Russian_blue_catThe last cat I had was a Russian Blue – though not a pure-bred. Just a look-alike. He would pose like a statue for hours, long, slender and regal. And those piercing, green laser eyes. He was the furthest thing from what we might call affectionate. Generally keeping his distance. But watchful. When he chose to approach (and it was always his choice), he’d do that thing that cats do: rub himself with your hand. As if you weren’t there, but the hand was. The hand was all that mattered.

He reminded me of an Alexander Archipenko sculpture that I had seen somewhere, so I gave him the full name, but mostly called him Arch. He was a yard cat, spending much of his time outside when we were around, but coming in at night. He never wandered far. He was a beautiful animal to watch when in hunting mode outside. Scrunching down in the tall grass, wiggling his bottom low to the ground. Then the pounce. Arch was a cricket and grasshopper specialist.

But he was also a mouser, with the occasional small bird thrown in. Mice were always left on the back step, as if to say: “Prepare this, master”. When Arch left us, I just couldn’t replace him. So I went back to dogs. I think it says a lot about us, the pets we keep. Cats come in many varieties, although I don’t think you ever know just what you’re going to get. I struck gold with Arch: independent, self-sufficient. Not a needy bone in his body. Cute and cuddly fulfills needs too though. I’m not knocking that. And dogs mostly have an abundance of unconditional love to give.

 And pet needs certainly change over time. Where at one point a dog companion might just be the ticket, at another stage a cat may just be what your heart desires. So I’ve gone back and forth. Right now, I’m without and it’ll probably stay that way. But I certainly remember my many pets over the years with affection and in some cases sadness.



Filed under Jus Bloggin

5 responses to “Arch

  1. PatD

    “he’d do that thing that cats do: rub himself with your hand. As if you weren’t there, but the hand was. The hand was all that mattered.”

    This is a great cat observation.

    We were dog people all our lives; I couldn’t stand the thought og having a cat. They just seemed like such, I dunno, un-pets to me.

    Then one day I caught my son (he must have been about 7 or 8) playing with an old cat that was hanging around our swale. I took him in the house, and I gave him a stern talking to about approaching strange animals. Then I started finding the cat hanging around our carport. I gave my son strict instructions not to feed it, because then it’d never go away. Of course, he did. Then when I allowed the cat was friendly, I told him it could stay in the carport, but that he could never bring it in the house, and don’t bother naming it.

    Three years later we were still calling her “Kitty.” She turned out to be one of the best pets we ever had, and she forever changed my attitude to cats.

    All that said, I think we all know the correspondence between David and Sylvia was about much more than their cats. It read like the most beautiful metaphor to me. Almost Jamesian in the way it said more between than lines than the words themselves. There really were higher forms of making love in those days.

  2. Anonymous

    i lost my cat that looks just like this her name was persha

  3. Maxine

    Our cat is spitting image of Arch your description of Arch’s personality sounds just like our boy!

  4. chazzw

    Funny how cats can be good company just by being there.

  5. Anonymous

    He is such a beutiful cat. I just got my first Russian, and I adore him. He is gorgeus, and so much fun. He loves to fetch balls, he comes back with them and puts them in your palm so we can throw them again. He is also an inspiration in my work, I sell some of it here.

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