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Thursday, March 27, 2008


A fable for the catted

The Cat
How I Lost Eternity
By Jutta Richter
with illustrations by Rotraut Susanne Berner
Milkweed Editions, 2006
Translated from the German by Anna Brailovsky

Every day on her way to school, the eight-year-old girl communes with an old white cat who gives her advice that turns out to cause trouble. When the girl has trouble with counting, the cat suggests: "Numbers are determined by the mice . . . the mice that you've eaten."

The cat plays tricks: she's wise, but deceptive, and stopping to talk with her makes the girl late for school. When the girl tries to explain her tardiness, the school principal punishes her by assigning her to write, 200 times, "There are no talking cats." But the girl is willful, and proud of it, and she finds a way to subvert the punishment. After all, when she is communing with the old white cat, she feels that she is immortal.

Jutta Richter understands human children; she captures the world of the dreamy, imaginative child, her stern father and teachers, and her quirky neighbors. And Richter also understands cats; she details the white cat's sense of entitlement. After all, what mature cat doesn't think she owns the world and all the humans in it? What cat doesn't think she can dictate to her humans?

The cat and the girl both think they know more than the adults--the parents, the teachers, and even the priest. They know that they are the same, the cat and the girl. Their relationship is innocent as that of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and they are both sure they will live forever. But the girl has a bitter lesson to learn.

Alas, humans! They grow up, and to be a human grownup is to lose eternity.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008


Spring? What Spring? But why not Nowruz?

Humans celebrate the Vernal Equinox today. Me? I'm waiting for the snow to melt. Alas, they're predicting more of the ugly white stuff tonight, here in Minnesota.

But since some of my ancestors were Persian cats, I'm planning to celebrate Nowruz. In Iran and other parts of the world, humans of Persian descent celebrate Nowruz, the spring festival that begins on the Equinox. This is the beginning of the year! Humans enjoy sweet treats, family celebrations, and public bonfires. It hasn't been reported what cats do on Nowruz, but surely we deserve our own feast of fried fish and roasted quail.


Monday, March 17, 2008



I'm Aloysius Pangur Ban! And today is the day when I turn green, in honor of my Irish ancestors.


Thursday, March 13, 2008


Where in the world would a pear-shaped cat sit?

Where in the world would a pear-shaped cat sit?
On a runner, on a table, near a pot by Warren MacKenzie

One of the most influential potters of the last 50 years, MacKenzie has taught countless students at the University of Minnesota and has influenced many more to produce beautiful, simple, functional pottery. His pots, in their beauty and simplicity of line, are not unlike the beauty and simplicity of a pear-shaped cat.

Do check in on the Friday Ark at Modulator tomorrow. On March 16, the Carnival of the Cats lands at This, That & The Other Thing.

P.S. Yes, I meant to repeat simple, simplicity, simplicity. Repetition is the soul of art--but that's a subject for another post.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Ohio cats weather the storm

*Over the weekend, there was a big blizzard in Ohio, where my niece Lee lives. But in the barn where these cats rule, everyone was toasty and warm. Since it's Tabby Tuesday, we'll lead off with Scamp, the orange tabby, and her sister, Sissy. Of course, they both tucked their feet underneath their tummies and curled their tails round.

Now, here's Tater, who technically belongs to the neighbors, but decided some time ago that she'd rather live in this nice warm barn with all the other critters. Is Tater trying to win the straw poll?

* Tuesday is Aloysius' day to simply be a cat, but he left instructions for his humans to fill in for him. Thanks to Lee for sending these pictures!

P.S. We were running around all weekend and did not take note of the most recent carnivals. The Modulator had the Friday Ark--an amazing ongoing roundup for every species imaginable. And Rocky at Artsy Catsy overcame dizziness and did a splendid job of hosting Carnival of the Cats # 208.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008


A pear-shaped cat on his birthday

Today is my official birthday! Since my humans didn't know exactly when I was born, we decided that I would celebrate on Saint Aloysius' birthday--that's today.

Happy Birthday to me! Come on over and enjoy some tuna, some ham, or some poached chicken livers. Oh, you know you want to!


Friday, March 07, 2008


Little blue ball

My birthday's coming up on Sunday, March 9! I'll be officially 10 years old. But, you're only as old as you feel, and today I feel like it's Spring, and I'm a kitten with my new toy. Yes, it's just a simple rubber ball--a racquetball, to be precise--but I love to bat it around the floor. I also love it when I hit it under the couch and my humans have to get down on the floor and find it for me. My ball is nothing but fun for the entire family!

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