Friday, December 12, 2008

Cat of Signs

I think she is also me, a me/she, but she has no fur and I never see her lick herself to wash. When she eats I feel it in my stomach as a purr, particularly if it is a dish of vanilla ice cream, of which we are particularly fond. To witness small lumps of it move from the china dish to her mouth by means of a silver spoon is exquisite delight. And sometimes it is then I think I love her without reserve; and sometimes I think we are simply the same creature. She leaves the dish for me to lick clean.

She spends even more time lying on the bed than I do. I have noticed. The other one gets up while it is still dark and leaves the house but she stays sleeping, sometimes lifting her head to say something to me. She says, hello baby or hey, and sometimes she says oh or no. I come close to her face and sniff. It is almost my own body but a little sweeter if she has had a bath and covered herself with lavender oil. Sometimes she gets up in the middle of the night (the other one never does). She walks from room to room, restless for water, or I feel a need to pee and so she goes to have a pee and I put my head around the door which she always leaves open, and I watch her. And sometimes we don’t sleep. I keep her company on the night watch for a while, but I would rather be sleeping so mostly I carry on doing that while she goes on being awake and rummaging in the shoe box where she keeps all her white pills.

I help her with her work. The work I like best is when she stands by her wooden board with a knife in her hand and begins to chop carrots to put in a stew, or when she rubs yellow oil all over the smooth skin of a chicken before it roasts golden in the oven and fills our house with its rich body perfume that makes me think of birds. And I like the work where she writes words into a big book with a metal spiral down the spine. I jump onto the table and walk across the page, bring my bottom close to her face so she knows I am with her. But mostly she has been lying in the bed, which I like, but just sometimes it makes me lonely and then it is the same as when I am all by myself in the house for a very long time with her and him gone from me and just the feeling of some part of me missing. I like it when she opens her eyes.

One of my best times is when he points the black thing with buttons at the moving picture box and we sit watching men running around a field while someone kicks a ball, and she sits in the little room across the landing by the word box, tapping her fingers on letter buttons saying, can you turn the volume down when there is too much cheering from the crowd of people in the picture box.

I like it when they plant a tree in the sitting room and put candles and small shiny things on it, and underneath the tree there is a tiny house with just one room that is filled with animals, a woman dressed in blue, a man in brown and a baby lying in some straw. On top of the house, at the front, there is someone with wings blowing a trumpet and she is fixed to it with an elastic band.

Elastic bands are one of my favourite things. I also like pieces of wire, pom poms and balls of wool but you can’t chase them as much as elastic bands.

I can’t think of anything else to say, so she can stop tapping now. There is a piece of fish lying in the kitchen and I am thinking about it. Interested.


north said...

I am a dog -also now lying on a bed. They let me out on my own to hose the seaweed but never for long enough. I have just eaten the cheese they left and the pasta he didn't finish. I would go wild for the smell of roast chicken. I go wild enough for the live ones I often chase around the garden - especially the big white one with the tantalising tail feather. He who makes the morning noise. She always stops me and in I go to jump up tot he window and gaze out at the sky and grass. Happy Christmas cat - when it comes xx

Kahless said...

I am a greyhound. I sometimes mistake cats for rabbits so you better watch out.

Cat of Signs said...

Mraow! I would never invite a dog into Signs cottage but you are welcome here, especially if you are friendly. Come to think of it, I don't invite other cats into Signs cottage either (but they come in anyway through the cat flap).

Ben, I want to tell you that I am definitely not a rabbit, even though my ears go back just like theirs when I am scared. And I never eat lettuce or carrots!

Kahless said...

Great idea....



Kahless said...

I have left you an award / virus / tag / crappie task on my blog for you!

Rising Rainbow said...

my kitties are very happy to have our tree up and being decorated. I'm pretty sure they think it's just for them.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

This is so brilliantly written Signs.

Usually I am a bouncy Golden Retriever, I like to chase cats and then I want to be friends with them, but only if they don't hiss at me. I can never understand why they do that. Can't they see the tip of my tail wagging. I just want to play. Really. It's all a game.

Zhoen said...

Moby is not in the mood to write today, but when he does, he sounds very like you. Kind, observant, a good friend and companion. You two are fortunate to have found each other.

Reading the Signs said...

Kahless, from what I have seen on other blogs, the stone is usually placed inside brackets (o)
- yes, it's a good idea for the stressed or word-weary blogger.

An award that may also be a virus, eh? Will come and investigate.

Rising Rainbow, I remember our cat's first Christmas. She was still quite small but crouching by the crib set and pawing the baby Jesus, she looked a bit like King Kong.

