Tag Archives: cat

A Study In Gray

Like smoke, she is soft and approaches quietly.  Like smoke, her coloring is a study in gray; when her muscles flinch, stipples of silver flutter across her back – when she rests charcoal shadows steal across her shoulders and flanks.

Her sleep is a haze of laudanum and lavender – a shadowy land where its feline mistress walks through history and literature, reliving her myriad tributes.  Occasionally she will emit a tiny growl, as if she were speaking with her ancestors, towering over her in dreaming grasslands.


When she is awake, her face is alert, with lines that are pure and delicate.  Her bones are small and precise; their fineness creating an expression full of subtlety and grace:  the look of a true lady.  Her golden eyes hold memories of the gilded taxes buried inside of pyramids, of homages carved into arched and sinuous icons.  Like all cats she possesses a countenance that merges patience with disgust and an inexorable curiosity.  She will watch a bird for hours but look at a human only in passing.

018 (2)

As would befit her Russian background, her coat is marbled with an undercurrent of blue, and the pads she walks on are velvety and amethyst-tinted.   On her many explorations she is a silent traveler:  a cloud the color of rain, searching for new horizons.

Her voice is a tiny song, ornamental and feminine.  The dainty sound escapes through her teeth in a filigree of music, atonal and elegant.  Each note is as curved and elongated as the shadowy panther from which it came.

She is a domestic, but with a ferocity that lingers in the wayward claw or tooth.  Her violent past lingers in her blood – a river which has calmed over the centuries, but which still is pulled towards a feral tide.

Like every cat, she is serene and independent.  Various insights wrestle for her attention, memories of her past, acceptance of her present.  It is no surprise, therefore, that she often is daydreaming.  She has much to think about.


Happy Halloween



Did You Leave This Here?


Odd...This Wasn't Here When I Left


My Conclusion Is: This Is NOT A Treat


I Am Not Convinced That This Is Fancy Feast


Two Profiles

She Doesn’t Like You

The girl next door – when her kittenish spirit strikes her – will sometimes stop by for a visit.

She will look into your face with her gilded eyes, hoping for some intelligent conversation.

Should that not be forthcoming, she will gaze dreamily across the street in search of something better, someone wittier.  There are some Yorkshire terriers.  There is a eucalyptus tree.  Perhaps she would find some improvement there.

The girl next door is not afraid of her beauty, of her wonderful textures.  She is not afraid of a profile full of myth and history.

The girl next door doesn't like you.  And after some thought, she will leave you.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

The Cat’s Memories

I am always looking for cats.  Seeing one is like witnessing the materialization of Egyptian worship - surrounded by incense and bare feet, carved into golden delicacies and marble scarabs.  A sleepy deity tightly groomed and insulted by collar and tag, it now scowls at me with an ancient disgust.

The other day I saw such a cat, sitting at a window that was dim and greasy enough to hold a city's fingerprint, its dirty and unbecoming DNA.  The frame was beaten with the fist of gusty weather – splintered by seasonal, prying fingers.  Curled like an icon, it lay on a poor, inefficient throne:  a threadbare couch that was the color of sickness -  bilious and jaundiced.

The morning was confused that day, with a sky that was noncommittal and unfocused.  But in a moment of clarity, light pounced at my discovery's throat, and quickly the tag glowed new and polished, like a stolen doubloon.  And amongst the ghosts that tangled in the atmosphere, brigands on their ships appeared to regain their treasure.  But when they saw the neck from where it so audaciously hung, they paused…then disappeared as the waterly light slipped away.

So, having stared down one enemy, the cat faced me, another inferior heat source.  Bored with its dreams, I was no improvement.  Its eyes were an amber judgement of discontent.

Perhaps it is a memory that all cats hold inside them that causes this frustration.  It was a memory of distant fiefdoms and foreign names whispered in devout incantations.  It was the knowledge that its ancestors were cradled by gods like exalted children; hunters destined to live forever inside pharoahs' tombs.  And the knowledge that it now lived on common ground, watching spirits through dirty windows, crouched on a sickly bed, shamed by the "To Rent" sign on the front lawn.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

The Cat In The Window

She might have been waiting for me.  Or I might have just been a clumsy interruption in her morning vista of sidewalk, street and trees.  Her eyes told me nothing.  They were black-lined and Egyptian, catching the sun like very still and very deep waters.  They were amber – the black pupils caught within them like prehistoric insects.

Her presence was feline and dignified.  I walk in front of her and stop – to see if she would recognize me, to wait – perhaps – for some sort of judgement.  She stares at me not without interest; but not, however, with much pleasure.  She is as solid as a statue, as cruel as an icon, as magnificent as a goddess.  Her domesticity insults her; still, it is a very nice thing to sit at a windowsill on a sunny morning.

