I bet if I could keep in mind that my cats are more wild than not, I would love them even more than I do. Which would be hard to imagine, loving them more that is.
In our lives together, I could feel disappointed a lot. Cats take us on such sufferance. You know those names we blog-humans call ourselves. “The staff,” “the help,” “the warden.” I once heard this: Cats are ideal for people who enjoy feeling rejected.
I remember, as if I could forget, what it was like, at first, for my little stray Bugs and me who knew absolutely not one single solitary thing about cats. One of my friends called Bugs a . . . thug. Any time I tried to relate, he would stalk out of the room. Then there was the body-wrap idea, the ass-over-teakettle egg-roll . . . the gore.
Cats are – cats.
(I need to get that glass replaced.)
I do prize that poster. The artist is Ed Young, my t’ai chi teacher of long ago. Ed lives in Westchester County with two daughters – and two cats. (Of course.)
Lately I’ve been thinking. If Bugs were a wild creature, a lynx, say, or a fox, I would take it as an absolute miracle any time I could get near enough to lay a hand on.
Our species have been close for a long, long time – Sarah Hartwell says as long as 10,000 years – but, really, cats are still pretty much wild at heart. As she notes, the “proliferation of feral cat colonies demonstrates that modern domestic cats retain enough of their wild ancestry to successfully revert to the wild state . . . identical to their domestic cousins in every way except for temperament.” She further notes, as to the cats we keep indoors out of harm’s way, that that inherent wildness is what “keeps pet behaviourists in business.”
So I want to take every little gesture the boys make toward me – every little cock of the head, every little mew and purr and trill, every little once-in-a-blue-moon bit of spontaneous affection – as an absolute stone miracle.