Hey Vanilla, I will pass your compliment on to my friend. She is beside me now as it happens - ruminating.

Cat of Signs said...

Zhoen, thank you for your good words. Yes, we are lucky. I was 10 weeks old when I left my mother and came to her and him. We live happily together.

I send my best regards to Moby.

Anna MR said...

I shan't let Ms Dogot near CoS - she's not so good with smaller creatures and if she mistook her for a squirrel...but let's not go there.

There was a cat for nineteen years, though, who was black and wild and beautiful and he had the wildest blackest eyes, and the biggest whitest teeth (like a wild beast he was), and he was not slow to use them - and his claws - on my little girl's legs - or arms - or face - or wherever he could reach or felt like mawling, and he was not a little girl's cat at all, he was the Devil in His evil, malicious, natural, innocent state, and he would never curl up in anyone's lap, and he killed everything he could catch, and I loved him and his fierceness desperately, and when I had grown and left home and left the country and left him and came back and met him for what was to be the last time, he climbed on my lap and curled up, for the first and only time, and I could feel his fierce strong body had turned fragile, and there will never be anyone in my life like him. In memoriam.

chili - I kid you not, Signs. Hot.

Reading the Signs said...

Anna, that was not just a cat, that was the feline incarnation of Heathcliff! I can only gawp in envious astonishment. I think the male cat is an altogether different kind of animal, but oh my stars:

"I could feel his fierce strong body had turned fragile, and there will never be anyone in my life like him"

- why are you not writing blockbuster romances (literary ones, obviously)? Make some money, sees, I will be your agent - won't do anything but take a hefty cut when you get a three-book deal, but it will all have been my idea. So get writing, ok?

btw C of S wishes Dogot to know that she is definitely not a squirrel and has never eaten a nut in her life.

Anna MR said...

By my tail and whiskers, I think you're right, Signskins - he must have been Heathcliff. Astonishing that I never realised that.

But obviously-literary blockbuster romances? Between small girls and black cats? OH my. I'll think on it, alright?

And please assure C of S that Ms Dogot is a nut, and has never eaten a squirrel in her life.

Mellifluous Dark said...

Beautiful, Signs, just lovely. I lapped up your words...

Anna MR, you made me catch my breath with your words. Your dear, dear cat. Write!!!!!

Thoughts and memories of my childhood regal beast, a half-persian orange mini-lion-human who came to me as a six-week-old kitten in a cardboard box and left as an old, cancer-ridden grand old boy in his wicker basket, make me deeply sad. Dad took him. He cried when he came back with the empty basket. Said he never wanted us to have another pet. It's making me weep now. Sometimes, two homes later, Dad and S (who never saw my darling cat), have seen shadows of a dark ginger cat leaping on to the sofa. Years ago, I felt heaviness on my bed, warmth, where he used to lie. I miss him.

trousers said...

Don't get me started on cats - just because I love them so much. This post was like velvet, but with many little insights besides.

tpe said...

Well said, Trousers.

Hello, Signs. Hello, cat. You seem like firm friends.

Is this the first picture of your cat to appear on these pages, Signs? I’m trying to think if we’ve been given a glimpse before. Anyway, that’s by the by, it’s just good to have cat amongst us. I have no problem seeing the world through your cat’s eyes, incidentally, and marvel at cat’s fine way with (channeled) words. (I sit agog at dog-blogs, though, believing every word, perfectly eager to hear what they have to say next – so I have some form here, true enough.)

Going back a few posts, if you don’t mind, but why not just consider the whole world as one great big hurtling mobile home? Then it merely becomes a question of deciding which room to sit in – a question far less fraught than trying to decide where one might actually belong.

(Or, in an emergency, I suppose, you can slightly alter your father’s saying, changing the word “hat” for “cat”.)

Hope everything is well for you this Sunday, Signs.

Kind regards and happy things etc...


PS. Anna MR should write books, yes. I’ve told her as much before, but she simply will not listen. She actually puts her fingers in her ears and makes seal noises (or Finnish, as it’s otherwise known). Amazing spectacle.

PPS. Hello back to Nicola from a few posts ago.

PPPS. Bye then, Signs.

Anna MR said...

Signs, I had decided most firmly not to say anything until you had been here yourself (for I wanted to thank the kind Ms Dark for her encouraging words to yours truly), but I just can't hold onto this promise, for the word ver now is saute. They're turning your blog into a cookery club.

