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A Cat’s New Year’s Celebration

“Are you napping through the New Year again?”“Have you a better suggestion?” “Par-tay!” “Surely you jest.”
“Are you napping through the New Year again?”
“Have you a better suggestion?”
“Par-tay!”
“Surely you jest.”
“We’ve been invited to a New Year’s celebration. All the cool cats will be there.”“The gentrified cats, you mean?” “These are hep cats, the kind you should get along with.” “Get along is for doggies.”
“We’ve been invited to a New Year’s celebration. All the cool cats will be there.”
“The gentrified cats, you mean?”
“These are hep cats, the kind you should get along with.”
“Get along is for doggies.”
“We’re supposed to bring noise makers. I got this kazoo out for you.”“What are you bringing?”
“We’re supposed to bring noise makers. I got this kazoo out for you.”
“A kazoo? What are you bringing?”
"Ever hear of rock-n-roll?"
“Ever hear of rock-n-roll? Hee, hee!”
"Move on over and let Jimi Cat take over!"
“Move on over and let Jimi Cat ring in the New Year with some rockin’ hallelujah cheer!”
“I think I’ll stay home and reread ‘A Cat’s Christmas in Wails’. I love the part where the cats attack that little punk with the snowballs.After that, I’ll get out some old Sing Along with Mitch records. Maybe I’ll ask Archy and Mehitabel over.”
“I think I’ll stay home and reread ‘A Cat’s Christmas in Wails’. I love the part where the cats attack that little punk with the snowballs.
After that, I’ll get out some old Sing Along with Mitch records.
Maybe I’ll ask Archy and Mehitabel over.”
“You going to the party?“I’ve way too pooped. I've been blogging all day long. I think I've got the Blogger's Blues."
“You going to the cat’s New Year’s party?
“I’m way too pooped. I’ve been blogging all day.” “Sounds like you’ve got a case of the Blogger’s Blues.”
"OK. I'll go to the party on one condition.""What's that?" "I don't have to wear one of those silly hats. And I don't have to go outside in the cold at midnight and blow that silly kazoo. And I don't have to have fun." "Yes to all of that. And no New Year's Kiss for you, either." "OK, OK, maybe the kazoo. The kazoo for a kiss." "Happy New Year!"
“OK. I’ll go to the party on one condition.”
“What’s that?”
“I don’t have to wear one of those silly hats. And I don’t have to go outside in the cold at midnight and blow that silly kazoo. And I don’t have to have fun.”
“Yes to all that. And no silly New Year’s Kiss for you, either.”
“OK, OK, maybe the kazoo. The kazoo for a kiss.”
“Happy New Year!”

A Cat’s Christmas Carol

"'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."
“‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”
That's because I'm standing on his tail, hee-hee.
That’s because I’m standing on his tail, hee-hee.
Why can't you just sit on Santa's lap like everyone else?
Why can’t you just sit on Santa’s lap like everyone else?
What a mess! Who put the lights away last year?
What a mess! Who put the lights away last year?
Dig it! We got a Christmas card from Jimmy Carter!
Dig it! We got a Christmas card from Jimmy Carter!
Remember the year that cat in chains showed up? Claimed to be a cat from the past. What's the past? I asked.
Remember the year that cat in chains showed up? Claimed to be a cat from the past. What’s the past? I asked.
Won't Susan be surprised when she opens this one! The cat of Christmas present...hee-hee...
Won’t Susan be surprised when she opens this one! The cat of Christmas present…hee-hee…
Is this a good place for this one? Why do you have to hang on my head?
Is this a good place for this one? Why do you have to hang on my head?
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