Sometimes I see her crouched beneath the table, set well back into a Cubist room of crowded squares and rectangles.  Her round, white face is a welcome relief from the shadowy throng.  She is a serene, unblinking oaisis in a forest of furniture.

I look for her always, although I'm sure I bore her.  When I see her, I meow, I say 'kittykittykitty'.  Her marvelous expression does not change.  She waits to see what I'll do next, hoping it proves to be more interesting than whatever I had been doing.

She must know that I admire her misanthropic beauty.  And she came up with a way to thank me:  she never runs away.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

The Dreaming Cat

Some time ago, I wrote about a bookstore which housed a small, dainty cat.  Her name was Zola, and she had that peculiar feline quality of making one ashamed in her presence.

Before being accepted into that literary haven, she had a hard life.  Misuse and untended infections destroyed her teeth, and took away one of her golden eyes.  Her remaining eye, though scarred, has still kept all of its facets:  a yellow diamond embedded in a petite icon.

Her paws are like snowflakes:  small and silent.  Her voice is a little song:  I can see notes and flats and sharps falling from her mouth each time she meows.  Boyfriend and I hadn't seen her lately.  But the last time we were at the bookstore, I quietly pointed out to him the warm, dappled rug curled on top of a pile of books, fast asleep.

Now, when asleep, most cats will dream of champagne-colored mice, spilling out of glasses, with infuriating whiskers and tails.  They will dream of velvet pillows, smelling of feathers and sky, warming in the sun.  They will dream of exploring fields of white flowers that nipped at their noses and drove their muscles into delight and madness.

But it is the special cat that will make a bed of books.  She absorbs the visions and histories, adventures and tragedies, poems and meters that drive upward like roots from a fertile, creative ground.  Languages that are not her own course through her and create new, purring dreams.

She might be stalking through jungles, drawn towards heartbeats hidden in the thick darkness.  She could be on the seas, riding on the back of a whale – with every twist and turn thundering like an earthquake.  Perhaps she will be in a Victorian alley – concealed by the smoke of nearby opium dens – watching a man in his parlor reading about murder and brandishing a syringe.  Or maybe she would be lost on a battlefield, stepping over shredded flags, glancing distastefully at the stale, red pools, comforting the dying horses' white-eyed pain with her whiskers.

Or that lucky cat would feel its substance losing dimension, until it could walk through centuries of art.  She would nibble at Dutch still lives:  broad plates of tulips, bread and cheese.  Her form might appear in a carved frieze of warriors and slaves, riding in a chariot.  She would invade the portraits of women who hunted the courts with feral intensity.  Resting by their petticoats, her tail would wrap around shoes painted with scenes of masquerades and banquets. 

Before we left that day I saw that Zola was awake, and was yawning luxuriously.  Whatever story she had chosen (or had chosen her), it must have been a very fine and lengthy journey. 

Read and post comments | Send to a friend


I have often discussed the cats I see on my walks to and from work.  Zeke.  Luke.  Calvin.  Minnie Mommie.  Oscar.  But I have never been armed with a camera and really, it was just too bad.  Every one of these creatures is most attractive.

However, only last week that situation changed.

I was walking home, peering into yards, noting how the summer was abusing the flowers.  It was then that I saw it, butterscotch and white; crouching on the path that laid a serpentine of brickwork through a garden of dried colors.

It purposefully looked to one side, apparently trying to insult me in its subtle, feline way, by feigning interest in the street sign on the corner.  It was a test, obviously – to see if its preference for a tall inanimate object would take my two-legged superiority down a notch or two.

Then it looked at me with its pale olive eyes, squeezing them once or twice, like a timid pressure of the hand, prepatory to a full and confident handshake.

Still, its general expression said, "Oh.  You're still here.  Are you going to do something interestiing, or what?"

Last week I saw a cat.  And now I have proof.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

The Girl Next Door

She likes to visit us at work.  Well, sometimes.  Between her favorite soap operas.  After she's smoked a couple of Virginia Slims and and downed a glass or two of Midori liqueur.

I am convinced that she named herself, rather than suffer her owners to name her.  She is a cat, and her name is Princess.

She is a subtle calico; short on color with an expanse of white fur.  And I do mean expanse – she's a large girl.  We often comment on the chunkiness of her feline figure.  Princess will only throw us a glance that says:  "Better plump than plebian."

Her eyes are riveting:  light yellow-green, exquisitely outlined in black – like an Egyptian goddess.  She has a face full of beauty and expression.

