Three Eyed Cat

18 Comments

I had a dream about a month ago about a cat. I was in the neighborhood of my childhood walking a street that I walked every day on my way to school. As I walked past a familiar house..one that I knew inside and out, I saw a cat. The fence was low and made of brick and a little white gate sat ready to be opened into that warm and inviting house. It was the house of one of my brother’s best friends from primary school.

Behind the ordered bricks was a quaint garden of geraniums, nastursiams and at certain times of year, foxgloves. The cat was there in the aesthetically disordered garden, sitting behind the red wall, just beside the gate. In my dream, she seemed perfectly normal and we stared at each other for a long time.  She was perfect in every way as a cat’s conformation brings to mind;  manor. posture and the calm, aloof peace that a cat just seems to emanate when basking in the sun and watching the world go past.

I watched her languishing; envying her day of chasing lizards and soaking the sun into her shiny black fur to then to toast her dark skin underneath. “What a life”, I thought.

My little reverie was taken back into focus by a passing car and I saw her there, still by the gate; she had three eyes. I hadn’t seen it before, she seemed so normal; and she was. But she had three eyes

I told myself to take a picture in my dream and so I did. Then I drew it the next day (see above…just a little enhanced by Picassa).

There was nothing strange or ghostly about this dream at the time, but I did love that family. I’m not wanting to sensationalize the dream as I felt that was all it was . However, I would like to pay tribute to the husband and father of this beautiful family who was an engineer and killed in the collapse of “The West Gate Bridge”. I didn’t understand this as a little girl but because it was his house where I saw “my cat”, I felt I wanted to mention it. Very tragic now that I look back but I can’t believe how well they managed to stand so well together as a family.

http://www.westgatebridge.org/

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JENNIE

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My favorite book of all time is called Jennie (by Paul Gallico). I love to read, but there are only a few books that remain in my heart like this one. The story starts about a little boy who is hit by a car and becomes very ill. In his coma, a wonderful adventure comes to light. Paul Gallico wrote many stories that involved cats and I must admit, I haven’t read them all; and I’m not some crazy cat woman either. However, in the dreams within his coma, the boy, Peter, meets a worldly feline character (Jennie) who leads him on an incredible and sometimes frightening journey for a boy of his age.

I have a cat, and have owned a cat from a very young age. The understanding that Mr Gallico has of the feline disposition is obviously very well studied. This book opened my mind to the fact that animals, despite their lack of “English”, or any other language, for that matter, have an enormous vocabulary and insurmountable bank of body language that is instantly recognisable once you are able to tap into it. At the time I read “Jennie”, I was sick myself, with my cat almost constantly curled up in the crook of my legs.

I remember, it was year 10 and I had had repeated episodes of tonsillitis. I think it must have become quite ordinary for me, because I honestly didn’t realise I was unwell. However, I did know I was struggling at school which was unusual. I cannot remember why, but obviously Mum had seen some reason to take me to the Doctor. Perhaps, being a nurse, she was worried about the amount of antibiotics I had to take as well as the constant recurrence of the same old thing. I’m sure my Mother, , would remember these facts better than me.

It was a surprise to me, that after a blood test, we were told that I had Glandular Fever. I was enjoying studying Macbeth at school at the time but was whipped out of class and sent to bed. I really hadn’t even realised I was sick. I think I must have been well aquainted to feeling tired and faint, and had grown to believe this was my own normality.

Perhaps this was just the start of the illness, because once I was at home and in bed, I was ill, very ill. I remember, not having an appetite, complete lethargy, and where once before I would love to help my Mother to cook dinner, the smell of food turned my stomach. I was lovingly excused from the table and positioned in a room downstairs so that I still had a semblance of a connection with my family.

My Mum was wonderful. She always tried to tempt me with different foods. I remember avocado, yoghurt and fruit being some of the morsels she would bring for me in order to encourage me to eat. I ate them to please her. It made me feel bad to think her efforts were wasted. All the time, I felt I could have done without, I never felt hungry.

One thing I couldn’t bear then, and never will again, is the smell of lamb chops under the griller. If, in that time,  I ever ventured into the kitchen to share some family magic, whilst “that” dinner was under way, I would always have to retreat back to my room to avoid the charcoal/mutton smell which truly made me feel physically ill.

I lost a lot of weight in that time and was in bed for nearly 6 months. Sometimes, Mum would take me to the shops for an outing, to get the family food, and most likely also to see if there was any kind of fare that caught my eye. I always felt like a rag doll within 5 minutes of the trip and could see that she felt guilty for even taking me. I remember feeling so terrible that I couldn’t hide my fatigue and at least try to be enthusiastic about my Mother’s nurturing nature.

The adventures of the little white kitten, rapidly growing up to be a Tom, in the presence of that worldly and skilful friend of his, was far more inviting; as well as my serene black cat in the crook of my legs in my warm and cosy bed.

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