A murder of crows

I visited the countryside today. It was a gray day in late November, and the trees were waxing bare.  Their leafless branches extended into the cloudy horizon like skeletal fingers reaching for Spring.  Most of the pumpkins had been picked and placed strategically on porches in the city for seasonal effect.

I was quite fascinated by a gathering of crows.  They were all talking to each other and grouping in the tree tops.  The sound of their conversations was captivating.  Perhaps to an impatient human it sounds like meaningless clatter, but humanoids labor under the misconception that they are at the apex of intelligence, which thus becomes evidence of their oblivious, avaricious attitude toward our beautiful planet.  But, these crows were not discussing humans.  They were gathering to move on to another location, perhaps from the pumpkin patch to a field of corn, or another cornucopia of sustenance planted by farmers complete with scarecrows, which can be quite a source of dining amusement for a crow.

The talk continued and more and more of these fascinating birds gathered.  Then things quieted down, a few commands resonated from their leaders, and they all flew away, a murder of crows chattering noisily and flying to a distant location.  Things became quiet and I could hear the wind following them.  It was a pleasant visit to the countryside today.

~ Bob the Cat

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Fog is burnt off by the light

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The Fog

I watch as he paces the floor… as he stares out the window as if something were there… as he kneels and prays into what sometimes feels like vacuous space… as he lights a candle… as he blows it out and concedes to sleep.  He rises early and the struggle begins again.  He curses the past that brought him here… he curses the curse of the wage slave… he works in quiet desperation, no one is to blame, and comes home… he reiterates himself… he curses the pattern.  The fog rolls in from the bay… he lights another a candle.

In the distance he thinks he sees a light.  Maybe a star… first star he sees tonight. Should he make a wish… he wishes he had a wish.  I mean, wishes are free, and abundant, but, a wish… a hope… a flicker of light… a prayer heard… a prayer answered.  He lowers to his knees… perhaps out of exhaustion… perhaps out of faith.  Faith can be exhausting.  The fog thickens. The candle flickers. He sets it on the window ledge.

A foghorn moans from somewhere out there… and is quickly absorbed by the density of the night.  Fog is quiet.  Again a ship’s horn bellows and is engulfed.   Fog has reached the city now, but it is very early… it is very late… and few people are awake.  He is, however… his candle lit and positioned at the window.

A car passes by below with its lights amputated a short distance ahead.  He thinks to himself that the driver is going too fast… there may be a lonesome soul searching through the fog for a cup of coffee and a conversation… or maybe an adulterous lover sneaking home, impassioned, apprehensive.   People like that don’t see drivers like that.  Drivers like that don’t see people like that.

He opens the window… the candle flickers, but does not go out… he climbs out on the fire escape… his balcony.  It is balmy.  There is no wind, yet the fog approaches quietly absorbing sound and dimming light.  He raises his glass of whiskey and toasts…

“To the fog… to ships passing in the night… To vague presences indeterminately close, hazy, without features… we are unable to confirm of each other any danger and fear… or safety and calm.  We are anonymous others in the fog, just moments away from one another… to the fog.”

~ Bob the Cat

Fog is burnt off by the light.

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Time is Relative

I haven’t written much lately.  I’ve been somewhat busy.  You see, my little brother Finnegan recently passed over the Rainbow Bridge, and I have been watching over him.  The spirit world is a different place than the Earth world.  Each place exists, and the creatures of each have different functionalities. Finnegan will be OK, and he is my eternal pal now.  What a team we’ll be!

I’ll keep you informed.

~ BobI'm OK... Everything is OK!

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The Gossip Fence

I recently visited the gossip fence during a full moon.  It’s extends along a section of the alley behind Findley Street and not far from Mum’s house.  Mum is widowed, and has taken to caring for stray tom and pussycats that wander into and out of the neighborhood.  She is a hoot, but more on her later.  The gossip fence was crowded this night.

The dialogue was mostly prattle… a collection of presumptuous chitchat about folks and situations that generally amounts to little more than individuals simultaneously talking and listening mostly to themselves, all the while gesturing to others as if they were listening rather  than doing the very same.  No one, however, seemed willing to reveal what he or she did not know… that when they don’t know something they should probably keep their uninformed mouth shut.

I thought it best to say nothing and move on. I wandered down to Bozo’s where the chitchat is tempered by fine wines and whiskeys, and seems ironically more intelligible.

~ Bob Whew!.. howling at the moon.

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Three Sides to Every Coin

Across the alley from Bozo’s Bar, beneath a zigzag of fire escapes, is the back door and window of Louie’s, a small Greek restaurant.  I like to lounge on the window ledge there and watch the activities within the kitchen… sometimes Louie gives me some leftover lamb bits.  Louie and Alesia are the Mom and Pop of Louie’s, and I find it entertaining at times to listen to their banter.  This night was especially amusing, as they were jousting about my attendance there.

