Friday, December 24, 2004

carnival of the cats

Reading the current issue of Time magazine, I learned (in their article about blogs), that there's been a Friday afternoon blogging tradition for some time....

"It started as an in-joke among feline-friendly bloggers: why not post pictures of their cats every Friday afternoon? Friday catblogging became a hit, and soon even NASA was playing along by posting pictures of the Cat's Eye nebula".

So, in keeping with that tradition, I present a couple of kitten photos from the deep, dark past. The first is of Guru, who was briefly mentioned in Heroes Still, for knocking over my meticulously assembled Saturn V rocket on the eve of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Guru was my companion during that long, hot summer (especially hot for me, as I was encased in a bodycast following knee surgery), excepting a two week period, when he climbed a tree next to our house and was too scared to come down.

The tree was close to 30 feet high, and my parents tried everything. My father ascended on the long house-painting ladder, dressed in trenchcoat, goggles, thick leather gloves and helmet (he was not an animal lover), but Guru responded my climbing even higher.

I had the idea of tape recording my voice, calling to him and cajoling him to come down. It apparently had an effect, as he made his greatest effort to descend, but he had never learned about backing down a tree, and his courage failed him. Finally, a wealthy friend of the family, who had a Siamese cat (who used to get up on his hind legs to turn the handle of a door to escape whatever room he'd been secured in), hired a professional animal rescuer from New York, and Guru was eventually retrieved by use of a cherry picker.

Guru was also famous for watching TV -- half-an-hour at a time on occasion -- while seated upon his special cushion. His favorite 'program' was to watch the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders (this was back in the day when it wasn't politically incorrect to show longer segments of them than of the Cowboys themselves).

Guru was my first cat (I had grown up with dogs), and I thought that one could rough-house with them in a similar manner. When I finally returned to school, my teacher asked me if I had a puma at home, as my hands were shredded with scratches.

The next photos are of Kubalai Khan as a kitten, perched upon his version of a throne. He was the first of a number of cats whom I named from the Mongol's family. We had a great relationship over the years, and he was a totally trusting cat. I'd flip him over onto his back, cradled in the crook of my arm, in order to administer serious stomach rubs. He'd often drift off to sleep during the process. Ah, if only I'd had his life!

Anyway, for the cat lovers amongst you, be sure to click on the title link to check out 'carnival of the cats'. Perhaps I'll continue the tradition next Friday, with a look at Subodai and Bortai, my brother and sister Siamese.

Happy Holidays to you all!


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