Cat 1 - The Lucky One
I love animals and housesitting. That is a very lucky combination that gets me into friends' and sometimes strangers' homes. Which I think is perfect since I don't have any animals and only a smallish apartment. And I just love different places; they make me feel like an explorer - for a writer a very creative feeling. Los Angelenos like animals - of course, there are so many around: mountain lions, lizards, huge hairy spiders, coyotes, raccoons, foxes, opossums, hummingbirds, pelicans, sea lions, to name only a few - but these would be mostly outside the house (if you're lucky - if we are talking about the pesky raccoons). Inside, it's mostly cats and dogs. And that is my territory. May I introduce myself? Here is the KKK - NOT that one! The KittyKatKaretaker
So, co-incidence or just life's way of reminding me that grayness, aging and ailments happen in the animal world as well, here I am, Miz Silver Hair, surrounded by a certain cat-chaos. It's funny that of all places, I end up in the appropriately named artists' enclave Silver Lake, a very trendy neighborhood - staying with 3 cats, 2 of them seniors over 13 years old. One huge pitch-black male, totally overweight - ready to be shipped off in a mini cat-cart to "Cat Weight Watchers", one skinny, classy and beautifully dark-gray lady with a kidney problem.
The third is a nice but slightly clueless stray cat - rather fat, too, a bit younger, and therefore without any kind of power in this pensioner-household that is dominated by the 2 lazy oldies. Yes, this is a strictly regulated cat-camp, age before youth, which goes for the sitter as well.
What's with the great cat-love that seems to be purring everywhere? We live now in a cat-crazed world, "funny" cat-videos are a huge business, there seems to be nothing, no depression, heartbreak or tragedies, that can't be cured by fluffy kittens and their adorable mischief. Yes, youth is cute and fresh and innocent, and I've played with a lot of kittens in my life, being as enchanted as the next person. And then - over the years - I've met older cats and older dogs - and can't say that I was crazy about them. It didn't occur to me then, that is has something to do with love! You love your animals; some say that it's a love almost as strong as the love for your own children.
And while I type this, there she is - the skinny steel-gray one - looking at me and thinking: "Hey there, gray head, get moving, grab that little expensive pouch of organic cat-food with the purple feline on the cover and make it snappy, I don't have all day". That's how cats are. Always hungry. These ones are. But I am thinking about how I'll get her bitter medicine into her mouth tonight. I tried putting it into her food. She was only laughing about such silliness. Who do I think she is? Krazy Kitty? I've also noticed that cats apparently bring out the silly wordsmith in me (and other people), and not all of the words qualify as laugh-riots, like cat-astrophy, Cat-mandu, cat-alyst or cat-acomb.
So what are the cats' names, some of you might ask? I can't name names, the owner is skittish - because this is LA where some cats might be known and just by the description of the color of the fur or the shape of their ears I might reveal their identity and their address. Maybe the cat was a walk-on in a Hollywood B-movie or once had a real cat-career on TV and is now a cat-been. I don't want strangers finding out the location where I housesit and wanting to stop by for a cocktail or a robbery.
Be that as it may - I'm just having catty thoughts because I'm trying to escape the constant stress of needing to produce words, blogs, books, articles, essays, one-liners, novellas, screenplays, memoirs etc. Cats don't need to do that at all. They don't read, they look at
I have only one really burning question left that has tortured me ever since I came to this country as an immigrant, and a new friend was tossing this funny line at me: Curiosity killed the Cat! Why? How? What did the Cat do? Is Curiosity maybe a person in a fairy-tale who was angry? Has that crime ever been resolved? Was the famous detective Cat "Meow" Pussyfoot involved? Well, curiosity will certainly NOT kill me. GRAY IN L.A. needs me.