cats

There was once a tiger-striped cat. This cat died a

There was once a tiger-striped cat. This cat died a million deaths, and lived a million lives, and in those lives, various people owned him. None of those people he cared for. This cat was not afraid of death. One life, the cat became a stray cat, which meant it was free. And it met a white female cat. They became mates, and lived together. Time passed, the white cat passed away of old age. And the tiger- striped cat cried a million times. Eventually, the cat died again. But this time, it didn’t come back to life.

I grew up in a house full of women: my mother, grandmother,

I grew up in a house full of women: my mother, grandmother, three sisters, and two female cats. And I still have the buzz of their conversations in my head. As an adult, I have more female friends than male ones: I just love the way that women talk.

64255.jpg

The cat Horus shot out from under the table and

The cat Horus shot out from under the table and headed for the door, his ears flattened and his tail straight out. There he encountered Abdullah, who had been waiting for us on the verandah and who had, I supposed, been alarmed by Emerson’s shouts and hurried to discover what disaster had prompted them. The cat got entangled in Abdullah’s skirts and a brief interval of staggering (by Abdullah), scratching (by Horus) and swearing (by both parties) ensued before Horus freed himself and departed.

32139.jpg

…DAMNATION!’No device of the printer’s art, not

…DAMNATION!’No device of the printer’s art, not even capital letters, can indicate the intensity of that shriek of rage. Emerson is known to his Egyptian workers by the admiring sobriquet of Father of Curses. The volume as well as the content of his remarks earned him the title; but this shout was extraordinary even by Emerson’s standards, so much so that the cat Bastet, who had become more or less accustomed to him, started violently, and fell with a splash into the bathtub.The scene that followed is best not described in detail. My efforts to rescue the thrashing feline were met with hysterical resistance; water surged over the edge of the tub and onto the floor; Emerson rushed to the rescue; Bastet emerged in one mighty leap, like a whale broaching, and fled — cursing, spitting, and streaming water. She and Emerson met in the doorway of the bathroom.The ensuing silence was broken by the quavering voice of the safragi, the servant on duty outside our room, inquiring if we required his assistance. Emerson, seated on the floor in a puddle of soapy water, took a long breath. Two of the buttons popped off his shirt and splashed into the water. In a voice of exquisite calm he reassured the servant, and then transferred his bulging stare to me.I trust you are not injured, Peabody. Those scratches…’The bleeding has almost stopped, Emerson. It was not Bastet’s fault.’It was mine, I suppose,’ Emerson said mildly.Now, my dear, I did not say that. Are you going to get up from the floor?’No,’ said Emerson.He was still holding the newspaper. Slowly and deliberately he separated the soggy pages, searching for the item that had occasioned his outburst. In the silence I heard Bastet, who had retreated under the bed, carrying on a mumbling, profane monologue. (If you ask how I knew it was profane, I presume you have never owned a cat.)

Scroll to Top