Eli the Foundling
It is completely clear to me that cats do not write novels. It is not clear to me that they do not make governments. In fact I think they do. I think they make plays and construct mind games. They collaborate sometimes on an extreme scale. Interspecies also. I once had a Labrador and a Calico Cat who were a team. Minna the Cat would jump up when I was using eggs which Schuyler the Labrador loved to eat. Minna would roll the egg(s) to the edge of the counter and into the waiting Schuyler’s mouth.
Now we have Eli. He appeared at our door some time ago. He became more and more aggressive, so much so as to keep us from entering. He would come in. There was no other choice. Yet he had been living outside. He took over one of our feral cat houses. Do I have to say we have three? Not always taken. Paula has set them up – heated beds with heated water dishes outside. We used to put food out but then when we saw the Possum and the Bobcat we decided to only set food out when we saw what we wanted to feed.
Eli is assertive. He wants to be with. He was peeing on the floor – in my studio, in Paula’s study – wherever he was. We were perplexed. How can we find a home when he’s not playing by the human rules. We don’t want him to be abused. We think he might have been. We don’t know.
Dr. Cannon was called in, tests on his urine came back fine. She thought he didn’t like the litter. I went out and got several litters. We put litter pans in separate corners of my studio. He has a clear preference. Last night we kept him in with Ivy who sleeps in our bathroom at night (she pees on the bed while we sleep). They get along. They play. She – who all the other cats aggress on, aggresses on Eli – then they play. A peaceful night. Well, after we got Eli to stop pawing the door to get in to us. (he stopped after we got quiet – he just wants to be WITH, don’t we get it????)
I started off with the idea that we have dominion over all things. That’s what we’re taught whether we’re religious or not, it’s in the philosophy, it’s in all of us. We could put him in a barn. We could situate him in a house with children where he would probably bite them and get punished. We can put him anywhere because we can. We can and we won’t. He so clearly is vulnerable to his own predilections. Just like me. Just like you. And to the extent that he is authentic, he gets what he gets. Just like me. Just like you.
In this case he is a “guaranteed cat,” he always has a home here. We are still looking for a better placement. We still think we are too complicated. But we don’t own anything. Not his nature. Not ours. We are all in this together.
Beeker and me in the “start here now” section of our lives. I remember very clearly going and getting that rope to put around him, it was important to me. We neither of us ever had any ties to anything, nothing around our necks so I guess I wanted posterity to know our connection. Now I know I didn’t need the rope.