Friday, October 10, 2008

On cats

I know I mentioned it before, but I have a lovely cat. I have had her for just over five years now, and she gets more delightful every year. Of course, the hairballs, shedding, and litter box remains the same, but that's cat ownership for you, especially if it's a long-haired tortie in question. These are sacrifices I am willing to make (and willing to force upon roommates or parents) because having a soft, warm cat curled up at my side, and snorgling sun-warmed fur, makes them worth it.

L.M. Montgomery was an avid cat-lover, as you probably noticed if you have read any of her novels (primarily beyond the Anne books, although the story of Rusty in Anne of the Island shows that L.M.M. was more sympathetic to cats than Anne was). The Emily trilogy is full of adorable cats, and The Blue Castle
is not devoid of cat-worshiping as well. I particularly like Valancy's observation that,

"People who don't like cats always seem to think that there is some peculiar virtue in not liking them."

(If I were writing an academic paper right now I'd have to 'explain the significance' of the quotation, but I'll just let you puzzle that out.)

Montgomery put her cats' fur in her scrapbooks. I'm rather comforted to learn I'm not the only weirdo who saves their cat's fur. I have fur from my dear departeds, Dusty and Willow, in a little keepsake somewhere in among my many storage boxes. Did I read too many Dickens novels growing up? Am I a hair away from Victorian mourning lockets? Maybe I was just channeling L.M.M.

And, of course, this blog post is cat-themed, because I plan on sharing a picture of Olivia. I make no apology, first, because I've already shared my wacky cat-love above, second, because I haven't shared a cat picture in a long while, and finally, because Livy is Totally Cute.


Puddock said...

Hi Sarah

I have to admit that I am one of those philistines who do not 'get' cats. I am definitely a dog girl. But I feel just the same way about my Jack Russell that you do about your cats - snorgling - what a lovely word! I definitely snorgle my ancient dog's fur as I carry her up to bed at night (she's old now and can't manage the stairs)and there is nothing like the scent of sun-warmed fur.

I think there is some deep folk memory there, which takes us back to stoneage days, when we cuddled up to our animals for warmth in long winter nights.

Even though I'm not really a cat person though, I have to say that Livy is absolutely gorgeous! What a beautiful colour she is.

Natalia said...
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Sarah O. said...

Hi Puddock,

Thankyou, I think Livy is lovely too!

I have always thought that cats and dogs were more similar in personality and affections than people give them credit for. We tend to see differences first and foremost - whether it be between genders, cultures, or cats vs. dogs - as something that will cause divisiveness, when we ideally would be starting from similarities, and then celebrating difference.

I like the idea that the affection that exists between people and their animals (be they cat or dog) is tied into an ancient survival instinct, into an interdependence that benefited animal and person. I like knowing that while I am getting some pleasure (and rodent deterrence) from the warmth and companionship of my cat (or you your dog), she is also revelling in being adored and cuddled and praised for her instincts. It's an especially nice thought as the nights get nippy and toes get cold!

Raisie said...

Your cat is beautiful. I am a lover of all animals but cats don't see to do well with my husband and I, we've been together for almost 8 tears and have gone through two cats, horrible accidents that broke my heart so we've given up on cats for now, which makes me sad, enjoy your cat a little extra for me today :)