Thursday, August 7, 2008

Talk About Cats!

Nel (l) and I (r) didn't have a privileged childhood, but we had everything we needed. Our mother loved us above all else and read to us each night, even though she was exhausted from working six days a week. With her salary and tips as a blackjack dealer in Reno she paid a series of three women over the years to care for us at home when she was at work, thereby insuring our rootedness in the old house she rented from the time I was a toddler through my sixth grade year when we had to move because the landlady was tearing the place down in order to build an office building.

One of those women, Mrs. Olson, gave me my first cat, Fluffy, and thus began a lifetime love affair with cats. The sum and substance of my childhood interests and passion were everything feline. Fluffy's kitten, Fancy, was my second cat and (it shames me now to say) she gave us lots of litters of kittens. I'm not sure how my mother dealt with the population exactly, but many of the kittens became our adored pets. I took particular interest in Fancy's deliveries, even staying home from school if the big event had begun during the night or was imminent. We worked together as a team, Fancy laboring in the cushioned box we had fashioned for her and I petting and singing to her, offering water, staying with her until all kittens were born and she had performed the astonishing clean-up duties and then stretched out, finally, to rest, purring while her kittens nursed. In those moments the tart, musky, humidity coming from the box smelled like love itself to me.

In the weeks that followed I kept meticulous notes in a binder concerning each individual kitten: order of birth, sex, markings, given name, date first eye cracked open and then the next, which was the strongest, the weakest, the loudest, the shyest, Fancy's favorite, my favorite, which was first to jump out of the box, who drank from a bowl of milk first, and finally who performed best at tests I made up to determine intelligence, grace, and personality.

So, when I, a lifelong cat person, saw this video (and the spin-off) on YouTube some weeks ago I of course thought it was one of the most purrfect videos I've ever seen. Cats Pyjaaamas in Sweden captured a moment between his/her two cats that stirs up all the cat love inside of me. After each viewing I must head straight for Feather or Shiva Lullaby to plant kisses on them, and to remember all the loves that preceded them.

(The first video is the original by Cats Pyjaaamas and the second is a "translation" crafted by klaatu42. There is also a prelude video of the Two Talking Cats by Cats Pyjaaamas that I'm not showing here.)


Anonymous said...

Adorable and FUNNY!!! and your photo is perfect!

raccoonlover1963 said...

Great post. Love the 2 videos!

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

haha, cute videos.....the first reminded me of how Ely and Moses communicate with one another. They don't really meow like other cats I've seen....Cody calls it 'giggling'.......although, I don't think is sounds like a giggle, but it is much like the two in that 1st vid.

Thanks for sharing!

Lydia said...

Hi Everyone,

I'm glad the videos and photo brought a smile. Oh, and WW, if you had written that the SECOND video was more like your cats I'd have begun my cross-country drive to check that out! :)

rachael said...

I'm not much of a cat person but those two videos definitely made me smile (:
Great story and photograph, too! The way the film colors with age is so cool.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Typical cats - they have the whole of the house and they chose to curl up together. Same with tiny and fluffy.

it's great to watch cats - i could do if for hours!

Lydia said...

Thanks, and I agree about the old film. In some ways it looks better now. I'm not sure I'll ever post the actual studio portrait I had taken in 1989 with my white cat, Cirrus. I still have all the proofs, too. It was at Christmas time and Cirrus LOVED that time of year. By then she was 15 years old and had had lots of Christmas trees. They had one at the photo studio, and I asked if she could just walk under it and sniff because I knew it would calm her down. The photographer said "sure" so away she went and had a great time until I picked her up for him to pose us. She was so perfectly behaved that day, and the portrait is priceless to me now (she died the next year, just before Christmas).

I could watch them for hours, too. I wish that Feather and Shiva cuddled, but when Shiva came to us last year as a kitten Feather was already 12 and mourning the loss of her best friend whom she had cuddled with all her life.

francessa said...

Wonderful post, Lydia - but I can't watch the videos here in the library :-((. Will do on Sunday evening :-)from home!

Cats are just marvelous!

Lydia said...

I chuckled thinking of these videos mistakenly being played in a library! You'll see why when you get home and can view/hear them. Cats are marvelous, it is true.

Judith Shapiro said...

childhood cat memories. lovely. and the videos! hysterical.

Lydia said...

I appreciate your #1 sweet and #2 true comments!

Kathe W. said...

hoo boy- make me laugh and laugh! Thanks! I had lots of kttys too-but not quite the vetranarian you were (sp?)



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