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A While Ago [Apr. 9th, 2004|11:54 pm]
Evening has been cool, but the house (as usual) is a big heat sink, and I once again resort to writing on paper, letting Sluggo cool off. Sitting in one spot, I alternately feel the lingering heat and the brief cool breezes which are gradually displacing it. Most of the machines have quieted down for the night. At the moment, I hear a small motorcycle which has passed along the main road to the higher mountains. It's waspy buzz remains faintly audible after two minutes, until it is at last drowned out by the sound of a single car following the same route.

The way sound carries on clear nights makes the house seem very small, and surrounded by immense vacancy. I prefer the chirping of the crickets nestled among blades of grass or clumps of other ground-hugging plants. They draw the soft night close, wrapping it around the house like a big comforter.

Early this morning, the cat left the living room chair in which she had slept for the better part of two days and came into my room and slept on the bed. In the afternoon, she went outdoors for a few minutes. In her weakened state, I didn't want her out alone so I remained with her as she nibbled a bit of grass and then hobbled to a sunny spot at the end of the walk where she sat for a few minutes watching the birds. Then she came back in and, after another nap, had a half hour of lap time. She didn't sleep while being petted, but gazed at various spots in the room as though in rapt attention to something which I couldn't see. Once she had her fill of petting and purring, she hopped down and went to her old favorite spot in the closet, where she now continues to nap. While she remains obviously weak, and took only a few licks at the bowl of cat food I gave her, she seemed to enjoy her brief outdoor adventure and the bit of attention she received.

Now, with her sleeping out of sight, and the younger cat out enjoying the pleasant spring night, I am again left with only the sound of the crickets, the passing cars and the scratching of my pencil for company. In a while, my mother will wake and need tending to, and her middle-of-the-night meal, but this moment I have the house to myself. I just went to put some laundry in the dryer, and as I traversed the silent rooms the thought that came to mind was that the place is full of empty spots where once there were cats. There have been six cats in this house altogether, as many as five of them at one time. As I returned to my room, I noted their favorite napping spots and play areas, the places where they once crowded around their food bowls and water dishes, the window sills where they sunned themselves and watched the passing days and nights, the doors at which they patiently waited to be let out. Soon, I know, there will be only the one cat left to enliven all that space. I don't think I've ever felt the place so empty.

[User Picture]From: 1485squares
2004-04-10 05:11 am (UTC)
Tears were in my eyes when I finished reading your post. I know the empty feeling SO very well. What do ya think the cat sees, when looking around? .... ..but gazed at various spots in the room as though in rapt attention to something which I couldn't see. ... Maybe laying in those empty 'spots' are there-in the other 4 cats? Of all the times I feel I have used a little known/used part of my brain & am feeling ESPish.. I wish I could see past the divider wall to the Other Side. When I strongly feel the presence of another, & turn around & see none... those are the times I wish I could see like I KNOW some of my animals can. Realizing the great difference between a feline & an equine, I'd like to tell you that a horse is even MORE observant of outside/other things. Must be the size difference? Not only can they predict the weather, I think sometimes they can see specks of the future. I saw my horse yesterday, after not seeing him for MONTHS. I felt so terrible, but he welcomed me wonderfully. I adore his smell, & cried HAPPY tears when I left him. He faithfully quietly watched me walk away. I didn't sense any BIG thing... so am hoping he meant to convey that all is good... see ya soon. All in ALL; I wish I could see like Tiny.

It was a great post... as all of your writings are... thanks for sharing.

sending sincere pink {{hugs}}}
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[User Picture]From: flying_blind
2004-04-11 04:55 am (UTC)
My grandfather was raised around horses and knew them well. He considered them the most insightful of animals, and swore that most of them could read minds. He also considered them excellent judges of character, and would never trust a person to whom his horse had taken a dislike.
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[User Picture]From: marseille
2004-04-10 12:49 pm (UTC)
We have had, and lost, quite a few cats over the years. While we missed each one when its time came, some left much bigger holes than others.
Whether one plans on having another cat or not, one usually arrives, sometimes before it's time, before there's really room.
We have nothing to say about it, they just arrive, confident of their welcome.
Did you ever read that crazy book by the woman who thinks all of our animals are still with us, and that they communicate with the current ones?! Sounds crazy, but then you watch your cat watching a corner...
Cats love closets, but I wonder if they hide more when they're sick? When one of my elderly cats (18) was near death she insisted on being with me, in constant contact.
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[User Picture]From: flying_blind
2004-04-11 04:42 am (UTC)
I've never picked a cat. They have always picked me. I've had three cats decide that they were going to live with me, and wouldn't take no for an answer. They got their way, of course. Every other cat who has lived with me was born in my house. None of them ever decided to leave, so I guess that means they chose to live with me, too.

Me older cat has always gone into some dark cubby hole when not feeling well, though I've had others who insist on even more attention than usual. My younger cat has always loved the outdoors more than the house, and when she had a severe abscess a couple of years ago, she hid herself in a bed of juniper for three days, coming out only to drink from a bowl of water I put out for her. When her time comes, I wouldn't be surprised if she simply decided to vanish altogether.
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