Posts Tagged ‘Cats’

Tough cookie of a year. Of many endings and completions. Of the losses, one merits grief because the love was such. The rest, bah.

Heartbreak: Losing Rosa. My spiritual path has taught me that love doesn’t die. But how do you serve love which has no form anymore? I can’t serve her food, I can’t rub her nose, I can’t spread the fleece blanket out because she loved kneading it. So, how then do i keep the love alive?

shilo india

protest poster by shilo shiv suleman

India: It has been the season of protests as the threat of fascism got realer and realer. Dissent is still on, still strong despite the internet shutdowns, police brutality, and the narrative being controlled. Plenty of courage and love to go around for takers, any.

Men-on-pause: Mon dieu! Stalkers! Creeps in the garb of friends! Unwanted advances! Unimaginative brain picking and plagiarizing! Mon dieu again!!

Question 1: What’s the better/worse deal: a wolf or a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

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new yorker cartoons

Question 2: If you steal my coat, add a ruffle here and a rip there, and walk in to meet me in the stolen coat, twirl around and say, what do you think of my new coat, does it mean you haven’t stolen my coat?

nyc plagiarism

new yorker cartoons

Laughter: Nothing quite like a witchy cackle to ease things up and the New Yorker Cartoons as always gave me plenty of that!

Fun Things: Zine-making | Trekking | Cooking (!)

Kitten Rescues: One – a fierce, blue-eyed ginger, the size of my palm

Writing: I got a lot of writing and reading done. A few short stories and articles were published. I also completed the manuscript of short stories that I had begun in 2018. I had completed a children’s picture storybook about compassion toward animals, inspired by own time with animals and at cat shelters, which I am reworking.

Read: Apart from my regular reading, I also beta read manuscripts and dipped into several collections of short stories and essays by Lydia Davis, Monique Schwitter, Carmen Maria Machado, etc. It has been a failing game of catch-up as I continued to buy more books than I could read. Over a 100 new books now call my bookshelves and Kindle their home.

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image: goodreads

My love for Japanese literature continued. I began the year with the strangely captivating Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman – what’s normal, what’s not. Old lovers reunite in Yasunari Kawabata’s Beauty & Sadness which is tender and dark. Revenge by Yoko Ogawa is a series of short stories that are interlinked. I also indulged in psychological thrillers and crime novels with Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman, Kiego Higashino’s A Midsummer’s Equation and Newcomer, Ian Rankin’s Rather Be the Devil, Shinie Anthony’s The Girl Who Couldn’t Love, Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer, and Samuel Bjork’s I’m Travelling Alone. Paul Aster’s The New York Trilogy is a set of detective novels with variations, which reminds me that I must get the Red Notebook. A favorite was Natsuo Kirino’s Out in which the violence of death brings alive what’s dead.

There were a couple of non-fiction books. The Hungryalists by Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury was about the Hungryalist literary movement in India. In The Possessed, Elif Batuman walks the path of Russian authors. In the graphic novel, Dare to Disappoint, Growing Up in Turkey, Ozge Samanci recounts her life as a young girl and woman in Turkey. I went for a talk by naturalist and conservationist Paul Rosolie which was brilliant and it led me to pick up his first book, Mother of God, which is largely about his time in the Amazon. I also read two essay collections about what we avoid and mustn’t: What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About edited by Michel Filgate and Burn It Down: Women Writing about Anger edited by Lilly Dancyger.

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image: book depository

Out of the norm, I read two plays Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest, which had me laughing till I cried, and The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov. I also read a dystopian novel, a genre I generally avoid, but this one was brilliant and joined the dots of technology and social media and how they are killing us: Dave Eggers’s The Circle. Purity by Jonathan Franzen was not dystopian but speaks of crossed lines, divided Germany, charismatic whistleblowers, Assange-style. I read my first book by Mahashweta Devi, The Armenian Champa Tree. Surprisingly, I didn’t read much poetry this year. I had to pick up a copy of Tenzin Tsundue’s Kora Stories & Poems after I heard his reading. I also read Ecstatic Poems by Mira Bai, which is Bhakti (devotional) poetry.

