lunedì, aprile 26, 2010

Paging Dr. Dolittle

I'm not the world's most enthusiastic or emotional person, I've noticed. Probably not even in the top ten. But one thing I do know is that I love my cat so damn much. I'd never had a pet with a personality before her, and that combined with me being the youngest child meant that until Lexie moved in with me there was a certain kind of love, the love of being relied upon, that I'd never known.

Sure I'd had men who thought they needed me, but when you're young and hearty that's not like being relied on, not like a child relies on its parents or the way I rely on my older brothers. Nothing had ever relied on me, not that I'd noticed anyways, not until Lexie, and I'd never loved anything the way you love something that relies on you. I'd always only felt the sort of selfish love of the youngest girl - a relying love, a love that didn't question whether or not it was loved back because it knew it was - and nothing had ever loved me like that. Until Lexie; I know she loves me like that, or the cat equivalent. And the love that responds to that - it's something very special.

Not to say Lexie's dependent. That's the thing about Lexie. I know that if I died tomorrow she'd be okay. She's a cat for god's sake, they've taken over Chernobyl. And not only is she a cat, she was a feral cat for years before she moved in, and was used to killing or foraging her own dinner. If I could just manage to break the window before I died, the thought has gone through my head on occasion, she would be just fine. She'd manage. I've seen her bat birds out of the sky, bash mices' brains out, nearly rip a raccoon's nose off once . . . And I'd look at friends' cats - noisy mewling clingy whorish things that would sit on laps and things like that, things Lexie wouldn't dream of doing, and I'd feel so proud of my cat, who wasn't a great big suck but who could still communicate affection as though she knew that you were both good and equal souls before the Lord, and you happen to be the one who brought home the kills for dinner. A little prance to meet you, a shivering tail, loving headbutts, company on the yoga mat and quiet staring until you brush her. That's all and it's plenty.

And now I'm moving to Australia, and have an awesome job and an awesome man and everything's awesome, and there's this horrible big fly shitting in my ointment, and that's that she can't come with me.

She could, though, and at this point it's even looking likely, despite the three months of quarantine that the vet warned me lots of animals don't survive. Because nobody wants her. Nobody wants this fucking awesome cat that I love. It hasn't been a worry up until now as a good friend in Canada was going to take her, but that fell through, and now the best offer I've got is a friend's father's farm, strictly as a working cat, with a bunch of other working cats - no more warm hearth, no more brushing - but maybe she'd like it? Maybe she'd like scrapping all day with other cats and kiling mice and hanging out in a barn? Would it be better or worse than three months in quarantine?

This is fucking brutal, you know, because she can't tell me which she'd rather do. I'm aware of how ridiculous that sounds, but you know, there it is, she's my cat. I basically swore I'd do the best I could to take care of her by adopting her, and here I am, considering which of two options is going to fuck her over less, and utterly unable to get her opinion on it, and incapable of knowing whether or not she is sufficiently attached to me to make it worthwhile to keep her in something as tortuous as quarantine for months.

And nobody wants her because she's not some crappy little cute kitten, she's an old fat cat who I love and think is the best fucking cat in the world. And people just want fucking ewok-faced cutey-pie Kylie Minogue type kittens who don't even know how to piss in a litterbox.

Ah fuck.

Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's been bulldozed to facilitate a port expansion

I'm behind on my life when it comes to the blog. Even when I was being good and blogging every day, and even having made the executive decision (though not always well followed through on) to blog about things instead of states of mind, I was usually behind on the things, and now I'm super-behind.

So now, to blog about something that happened the weekend before last. It was the F-word's birthday so I took him on a weekender to Antwerp to eat sushi, which is both lousy and expensive in Brussels. Belgium has a reputation for being a lovely place to eat that I didn't fully understand until I realized that it was due to the Flemish region - you know, the one I don't live in. But enough complaining (besides, what other country could I have lived in for three years during which there have been seven governments without being worried about getting shot? BTW the government is falling again). Antwerp is a really charming city, and we had a fucking STUPENDOUS meal at Zaowang. Had the maki sashimi boat with an extra order of dragon eyes and were wildly satisfied, I very much recommend it, book ahead.

Otherwise we rented bikes and went all about the place, admiring the orthodox Jews out in their Saturday finery, getting sunburns (yes - sunburns - oh spring I fucking love you so much) and more and sundry, but the piéce de résistance of the weekend was cycling out to the abandoned village of Doel.

It was a 22 km ride along the river Schelde, past countless filthy, farting, belching petrochemical plants, and you know what, I rather enjoyed it. First I should point out that the 22km figure is utterly unimpressive as the flatness of the poldery countryside makes a pancake look like the Appalachians. Second I should point out that there's a part of me that loves looking at industrial rot. It's so interesting, such monstrous shapes, such a shocking and revolting abuse of existence in such a massive physical form. And I tell you I'm now just trying to enjoy all the industrial decrepitude while I can, since once we go to Australia I'll have to restrict my environmentalist horror to open pit coal mines and monoculture tree plantations, I'm assuming, anyways.

Anyways I've uploaded some pictures of Doel the F-word took, I think it was the awesomest place I've been to in ages. Full of graffiti. The Olympics logo one was my favourite I think . . . in the photo you can see the guy who's been painting it taking a little rest and talking to some tourists. The town was full of them - graffiti artists and tourists. I'd been a bit hesitant on the way, wondering if it was a good idea to bring rental bikes we'd had to put a deposit on to an "abandoned" village full of desperate, lawless squatters - that was reckoning without the endless bourgeoisity (lord love it because I sure do, without the bourgeois we'd all be eating chips and thinking U2 was the best band ever) of the Flemish people. Families with young kids, pensioners with sticks and in a couple of cases wheelchairs, everybody had turned out on the lovely sunny day to look around the village and oooo and ahhh over the nice graffiti. The desperate, lawless squatters were themselves largely families with young children who had re-opened a couple of businesses to cater to the tourists and who kept at least some of the houses in tip-top shape, and then we found many of them weren't squatters, but had been there since the government tried to shut everything down in 1978 - the year I was born.

As I wrote in one of my comments, I can't imagine wanting to live in Doel, or to repopulate it, not where it is in the midst of the stinking farting petrochemical plants, nor next to the nuclear plant. But at the same time it's wrong to force dispossession on people who have roots in a place. I've always admired roots, having none myself, but beyond that, it's a self-evident truth that you do not force people to leave their homes because you can make more money with that place if they're gone. And in any case Doel is a piece of art now. Human decency aside (where it is so often placed) it would be a criminal act to tear it down because somehow the spray artists have taken this crumbling little burg and made it into something really lovely.

Doel Graffiti 2