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Monday, July 24, 2006

Scribblings, Re-send

Unrequited love.

Sorry. Forgot the link. But I'm posting the piece here, just so you don't have to try again. Remember, this is a first draft, only a first draft.


The neighbors' cat, Snickers, is 16 and looks it. Her mottled orange and black fur stands away from her thinning flanks, dull and dirty. "I think she has stopped grooming herself," says Kristine, who is explaining to Nora how to tend the cat while Kristine and David are away for a long weekend.

"Does she like to be combed?" Nora asks. She is 11, five years younger than Snickers, and seeks cats the way streams seek oceans.

"Not so much, but we can try," Kristine says. She fetches a steel-tooth cat comb and demonstrates where Snickers prefers to be combed, when she tolerates combing at all.

The big cat weaves around Kristine's ankles then escapes to a worn blacket in a corner of the master bathroom.

Kristine leads Nora out into the hall. "I'm afraid she might not be that interested in playing," she cautions. "I can't believe she's so old already."

The first evening Nora comes to feed the cat and scoop out the clumps out of the litterbox, Snickers eases into the bedroom, an expanse of cream-colored carpet and glistening blond wood furniture. The cat ignores the fishing oole that dangles a finged bit of cloth in front of her nose, rubs her fur along the catnip mouse Nora tosses on the floor, and stares at Nora.

Snickers hisses, flattening her ears and switching her tail.

"She doesn't like me, Mom," Nora says, staring at the cat.

"Give her time," her mother answers. "She needs to get used to you."

[more about how Snickers acts worse and worse]

Several years ago, when visiting an aunt with two cats in Chicago, Nora wanted desperately to play with the felines. Both cats were standoffish, but one took a particular malevolent attitude and began stalking her down the hall one morning, looking as if she might pounce at the first good chance. Nora's mother took to standing between the cat and her daughter, as a defensive mechanism.

Nora loves cats. Cats flee from Nora. She tries to cozy up to them; they hiss; she flees from them.

"She tried to attack me five times!" Nora tells her father later.

"Just twice," interjects her mother.

"I'm rounding up," Nora says.

"She tried to attack me," Nora says. "Can we go over in the morning?"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it! Good job. Go on.

3:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your are Nice. And so is your site! Maybe you need some more pictures. Will return in the near future.

6:19 AM  

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