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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

AT PLAY WITH THE MIND OF A CAT

 
the goat rock in the fog
 
Sofia is watching a possum through the window. I threw some small dog biscuits outside for the possums or coons passing through, to give Sofia a chance to see them. She crept toward the window in slow motion like a lion crawling through tall grass. The possum did not see her. She sat before the glass following the possum's movement with intense interest. The possum followed its nose like a pointed vacuum cleaner scanning the ground for the scent of a snack. Sofia is no longer a kitten. She's a cat now with kitten energy, growing fast. We have play time in the mornings. A string two feet long is our toy. I make it jump and move around with my hand. She knows it is my hand that animates the string. Makes it all the more fun. It is interactive play. The footstool has become the dojo for our play. It is shaped like a rectangular ottoman. She likes the texture of the material. It accepts her claws when she needs traction. She's a feisty cat. I like the feistiness in her. 
 
the woods in light fog
 
Drove to town today to pick up the things that have been showing at the library the last two months. I call it a successful show in that a lot of people liked what they saw. While I was in there taking them down, a woman who had seen them told me her favorites and said she liked about them that they are fun. I said inside self: bingo. Seeing them for the first time in two months, for a minute everything was new when I stepped into the gallery space. It was like I saw them the first time as just images on the wall and no reference to self. The familiar came flooding in immediately, but I had the one fleeting moment of seeing them fresh without "mine" attached to them. It is years before I have enough distance from something I painted to see it freshly that first moment, like seeing La Dolce Vita again twenty-five years later. 
 
the woods in light fog
 
Sofia saw three raccoons. They looked young and well rounded for winter. She walked low like a panther to the window and they saw her. They turned and walked out of the light in a hurry, their faces white with black masks, their fur perfectly groomed. Sofia watches the window, waiting for them to return. They sniffed the places on the ground where the dog biscuits lay before the possum found them first. They won't be back tonight. I see different possums and different coons. At first, I thought it was the same ones that lived around here. I'm seeing that possums may not live anywhere in particular. They seem to wander, scavenging along the way, hobbling from food source to food source, water. I've seen pictures from the trail camera of a whole extended family of coons. I feel a little guilty about throwing them the dog biscuits. My feeling is the dog biscuits have zero nutritional value like Jell-O and Ketchup. I don't think either one ever hurt anybody. I doubt the dog biscuits will hurt the possums and coons. They don't seem to hurt dogs.
 
the woods in light fog
 
Sofia knows her new home better every day. She explores. I let her go where she wants to go. I've found when I treat a cat right, they don't break things or rip furniture. I give Sofia loving attention and she, therefore, is attentive to not upsetting me. Now and then when we're playing, a claw will penetrate my leg and I'll let out a loud yelp. She backs away and studies my face to see if I'm mad that she hurt me. No, I'm not mad. We go on playing like before. In one of our games, I scratch the surface of the footstool. She hears it and hunkers down to pounce, jumps up onto our dojo, and I raise my open hand at the same time. She jumps straight up. When she lands, she darts in one leap to the cat tube, runs through it and into the next room. She returns ready to play again. We repeat everything the same. Her jump straight up makes me laugh every time. A string two feet long is our toy. She will chase the string as long as I keep it in motion. It's the game we play together, consciousness to consciousness.   
 
sparta in light fog
 
 
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