There is no doubt a lot of serious stuff when it comes to cats – cat overpopulation on the streets and in the shelters is a subject we have been trying to tackle for months now and there is still a long way to go before the problem is solved. But, sometimes we need a break from all that heavy stuff, just to talk about cats being cats…. or what I called in Chapter 22 of my book, “Cattitude & Cattisms.” This chapter was so much fun for me to write, because it is all about the universally wonderful personality traits, habits, quirks, and mannerisms that our cats possess to one degree or another to let us humans know we are NOT in charge. Read more
Archive for March, 2012
Sure, there are times that my cats judge me – when I dare to sleep in the morning, when I do not feed them at precisely 6:00 pm on the dot, and when I have the audacity to remove them from my numb lap when I have to get up and use the bathroom. They do not judge me, however, when I am not wearing makeup or if I am wearing ratty old sweatpants. They have no interest whatsoever in what my political views are and they are not remotely impressed that I am an author while holding a full-time job. They live by their own rules and I think that is why I respect cats so much, as did Andre Norton of this prolific quote. I love the contrast of Peanut in this image against the black background of the patio furniture and the stunning juxtaposition of the ceramic zebra next to her. It all seems to imply that we should accept life for what it is without discrimination. I also love the connection between cats and creativity. In light of my circle of cat friends, I would agree wholeheartedly.
Andre Alice Norton (1912 – 2005) was an American science fiction and fantasy author who published her first novel in 1934 and was the first woman to receive the Gandalf Grand Master Award from the World Science Fiction Society in 1977. An important role in Norton’s books is often given to animals — both ordinary terrestrial ones, such as cats (with whom she had much personal experience) and exotic fictional ones, whose characteristics are meticulously worked out. Many of Norton’s animals are highly intelligent without being anthropomorphic, acting as virtually full partners to the human protagonists and in many books forming telepathic links with them. (Wikipedia)
As with anyone in my generation, I grew up playing outside in my neighborhood until I was called in from the distance by my Mother for supper. We were probably playing some sort of game that involved nothing more than a simple ball, but my siblings and I were completely engrossed in whatever game we had invented for the day. This is not the world our current generation lives in and I can’t judge them for their seeming obsession with television, computers, video games, and cell phones, because that is how they are growing up and that is their reality. Tell them to go outside and play with a ball for hours and you are certain to get that teenage glare of utter exasperation at the stupidity of your suggestion.
I recall my teenage moment when I rolled my eyes into the back of my head when my grandfather told me about walking a mile to school without shoes in the winter. I also recall getting “the look” from my oldest son when I told him when I grew up, we did not have a microwave. The look implied, first of all, “who cares,” and secondly, “I can’t relate.” Whatever… Read more
For the full beauty of this image and quote, click photo to enlarge
I love how the perception of cats remains constant in time as reflected in this quote by Jules Champfleury, a French art critic and novelist who was born in 1820. I for one could watch a napping cat for hours, completely mesmerized by the simple beauty of the act. My cats, of course, are only too happy to indulge me in that capacity as witnessed by my sweet little Mia who models with absolutely perfect beatitude.
Jules François Felix Fleury-Husson (1820 Laon, Aisne – 1889 Sèvres), who wrote under the name Champfleury, was a French art critic, novelist, and a prominent supporter of the Realist movement in painting and fiction. His novels were among the earliest Realist works and in 1870 his book, Les Chats, a series of essays about cats including portrayals of cats by prominent artists of the time, was published by Librarie de la Societe Botanique de France. (Wikipedia)
Given the media’s propensity towards the clever, chic, hip, and trendy, it is no wonder the story of the numerous charming cat cafes in Tokyo, the reverent worship of the Maneki Neko (a cat sculpture known as the “Beckoning Cat” that is said to bring good fortune to the owner), the infamous “Cat Island,” and cats dressed up in designer outfits is so popular with mainstream social outlets as to how the love affair between the Japanese people and cats are portrayed. Truth be told, it makes great copy and what cat lover wouldn’t want to visit a cat café or an island of cats? Disaster and tragedy, however, is not glamorous and the public can only tolerate the brutal images and reality for so long before they change the channel or turn the page to something lighter and less mentally taxing.
That is why the aftermath of the Japanese disasters of last March 11th is such a complex and difficult story to tell – it just does not make sense that so many cats were homeless and abandoned in a nation of such devoted cat loving people. As I continued my interview with Japan Cat Network (JCN) volunteer, Jennifer Koca, the only thing that remained clear, was that nothing was black and white, simple, or easy to understand, especially when it came to this sensitive issue. Read more