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The woman and the cat The woman and the cat
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-01-16 14:48:55
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All I saw was the gray cat coming straight towards me, what I didn’t see was the leash and the woman who followed her. But here I must admit that when it comes to nature, cats have the best P.R. service possible and this cat made a real entrance into my life.

I’m not a cat person myself. I have always been more of a dog person and I’m one of those who have enjoyed the company, the loyalty and the long companionship of a couple of dogs. Saying that doesn’t mean that I have anything against cats, on the contrary, I had a cat for a brief period of my life, named Rudy. I called him Rudy because he was real rude from the very beginning of our partnership, constantly ignoring me and always going his way, literally going his way until one night… one night he decided that our ways had to be separated and he never returned.

I did everything expected from a cat owner, put prints around the neighbourhood, asked the people on the street but Rudy had disappeared into thin air for good. Then one day while still searching for Rudy somebody asked me if I had ever trained him and I answered …but he is a cat! And that was the first time I realized how good P.R. cats have in this universe.

When you see somebody with a dog you always first look at the owner and apparently that’s how you think about him or her, the owner! And then when you want to describe a dog you always say that the dog is sweet, playful, beautiful and you add in the end …a bit stupid! Let’s get the cat and the cat owner. The cat doesn’t have an owner; you say …they have a cat! You see the first big difference? Dog case: you have owner. Cat case: they have a cat!

And then you add she’s independent, stubborn, cunning, intelligent, mysterious, curious …can you see what I mean? The whole nature has conspired to create the perfect P.R. for the cat. And then comes the owner. In the dogs’ case it is the master, while in the cats’ case it is the companion just like the poor woman with the cane that followed the gray cat. The cane and her difficulty to obviously walk fast made her entrance more dramatic. The cat stopped just a few meters away from me and starting looking at me, actually she was carefully observing.

“Moi” the woman said trying to catch her breath, I forgot to say that this was a winter morning with a bit of snow around but a lot of ice, the temperature had dropped to -8C the night before and the frost had covered everything around. I was standing on my house’s patio that is covered with glass as a protection from the snow and the cold wind having my second cigarette of the day. “Hello, and I’m sorry but I don’t speak Finnish!” This has become the phrase that comes out of my mouth more often than any other over the last decade.

The cat and the woman looked at me quietly for a bit, I think the cat was more tense and I thought I was right when I was suspecting that there are mice somewhere around. I have to tell you this: I have a thing with mice. I hate them! I never understood why the most popular animal to kids is a mouse. I never understood why there are so many books, cartoons and films with mice as heroes. So naturally everywhere I go there is always a mouse around or I have the feeling that there is a mouse somewhere around. Sometimes in the evenings when I read my book listening music I have suddenly the idea that there is mouse somewhere around watching me and I get… nervous!

So when a friend told me that there are field mice around and I should not be surprised if there is one somewhere in my garden or under my wooden patio I have the feeling that I can hear it walking and laughing at me. And this gray cat came to give me the final proof! Why else was she standing there watching the whole patio with her eyes half-closed like she was ready for something?

“I speak little English!” the woman pulled me out of my nightmarish thoughts. “Oh don’t worry …” I was starting to say that she manages fine when the cat moved a bit closer. “She likes you!” the woman stated and I was wishing she could show me where the mice are hiding or even better grab one and run away to eat it! But nothing happened. She seemed to stare at something that was somewhere behind me and then she moved back to the small path in front of my garden. “Have a nice day!” the woman said and they both continued their walk in the cold air and that’s how I first met the woman with the cat.

All characters and events depicted are fictional, and any resemblance to persons living, dead, or fictional or situations past, present, or fictional is purely and completely coincidental.

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Eva2009-01-10 19:31:23
Well, I'm a cat person. I love dogs too - I've had a few in the past and I want more of both cats and dogs in my life - in fact I like animals in general (expect maybe snakes and mice because they make me jump and scream and run away!).
But one thing I wonder about - how come 'dog people' so often seem to be almost 'intimidated' by cats? OK, maybe this is too strong a word to use, but I've had many dog people tell me they don't like cats because they can't 'control' them or see what they 'think'?
I personally don't have an issue with the fact that cats and dogs are different in their personalities and reactions - I like them both for their own respective qualities - but I'm curious, why (in my own experience) it's seems more common for dog people to voice these particular thoughts about cats?

Thanos2009-01-10 21:39:29
Well, I Can speak only for myself; I'm not intimidated by cats is just that I'm more of a dog's person. Btw I have noticed from visitors to my place that cat people are afraid or 'uncomfortable' with dogs. Coming to me, I'm fine with both animals and I used to have a cat for a period and he was a great companion to both, me and my dog!

AP2009-01-11 02:19:27
Pavlov's cats (I think this sums up the difference):

Hank W.2009-01-16 16:24:50
"You don't own a cat - the cat owns you."

Don't remember who this is from, but its quite on the mark.

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