I don't remember things often. My brain is a sieve. If anyone asks me to tell a joke or recite a poem on the spot, I'm speechless.
I do, however, recall one of the best cartoons ever. It was in The New Yorker, by Leo Cullum.
A man stands in front of his cat, shaking his finger and scowling. He says to the cat, 'Never, ever, think outside the box.'
For a while now, my cat Dida has been doing just that. She's ruined the wood of the laundry room floor. Mark and I have gotten fed up (Mark especially) and now Dida has been relocated to the bathroom, along with her litter, a bowl of water and a bowl of food.
When I adopted Dida, I also adopted two of her kittens. She'd had a beautiful litter, and the whole family spent their days in the window of a pet store on Ninth Avenue. Only Dida and two kittens remained when I finally went into the store. I wanted the two kittens, but I walked out with three cats. Yes, I'm a softie, and I didn't want anyone to be left out.
After adopting the cats, I was sensitive to that cliche, 'single woman with cats'. I was single, I lived in a walk-up in New York, I had cats. The cats kept me company. I took care of them and in their own way, they cared for me. I coined my screen name 'Kittylittered', because I was 'littered with cats'.
The single woman with multiple cats is an urban cliche. It mixes a couple of beliefs together - that women, especially single ones, have a preference for cats over dogs, and that it's easy for women to wind up alone in the city.
I have to wonder why 'single woman with cats' is also supposed to be funny. Because not everyone is a cat lover? Because to shack up with cats means to isolate oneself, when you really need to let your hair down and go out?
The two kittens grew up to be cats, and two years ago they died suddenly within six months of each other. I won't go into how they died, but it was sudden and sad. Now, Dida doesn't remember that she was a mom (I don't believe. We haven't talked this out, but she doesn't act like a mom, and she doesn't act like she misses any cats, which I guess is a good thing).
Like any self-respecting cat, Dida's been yowling from her little prison. Hopefully, she'll only have to stay there a couple weeks before she's cured of her 'little problem'.
Until then, I'll be an attached woman with a wailing cat in the background.