There was good old Margaret Atwood with Lady Oracle, a woman who wants a fresh start. Mumbai’s drug dens come alive in Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis. Cassandra grows up in I Capture the Castle. Steven Rowley’s The Editor has Jackie O playing editor. Andrew Martin’s Early Work follows the early days of a writer and the desires that play out. In Kayla Rae Whitaker’s The Animators, two friends start a business until drugs and conflict enter the mix. Milan Kundera’s Laughable Loves is a short story collection and smart and hilarious in equal measure. Another short story was Sylvia Plath’s Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom, which was interesting to read as a precursor to her more well-known work. A novella told as a set of stories, Janice Pariat’s The Nine-Chambered Heart is sparse and poetic. Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint is a litany of complaints. Leila Slimani’s Lullaby explores what drives a nanny to murder. There was more horror and abuse in Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. I loved Mohammed Hanif’s first book and that led to Red Birds about what war does to people.

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image: goodreads

Finally, my favorites. Ottessa Mosfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation has made me bookmark her next novel which will be released in April this year. There was Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. I am no Jean but this could just be the prime of my life. I was on a diet of Mary Gaitskill. Bad Behavior is a collection of short stories about navigating through desires and friendships. The novella This Is Pleasure published by The New Yorker is about the #metoo movement and tries to understand dynamics and patriarchal notions as the protagonist is left confused and angry when her friend is accused of misusing his relatively powerful position in publishing to misbehave with young women. Mona Awad’s Bunny is one of the most original, dark, funny, and genius novels that I read this year. It is based on a group of writers in a writing workshop and a misfit who undervalues her own abilities but that is oversimplifying it.

Watched: It was the year of second seasons of some my favorite shows, so binged and then binged some more. There were a few movies too.

  • Parfum: Yes, inspired by Süskind’s novel.
  • The Young Pope: Jude Law puts the pope back in the pope.
  • The Little Drummer Girl: When you can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s not, espionage.
  • Sex Education: Refreshing.
  • Lizzie: Borden!
  • The Tale: #MeToo. Jennifer Fox’s real-life story reenacted by the fabulous Laura Dern.
  • What Keeps You Alive: A couple’s vacation turns into a nightmare.
  • City of Tiny Lights: Riz Ahmed. I love this man.
  • Dirty John: Based on a real-life story about a man who chases wealthy women.
  • Tully: Mommyhood ain’t always pretty.

    fleabag_imdb

    image: imdb

  • Searching: You see the entire movie unfolding on screens.
  • A Simple Favor: Turns out to be not so simple.
  • BlackKlansMan: What happens when a black man becomes pals with KKK?
  • Fleabag Season 2: A hot priest, a fox, and trademark fleabag.
  • American Psycho: Very psycho.
  • Quicksand: About a school shooting and how it unravels.
  • Colette: How the author reclaimed her work and her self.
  • We Need to Take about Kevin: Another one on school shooting from a mum’s perspective.
  • Delhi Crime: How the Nirbhaya case was solved.
  • The Frozen Ground: Another killer on the loose.
  • Booksmart: Fun.

    killing eve_townandcountrymag

    image: town and country mag

  • Fair Game: When power overpowers.
  • Made in Heaven: Big old Indian marriages among Delhi’s elite, pff.
  • Crazy Rich Asians: Made the good old Bollywood movie-style.
  • Big Little Lies Season 2: The performances!
  • Killing Eve Season 2: These two.
  • Titli: On escaping abuse and starting new.
  • Unbelievable: Based on a true story, how empathy is crucial when dealing with sexually abused people.
  • Mystic River: A child goes missing. Whodunit.
  • The Spy: Another true story about the Israeli spy, Eli Cohen.
  • The Politician: Brilliance! There’s Lange and Paltrow and Midler.
  • Ingrid Goes West: The troubles of social media.
  • The Awakening of Motti Wolkenbruch: A young Jewish man stands up to his mum.
  • End of the F*** World Season 2: It was nice to meet James and Alyssa again.
  • My Happy Family: A woman leaves a marriage because she wants her solitude.
  • Don’t F*** with Cats: Hunting a Serial Killer: How animal activists help in finding a killer.
  • Wanted: Australia’s Thelma and Louise continue to evade the cops and kick sex trafficking in its butt.