Princess, quite deservedly so, possesses a deal of attitude.  She doesn't think much of our intelligence.

She likes to play us.  She'll be trotting down the path leading to our door.  One of us – usually me – will be on the front step, encouraging her to come over.  Then at the last moment…she'll swerve and take the side route to the backyard.  Or she'll sit on the welcome mat, looking in, meowing, but making no effort to enter.  One of us must stop working, get up, go outside and pet her.  Which of course we willingly do – and that only fuels her disgust.

I so wanted to take her picture.  I'd been bringing my camera to work for the past week, and today my efforts finally paid off.  Now, one would think that a cat, a calico one for that matter, in addition one named Princess, would willingly pose and preen for some photographic fame.

Not this girl

She was a TERRIBLE model.  I hadn't realized how constantly her head moves, her eyes roam, her paws twitch.  She'd be still for an isolated moment, when – wait!  What's that over there?  Is it a leaf?  A pebble?  Can't be sure – better go investigate.  The biped with the Kodak Digital can wait.  6.1 megapixels don't impress me.

I don't know how you manage to take such marvelous photos of your animal friends.  How can you anticipate another living thing's lively interest?  Princess, it's just a pebble, for Christ's sake!

Still, you never know.  It might turn out to be the final jewel she needs for her crown.

Curiosity, you know.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Christmas Cat

I don't have pets, and the bitterness fuels my dispair.

But when I lived with my family we had several pets, including the above, Pandora.  A co-worker of my father's found her hiding in the grill of his car.  He couldn't keep her, so dad took her home.  By the way, I dare you to find a match for Pandora's expansive floofiness. 

She was a Christmas Cat for a few reasons:  she was part of our Christmas tradition of putting a bow on our cats' heads and taking a picture of their anguished 'My name is Inigo Montoya.  You put a bow on my head.  Prepare to die' expressions.  Pandora would also loiter around the decorated tree – we knew she did, because we would later see her promanading thoughout the house, plume of a tail held high, trailing tinsel behind her.  She also liked to hide, deep beneath the tree and peer out, for all the world as if she was one of her larger relatives, peering through the tall grass of the pampas, looking for something four-legged and meaty.

She is a Christmas Cat for one more reason – I know that many people have their cats carousing throughout the branches of their Christmas trees.  So delightful.  I mean, I've seen the photos.  But I have the above picture in a tiny frame, made into a tree ornament.  I always place her on the highest branch – so every year I too have a cat watching me from my Christmas tree.

Happy Christmas, 'Dora.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

A Penguin To Wear and A Belleh That Swings

First, let me say that one of the peeps in my 'hood – woofnanny by name – came to my house for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was too marvelous and generous of her.  She appeared at my door, laden with gifts – one of which was a cap in the shape of a penguin.  The lower you pull the cap, the higher the penguin stands.  With pedal-wings outstretched.  Anyway, I'm wearing it now.  With the brim down to my eyebrows.  Try and dignify your way out of THAT, Aubrey.

But it keeps my ears warm - and it is a rather chilly L.A. (i.e. 50 degrees) evening.  That is, after my fine city conjured up a warm afternoon…leaving me meteorologically confused and seasonally repressed.

Now, on to the belleh.  In my neighborhood, sadly, there are many lost pet signs posted.  I always stop to read each one, memorizing the qualities listed and then keeping a sharp eye out for the missing friend.  Tonight I read a notice for a 'lost cat:  gray tabby –  neutered male – 10 years old – 10-13 lbs. – very vocal, loose belly skin swings back and forth'.

A demanding tabby with a swinging belleh – lost!  The owners must be FRANTIC!  If there is anyone out there living admidst the Miracle Mile District…find this kitteh!! 

Remember – there are no snorgles to be had in A Town Without Pity:

"When you wonder what it's like to be free
And curious by the world you see
Why then should I not just go
There's no way that I would know
What a town without pity can do

Streets are scary with their speeding cars
Maybe I've gone and wandered too far
I've turned a dangerous page
I'm trapped in a concrete cage
What a town without pity can do

This presents problems, many problems
Hope my owners try and do their part
Why don't they find me, try to find me
Before this granite planet tears me apart

Read the signs and please make it your task
To find me, 'coz my luck just can't last
How can I keep hope alive
How can I try to survive
Inside humanity's urban zoo
What a town without pity can do

How can I keep hope alive
How can I try to survive
Inside humanity's urban zoo
What a town without pity can do

No, it isn't for a kitty
What a town without pity can do"

Read and post comments | Send to a friend