i do not like cats. my oldest sister is allergic to cats and cigarette smoke. when we were little and visited my granny trani's house (that had cats in it and uncles who smoked), my sister had to be rushed to the ER on more than one occasion. (why we continued to stay at my g'ma t.'s house after jennie's asthma attacks is beyond me, but i'm sure my parents had a very good reason...).
my parents warned me that if i ever smoked, they would cut off my right arm. they also promised to cut off my left arm if i dyed my hair. i think that was just a scare tactic though. when i did dye my hair blond it turned out so horrible (think school bus yellow) that they must have thought how i looked was punishment enough and they didn't get out their body dismemberer.
but, i never smoked. and i never liked cats. cats and smoke equalled jennie practically dying.
when i was in the peace corps, living in the island nation of kiribati, i discovered something i hated more than cats -- mosquitoes. and also: rats. i could get a cat if jennie was never planning on visiting me there, right? kiribati cats were not snugglers -- they were rat hunters. so i got one. a boy. and i named him sprinkles. "ten tiakurati tamaiti sprinkles suzanne jonathan" to be exact.. *see footnotes for full etymology lesson.
though my heart was bruised, mainly by the callous treatment of the topic of death, i still had the problem of rats. so i got another cat. hazel -- a girl this time. or so i thought. when those teeny little cat balls finally did descend, hazel was re-christened hazelnuts. he didn't like me either.
the kind that hemingway loved with an extra toe...). sadly, ella, the 3-legged mini schnauzer does not like cats.
and then we moved (we being ella & i), and then we moved again, and then we had a boyfriend who had a cat and kept the cat litter in the bathroom -- yuck! that relationship never would have worked out for me & ella...
i'm still learning to love cats. my friend eva is helping me -- it's hard to resist her and her main man lex luthor. he's one fancy cat and i'm very thankful for that.
* ten is the kiribati word for boy and is added before a person's name for formality's sake, such as mister. the kiribati word for girl is nei. i was called nei suzanne, or nei miss by my students, which actually translates to "miss miss," go figure. tiakurati is the word for chocolate in kiribati. since the kiribati language has no Ss, "ti" is used for the "s" sound. now sound "tia-ku-ra-ti" out. doesn't it make much more sense? sprinkles was a black cat, so of course he was chocolate sprinkles. sprinkles was a tom cat -- hence the "tomaiti" (thomas, sound it out). in kiribati, a person's father's first name was their last name, and their grandfather's first name was their next last name. i was suzanne jonathan milton. sprinkles got to be sprinkles suzanne jonathan. actually, if you want to get technical, tutien is the correct way to spell my name in kiribati. blah blah blah.
Still fighting the fight!!!
1 year ago