“So, what?… so you don’t like cats… he’s just a cat… you don’t like cats?” Louie waved his butcher knife around slicing bits of air between cutting some lamb chops and expressing his affection for felis catus.

“You feed him expensive meat!” Alesia retorted, “You are a fool for that damn cat… you know how much you gotta pay for that… what’s the matter with your brain Louis?” and waved her towel about as if dueling with his knife.

“I’m going to take him some now… it’s only scraps anyway… what’s the matter, you don’t like cats?”

“Give me that Louis!” Alesia countered, “What’s the matter with your brain anyway.”  She snatched the little bowl of “scraps” from Louie’s hand and stomped to the back door.

Once the door had closed, she approached me, “here kitty… Louis thinks you deserve this… God knows why?”  She stroked me and scratched my ears affectionately.  “Hey, what does he know… you want some cream… I’ll get you some cream.”

Once inside, she continued her censure on Louie’s wastefulness.

“Now he wants some cream… I suppose you think he deserves some cream.  Don’t bother, I’ll get it… you get it and you will give that damn cat too much… you waste too much Louis!”

“It’s the end of the day, Alesia,” Louie spoke tenderly now, “You give him some cream… just a little, you know too much cream is not good for him… you give him just a little.”

I had finished dinner and was cleaning up when I heard a voice from the fire escape above me… a rather sultry tone of voice.

“You know, there is always two sides to a coin, right?”

I looked up and saw a very slim, crudely attractive feline smiling at me.  She appeared gaunt and worn from having lived on the streets for too long.  Her green eyes, however, retained a mysterious, sensuous attraction, as if her soul remained in tact regardless of an otherwise weary life.

“Three… three sides, there is the edge.” I replied, not understanding where she was going with this.

“Oh please,” she spoke.  Again, her voice and her eyes were hypnotically alluring.  “However, there is but one side to some coins. Louie and Alesia are continually flipping that coin of affection about and calling sides, but it always lands on the same side, the only side for them.  Have you ever seen a one-sided coin?”

“I can’t say that I have.”  I said. “May I inquire, what is your name?”

“I am Sophia.  Come with me, I will show you where to get a one-sided coin.  It may come in handy some day… you are not afraid of me are you?”  She injected.

“Lead on… my name is Bob, Bob the cat” I replied as if I had been suddenly written into a scene from a spy novel, and with slight uncertainty.  I felt an odd allurement and murky sense of excitement as I nervously proceeded up the fire escape with her.

At the third floor we entered the seemingly abandoned upper floor of this building through an open window and advanced down a hallway to a room with two big-headed tom thugs standing guard.  They stiffened up as we approached, their tails puffed up aggressively and mine puffed up defensively.   They were both short hairs, and while their tails were impressive, I am a long hair and my tail gets quite intimidating when I feel threatened.  I could feel the tension and my claws withdrew from retraction when they suddenly recognized Sophia.

“I’m here to see Fat Cat.”  Her hypnotic voice and eyes drew them in as if they had given in to them before, completely. “This is Bob, he is with me tonight”

They stepped aside yet watched me suspiciously until we were in the room.  There, lounging on a luxurious, burgundy sofa was Fat Cat, smoking a cigarette through an ivory holder and enjoying the company of two wide-eyed pussycats, one on each side of him.

“Ah, Sophia my dear, do come in… introduce me to your friend” He spoke with a natural bellow that is often the result of a large gut pushing air through the lungs.  He motioned to the tom thugs to close the door.  My tail shrank somewhat, but my claws remained prepared.  “What brings you to my door this evening?”

“This is Bob.”

“Bob the cat.” I quickly included.

“Spare the theatrics.” Fat Cat chortled and coughed simultaneously.  “You are here for a one-sided coin… Sophia has a fascination for them.  She likes cool cats who are not easily swayed… the more obdurate and keenly wicked the better… isn’t that correct dear Sophia?”  He licked the ear of one of his pussycats and she began to purr loudly, vacuously.

Fat Cat was right, this was no time for theatrics.  I dropped the spy bullshit, placed my paws on the table that was between us, and leaned confidently forward.  “Sophia is wrong about me.”  I felt my tail swell slightly.  “I prefer a more Zen way of life.  I am here now; I’ll be gone shortly, and you will not have made much of an impression on me.  You are what you are, and of little importance to me.”

“Tell your Zen to relax your tail and claws.” Fat Cat retorted.  “Fetch the box, Pandora.” He gestured to one of the pussycats.

The box was rather nondescript.  He opened it, took an object from within and tossed it on the table.  It seemed round, as are most coins, and it had an illumination to it… an ever so faint glow that was not bright, more of a dark glow as if one were viewing an evanescence of light.

