Monday, June 4, 2007

Cats, the booklover's companion

I just received two books in the mail today from QPB: The Book Thief and The Book of Lost Things. I am eager to start both, particularly The Book of Lost Things. I couldn't resist flipping through it and simply based the two epigraphs, this is a book after my heart:

▪ Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in the truth that is taught by life. -Friedrich Schiller

▪ Everything you can imagine is real. - Pablo Picasso

Today I have cats on my mind. There seems to be something about booklovers’ personalities that draw them to cats. A generalization, I know, but it does seem to ring true more often than not. I have seen references to cats on several book blogs, most recently at Danielle’s A Work in Progress. In her tribute to the glorious lethargy of cats she remarks: “I think cats have the right idea sometimes--find the sunniest, most comfortable place in the house and just take a nap.” I most heartily agree. I envy my Emmy sometimes, basking in the sun before the glass doors or atop my desk, sprawled out across my papers where she has a view of the hummingbird feeder through the window. Occasionally, for a special treat, I’ll swivel my desk lamp towards her—she enjoys the warmth of her own personal heat lamp. Now, that’s not a bad life in my opinion. I’m thinking of my good friend Megan today, who recently lost her cat Loba to cancer. Hang in there Megan!

I’ve always liked T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1939). Of course, the original poems are decidedly more enjoyable than Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical adaptation. This excerpt reminds me of our gray tabby:

The Old Gumbie Cat

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
Her coat is of the tabby kind, with tiger stripes and leopard spots.
All day she sits upon the stair or on the steps or on the mat:
She sits and sits and sits and sits - and that's what makes a Gumbie Cat!

But when the day's hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun.
And when all the family's in bed and asleep,
She slips down the stairs to the basement to creep.
She is deeply concerned with the ways of the mice -
Their behaviour's not good and their manners not nice;
So when she has got them lined up on the matting,
She teaches them music, crocheting and tatting.

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
Her equal would be hard to find, she likes the warm and sunny spots.
All day she sits beside the hearth or in the sun or on my hat:
She sits and sits and sits and sits - and that's what makes a Gumbie Cat!


The Bowens said...

Hey You! I thought that you had dropped off the face of the Earth! I'm so glad to have found you in cyberspace. We have a ton of things to talk about!!! Thank you for thinking of me! We miss Loba so much around here. We keep calling all of the other animals by his name.

Talk to you soon.