So now that I'm here, blabbing away, may I just say thank you to the kind Ms Dark for her encouraging words. Ms Dark - thank you. Nice to see you, London lass.

Hello to everyone else, too, naturally enough, and a mwah to you, our Hostess.

Anna MR said...

Oh good grief. Hello, Horseman, you galloped in while I was blethering on about cooking. I'll be speaking Finnish to you for catching me unawares like that, I will.

(Sorry, Signs, I'll bugger off now and stop using your place as a playground. Mweh.)

Reading the Signs said...

Anna, it doesn't matter what the blockbusters are about, but if you can write this stuff about a cat then you can do the same with humans, innit. Or hamsters or extra-terrestrials, it's all about language and sensibility - and please take fingers out of ears and stop with the seal noises already. ok, I should be doing it too, the book-writing thing I mean, not the seal noises, so a creativity blast is definitely in order when you come to Signs cottage, not to mention new year Resolutions.

And sweet Mel Darko agrees with me, and now she has nearly made me cry with the story about the ghosty-lion-cat-human. You and all, Mellifluous - I think this may well be a new genre we are inventing. The cat romance.

Trousers, I think I identified you as a cat person a while back. Wonder if you know Christopher Smart's "cat Geoffrey" poem.

Hello TPE, I hear you had a spot of bother getting through here (don't ask, I have my spies) - glad to see you fought your way through this time, McWarrior. You have indeed seen Cat here before, last year after Cusp sent me a fabulous sock monkey for my birthday and I put up photos of her and Cat getting to know each other.

Actually, there is no room in Signs cottage to hang a coat, let alone a cat. But I like your mobile home idea. I have that feeling about time, as it happens, very strange - as if I could just walk from one moment to the other (past, present, future) as easily as walking from one room to another, or even from one part of a room to another. Shrinking furthers this kind of thing obviously and I am probably losing the few remaining marbles etc. Paying handsomely for it though, so it must be good for something.

Bye for now, Horseman.

Anna, why should you not use my place as a playground? It seems very good to me and quite proper, so mweh!

Minx said...

Cat of Minx says:

"I am in the airing cupboard - do not disturb."

Cat of Signs said...

Cat of Minx, I understand you perfectly. The airing cupboard in Signs Cottage is filled with childrens' board games and puzzles and bric-a-brac. Otherwise I would visit it more often.

Mellifluous Dark said...

Anna, you are a gifted lady, and if Signs says so, well, who am I to argue? So... get tapping away. Even that TPE, that weaver of words and owner of the supreme Emma, thinks you are rather good, so...

Signs, blender of words and soother of brow, you are another one upon whom I can count for wordly wordy warmth. Ah, cats. Cats. Some cats are incredible. They just know things. They can reach the human heart.

Anna MR said...

Soini of Our Toimes, hei. I cannot invent anything, let alone characters, so that's a bit of a problem with regard to writing blockbusters, but yes indeed, I think we must do a creativity blast - I work well under restraint, or at least better than unrestrained, so "tasks" and "challenges" are what we should go for, don't you think? More of the impossible no-e's and so on, methinks (and Ms Dark, hei - as it happens, I am currently on a tap-or-die course. It's not really producing anything worthwhile, to be sure, but at least I'm tapping. Whether tapping or not tapping is more likely to bring about world peace and healing the sick and feeding the hungry I don't know - imagine if I'm actually causing global misery with my taptastic nonsense? Oh deary me. I'll need to ponder this in the deepest corner of a darkened room, I think).

Incidentally, Signs - plated. The word vers are definitely starting to "say" more - in the Olden Days, they used to be things like zqbcxzq, and stuff.

Reading the Signs said...

What a nice thing to say, Mel Darko. And yes, cats are psychic and tuned in to so much that we wot not of. Cat of Signs reads my thoughts. She knows hours ahead of time if I'm planning to take her to the vet or cattery and hides.

Anna I think the tap-or-die thing has real potential. In fact I love it and will undertake to do it myself once I have availed myself of a shotgun. For sometimes, in truth, it's the only way, and yes of course it is producing something worthwhile, for whatever we put into the ether has substance and We Who Know say that it is good substance. But on the other hand we might just have to blame you if any terrible disasters happen. Well, and that's useful too, if you think about it - having someone to point the finger and and say it's her who done it, with all the tapping and whatnot.

Personally, I think that the WVLs are preparing to take over the world. It's a sinister turn of events, Anna, mark my words.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Signs

Awww. Barney apologises again, btw. He didn't quite realise how susceptible she was to margaritas. He hopes she's back to her old self again.