Monday, July 9, 2007

Maybe that extra toe...

This is Lucy, the most beautiful cat I've ever shared lodging with. (I grew up with Siamese cats, so I know from beauty. Lucy was different.)
She was saved from a feral life and given a comfortable home by the same person who did the same for me. She started her life named "Spot" which, although droll (and peculiar) as a cat's monicker, was inevitably eschewed for the more sexy and mysterious "Lucy." She had perfectly bilateral markings. Well, on her ears. Elegant, Cabaret black and white. She was the one who watched over the bedroom, or boudoir. I know she called it that. Because she was French. She is the only member of our menagerie I ever saw catch a mouse, which I suppose is a much-sought-after quality in cats. She just wanted the place to be a little neater. Toward the end of her life she opened that bedroom to her four feline housemates. She rarely spoke, but her complacent "hum" of comfort (some might say "purr") should be taught to any human who must endure any aggravating hardship. She shared her patient sense of calm with all of us. She died last June. She was polydactyl. Marvelously six-toed. Thumbed.

I spent some time in Key West.

And I spent some time at the Ernest Hemingway House Museum, where I met some of the characters you can see (sometimes) by clicking on the link to your right (yes, your right), entitled Hemingway's Cats, Key West. They're polydactyl. Just like Lucy. Look here.
Seems somebody from the misguided experiment we call our government didn't like the cats wandering around a house, so the USDA wanted to drop another pile of paperwork mayhem on the folks who operate the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. The USDA failed. Good.
When was the last time you heard someone from the USDA purr? Or rub your ankle?

1 comment:

karie said...

Oh, our sweet Lucy!
She was quite THE cat.
She was TEH cat.
Certainly, she had to be French.
How lucky we were.
And so are the folks of Key West.

Paper-pushing control-freaks, take THAT! Ha.