Cat Couple Vacation: A Photo Trip

“Just once I would like to go somewhere for vacation,” I told him, “and not just sit around the house watching you with your whiskers in a book, your tail as still as a surfboard on the Oklahoma Panhandle.”
At the Wild Animal Park. It’s a Dogoneus. It’s on the Endangered List. “You’re going to be on the endangered list, if you don’t start showing some enthusiasm for this trip,” I told him.
At the Cat Dinosaur Museum. “We’re getting smaller and smaller,” he said. “Soon, we’ll be as small as mice. It’s called Existential Evolutionism.” “Is that why you’re always so bummed out?” I asked him.
Finally, he had some fun. Here he is on the Cat Teacup Ride.
In Japan. “No, it’s not The Beckoning Cat,” I told him. “She’s beckoning me,” he said, “to take her on Antiques Roadshow.” “I can’t take you anywhere,” I told him.
At the Colossus of Cats. “It’s not size,” he said, “but the sharpness of claws.”
Back home again. He’s doing some research on mice and re-reading all his Black Cat Books. Next year, he wants to visit all the great libraries of the world. I told him he can do that on his laptop. “I want to go dancing across the tierra of Los Angeles,” I told him. He looked at me like I might have cat scratch fever. “There is no earth in Los Angeles,” he said. “Yes, there is,” I said. “You just gotta dig it up.”

Trick Photography and Trees

There are, some argue, two forms of life on our planet: animal and plant. It’s generally conceived that only animals have consciousness, but not all of them. When Descartes said, “I think; therefore I am,” he may have ruined possibilities for a lot of potential ams.

“The unconscious passes into the object and returns,” Robert Bly says (213), discussing Francis Ponge’s prose poem, “Trees Lose Parts of Themselves Inside a Circle of Fog” (217).

Yet Joyce (XXXIII) says:

A rogue in red and yellow dress
Is knocking, knocking at the tree;
And all around our loneliness
The wind is whistling merrily.
The leaves – they do not sigh at all
When the year takes them in the fall.

The “rogue” is nature, nature falling, falling kicking, yet the wind “merrily” whistles, anticipating the irony of winter’s undressing summer, when the leaves can no longer feel. Bly would argue that the leaves do sigh, and that we can hear them sigh, if we learn to listen. But earlier, Joyce had already (XV) said:

From dewy dreams, my soul, arise,
From love’s deep slumber and from death,
For lo! the treees are full of sighs
Whose leaves the morn admonisheth.

The tree of the avenue, particularly at night, dressed in dappling neon or enamored moonlight, suggests another kind of consciousness for Joyce’s (II) trees:

The twilight turns from amethyst
To deep and deeper blue,
The lamp fills with a pale green glow
The trees of the avenue.

For in the catechism of Episode 17, “Ithaca,” in Joyce’s Ulysses, Bloom and Stephen are apparently discussing the ability of trees, or leaves, to turn toward or away from light (paraheliotropism, or tropism):

“Was there one point on which their views were equal and negative?
The influence of gaslight or electric light on the growth of adjoining paraheliotropic trees.”

The ideal photograph captures not necessarily the object, though the object must at least be attracted, or the light, which the photo must also catch, but the perfect photo snaps Bly’s passing and returning “into the object,” the epiphanic journey. This is the trick of photography, the lure.

Bly says Ponge doesn’t “exploit things [objects], either as symbols or as beings of a lower class.” Yet the desert creeps closer and closer. “The union of the object with the psyche moves slowly, and the poem may take four of five years to write,” Bly says.

Pieter Hoff, talking to Burkhard Bilger in “The Great Oasis” (New Yorker, Dec. 19 & 26, 2011), says, “A seed can afford to wait. Encased in dung from a passing bird or other animal, it can survive for months without rain. If the soil is dry, it can put all its energy into sending a single taproot in search of groundwater…It can worm itself into the tiniest crack, then expand a few cells at a time, generating pressures of up to seven hundred and twenty-five pounds per square inch – enough to split paving stones or punch holes through brick walls” (114).

The desert of the human imagination also creeps, reasoning against its very nature that it is the only perspective that matters, that is aware of itself. Bly says: “Descartes’ ideas act so as to withdraw consciousness from the non-human area, isolating the human being in his house, until, seen from the window, rocks, sky, trees, crows seem empty of energy, but especially empty of divine energy” (4).

Bly, Robert. News of the Universe: poems of twofold consciousness. [Chosen and introduced by Robert Bly] San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1980.

Joyce, James. Collected Poems [Chamber Music]. New York: Viking Press, Compass Book Edition, 1957 [eighth printing, July 1967].

Photos in this post were taken this week in Mt. Tabor Park, in SE Portland, with a Canon PowerShot A560, set on Auto – no tricks, but the top photo was “enhanced” using iPhoto.