Our cat Moriah is 20 years old. That's 96 for you or me. Or am I presuming too much? Perhaps there are a few cats who read this blog? You never know. My teacher, the poet Adam Zagajewski, knew my cat when she was a newborn kitten. He and Moriah were neighbors. He begged me, Robin, teach this cat to read before it's too late!
I dare say it is now officially too late. At 20 Moriah is not taught; she teaches. And she is one stern taskmaster. Cody the pup is terrified of her. The rest of us play it cool, but we inevitably do exactly what she says.
I never really wanted a cat. As a kid I was frightened of cats myself. But something happens when the cat in question is yours. In other words, one might fear or dislike CATS but still like one cat in particular. Does that make sense?
Moriah was a gift, one given, not one received. My partner wanted a cat for her birthday. Twenty years later the partner is long gone but the cat remains. For whatever reason, I do love her.
Once when Moriah was a kitten I wrote this description of her:
The marks on her face look like a mask. Who is she? Sometimes she leaves for days. Her eyes send out beams of light into the night. She is a hunter. And then she returns to me, small ball at my chest, kneading, needing.
Although it's been many years since Moriah has done any of these things, the magic is still in her. If you know her, you know what I mean.
Note: This post is part of a blog carnival celebrating Freedom to Marry Week 2009. Leave the link to your "something old" post and I will share it with the group. Check out some of the other posts on this topic:
Melissa Beattie-Moss on Facebook
Susan Bernstein on Facebook