Friday, July 23, 2010

Spirit Dance Unfolding: For Loma P. & The Neetch Cat

Last night I dreamed about Loma P. and the Neetch Cat. You’ve met Loma P. before , but I don’t think I’ve told you about Neetch. Named after Friedrich Nietzsche, he was a classic cow-colored cat who used to pee in the toilet and steal corn on the cob straight from the pot. He was a protector cat, and I sure needed it—I was pretty stupid at the time, testing my Dionysian waters and giving my phone numbers to cab drivers and the guy from the bagel store who called me “Smiley,” just because they asked.

So in my dream, I was in my room at college, and I had both cats with me. I had two big catteries for them. Loma P.’s was across the room from Neetch’s, and there were live trees growing inside and the cats would swing from the branches and do flips like monkeys. But one day, Neetch went over to Loma P.’s cattery, undid the latch and opened the door (you don’t need opposable thumbs in dreams), and lead Loma P. over to his pad so they could both be together.

Flip back to Brooklyn, circa early 1990s: In real life, everyone in our small brownstone was about to be evicted in a month because the guy we were giving the rent to was just pretending to be the landlord, and the city was going to seize the building. I found a new place and brought Neetch with me, planning to sneak in Loma P. (there must have been a one-cat limit) several weeks later. In the meantime, she'd be with my roommate in the old apartment.

When I went back to our old apartment to get her, I found out that Loma P. had been living in a vacant lot next to the building, which pains me to this day. Where did she sleep at night? She was a Cancer, a nesting kitty who’d stay in the house even though the backdoor was always open in our garden apartment.

Maybe someday I’ll be able to write more.

But I will never forget the Neetch Cat’s eyes the day I brought Loma P. home—it was like the sun rose when he saw her.

I was pretty screwed up during that time in my life, and “responsible” was not how you’d describe me as a pet parent—or as a person, for that matter. But that was the one time I can say I did the best I could. It was all in the Neetch Cat’s eyes. Something in our story together was righted, like you flip the last card in the hand you’re holding and you get Black Jack. And pick up the next card.

Thank you, my black-and-white bandit, for your pink nose and half of a tail. For welcoming me into your family and opening the door to a room full of cat angels. And for giving me another chance.

You, too, Loma P.

Music that’s even better with corn on the cob
#9 Dream, John Lennon
Just play it over and over and over.

1 comment:

  1. Pune, dreams where you are visited by past pets and deceased friends & relatives are the best, aren't they? They offer so much comfort, and they seem to be the equivalent of an afterlife. Maybe that's what Heaven is: having done enough in your lifetime to make your memory live on in a relative's or a friend's mind. I'm sure Neetch and Loma P. are both cat angels now, a fate I've assigned to all my departed felines as well. When i was much younger, I discovered the classic book CATWINGS. And that's how I like to imagine all of my beloved kitties--soaring above and deigning to spend time with me.

    Lovely blog, Pune. I am always really moved after I read how expressive and candid you are.