Monday, November 10, 2008

Imaginary Conversations

“I am sufficiently instructed in the principal duty of a preface, if my genius were capable of arriving at it. Thrice have I forced my imagination to take the tour of my invention, and thrice it has returned empty, the latter having been wholly drained by the following treatise.”
Jonathan Swift, Tale of a Tub
Remember in high school when they were teaching different writing techniques and we had to read Johnathan Swift’s “Modest Proposal” about eating children to prevent starvation during the great potato famine? The classic example of satire. Still. The guy had a heck of an imagination, and he could write.

While I often resort to satire (my preferred method of laughing keep from crying) this season often finds me at a loss for inspirational humor. Instead, I find myself frequently engaging in the dubious practice of conversing with my feline, whose virtual absence of spoken response at such times in no way hinders the progress of our discussions. Instead, her silence bespeaks her solemn wisdom. Her participation in such talks is generally limited to a purr so low and deep inside her, that, due to my moderate deafness, I can hear only by holding the entire cat up to my ear like a telephone receiver.

Far from conveying a sinister undertone in response to my confessions, my cat’s conversational contribution – the low hum I interpret to mean her understanding and compassion – simply confirms my trust in her advice: mmmmmmm……

Rarely, in the course of such heart-to-ear discussions, I catch a spark of inspirational advice. More often, I find I cannot quite carry such thoughts through the doors of understanding, leaving them instead in the tub of sand outside the doors, where complicated realizations, cigarette butts, and wads of chewing gum are discarded by other seekers preparing to enter into self-realization.

In this season, forcing my imagination to take the tour of my invention, I too, am likely to return empty handed.

There was that one time though, when I thought I heard my cat actually speak. I think she might have actually said, “Of course you’re crazy, Weeping. Cats can’t speak.” Then again, I can’t hear. So, like the complementary diets of Mr. and Mrs. Sprat, the bad kitty and I make a perfect conversational pair.


Annie in Austin said...

This morning I ran across the NYTImes article on Cats Who Twitter, then saw this post.

No cat here Weeping Sore, so my tweets must remain boring.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

PS Does it seem to you that the word verifications are more like real words in the past few weeks? Now I must type "fuctin".

Frances said...

Hi Weeping, a wise cat who can keep you happy with a purr.

I enjoyed scrolling down and catching up on these well written bits. Thanks.

I agree, Annie, the word verifications are getting to look like real words. I have thought about doing a post using them, but must remember to write them down first. Like the one below, shladed, has great possibilities.

tina said...

Listening to your cat can never be a bad thing at all. The listening to her up to your ear even better-ah to feel the warmth and humming and purring of a well loved cat is peace.

West Coast Island Gardener said...

I am sure the lean conversation mind of your cat is living off the fat of your intellectual meanderings and is purring her satiated delight.

...Then again she might just be wishing people would stop putting cigarette butts and gum wads in her sand box.

Lucy said...

(I talk to inanimate objects more often than to cats. I would like to pretend this has crept up upon me - and blame it on age - but I've always done it.)


P.S. My word verification is Conogoy. I'll have to look that up in the dictionary!

Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marie said...

Rats. Typos and cats.

Was saying: my cat purrs to Canada to someone who is cheered up by the rumble. He don't twitter, but he blogs. The cat, I mean.

Captcha = swindi