All this happened, more or less...

My name is G and these are the true stories of my adventures.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The One with the Crazy Cat Lady

My dad has a cousin who's a crazy cat lady. She's almost sixty years old, but she hasn't left her house in over thirty years. Other than her caretaker, who buys her groceries and checks up on her, she has had very little contact with anybody in all that time. Except the cats. She has approximately thirty-five cats in her tiny, ramshackle house. She spends most of her time watching QVC and ordering things on the telephone. When the packages arrive, she doesn't open them -- she just stacks them in the garage where the cats claw at them, pee on them, and ruin them.

None of this is funny. She's a sad lady, and I wish I knew what made her so unhappy in her own life.



What is funny is that I've been accused of having some cat-lady tendencies as well, and if there's any sort of genetic predisposition, I might be screwed. Let me clarify though, because unlike my kooky cousin, I don't like all (or even most) cats.

I'm really only crazy about one cat.


This is Ben:

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I got Ben when I was in college. Like most single, teenage mothers, I had no intention of going down that road, but the temptation overwhelmed my weak moral character. Now I'm all grown and so is he, and in retrospect, I can see that bringing him into my life was one of those glorious mistakes that reaped undreamed-of benefits. Case in point, right now, my toes would be cold if he wasn't sleeping on them.

Reader, I don't usually burden you with unnecessary displays of emotion, but I was rummaging through some old fileage today and happened upon a poem I wrote while I was a college student -- about a year after Ben entered the scene. At the time, he was living with me, my three roommates, and our obnoxious theater major housemates in a rundown place in the stetto (ie, "student ghetto") a few blocks from campus. Don't worry -- this isn't an ode or a sonnet or any other gushy form of poetry. It's a ridiculous parody of Wallace Steven's o-so-serious "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird." Presented here for your enjoyment, with my sincere apologies to Mr. Stevens, who is doubtlessly rolling over in his pine pajamas...

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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Yellow Cat

I. Among seven restless college students
The only sleeping thing
Is the yellow cat.

II. I was of two minds
To sleep or to eat?
The dilemma of the yellow cat.

III. The yellow cat tore through the cluttered room
Upsetting notebooks, papers, empty pop cans.

IV. The couch and the blanket
Are one.
The couch and the blanket and the yellow cat
Are one.

V. I do not know which to prefer
The beauty of sound
Or the beauty of stillness
The yellow cat purring
Or asleep.

VI. An unmindful fly fills the room
With a distracted buzz
The shadow of the yellow cat
Stalks it, silently
Crouched
Half-hidden, twitching
Eager for the kill.

VII. O thin men of campus
Why do you watch the black squirrels?
Do you not see how the yellow cat
Is a lion among them?


VIII. I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms
But I know too
That the yellow cat
Is also lucid, noble
Inescapable.

IX. When the yellow cat drifted to sleep
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles, many dreams.

X. At the sight of the yellow cat
Curled in the sun
Even six shots of espresso
Leave you heavy-eyed.

XI. He scrambled up a tree
With an acorn
Once, a fear pierced him
In that he mistook
The shadow of his tail
For the yellow cat.

XII. The moon is shining
The yellow cat must be prowling.

XIII. It was evening all afternoon
It was snowing
And it was going to snow
I slept
Curled up with the yellow cat.


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6 comments:

Morgan said...

This kitty is soooo cute! My favorite cats are yellow cats. Their just amazing!

G said...

"Amazing" might be kind of a strong word, but he does fetch and turn doorknobs, which is more than most cats I know. :-)

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