Thinking about going to a cat show today. You know, participating in what is known as “real life”. This in itself is an uninviting concept, but, CATS. Fuck yeh, CATS! And cat shows are supposed to attract extremely odd and idiosyncratic individuals. Fuck yeh, WEIRDOS!
People occasionally make obnoxious comments of the ‘crazy cat lady’ variety. I don’t mind. I don’t think I’m quite there yet but I do aspire to achieve certified, crazy cat lady status in the future. There was one time I did mind though, and it was a couple of months ago, during a conversation with my father, who I have been estranged from for more than fifteen years. Sixteen, seventeen, something like that. He’s okay, I guess, but he’s one of those men who shows no courage when it counts. At the end of 2010, when I saw him after all that time, he was just this small stranger standing on my doorstep who I was taller than. He was moving to Canberra at the exact time that I was preparing to leave Canberra. I had several dozen reasons to be leaving already but that one was a solid late entry because seeing him totally unsettled me, all he did was cry and ask me irritating questions about my mental health. Like had I ever considered suicide? We spoke on the phone a few times since then and the last time we did he asked me if I still had four cats and when I said yeh he started, like, cackling, weirdly, for a long time, like he was laying an egg, it was terrible. When he’d stopped and composed himself he said into the stony stretched silence something like” wow, you really are a crazy cat lady aren’t you”. I wish I could have said what I wanted to at the time, I wish I could have suggested that perhaps the reason I find cats preferable to people may have something to do with him turning out to be a turncoat and a terrible father who fucked with my soft bird-bone early-adolescent head and sent sadness and suspicion to settle into my hardening bones.
I didn’t say that though, and, as is the way when you don’t say what you should have said and needed to say, I taste metal in my throat when I think about it now.
Anyway, whatever the reasons, I have an ever-intensifying infatuation with cats and just imagine the fun of moving among other, more motivated enthusiasts who not only find cats to be creatures of unparalleled excellence but believe they necessitate rigorous exhibition.
“They get stretched out so they can be judged on their structure, but if they bite the judge it’s a big disgrace.” That’s the line that attracted me in the article announcing the show. Also, the special mention that one of the judges was coming “all the way from Minneapolis, United States.”
-I’ve compiled a list of things that could have made this story better – Camaros, corsetry, hills carpeted with flowers, David Koresh, seafood extender, being sprayed by a skunk……… But, you know, then I remembered that Charles Bukowski and William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac were all huge fans of the cat, Bukowski in particular made constant references in his later-in-life letters to the way his bunch of adopted strays lifted his soup-stain suicide moods just by the way they crossed a rug or sat in sunshine and slept. Nothing can get better than that.