Friday, September 28, 2018

Mandalay Bay Cat

Favorite Pic from Las Vegas last summer ~ June 2017 ~
I encountered this independent feline
~ who bears a striking resemblance to our dear departed Pine ~
on the walking path at Mandalay Bay.

There was no way I could know this tabby's name or gender, but the following poem offers some helpful tips on feline etiquette should you find yourself in a similar situation:
The Ad-dressing of Cats
You’ve read of several kinds of Cat,
And my opinion now is that
You should need no interpreter
To understand their character.
You now have learned enough to see
That Cats are much like you and me
And other people whom we find
Possessed of various types of mind.
For some are sane and some are mad
And some are good and some are bad
And some are better, some are worse —
But all may be described in verse.
You’ve seen them both at work and games,
And learnt about their proper names,
Their habits and their habitat:

How would you ad-dress a Cat?

So first, your memory I’ll jog,
And say: A CAT IS NOT A DOG.

Now Dogs pretend they like to fight;
They often bark, more seldom bite;
But yet a Dog is, on the whole,
What you would call a simple soul.
Of course I’m not including Pekes,
And such fantastic canine freaks.
The usual Dog about the Town
Is much inclined to play the clown,
And far from showing too much pride
Is frequently undignified.
He’s very easily taken in —
Just chuck him underneath the chin
Or slap his back or shake his paw,
And he will gambol and guffaw.
He’s such an easy-going lout,
He’ll answer any hail or shout.

Again I must remind you that
A Dog’s a Dog — A CAT’S A CAT.

With Cats, some say, one rule is true:
Don’t speak till you are spoken to.
Myself, I do not hold with that –
I say, you should ad-dress a Cat.
But always keep in mind that he
Resents familiarity.
I bow, and taking off my hat,
Ad-dress him in this form: O CAT!
But if he is the Cat next door,
Whom I have often met before
(He comes to see me in my flat)
I greet him with an OOPSA CAT!
I’ve heard them call him James Buz-James —
But we’ve not got so far as names.
Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream;
And you might now and then supply
Some caviar, or Strasbourg Pie,
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste —
He’s sure to have his personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
Of eating nothing else but rabbit,
And when he’s finished, licks his paws
So’s not to waste the onion sauce.)
A Cat’s entitled to expect
These evidences of respect.
And so in time you reach your aim,
And finally call him by his NAME.

So this is this, and that is that:
And there’s how you AD-DRESS A CAT.

by T. S. Eliot (1888 - 1965)
from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
Some Fun Feline Father's Day Cards
"Happy Father's Day
from the pouncing, stalking
awesomest cat in the neighborhood!"
[card by Marian Heath]

"Happy Father's Day
to our Fearless leader!"
[card by Avanti]
Thanks to Ben & Cathleen for this one!

Darth Vader Cat ~ reddit

Looking Ahead to Halloween!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Pining For Our Pine

Farewell Pine (ca 2005 - 6 September 2018)
How did she know to situate herself right in center of the rug?
She always did that. So intuitive!

One quiet afternoon last month, I took this sweet Tigress ~ The Queen of Cats ~ to the vet where she died peacefully. She was ready for the next world after a good long life and a short illness (liver failure).

In Chubbier Times

A few years ago, I made a couple of nests in the basement for Pine and younger, rambunctious Fuqua. Pine always picked the Florida Orange box, and Fuqua always took the other one, filled with toys. See how chubby Pine was in 2016? As she got thinner, Fuqua got plumper. He still looks like a little kid two years ago, but now, in 2018, he's a grown up cat. Here they are just a couple of months ago, still choosing the same boxes. (Hmmm . . . it almost looks as if I never sweep or vacuum down there! How could those boxes remain in practically the same spots for two years without moving?)
Two Friends Hanging Out in Their Basement Nests
Fuqua has never seemed to us like a very sentimental cat, but the first week that Pine was gone, he spent hours in the basement, sitting in her favorite box, just missing her, I guess. He seemed very sad and, in his mysterious, non - verbal, pantherlet way, must have been pining for his Pine after all.

Additional Kitty - Cat Posts
Featuring Pine Through the Years,
Along with Beaumont & Fuqua


The Size of Grief

Hiding Places

So Full of Knowing

Hat Cats

Basket Cats

Christmas Cats

Love Me, Love My Cats

Tortoiseshell Tabby

Saturday, September 22, 2018

When I Said Autumnal Equinox

Thanks to my sister-in-law Tina
for a beautiful beginning to the Fall Season.
and for sending me these poems years ago
in the early days of my blogging . . .

Song at the Beginning of Autumn

Now watch this autumn that arrives
In smells. All looks like summer still;
Colours are quite unchanged, the air
On green and white serenely thrives.
Heavy the trees with growth and full
The fields. Flowers flourish everywhere.

Proust who collected time within
A child's cake would understand
The ambiguity of this --
Summer still raging while a thin
Column of smoke stirs from the land
Proving that autumn gropes for us.

But every season is a kind
Of rich nostalgia. We give names --
Autumn and summer, winter, spring --
As though to unfasten from the mind
Our moods and give them outward forms.
We want the certain, solid thing.

But I am carried back against
My will into a childhood where
Autumn is bonfires, marbles, smoke;
I lean against my window fenced
From evocations in the air.
When I said autumn, autumn broke.

Elizabeth Jennings, 1926 – 2001
Understated, unassuming, British poet


The Burning of the Leaves, Part I

Now is the time for the burning of the leaves.
They go to the fire; the nostril pricks with smoke
Wandering slowly into a weeping mist.
Brittle and blotched, ragged and rotten sheaves!
A flame seizes the smouldering ruin and bites
On stubborn stalks that crackle as they resist.

The last hollyhock’s fallen tower is dust;
All the spices of June are a bitter reek,
All the extravagant riches spent and mean.
All burns! The reddest rose is a ghost;
Sparks whirl up, to expire in the mist: the wild
Fingers of fire are making corruption clean.

Now is the time for stripping the spirit bare,
Time for the burning of days ended and done,
Idle solace of things that have gone before:
Rootless hope and fruitless desire are there;
Let them go to the fire, with never a look behind.
The world that was ours is a world that is ours no more.

They will come again, the leaf and the flower, to arise
from squalor of rottenness into the old splendour,
And magical scents to a wondering memory bring;
The same glory, to shine upon different eyes.
Earth cares for her own ruins, naught for ours.
Nothing is certain, only the certain spring.

Laurence Binyon, 1869 - 1943
English Poet best known for his poems
of World War I (including "The Fallen" in 1914)
and World War II (including "The Burning of the Leaves (I - V)" in 1944)


~ September Roses ~ Thanks Sandy S-K! ~