Monday, January 18, 2016

Of Cats and Men

My mother (who doesn't read this blog) is a keen emailer and forwarder, which is quite impressive for 92 (she had me in her forties), but..... her favourite subjects for emailing and forwarding these days are, you guessed it, cats and men, which is rather less impressive.

Now. Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against cats. We have two cats in this very house and if I didn't feed them day and night - which I wouldn't do if I didn't care somewhat - they would be two cats no longer, and that is only the beginning of the cat drama in this house that I've been dealing with and/or caring about for a very long time indeed, such that it's best not to get me started.

As far as men go, well, we have three of them in this house (if under 25s count), and again if I didn't feed them day and night they would be three men no more. Admittedly, one of those three helps significantly, especially on the bill-paying front, but still there is a little too much man-drama in this house (not to mention in the wider world) for my tastes most days, and it is probably safer not to get me started on that subject either.

Mother, although not technically senile, doesn't seem to quite understand that I'm up to my ears in cats and men already and would rather talk about the weather, frankly. Instead, every few days or so I get forwards sent across the Tasman with images of cats in various unlikely poses - on ducks and dogs and toast (toast? Yes, toast) - interspersed with endless, and equally unlikely, words of 'man wisdom' from various famous men, invariably dead (Churchill and Disraeli, most recently), which do nothing for my mental health and make me wonder if that is her purpose - my mental destabilisation. If so, why not stick to those long chatty notes about weeding and croquet - her third and fourth favourite subjects. They work almost as well.

That said, I do think there's a certain equivalence between cats and men - they're mutually omnipresent, fussy and demanding - that my mother's obsession has tapped into, suggesting an astuteness in later life that is somewhat reassuring, even if subconscious.

Still, I wish she'd stick to the weeding.    

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