cats… To Miss Mullen, Who Insists on Sleeping on the Kitchen Range, Because the Pilot Light Keeps Her Warm Read More View Post
Just yesterday, @midge created a thread to salute beasts native to America and explore why they are great American creatures. But in another thread today, I realized that approaching the question from another direction might also be interesting. What is the political philosophy of various animals? The thought that spurred this was on @bossmongo’s thread […]
Every so often, when the culture or political wars get so out of hand that even this political nerd wants to ignore it all and settle down with the cat, I throw out a “how’s life” post for Facebook. The idea is to catch up on the important stuff: kids, grandkids, parents, pets, shiny new jobs, an old job that’s driving you crazy, recipes, what-have-you.
The lovely blonde suggested a similar post for Ricochet. So, Rico-peeps, what’s new with your life outside of politics, policy, and culture wars? Have cute pet pictures? Pictures of the grandkids with watermelon all over their faces? Do you have good news to share, or need a shoulder to lean on after a summer that ought to be nuked from orbit?
I go to the local animal shelter most weeks to volunteer to pet the cats. It’s hard work, but someone has to do it. Read More View Post
“It is not possible to explain the origin of the spiritual from the material.” Read More View Post