“Pick it up Bob… Bob the cat.” He tittered.  “Feel it… flip it… turn it over.”

I did so.  I felt it although it didn’t have a definable measurement to it.  I tossed it into the air but it did not flip or turn.  It went up and it came down, nothing else, as if floating through an unidentifiable  dynamic.  I turned it over several times and it simply passed through itself each time to return to its inexorable dimension.

“How much is this worth?” I asked.

“Ha…” He bellowed,  “It is worth everything… it is worth nothing.  What are you willing to give for it?  Politicians love it.  Corporate mucky mucks love it.  It’s a must for bigots and racists.  New lovers cherish it.  It’s a very popular coin for many humans, rich and poor, and they all pay the same price for it.”  He placed the one-sided coin back into the box then nudged Pandora’s neck.  “Put it back, will you kitten.”  Then looked at me with a piercing glare and asked, “do you want one Bob… Bob the Cat?” he concluded.

“No… no, I think not.” I replied.  “I am compelled to recognize that there are two sides to every coin.” I concluded.

“Three, if you count the edge.” Sophia laughed impulsively, “Come, let’s go down to Bozo’s for a cocktail.” She concluded.

The door was open and the two tom thugs were standing aside allowing Sophia and I to depart.  Fat Cat was grinning like the Cheshire cat.  It was rather disconcerting and I was glad to leave.   As we reached the alley below a voice from the darkness called to Sophia and she declared that she must go.

“Maybe I’ll see you again some night Bob.” She whispered sensuously, then scampered into the murky shadows with her tail in the air.

I was happy to be alone, but I wanted some company.  I went into Bozo’s Bar.  It was busy, and folks were talking about many things… some agreeing was going on, some disagreeing going on, and Bo was laughing at something someone said.  I looked down the bar and my eyes connected with Nanette’s.  Purrrrrrrrrr.

~ Bob Heads and tails are important things to a cat!

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Will Love Abide

Sometimes I grow weary of the order of the world due to the presence of human involvement.  I take catnaps in hopes that when I awake it will all be different… that love will abide; greed will have vanished and the honest and kindhearted will have inherited.  Thing about naps is that sometimes one dreams impossible dreams.

~ Bob

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Handicap Parking – A Human Challenge

I was lounging on a window ledge above Bozo’s Bar the other day watching the traffic drive by, when I noticed a vehicle approaching with a human chatting on the phone and a poodle in his lap. Who was driving this car? I would suggest that it was the dog. The car pulled into a parking spot – a handicap parking space – and the human ended his call, placed an “official” handicap placard on his rear view mirror and exited the vehicle. The man was a middle aged, pudgy looking fellow; nose somewhat flat, double chins, ears noticeably obtruding, and wearing a t-shirt that advertised Spiffy’s BBQ Joint, which didn’t quite cover his belly fat. He scampered across the street in route to the post office, where I would hope that his photo was displayed, considering his criminally obvious lack of any handicap whatsoever. If he was challenged at all, it was how to cover his gut with his shirt… or, how to exercise civil compassion and responsibility toward those for whom handicap parking is intended.

I don’t get it. This pig headed human is repulsively indolent, as are many humanoids in this case, but must he, or they, be so heartless as well? More often than not people who steal these parking spaces, justifying their actions with an ill gotten marker dangling from their mirrors, are lazy, insensitive, liars that choose not to walk a few extra Steps — which, if they would, might contribute to their adverse existence in a positive way in that they may loose a pound or two of ugly fat, and may even develop a faint glow of virtuous, compassionate beauty. But no… they are so egocentrically lazy that they find no time for others that do not contribute to their grotesque, solipsistic continuation on this planet. Only a few footsteps more could make such a constructive difference in the human experience.

Cats are only a part of the human experience in that they have befriended the humanoids in order to obtain some luxury in life; food, housing, affection. If we are not given at least that, we will likely move to the old, cat-loving lady’s house on Tompkins Street, or the quiet cat aficionado’s place on Highland Ave, or elsewhere to another feline enthusiast’s abode.  Furthermore, cats have been accused of being lazy. I recall Gladys’ remarks about cats as “those lazy, old things”. Of course, Gladys was the beleaguered keeper of three dachshunds. Cats are also the source of the word catnap… but that is a human observance, not that of a cat. We do what cats do. People define it; we do it. The two are not really the same.

Which brings me back to the abuse of handicap parking. Blatant solipsism is a human characteristic. Stealing handicap parking spaces is a selfish, deplorable human activity.  From a cat’s perspective much of the human race appears to be psychologically challenged. Perhaps every parking space should be designated as handicapped.

I am thankful that I am a cat.

~ Bob

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