Things I do not understand #2: the secret life of cat lovers

Barbara told me an interesting thing at lunch today. She said that when you breed Persian cats you have to keep your queen(s) inside all the time and away from the Tom-next-door. Apparently, if said Tom gets a load in, your queen will be spoilt for life, and any chance of cajoling her into putting out for a Persian boyfriend after that will be ruined forever. For… ever. Forever more, she will be pining for Tom – the bad boy who did her and dumped her for the ginger Abyssinian slut a across the street. Figures I guess. I had no trouble believing that story.

It need not be a tragedy, actually. If Barbara and one’s own eyes are to be believed, it is clear that your average Persian is short of leg and large of body, not to mention the mass of fur that could insulate a Boeing. Short, stocky, rotund… these qualities are not high on the list of a Hollywood casting couch looking for a romantic lead. And if this is all a pure-bred ball of hair has the right to dream of her entire life, then I say, screw that, or rather, screw Tom from next door.

OK… so I am not really writing about the cat. I am not a cat lover, or even a cat person. I have no problem with cats and appreciate that they have symbolic value, and are creatures that inspire love and affection in others, sometimes to a rather alarming degree.

For example, all true cat people can speak cat. My friend Bridget has claimed on more than one occasion that she is fluent in Siamese, and over the years I have witnessed very endearing repartee between her and her cats. The tendency of cat lovers to translate such repartee to a heathen like myself, however, is something I indulge only in people that I am terribly fond of. I think lots of people probably know what I am talking about.

What I do appreciate is that this crazy cat-talk activity is only funny insofar as cats are given human characteristics, foibles, and eccentricities by their interpreters. I don’t really know what this means, in the big picture, or if this is significant in terms of our relationships with beings that 1) don’t talk back 2) say what we want them to and 3) are completely at our mercy in terms of the provision of food, shelter and health services.

I don’t get the whole thing, actually, but Ruth said that as long as I accept that there are things I will never understand, that is OK. It does not make me a bad a person. I have let Ruth’s kittens jump on me and eat my ears. Bridge can also confirm that in spite of the fact that Snowy sprayed his horrible male cat juice all over my couch when I moved in with her, he only died many years later of natural causes, and that I had a splendid (and affectionate) relationship with Wallis for most of her life.

I read no papers today, but did go and see Sunshine Cleaning this evening. It is wonderful, and there is also a cat in it, one that causes a woman to burn down a house. Nuff said.


One thought on “Things I do not understand #2: the secret life of cat lovers

  1. Herschelian 2 August 2009 / 19:27

    Evil Tom cannot leave your Persian for the ‘Ginger’ slut across the street because ALL ginger cats are toms. There is no such thing as a female ginger cat…strange but true.
    BTW I stumbled over your blog a while back, and enjoy keeping up with your views on life in SA.

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