Thursday, February 16, 2012

Living With a Cat

At night, on velvety paws he sneaks up on me.  He startles me awake with whiskers close to my eyes and the soft sound of purring in my ears.  I forget my dreams as I curl around on one side and the cat nestles up next to my skin.  He lays there patiently unless my electric blanket gets too hot for him-- furry being that he is.  He lets me sleep in peace, sometimes settling between my feet.  Not the most comfortable position for me.

But as I wake up, I find  the fabric little mouse that we fill with catnip in the hallway or my yarn or even my new knitting that I forgot to secure in a bag --- he loves yarn.  It is a testimony to his hours of play during the night.  But now he runs down the stairs, sits by his bowl and waits.  I am supposed to feed him but I open the fridge, get the almond milk, get my home made granola, my fruits to greet another day.  Eventually he gets fed; he runs to the spider plant to munch on it, his dessert I guess; then settles by the window to look out and eye the landscape over Colorado.

He is my winter Tabby cat.  He spends time with us until we get too busy traveling and doing Art Shows to really care for him.  A great arrangement that I have with my daughter.  I love to touch his fat belly, the markings on his coat mesmerize me as does his sleekness and his talent for jumping high that he manages to show always.  Sometimes he climbs across the most crowded places but nothing falls, adept as he is to travel carefully between object not disturbing any.

All the cats that I have had in the past have been healers.  They seem to draw the sickness out of your body by sitting legs stretched on your chest and eyes closed purring until you are lolled by the heavenly sounds that I wish I could carry with me always. They purr their love and their enjoyment.

He is hugely attracted to the outside but hardly ever wants to go out  by himself.  The little rabbits, birds and squirrels catch his eyes and sitting on top of my credenza by the window, he clicks his tongue, moves his tail, all hunter in action with the body flat on the glass ready to jump, but I laugh knowing his stance is nothing but a motion and he is safe in my home.

Sometimes I peer over his looks disbelieving that a foreign creature like him has chosen us, the family of man and dare to be our friend.  He has that look of the wild, and I know that left on his own he will return to the long ancestral habits that his specie has nurtured before it got domesticated.  His tame looks do not fool me.

But he does follow me like a dog would do.  When I go to my studio, he runs after me down the stairs and looks for his favorite chair just close to mine and sits.  After grooming himself thoroughly he closes his eyes but still stays aware as his ears move in the direction of any sound.  I am sure he hears so much more than I ever will.  That it why he is a cat and makes the nights his time to roam.

We put up with his cat litter that I clean every morning, his crying in the middle of the night sometimes, his walks between our legs and once in a while, the gentle bites he takes on my husband's ankles as he comes down the stairs.  He knows that the man in the house is the one who gives the treats.  The cat sits on him by the TV while I beg for him to join me.  Males win sometimes!

Now he lays down at my feet, belly up soft and beige as tabby cats like to show and he dreams of catnip and of our hands gently caressing his fur.  He is all within himself but I know that he is also all vigilant.

                                                                                         Copyright 2012 Micheline Brierre

 The Cat

All sinuous and curves of fur
he stretches and yawns, his markings
a pattern of a thousand lines.
Now stretched  by my chair he lays
mysterious companion
who walks by my feet
and looks with eyes
of eternity.

I stare at the yellow-green of pupils open on my life
long looks reminiscent of time immemorial
when he roamed the earth, wild and proud
as a creature of lonely nights and vivid days.

I have dreamed of long journeys when we travel
in lands lush and humid, mossy and green  
a solace for his paws and for my feet.

I sleep, legs warmed by his body
and I escape in immense voyages
of the soul where he leads the way
as cats can only do.

Copyright 2012 Micheline Brierre 
All photos copyright 2012 BD Kaplan Photography


  1. It is a pleasure to read your blog. You talk about diferent subjects and it is always so well said.

    With much love and great memories of wonderful time spent together.


  2. Hi Micheline, Love your cat posting, he is a big boy!!!
    Love Deb

  3. Micheline....thanks for sending this. Well done, and it makes me smile, thinking that one day Hensley will slow down for a tummy rub or two :-) Loved Barry's photos of the fur boy.


  4. Hello! Micheline,
    I love cats and this one is absolutely beautiful, a real little tiger for sure.
    A friend of mine just lost two cats in the last 3 months and she find that very hard to enjoy that feline companion as much as you can while he is with you.
    Take care Micheline in LC
    P.S. Beautiful pictures by Barry!

  5. Micheline, this wonderful! your words say many things I know about my cat(s) too - magical and mysterious creatures that they are - this is just delightful in so many ways. thank you!

  6. Nice post, reminds me of all the Mickeys of our childhood!