Saturday, August 6, 2011


Housesitting the Awesome Kitties and the Jungle Puppy tonight and the cats have already made a great escape, sliding open the screen door with their claws while I was outside with the dog and sliding under the fence into the neighbor's garden. The quietness of the house made me suspicious especially after the clink of food in the bowls elicited no response and then the guy across the street came over to tell me that the cats were out running around.

Of course the little punks were sitting on the patio when I came back as if they'd been minding their own business all this time, giving me withering looks as I shooed one inside and the dog chased in the other. Cats have no conscience after all, and there's no way to make them feel guilty.

It's been almost a month straight of dog-walking and cat watching, which is nice for the change of scenery and thankfully I was able to escape to the lake for the day to read, nap under trees with the sound of the waves, and sing songs to my nephew when he cries because that's all he can do to express himself "I'm TEN WEEKS! and I don't know what I want...! He doubles in size every time I see him and it astounds me to see life grow like that, since I'm so used to seeing the decline rather than the ascent.

My little sister called me last night to see if I wanted to hang out, which never happens as our ideas of what's awesome to do on a weekend are a bit different, but she had a lot on her mind because one of her friends got murdered a couple weeks ago and her friends are moving to Portland and there's been other small frustrations that she needed to vent about over coffee in Coventry and a long Cleveland drive which I was more than happy to oblige because it's been awhile since I've done one, leaving Sonic Youth on repeat as we drove from west to east and back.

We ended the night at the Arabica I once haunted in my teens and early twenties when like most coffee establishments was full of subcultural souls and usually the guy working the counter was someone from your art class or something. It's now overrun with 14-year-olds who watch too much Jersey Shorechasing each other up the sidewalk, boys with cracking voices and girls in the shortest shorts I've ever seen tottering in high heels.

The motherly instincts I didn't know I had wanted to ask what they were doing out so late and why were they wearing that and where are their parents, but mostly for all the crazy that comes with knowing more of the world, I'm glad I'm not that age anymore, even though my Friday nights at that age involved trying to learn Soundgarden riffs and disappearing into my bedroom with a pile of CDs from the library and a stack of art supplies. It reminded me of the first weekend in Kent when fresh-faced freshman girls would go down to their first fraternity row college party and come back drunk with half their clothes gone. It probably starts earlier I guess, and with most things I seem to exemplify the exception rather than the rule.

And still, it's a Saturday night and I'm enjoying the solitude. It's been needed.


Randal Graves said...

Cats have a conscience, it just never involves the great interloper of their ultimate slacker world, us. Or they're robots with hair.

Being that age again is indeed a frightening notion, but your sis is pretty damn lucky to have such a sounding board, which sounds way more clinical than I meant it to.

Man, I'm glad my kids are the weirdos.

I think I'll avoid that particular coffee house, brah. Just don't have the hot pants for it.

Anonymous said...

dogs don't have a conscience either but they try and appease us by submitting if we voice displeasure and we read it as guilt, all those critters are spared thinking beyond the present. am enjoying the book Take This Bread have you read it?

thatgirl said...

My mom always said that if she believed in reincarnation, she'd want to come back as a pampered cat.

I know it's not clinical coming from you. I'm glad my relationship with her has improved greatly from what it was which mostly has to do with me realizing that my attitude had to change whether or not hers does.

You & Mrs. Graves seem to have done an excellent job with your kids considering that I'll probably never have the inclination to tell them to get off my Proverbial Lawn. Ew, hot pants.

the illusion is there at least of humanish loyalty and guilt. I think it call comes down to food with the critters regardless of species.

haven't read that... I'll look it up and check it out.

Anonymous said...

yes but don't tell the mothers that, sometimes thru the hormonal haze they get scary glimpses of their infants as parasites and need to think that those gas inspired expression are smiles of gratitude.
will be interested in your take on it I'm going to give her Jesus Freak a try next.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Cats do have a consciences, but you have to know them very well and be accepted as an equal before they'll let that bit of the facade slip.

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