There’s this story about the milkman who daydreams about selling his milk, becoming a millionaire, marrying the king’s daughter, and beating her to a pulp. As he demonstrates the beating, he spills the milk that would have borne his fortune, and all is lost.
A similar story talks of a girl who goes to the river and dreams of meeting a prince, marrying him, having a beautiful daughter, and sending her to the river. This virtual child slips, hits her head, and/or falls into a well. The offline girl then sits down wailing and mourning her lost, unborn daughter.
Both stories sound silly and moralistic … but … I’m a lot like that. I don’t generally kick buckets of milk or wail over unborn children, but I’m currently crying over my dead cat.
The only problem is … I never actually had one.
I’ve always wanted a black cat. At first, it was sort of a rebellion thing. Everybody is afraid of black cats, so I figured I could stand out by having one. Then, it became a kind of joke. Classmates in high school thought I was some kind of witch. I was fascinated with the occult and had realistic stories about witchdoctors and things like that, stuff I’d seen first hand.
A spirit guide once told me she felt I had witchdom in my past life. She was equally sure I’d been a Hindu priestess, and that at some point, I’d been burned at the stake. It explains the love of saris, punjabi suits, and tiny Indian nose rings. With that background, it would be quite fitting to own a black cat, no?
Yesterday, my brother and I were discussing my choice of cat. We realized that I’d have to get the cat a scratchy thingie to keep the sofas safe. I don’t how that works outside of theory, but I suppose we’ll soon find out.
So this morning I was walking to my bro’s when I suddenly thought of my cat being dead [the cat I haven’t bought yet, just so you know]. I’d have to bury it, wouldn’t I? I’d have to put it in a box and embalm it and have a little going-away ceremony, probably one involving Christian Rock and a cross.
Except … here’s the thing. I don’t like dead things. I’ve been to funerals where I couldn’t view the body because I couldn’t link the corpse with the person that I loved. I’ve poisoned rats then left the house while someone grabbed them and threw them out. I’ve squished mosquitoes and left the red blobs on the wall for weeks. Roaches too. I just couldn’t bring myself to move them. Don’t even talk of the dead spiders under the bed.
So then, how would I bury beloved Ebby? [No, it’s not weird that my imaginary dead cat has a name.] How would I hold her … or him … and put her in a box and dowse her in perfume and dig a hole and put the body in?
And while we’re at it, where would I find the space to bury her in my dream penthouse? Will it have a lawn way up there on the 25th floor? Would I have to drive to some remote shamba to bury her instead? Would the shamba owner bust me and accuse me of witchcraft for burying a dead black cat in his yard? Could I drive around for hours with a dead thing in my trunk?
There’s this beautiful black cat that hangs around Chiromo Hostels. She … or he … is so regally stuck up that when she takes a nap, she lies so still you’d think she’s dead. But she … or he … is adorable, and I always wonder whether I could take him home. Could I get this cat, become attached, and then when she dies, throw her in a blue sealed bag in the trash? Really?
Hm, maybe I’m just not ready for a cat.