Monday, February 09, 2009
I was chatting the other morning with my boyfriend, Mr. 19th Century, about cats. He's thinking of maybe getting one. I'm thinking of maybe fostering some kittens. More importantly, it's that time of year just before early spring, when the ground warms up and the worms start to crawl toward the soil surface, and the air and earth are plastered with robins and crested titmouse (titmice?).
And the cat is going insane because she's an indoor cat. She sits in the window all day making predatory clicking and chirping noises at them. Lately, she's been so frustrated that she's given up chirring for wailing. She sits at the window and cries. All day long.
Mr. 19C wanted to know why I didn't let her outside to hunt. There are several reasons, but the main one is that I'm scared I'll lose her. My colleague's cat was nearly destroyed by a car, and my neighbors across the street had their kitten mauled by a nearby dog. That and the fact that Saffron has never been outside before in her life- I adopted her as a kitten in an urban environment rife with FIV (feline AIDS) and Leukemia and cars and buses.
So we discussed putting her in her harness on a long leash, for supervised periods of outdoor hunting. But the trouble with the harness is that whenever it's on, she acts like she's in a straightjacket, creeping along the floor, pretending that she's so encumbered that she cannot possibly even jump on to a chair (jumping on the chair and then falling off dramatically, wailing all the time).
Mr. 19C had a much better idea: Kitty Armor. We joked about it, and said something like "I bet it totally exists."
Well, it does, in the work of the artist Jeff Deboer, whose meticulously filigreed and chased helmets and breastplates for a war between cats and mice recall the arms hall of the Metropolitan Museum of art. I keep thinking that someone must have written a mock-heroic epic about such a battle, like the Batrachomyomachia (which pits mice against frogs), or Ebeneezer Mack's The Cat Fight: A Mock Heroic Poem (1824). Any takers?
But back to armor: Saffron is seriously considering it.