tirsdag, juli 25, 2006

If I Could Talk to the Animals ...

Not having a pet, I have trouble talking to pets; but the basic experience of being around pet owners makes me think pets expect conversation of me. Still, when I’m alone with these pets, I just can’t do it. I try. It just doesn’t take. The irrational part of my rationality (rationality?) tells me that the pet and I already know who’s a good boy and who’s a good girl. Certainly, we both know who wants a treat. Probably, we both do.

(I’m thinking of this today because of Jana’s experience with people applauding to coverage of the Tour de France.)

Also, I should acknowledge that in, say, house-sitting and pet-sitting scenarios, I strongly suspect that voice-activated recorders have been stationed about the joint. Or that teddy bear in the corner or that new clock on the mantel are actually spy-camera devices. If I start talking to this cat about my day, well, it’s just going right on the internet or something. I’ll be YouTube’s next unwitting nerd star.

While here in Florida, I’m staying with Lara and Ray, two mildly foul-mouthed and extremely funny angels. I feel guilty about taking up their guest room again, but, hey: I’m doing just that.

I do things like that.

Yesterday they went for a drink with Lara’s mother, Lyn (a nearly squeaky clean-mouthed angel). I adore when they feel comfortable enough to just do normal things and not feel like they need to cart me about and provide constant entertainment. I’m really very much like a plant, or laundry. I’m just kind of there but pretty self-sustaining, which is, I suppose, it’s own anxiety-producing quality in a house guest but perhaps of use when one of these guests is somewhat frequent.

(Hmm. I should ask if they have a GoldPoints program or something for frequent guests.)

So yesterday they headed out for a bit and I went back to the hacienda, sat on the porch, took in the late-day humidity…but only for a few minutes. The cat stared at me. I tried to say hello to the cat, but it didn’t take. It came out like a whisper, one of those feeble sounds one utters when perhaps saying “excuse me” to someone you’re passing but that someone doesn’t seem to be paying attention or even care, so your voice plummets, and the realization of this makes you think, “What am I hiding from?”

The cat kept staring. The silence was intense. I tried to fill it with the BBC news, but the cat’s cool observance seemed to cut out all sound. I felt like maybe the cat saw something objectionable down in my soul. Finally, the cat began to skulk about. Finally, the cat began to yowl.

Moon (the cat) has a set of pipes. Her voice scars the air, that draws its claws along invisible chalkboards. It ranges from a devil-possessed, soaring, goat-like tinniness to a guttural, pushed-from-the-groin soul of someone like Fiona Apple. Someone out of whom such depth should not be possible because the body does not seem to be big enough to house a voice like that.

Over and over the Moon seems to cry, “Lara! Lara!”

(Creepy. Now I’m thinking of the bird on the first season of Twin Peaks.)

Finally, I went upstairs and put on headphones. The Pixies chased her away. Appropriately enough, it was the song “Where is my mind?” I’m such a bad person sometimes.


While trying to placate the cat with a form of human-to-cat sign language known perhaps only to me, I sipped a mix of Gatorade and dark rum. I named it something like “Der Champions Grog.” This is what happens when I’m left home alone. My powers of inventiveness hemorrhage.

Honestly, I didn’t think it was too bad. It needed a splash of something, like more rum or maybe lime juice. But it was worth it.

And it paired well with dark chocolate. Seriously. The dark chocolate had caramel in it.
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