So, whenever the TV or radio is on I hear mention of the Russians. It’s the Russians this and the Russians that. I’m not sure exactly what Russians are but I do know that there are many different kinds of Russians and it sounds as though there are a lot of them. There are black Russians, white Russians, Russian vodka, a kind of cat called a Russian blue; and I’ve heard a lot about Russian oligarchs. I had no clue what an oligarch was, let alone a Russian oligarch, but one day I heard Mike and Judy talking about this. It turns out that an oligarchy is a form of government which is run by a small group of powerful people. Each powerful person would be an oligarch. Well, I didn’t think too much about this, but one day when I was meditating I had the sudden insight that our little household here in Happy Meadows is a feline oligarchy. The small group of cats here, headed by myself, of course, pretty much run the show. We let Mike and Judy make some of the minor decisions, but everything, particularly what pertains to us cats, is up to us. It is a pleasant thought. You might want to try to commission your own little oligarchy and sit on your own little thrones, figuratively, of course.
And speaking of minor decisions, I’ve heard many times Mike tell the story about his father, grandpa Moe. Grandpa Moe would tell people that when he and Bernice got married they made an agreement. He would make all the major decisions and she would make all the minor decisions. He would then add that to date there have been no major decisions.
Mike and Judy were off away for a few days. They packed up their little suitcases and grabbed the big wedge pillow that stays on their bed, put everything in the car, and took off. We always know when they pack up like that that they’ll be gone for a few days. This time Michelle came over and took care of us. She is the best. You couldn’t ask for a better big sister. So, a few days later they come back without the big wedge pillow. It took them a while to realize they didn’t have it. The weird thing is, the same thing happened last year. I don’t know how you can pack up a hotel room and stare at this great big brown wedge pillow lying there in the middle of the bed and not see it. But there you are. It turns out that where Mike and Judy were staying is a vacation area where one of his friends is going soon. So Mike asked his friend to get his pillow and bring it back. His friend, Steve, is very nice. He said that he would get the pillow unless they had no room for it in the car. Mike told him that he could always have his wife take the bus home if that were the case. But in truth, it wouldn’t be Kathy taking the bus home.
Earlier this year the people who lived to one side of our house moved. They were empty-nesters and didn’t need such a big house. They also wanted to be closer to work. They were very nice, and good neighbors. There is a new family that lives there now. They are also very nice and have a cute little boy. He would like to stick his fingers in my eyes if I let him. But, no. Well, not long ago the people on the other side of our house also moved. They probably lived there close to 10 years without ever saying 10 words to Mike and Judy. They didn’t have any cats either. They kind of just up and left a few days ago. So far nobody else has moved in. I’m sure it will happen soon though. Maybe I’ll finally get a chance to go into the house and snoop around. That house got hit by lightning years ago before I was around. A strike hit a huge tulip poplar tree in the front yard, blew it up, ran along the ground to the house, and fried every wire and appliance in the house. Luckily, somehow there was no fire and nobody was hurt. Mike was finding small pieces of charred wood in his yard for years after that.
Mike is back to reading again. He can go months without looking at a book and then he starts reading again. He likes to read about history, especially, the history of religion. When his friend Warren died about four months ago Brenda offered Mike the pick of books in his library. Warren was a minister and had lots of books about religion and spirituality. That literary windfall should keep Mike busy for two or three years. Warren also had some good books about the history of Alcoholics Anonymous. Mike has a great interest in that as well. It’s all kind of the same thing, spirituality and its evolution. We cats have our own take on things. I wouldn’t say that we have a religion per se but we communicate with our Creator by meditating every day. We recognize our place in the world as having been made in the Creator’s image. My grandfather, Black Jack, talked a lot about all this in his book, “Autobiography of a Georgia Cat”. I’m sure I have mentioned his autobiography before. It’s a good story, and no doubt you could find a copy of it if you are interested. Not that I’m encouraging you to do so. You probably have plenty enough to do already.
I went to visit the Donkles recently. (Richie has gone off to school this year. Apparently he did well enough in his first year at Kennesaw State University that his father and mother said they would pay for him to go to Auburn this year. Not that there is anything wrong with KSU. But a lot of his friends are at Auburn. It must be far away because he will only come back for holidays and such. He will be able to stay at Auburn as long as he keeps his grades up and doesn’t get into trouble.) Talk about a house that’s too big for the people that live there. But it’s a great place to snoop around. Richard is still president of the homeowners association, but I think his mind is elsewhere because I haven’t heard any wacky ideas being bandied about recently, particularly the one about making Happy Meadows a gated community. He did support Mike’s suggestion and they now are having an AA meeting at the clubhouse every week. So we get a lot of people coming to Happy Meadows from outside the subdivision. That would never work if they had to go through a gate and have a pass code.
Oh, and also, the Greenblatts got a new cat. It’s not a cat to replace Snowball who got run over by a car earlier this year (Not so Loud, Just about Right, March 25, 2018). You can’t replace a cat, but you can bring a new cat into your home and love on it the way you used to love on your departed cats. They’re not letting this new cat out of the house, and I haven’t met him yet but I’m sure I will soon. I think they got their new kitty from the shelter where Judy is a volunteer. I’m very proud of all the work that people do on behalf of animals in need. As I have always said there are way more good people than bad people in the world. It’s just that the bad people get most of the attention. And some of them turn into oligarchs, or oligarch wannabes.
So, Michelle texted Mike yesterday that it was Black Cat Appreciation Day, a silly concept, if you ask me. Every day should be Black Cat Appreciation Day. I hope you appreciate your black cat today…….and every day. And if you don’t have a black cat, maybe you could head over to your nearby shelter and adopt one. I have mentioned before about the problem of an overabundance of black cats and dogs at shelters because people don’t seem to want to adopt them. This puts us/them at greater risk of euthanasia (Nevermore, February 5, 2017). What you will get out of the experience is a lot more than you will put into it. Cats have been enhancing the lives of people for at least 5,000 years. If you are in Atlanta, you might want to check out the “Divine Feline” exhibit at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University. According to Mike, they have amassed quite a few objects of stone, brass, gold and other kinds of materials from ancient Egypt and set up an interesting display. It might be your only lifetime opportunity to see a mummified cat, if that is important to you. I understand that they felt it necessary to have an exhibit of dog images from ancient Egypt as well, but appropriately, it is poorly advertised, and kept in a separate room. The Egyptians didn’t exactly worship cats, but they represented many of their goddesses with cat’s heads or as entire cats. They admired the fecundity of cats, as well as the skillful care and devotion that the females exhibited towards their young. They admired the fierce aggressiveness that they would display in protecting their brood, and also respected the hunting prowess cats displayed, which was protective of their grain stores. I understand that the domestic cat evolved from 2 different species of wild African cats that still exist in the wild. These wild cats look so much like domesticated cats that you might not be able to tell the difference just by looking. But I wouldn’t suggest trying to pet one.
So as you can tell, not much is happening these days in Happy Meadows, generally a good thing. I hope to send out another report soon. We are entering the Hebrew month of Elul, leading up to the holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. If you are very interested you can look it up yourself and not wait for my report. Anyway, be safe and be well until next time. And don’t forget, Mitakwe oyesin, (we are all related).
One thought on “A Feline Oligarchy”
Excellent!. And happy about the neighborhood meeting. Wondered today, coincidentally, when we would get another installment.