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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Our Black Cat, Russell---Human? Almost Human? More than Human?

I've been living with a male housemate.  His name is Russell.  He's a black cat, about 4 years old and 20 pounds.

Russell is my third son Jamie's cat.  Jamie doesn't have room for Russell in his place in San Franciso.  I'm thrilled because I love Russell.  Every night, Russell sleeps on top of the duvet which Susie lent me to keep me warm in the sleeping bag I've been sleeping in, on a green mat, in Susie's old house, which we're trying to sell.

When I woke up this morning, Russell was stretched out across the bottom 1/4th of the sleeping bag.  My feet had to rest through the sleeping bag on the floor off the side of the mat.  Russell knows that I love him so much I won't bring myself to push him off the duvet so my legs can be in a more comfortable position.

Although I love watching the bull fights in Madrid when we visited K.C. there in 1997, including the final kill of the bull by the matador, and I have no objection to men who like to kill deer, I don't think I have it in me to kill an animal.  They're too much like us.  Actually, non-human animals are in some sense better than human animals.  Russell doesn't start wars, have feuds, or use energy gluttonously.  He's quite self-contained.

A while ago, when I went to the congregational church, I read a prose poem I wrote about Russell in church on animal Sunday.  Here it is, followed by some recent photos I took of Russell, lying in the sun on a winter afternoon at the old house in which he and I make our home.

Human? Almost Human? More than Human?

My name is Russell.  My owner, Jamie, named me after his grandfather, because, Jamie said, Grandad was the sweetest man he ever knew, and I’m the sweetest cat Jamie ever knew.

I’m jet black, with some white whisps.  But for the white, Bob’s friend, Joe Glaz, would not cross my path.  

Now that Jamie lives in San Francisco, Bob takes care of me.  Bob tries not to cross me.  I rarely bite or scratch people,  but will when aggravated by childish-acting Homo Sapiens.

I LOVE being stroked and touched.  LOVE having my ears rubbed firmly.  BRIDLE when  officious inter-meddling humanoids hold my head between their palms and massage my chinny-chin-chin, and what I consider the most vulnerable part of my beautiful, sleek body--that’s right, my  throat.

Bob tells humans I’m manly, aggressive, a hunter, and love to provoke.  But, he adds, I’m feminine, graceful, luxurious, and regal.  A King and a Queen, all wrapped in one flesh, Bob says.  I don’t know about any of that.  I’m just me, Russell, the Cool Cat.

I guess I am squeaky-voiced, and sultry-sounding. I like to think of myself as slovenly, sleek, sardonic and sweet.  And I’m definitely stand-offish, yet slavish.

A bundle of contradictions, you humanoids might say. But I think you’d all agree, that I, Russell, AM.  Which of us Cool Cats, AIN’T?!


And the photos:

1 comment:

  1. My dear Francais-speaking artist friend, Dan Potter, just emailed me this wonderful YouTube video of Russell the Cool Cat playing with a White Owl outside. Until now, I never knew that Russell had a secret life as an Outdoor Warrior Playmate. Thanks, Dan.
    Here's the link: