Photographs taken with PhotoBooth on my new MacBook, a Christmas gift.
Cats walk the floor at midnight; that enemy of fog,
The moon, wraps the bedpost in receding stillness; sleep
Collects all weary nothings and lugs away the towers,
The pinnacles of dust that feed the subway.
Copyright 2009, 201o: All rights reserved. Jamie Dedes.
As I sit and write this in the middle of the afternoon on the first day of her four day visit with me, she’s prowling again. Gypsy won’t wait until midnight to walk the floor. No, not our energetic and inquisitive little feline. She arrived around 10 a.m. to stay with her Sidto* (that’s me) while her mom and dad head for Las Vegas and Penn & Teller among other good things.
About eleven years ago she used to be one of my little companions. I adopted her – a tiny thing in those days – for the grand sum of fifty dollars to keep me and Pywackett company. I picked Gypsy from all the sweet darlings waiting for a good home because she clambered all over her cage. I thought to myself that she’s more than just beautiful. She has spirit and she’ll get Pywackett moving, something poor, plump Py really needs to do.
Pywackett and Gypsy at Christmas, 1999.
I should have remembered the words of the Bard of Ayrshire, Robert Burns:
The best laid schemes o’mice an’ [wo]men
Gang aft agley . . . [go often askew] . . . “
You see, Pywackett was a foundling of undetermined age saved by my good friend Pam B. from a trash heap (literally) and taken to home and heart by me. Without a doubt Py was an older cat, plump and lumbering and as serious as you might expect any old sage to be. On the other hand, Gypsy was a toddler at the feline stage we call “the terrible twos” in humans. Gypsy loved Py, but the feeling was not at all shared. It was match made in hades. Perhaps it was hubris for someone twice divorced to play match-maker.
Life with Gypsy never stopped. She was all over the apartment, knocking books off shelves, dishes off tables, and Pywackett out of bed. She meant no harm, you see. To her, every minute is an adventure and every place worthy of intensive investigation. I got a mouse on a string and tried to tempt Py to chase it. Py would glue her tuchus firmly to the floor and all that would move were her eyes. The body electric on the other hand would flail and run and leap. They were like Jack Sprat and his wife. Gypsy never gained weight. For several years, we thought she might be a dwarf cat. Py would gain and gain and gain . . . For several years, we thought she might actually be a Holstein. Trying to keep up with Gyps was a challenge for me and a disgruntlement for Py.
Finally, Gyps went to live with the CitySon Philiospher who soon after married the Girl from New Mexico. Now Gyps is sometimes called Frijole, and she has a loving mom and dad to keep her happy, healthy and safe. Eventually, she gained weight; so much so that she is on a diet. It’s working and once again she can see her toes, which is more than we can say about her Sidto. Py is with the angels, demure company more to her taste but she is much missed by her human. Currently, the human lives with many, many plants and sometimes has the great pleasure of “baby sitting” for Gypsy.
So far today, Gypsy has knocked over two plants, brought down a set of blinds, turned over the garbage, and tried to break down the window to get at our resident squirrel. She’s only been here six hours. Right now she is stationed by her food container, eyeing me meaningfully. I have strict instructions to keep her on her regular feeding schedule, which I will honor.
Here there is no bedpost for the moon to wrap itself around and sleep will not collect us. Gypsy will take naps between hours of playtime and Sidto will take naps when she can . . . and it’s all good. I will enjoy every minute of chaos that I can, knowing she will have to leave me again on Thursday night . . . until the next time I get to have her. :-)
P.S.: If Rich and/or Karen reads this: Gyps is fine and the blinds are back up.
* Sidto: Derived from the Arabic, it is our family name for grandmother.
© Jamie Dedes, 2009, 2010, 2011 All rights reserved