Saturday, April 01, 2006

Let the Party Begin

It's always been my philosophy that you should spread your birthday out a little. Why stop at one day? My birthday is next Wednesday, but as far as I'm concerned I start celebrating on the first of the month and continue until the 30th. I treat myself to at least one gift a week during April and for the last several years I've scheduled my spring vacation for the week of my birthday. This year I've managed to stretch the spring vacation to two full weeks away from the office.

So today was the first day of vacation. Isn't it amazing how much sweeter the air is when you know you don't have to go back to work for awhile? I'm usually running around like mad on the weekend, getting household chores done. Today, even though I did a lot of laundry, mopped some floors, trimmed some bushes and cooked two meals, I seemed to have an enormous amount of time at my disposal. It would have been a shame to miss the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful day, so I even sat on the deck for awhile and walked the dogs in the woods. And instead of being dragged out tired, I'm feeling rested. (How much longer until I can retire?)

In a few days I will be off on my annual genealogy research trip, while little brother comes down and minds Mother and the dogs. Not sure how Mojo is going to take the separation. The girls will adjust, but that little boy is sure attached to his mommy.

Tomorrow is scheduled for the packing and then Monday I'm planning some shopping and my first opportunity to buy myself a birthday present. Of course my big present is the trip, but who am I to deny myself a few extra little goodies?

Speaking of birthdays, Miss Coco turned one on March 24th and Mojo will be one on April 27th. This time last year was a dark period, with Bebop in the throes of his last illness. It was the first year in some time that I did not have my traditional lemon birthday poundcake. Bebop loved that cake as much as I do and I just didn't have the heart to make it. This year, when I get back, I plan to bake the traditional cake and celebrate all three birthdays, as well as eat a memorial slice for Bebop.

I don't know if everybody feels about their birth month the way I do, but for me April is the best month of the year. Let the festivities begin.

Back to the subject of cats I have known. I love the poem by T. S. Eliot on the Naming of Cats. If you're a cat lover and you don't know the poem, you need to make its acquaintance:

The Naming of Cats
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey -
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum -
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover -
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular

We've had some cats with very interesting names over the years. In addition to Tom Garner, Tinker and Zonker, we've shared our space with:
Miss Tabby Gray (also known as Thunderfoot for the noise she could make running through the house), Buttons (a circular white spot in the center of her belly), Missy Ling (an exotic Siamese), Pippin, Dolly (as in Parton; she had what appeared to be heavily made up eyes and an affinity for the company of men), Pawla, Sister, Magpie (also known as Maggie) and the current Tazmanian Devil. Great cats, every one of them.


No comments: