I should consider our cat Gus while I watch a tape of the ESPN telecast of the Tigers who are after all cats against the Yankees who are after all mercenaries of a most ugly sort.
But I don’t. I consider instead baseball. And then Chris calls and I am reminded that we saved this cat from destruction and that I am in some sense responsible for his wellbeing, and I pray for his salvation
because I haven’t seen him since I got home but there he is when I step outside flirting on the sidewalk four doors down with Odette. Gus is indeed the servant of nature, duly and daily living according to it. And catting in both senses with Odette who is deaf but not mute, and very white
where she’s not dirty. He leaps up to catch the scent of her musk and wreathes his body seven times around all the tires that she has haunted. When he meets Odette he kisses her in kindness. Because she is deaf she doesn’t hear him coming but that is just how those who cat around do their business.
For Gus is a Manx cat, and although he’s never been to Man I have and his very presence reminds me of that brilliant afternoon when Chris and Stella were out on the loose in Peel looking for a cat to call the sighting of their own while
I sat in the White House on Tynwald Road the greatest of funky pubs watching cricket on the telly while old timers argued forcefully and completely pointlessly over pints of Okells about something of which I had no concept.
Seemingly neither did they, although for sure it wasn’t cricket, but the habitues seemed to know them and what they were arguing about and then the rains came. Hard.
So Chris and Stella didn’t find any cats not even in the antique shop where the proprietress treated them rudely as though they might have been Yankees and after enduring her kind inattention
they found me in the White House and we found the narrow lane where I had parked the rented Brit Ford and we hit the road, the same road the TT races on, back past the Tynwald
and turned right in the by-now seriously driving rain, toward Foxdale and the Manx SPCA where there are more Manx than you could shake your tail at if you had one (which some of them do) and met Trevor, all 25 copper-coloured pounds of him and the nice people there made clear we couldn’t take him
back to North America. John Perry Barlow, our Manx at the time, survived that absence, but took sick in a foreign place (Sunnyvale) and died at home in San Francisco. For Manx cats although the best in the world are subject to malady.
Gus hopes to take prey among the gophers who feed upon my onions and cabbage but they have a chance because he has not yet learned to go underground like they and six gophers in seven so escape although hardly by his dallying . . .
For though he is quick to his mark of any creature be it gopher or insect, he seems to have his best success with insects, tenacious of his point even as to the gophers but they generally burrow too far down for there’s only so far down a cat can dig. (They are not dogs.)
Throughout their native island (and the two on either side of it) they are no longer bred for style, or at all, in honor of their inbred genes which need be left to their own devices. Yankees should be so advanced, but far too many believe in intelligent design.
If you get on the net you can find one in California for humane and domestic purposes and a nice cat lady from Sacramento will deliver him or her to your door even on the hottest day of the summer
if you pass the eligibility test, and she will be pleased if you make a donation greater than asked and will refuse your offer of additional funds for her trouble and gasoline.
She travels with a Dane of the human sort. Which is how our cat Gus became ours. He was utterly faithful until Odette flashed her witchy blue right and witchy brown left eye at him and now it seems he’s taken over several households up and down Ashton Avenue.
“Y’gotta watch them Manx,” is all I can say. A certain spirit comes about their bodies to sustain them as compleat cats. They do not seem to know any Diety, let alone personal saviour,
But I know not what goes on in the mind of those cats, particularly not those Manx and maybe neither do they. For they are cats of estimable heritage.
And I long to return to that place from whence they came to see if we can’t find many more such remarkable creatures for nothing is sweeter than their mixture of gravity and waggery.
When we do return we will be the politest of tourists as they pursue their delirious pranks.
No Gnus is not Good Gnus
--in memory of my brother Bob, aka the Wildebeeste--
And then there were how many? It is difficult to say. Difficultyever having been
A specialty of the house, & a constant of existence. This house exists, that’s for sure. How many What?
Deaths in Republican Iraq? Very Very Many. Deaths of USA deadend folk who got there at the mercy, the tender mercy, of their operators . . .
Very Very Very Many. Deaths of the poor dumb fucks who were going to welcome the USA with flowers?
A magnificent series of VERIES. (Welcome to the Real World, as Butch sz.) They line up like horn-ed Apocalyptic Beestes.
No Matter. Gnu Criticism is dead. As a doornail, or God. But the shock of the Gnu
Can’t possibly be heavier than the shock & awe falling on yr average highly evolved immortal Iraqui soul.
America, a Prophecy:
The whirlwind will assuredly be reaped & all the girls & guys who don’t know hay from straw
Will fuck like rabbits on the threshing floor. Sadly, no pleasure will be had in the breeding& the offspring of it
Will greet the next advent with bitter tears spilling hideously over misshapen noses and mouths
Where all the teeth left
are gnashing, and there will be no more gnus, let alone any of us to criticize them.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2006
In Pat & Diane’s garage
there’s a painting of a Willys
in a dry ditch outside
Flagstaff, peak in the background,
and a game of Cootie.
Hadn’t thought of Cootie
since, say, 1962. Wouldn’t
have, probly, not seeing it there.
(Athough hadn’t necessarily
thought of Willys either.)
Aunt Fenna & Uncle Bert
had Cootie. So did we.
May have been my introduction
to dice, or in that case
a single die.
In the sixth grade it was a game
Conservative Christian Right Wing Republican
Straight White American Male 6th graders
played at the expense of a homely girl.
She had ‘em & if she
brushed you, you passed ‘em on
to the next Conservative Christian male 6th grader.
We boys, of course were all so handsome
in a cute teutonic sort of way.
Have to wonder how straight
we all were even then, though.
Memory, bad memory, so you go looking
to Wikipedia. And learn
that Cooties do have gender content,