Let's talk about it. I think it's time.
I bet if you did one of those analysis things to find out the most frequent topics discussed at Stranger, the list would look something like this:
1. The Queen of Colors and her unspeakable evil
2. Poop (other people's, obviously)
3. All of my cats
A person who only occasionally wanders through here (and then probably spends the rest of the day confused) might feel that my discussion of the subject is a bit schizophrenic. And the question everyone would like to know the answer to, how many cats does Eli have, is one that perhaps not even I can answer.
I mean, if I had to give a ballpark estimate, I would probably say . . . um . . . (tapping a pencil to my lip while making a thinking face) . . . carry the one . . . (writing some figures on a piece of paper) . . . zero. I would probably guess that I have zero cats and would never ever ever have one in a million years even if I had some degenerative disease in which cat play therapy is the one and only proven treatment. Even then, I would, at most, have a person dress up like a cat and act like one. But I would have to take something really strong first. And I would give a session a try just one time and if it was too much for me to bear, I would just start wrapping up my affairs.
Don't get me wrong. I don't view cats the same way everyone should view snakes. Snakes are Satan himself embodied, and I truly believe that the mass slaughter of each and every snake, irrespective of its abilities or whereabouts, is the work of the Lord. And I am absolutely certain that when you die, you go to St. Peter and he asks you the following questions:
1. Did you promote Glee in any way, shape, or form?
2. Are you transporting with you any fruits or vegetables?
3. Have you recently been in close contact with livestock?
4. What did you do, specifically, to stop the spread of snakes on the Earth?
Guys, if I didn't like my religion enough, I would totally start a new church and the entire thing would be about snakes.
That's not how I see cats. I don't want them dead or hurt. I just don't want them anywhere near me, partly because I am convinced that if I did get a cat, I would immediately turn into this:
This is a REAL book. It was sent to me in the mail last week by two readers, Craig and Jen, who thought I might be interested in learning the art of dancing with cats. WITH CATS. DANCING WITH THEM.
THE BOOK IS FULL OF PICTURES LIKE THIS:
And all I can think about is how I am one cat away from being these people. Because I like to dance too. Sometimes in my underwear. The only think I'm missing are cats.
And I feel like the universe is going in that direction because for reasons that are absolutely not clear to me, cats are drawn to me. Drawn. I have always been told that animals can sense things about people. Why is it that cats can't seem to sense that I hate animals?
Last week I was sitting on a bench in Istanbul, minding my own business, reading a book, when suddenly a small black cat approached, jumped onto the bench next to me, and then, despite my protests, tried to cuddle with me for the next 25 minutes.
Note that in that second picture, I am NOT smiling out of joy. It's distressed laughter. Hysteria. A sign of trauma. Look it up.
~It Just Gets Stranger