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June 30th 2010    Tim Candler

    Since my return the Grey Cat has wandered into the room where I sleep to make loud and demanding noises three or four times each night.   I leap to his defense, but there is no mayhem, there are only the ghosts of his loneliness. So I pet him, and I ask him to pull himself together because this sort of howling in the middle of the night is quite without dignity.

    I wonder often when our species moved from touch to speech in this matter of comfort.   The Grey Cat is content to salivate while I stroke him and soon he is calm enough.   There could be something along the top of his head, which when touched soothes furrows, and calms that part of him that shares with me.  Then he wanders off, skipping into the night, leaving me mightily disgruntled. 

   If the Grey Cat had speech, he could ask me where I have been.  And I could tell him.  But if the Grey Cat had speech, he might wonder why I had not taken him with me.  Stamped his feet and sulked.  And I might have explained that a talking grey cat would be too much of a curiosity in the world of people.  He would soon be lost to the world of entertainment, and already he is peculiar enough.

    Of course he might enjoy being famous, so I have to think of the idea he and I share when I pat his head, and I have to wonder at the sense of it. 

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