Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I hate it that they are referring to the Chilean people who are so desperate for food and water that they are breaking into stores as "looters." A looter in my mind is someone who takes advantage of a catastrophe to steal video games, or fancy electronic gizmos or high-end luxury clothing or something else non-essential. If people are hungry and thirsty and supplies are not being distributed to them, then that's not looting, that's survival. What if some of those people have young children or elderly or sick relatives and they are trying to get food and water for them?

Christopher has been sick for the past two or three days. I made him a big pot of chicken soup with elephant garlic, fresh dill, fresh ginger, carrots, onions, sea salt and the juice of a few limes. I am sure that this will cure the dead. He's been drinking it, as well as reading a memoir by a physicist who became obsessed with the idea of time traveling.

I just finished reading a witty play by my friend Stuart, a drama about the goddess hera set as an English drawing room comedy. I'm beginning to reread Aline Kaminsky-Crumb's autobiography Need More Love. She's the wife of cartoonist R. Crumb, and a brilliant cartoonist in her own right. Her book is plainly-written, funny, poignant and ultimately inspiring because she's a little bull terrier (is that even a real breed?) By that I mean, she's not afraid to be mouthy, gauche, ambitious, lazy, horny, sensual, greedy, determined, and everything else. She completely owns her shadow--maybe even over-owns it. And she is persistent. I find her brave and inspiring.

In other news, our recently-adopted formerly feral kitten Trixie peed the bed the other night. Yes, that would be our bed, the king-size human one. She jumped onto the end of it in the wee (pun intended) hours of the morning, did her thing and jumped off so softly I never heard or felt a thing. In the morning there was this suspiciously-shaped stain down at the bottom of the comforter that smelled muskily of kitty-pee. I rubbed baking soda into it, we soaked it in the sink and I think we got it all out.

Now, the question: why did she do it? As far as I know, cats are fastidious. They only do this kind of thing when they are, you should excuse the expression, pissed. But she's got the life of Riley here. Four square meals a day, kitty toys to play with and tons of stroking and attention. What is going on? Does she miss the great outdoors, the backyard with its rain and snails and tall weeds and her family to play with and fight with? Is her situation as an indoor cat privileged or tragic or both? And how much do cat psychiatrist cost? Oy.

Right now I am taking a tiny break from writing up a "Letter of Interest" about the Haiti idea for my friend Enver who works for an international refugee organization. I've never written a Letter of Interest before and don't know what one is exactly, so I'm just stumbling along, doing my best.


Christy said...

You need a book by cat behaviorist Pam Bennett Johnson. I have almost finished helping one of my cats stop a months-long neurotic peeing jag. She's written a few books, each for a different situation (multiple cat home, adult cats, new/young cats - I think). She has a website, too.

David Shearer said...

When a cat pees on your bed they are definitely trying to tell you something! But figuring out what that is can be trying. Christy gave you several common reasons. Another one is dissatisfaction with her litter box, epsecially if it is shared with another cat. Cats are very fussy about this part of their lives. You might try moving it or using another brand of litter. We finally settled on wood pellets made for livestock bedding. Our three cats hated everything else. And the up side is that even though it comes in 50 lb. bags, it costs a fraction of what commercial cat litter does, and it's organic/biodegradable and works great in the garden!

Alison said...

Thank you both for your most helpful suggestions! We will be getting one of those books, Christy, and David, nice tip about the litter box. She doesn't share it with any other cats and it's always scrupulously maintained, but maybe she doesn't like what we are using for litter. then again, she's used to the great outdoors...