Monday, February 11, 2013

Deep and Inscrutable 

Keena in halcyon repose. Ottawa, Ontario. Date unknown.

I knew a phone call at such a late hour probably wasn't something good (weird how the brain does that). It was Angela telling me that Keena, feline friend of over 18 years, had died.

I never wanted to admit, even to myself, how much I missed Keena. When I first moved into this apartment I still expected her to come to the door, say "hello" then turn around again. One time while coming back from the airport, I started dozing off in the cab and I thought how nice it would be to walk into Fern Avenue and be greeted by Keena. When I remembered where I was actually going, I felt a little cold.

Since I've lived in this apartment, there have been times when I have been asleep on the couch on a Saturday or lying in bed, and I hear various noises, I was so sure I heard Keena's complaint come from another room. I think I may have even called out, "Keena!" In the mornings she would moan-meow to be fed or at night when we'd just gone to bed and turned off the lights, you'd hear her, "ooowllrr". For some reason, just calling out her name would quieten her. Then you'd hear her padding into the bedroom, give another noise as if to say, "oh, you're here. Well whatever." and then make her way downstairs.

She could be a contrarian and anti-social but what few people knew was she was also a mouser. Patient and ruthless. Keena. The Keenster. Madame Piedlourde Kowalski.
“When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation”
What did T.S. Eliot say of the naming of cats?

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey—
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter—
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover—
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

Deep and inscrutable, no doubt.



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