You’re lucky again: four items today! The bad news is that I forgot to post this first thing. But better late then never, and, after all, it’s early in the US.
The first is a bit of reading first from the “opinion” section of the New York Times: “A man and his cat” by Tim Kreider. Kreider notes that he had his cat for 19 years, which constitutes a civil union. And, in one section, he tries to pretend he’s not fixated on his moggie (do read the whole short essay is worth reading):
Although I can clearly see this syndrome as pathological in others, I was its medical textbook illustration, the Elephant Man of the condition. I did not post photographs of my cat online or talk about her to people who couldn’t be expected to care, but at home, alone with the cat, I behaved like some sort of deranged arch-fop. I made up dozens of nonsensical names for the cat over the years — The Quetzal, Quetzal Marie, Mrs. Quetzal Marie the Cat, The Inquetzulous Q’ang Marie. There was a litany I recited aloud to her every morning, a sort of daily exhortation that began, “Who knows, Miss Cat, what fantastical adventures the two of us will have today?” I had a song I sang to her when I was about to vacuum, a brassy Vegas showstopper called “That Thing You Hate (Is Happening Again).” We collaborated on my foot-pedal pump organ to produce The Hideous Cat Music, in which she walked back and forth at her discretion on the keyboard while I worked the pedals. The Hideous Cat Music resembled the work of the Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti, with aleatory passages and unnervingly sustained tone clusters.
Speaking of reading, I call your attention to the “Book Buddies” program of the Animal Rescue League of Berks Count [Pennsylvania], Inc.–a program in which kids read to animals, which apparently helps the kids learn (and soothes the animals, as well as possibly getting them adopted):
Program Overview Children in grades 1-8 who are able to read at any level are invited to the shelter to read to the cats in our adoption room. The program will help children improve their reading skills while also helping the shelter animals by providing socialization and human interaction. Cats find the rhythmic sound of a voice very comforting and soothing.
The Book Buddies Program was implemented by ARL Program Coordinator, Kristi Rodriguez. Her son, Sean, who’s a 10 year old 5th grader, served as an inspiration for the program. He struggled with reading at school and so she brought him in to read to the cats and he loved it so much, he asked to come back. She knew if her son liked reading to the cats, then other children would as well. The program officially began in August 2013 and since then Sean has shown remarkable improvement in his reading and now often reads to their d*gs at home.¹
Sean’s story is similar to those of many other children who have participated in Book Buddies. The program has grown within our community and is taken advantage of by home-schooled children, Brownie Troops, parents who want to expose their children to animals, parents of autistic children and many more.
¹The d*gs don’t understand, though. . .
A few photos. Now don’t you want to read to your cat, or give a few bucks to this deserving organization?
Third: a video of a cat walking a dog home; the way it should be:
Would anybody really notice that unless their mind was already in the gutter? Looks like a normal cat to me.
h/t: Matt, Grania, Lana, Greg Mayer