New year, new vibes:

© Anuradha Prasad 2020

rosa

Posted: October 19, 2019 in mixed bag, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,
rosa_anu1

rosa © Anuradha Prasad 2019

Free spirit. Braveheart. Mama’s girl. God’s child. Killer of mice and squirrels. Lover of chicken liver. Stretcher of limbs. Sun dozer. Calico saint. Mewer of plenty, for plenty. Slayer of door mats. Endless love. Endlessly loved. Into the big sleep and awakening and somewhere across the rainbow bridge : : Rosa Maria, from god-knows-when to 17 Oct 2019 on earth, now beyond

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sending loads of love and light to rosa

1

image: via pinterest

The cat prowled the stars: sniffing and scratching,
marking her territory, that shape-shifting being.

Nur stepped into the stars which she dreamed
in the darkness beneath her lowered eyelids.
Here, crimson and midnight stars exploded.
She hopped from one star to the other –
looking for nothing
finding everything
taking nothing.

The cat approached. The universe spun, shot
stars. A somersaulting debris of dead dreams.
Decay shimmered.

The cat sniffed, rubbed her head against Nur’s
limb. A purr rose against her fur. Her round eyes
elongated, blinked. Love, you are so feline.

Nur opened her eyes to disappearing stars
marching in a line of untruths.
The cat remained, chin propped on her leg,
watching her stretch –
gathered midnight, scattering.

© Anuradha Prasad 2018

 

anu_rosa 1

Rosa Maria © Anuradha Prasad, 2017

Eva 1

we sleep like no one’s watching.

Eva 2

we like what we see.

Eva 3

we heart eye candy.

Eva 4

we like this spot.

Eva 5

we are zen.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2016

 

eva luna

eva the brave 

© Anuradha Prasad, 2016

 

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Eva

It would’ve been just another night if I hadn’t heard the incessant meowing on the other side of midnight. I left her some bread crumbs and milk. Come morning, the offering laid out for that white-bellied child of Bast remained untouched. I bought a packet of dry food for kittens just in case she returned. Return she did on Good Friday. A lot has happened since then.

how cute am i?

She was without a doubt the cutest kitten ever. She loved attention and rolled over for tummy rubs and chin scratches, and sent lots of cat kisses that are my favourite cat thing. Or at least she used to, until The Great Fright.

the name

I didn’t want to name her but with people asking me what I call her, I decided on Eva Luna, after a book by Isabel Allende. I thought Eva would be a really nice name for a daughter I don’t plan to have and Luna because she began visiting me around the lunar eclipse and blood moon, which somehow feels significant. But she also responds to anything that has the word sweet in it – sweetish, sweetu, sweetums, sweetie pie. I am still not sure if it is a male or a female kitten. I hope I don’t end up confusing her/him.

the great fright

It all started one evening when she gave me furtive looks and didn’t seem that keen on being petted. She gobbled up her food. I thought she was just hungry. She went under my bed, which is quite normal. What came next was not normal. Someone started talking in a strange foreign language. It sounded like ‘yaka yaka woo yaka yaka yayaya’.

I was scared to look under my bed because I expected to find an old crone. When it stopped, I looked and Eva began to throw up. She looked sheepish and went outside. I had the task of cleaning up cat puke, which is the last thing you’d want to do on a regular day and most certainly not when you are ill.

