Wednesday, July 12, 2006

On cats

I once had a transgendered neighbor, who had decided to become a woman (though clearly lacked the resources to fully back this decision). He/she/it (HSI) had an odd speaking voice, thick, almost sonerous, like an amateur opera singer, that rose in inflection as HSI ran out of air at the end of sentences.

HSI had a cat named pebbles. Pebbles was a housecat who didn't much care for the house. Hence, HSI was doomed to wandering the alley looking for a hidden cat that had little interest in being unhidden.

And so, every now and then, I could hear HSI bellering "Pebbles! Pebbles! Peeeeeeebbbbblllles!" (I add in the extra letters to denote an extended calling of the cats name, not to imply that my neighbor had abruptly begun calling for Peebles, as in Mario Van Peebles, the director of some repute).

I have always found the calling of a cat's name by its owner to be an inexplicable and fruitless exercise. Cats, famously, do not come when you call them by name, and likely have little idea that they have, in fact, been named at all. Savvy owners locate their cats by recreating the metallic sounds cats associate with mealtime. HSI was not hip to this either of these concepts, and/or fed its cat cereal.

One night at around 11 pm, I peered out my kitchen window to find HSI, clothed in only underwear, and what could best be described as a "nightie", roaming through my backyard, bellering the cat's moniker at the top of its lungs. At this point, I decided to shut the blinds.

We had little in common, HSI and myself. Months later, HSI was checked into a group home, and the state took over its house...

Come to think of it, I never saw that damn cat.


Anonymous Thom said...

You know...cats don't respond because we give them stupid names like Pebbles.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Guess I can't give my future daughter "Pebbles" as a name. You think it's stupid?- thanks.

So go my hopes also for a son-in-law named Bam Bam

3:40 PM  
Blogger Amana said...

All my cats that I named after kitchen appliances died. It's also a good thing not to name cats after Biblical characters. A friend of mine had a litter at their home and they named them Noah, Zachius, and Lazurus. Noah drowned in a puddle. Zachius got stuck in a tree and stayed up there for 2 days because he couldn't get down. They thought that Lazurus was dead so they stuck him in a box and buried him, only to hear scratching underground, so they had to dig him back up. He didn't die after all. No joke.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Tracey said...

I definitely read the sentence "I peered out my window" as "I peed out my window." The story takes on a slightly different meaning then. So does my high school education.

5:00 PM  

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