Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cat Call

I've spent most of the working week yearning for the weekend. But now it's here I'm at a loss about what to do other than eating and sleeping, which is normally fine with me.
I've been restless today, so much so that by 1 p.m. it was time to resort to a desperate Plan B.
I located my camera and held a photo session with my cat.
Strangely enough for an animal that seems to have been here under foot for ever there are few photographs of him in the vast family archives that are dominated by our daughter.
If she's the queen of the archive, Gigi is a mere footman hanging around on the margins.
To his credit he doesn't seem to care. While Zara will pout and pose, Gigs just lulled around on his fat tummy, obligingly looking towards the lens on demand.
Gigs used to go outside to hunt but since the unfortunate revenge incident with the neighbor who trained her dog to urinate on our lawn, he's been on home confinement.
He took it badly at first but the wunderlust quickly faded from his eyes as he piled on the pounds.
For such a large beast he can be easily overlooked which is probably why he likes to engage in toe crushing antics and make the occasional lazy swipe at my wife's ankles on the stairs. Unlike previous felines I've found myself accidenally owning he isn't overly affectionate or pretty.
Perversely this makes for a better photoshoot. Naomi Campbell may make for a better picture that Kathy Bates, but I'm sure Bates is easier to work with.
Thinking about Gigs it's hard to believe that the ancient Egyptians endulged in cat worship and mummified their felines.
The historian Herodotus recalls how if cats died in a house fire, all the inhabitants of the home would shave their eyebrows.
If Gigs succumbed to the inevitable, - maybe one day he'll topple over on the stairs because his legs can no longer support his giant white furry gut - we'll all be sad.
But there'd be no mummification going down and I'm keeping my eyebrows.
And that's not just because of the few times he's slipped into our closet and displayed his affection for my T-shirts in the most unpleasant way imaginable.
But then the British have always been bemused by the notion of animal worship. When tombs at Beni Hassan in Egypt yielded up tons of mummified cats decades ago, the British explorers didn't bother to make records of the find.
They were simply shovelled up and shipped to England where they were used as fertilizer.

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