Eva began to cower and looked terror-struck, dashing across the terrace in fright. Something must have frightened her but there is no way of knowing what. She is better now but she is not as affectionate all the time. It could also be that puberty has caught up with her.

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curiosity didn’t catch this kitten

…or so I thought. Her passive nature concerned me. She didn’t seem to care for anything except sleeping, eating, being petted and looking cute. But the hunter in her seems to have awakened and among her targets and a subject of great fascination are My Moving Legs that have faced a few assaults so far, especially when I am rushing to work. My roommates had their share of sneak attacks. Eva seems pretty gung-ho about the catnip toy. She equally enjoys stalking and chasing imaginary objects.

for the love of meow

I think she is a brand ambassador for Me-O cat food or has some tie-up with that brand. She won’t eat anything else but Me-O dry food. Treats go untouched, catnip = meh, gives me disgusted looks that question my taste in food when I serve her tuna.

searching for answers

These days my Google search history looks like this –

“How to tell if a kitten is male or female”

“Are cat fleas making me itchy or is it just me? But first how to tell if the cat actually has fleas”

“How to build a cat house”

“Signs your cat is jealous”

“How to tell if my cat is getting ready to spray me”

“What does it mean when a kitten purrs, rolls, blinks, farts…”

“What is that squishy thing I am standing on” (A lizard? Ick!)

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tu casa mi casa

My own thoughts go somewhat like tu casa tu, mi casa mi. I have converted a pet carrier into a cat house and left it right outside the door so that she has someplace dry when it rains. While she used it the first day, she largely ignores it. I am not ready for an indoor cat but I don’t think I will have a say in the matter.

Over the course of the last month (yep, it has been a month!), Eva and I have learnt many things. I’ve realized I can’t do this on my terms and the only way to stop her 6am meows is to address it with food. And she has realized that trying to explore a lit candle is not a great idea if you value your whiskers. Currently, we are both exploring lesson 44: how and why you mustn’t hunt the person who feeds you.

Oh, and among other things, Eva loves gazing up at Venus in the sky.

© Anuradha Prasad

I love cats. People around me hate them with a vehemence I don’t understand because to me loving cats does not mean hating dogs though, I admit, I don’t find dogs as graceful, mystical and wise as the cats.

Cats have been painted as scary, evil, sneaky, unfaithful… Not that the cats themselves give a hoot, which further frustrates people who can’t understand why a cat does not roll over and cry because they mock it, hate it, belittle it…their opinion does not count and that can be scary. And well, what we don’t understand, we condemn.

Image

So as most baffled people do…I turned heavenward and was redirected to Google for answers.

And here’s one answer that had a ring of truth.

“First thing’s first, you know who HATED cats?  Hitler…someone could say, “well, everyone has their own tastes, it doesn’t mean everyone who dislikes cats is evil,” and they’d have a point, but there is one defining feature that seems to be common amongst every person who dislikes cats, at least in my opinion…the need to dominate others…

 What cats don’t do is obey or be subservient to anyone.  Cats don’t take any grief…if they don’t want to be held, they won’t submit to you.  They will not come when you call them unless THEY WANT to come.  You can’t get a cat to fetch your slippers…cats are not dogs, and that’s why some people don’t like them.  I think dogs make a lot of people feel special because you can dominate a dog, you can train a dog to do whatever you want it to do, and the dog will always do it with a smile on his face…

 It’s just like when interacting with humans…if you’re a dominating person, you probably want to be with suck ups and yes men and people who will obey you.  If you respect other people as individuals, you legitimately want to hear what they think and have to say…

 So, I tend to think that people who don’t like cats by and large, and particularly people who “hate” cats generally have a problem dealing with this small thing they can’t control…” (full text here)

Perhaps, it is a tad unfair to slot cat-haters into such a narrow bracket just as it is more than a tad unfair for cats to be hated for nothing more than being who they are and for being unapologetic about it.