For All You Cat Lovers Out There—

Renoir, Sleeping Girl With Cat, Clark Museum, Williamstown, Massachusetts

I hope you won’t hold it against me, but I have never been able to warm to the species. Not that I’m completely close-minded on the subject. Recently Herb and I even cat-sat brothers Ed and Nono for a week. First off, possibly resentful that he had been left with two complete strangers , Nono peed on my bed. That was not good.

If my friends and family are any indication, I’d say there may be more cat people than there are dog people.

It does seem there is something mysteriously attractive about cats.  Every culture, every age honors them, not only as beloved pets.

There was even a time when they were considered gods.

Painters have found them and their relations to humans inspiring (see above.)

The poet, TS.Eliot, wrote a whole book  of poetry about them.

“The Ad-dressing of Cats” From Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

You’ve read of several kinds of Cat,
And my opinion now is that
You should need no interpreter
To understand their character.
You now have learned enough to see
That Cats are much like you and me
And other people whom we find
Possessed of various types of mind
And some are good and some are bad
And some are better, some are worse—
But all may be described in verse.
You’ve seen them both in work and games,
And learnt about their proper names.
Their habits and their habitat:
     How would you ad-dress a Cat?

     So first your memory I’ll jog
And say: A CAT IS NOT A DOG.

      Now dogs pretend they like to fight;
They often bark, more seldom bite;
But yet a Dog is, on the whole,
What you would call a simple soul. 
Of course I’m not including Pekes,
And such fantastic canine freaks.
The usual Dog about the Town
Is much inclined to play the clown,
And far from showing too much pride
Is frequently undignified.
He’s very easily taken in—
Just chuck him underneath the chin
Or slap his back or shake his paw,
And he will gambol and guffaw.
He’s such an easy-going lout,
He’ll answer any hail or shout.

     Again I must remind you that
A Dog’s a Dog—A CAT’S A CAT

     With Cats, some say, one rule is true:
Don’t speak till you are spoken to
Myself, I do not hold with that—
I say you should ad-dress a Cat.
But always keep in mind that he
Resents familiarity.
I bow, and taking off my hat,
Ad-dress him in this form: O CAT!
But if he is the Cat next door,
Whom I have often met before
(He comes to see me in my flat)
I greet him with an OOPSA CAT!
I think I’ve heard them call him James—
But we’ve not got so far as names.
Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is neeeded, like a dish of cream:
And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie.
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste—
He’s sure to have hisi personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
O eating nothing else but rabbit.
And when he’s finished, licks his paws
So’s not to waste the onion sauce.)
A Cat’s entitled to expect
These evidences of respect.
And so in time you reach your aim
And finally call him by his NAME

     So this is this, and that is that:
And there’s how you AD-DRESS A CAT.

Eliot’s cat book was the inspiration for Cats, the Musical, which ran on Broadway for 18 years and 7,845 performances. A movie version is coming. No doubt about it; people are crazy about cats! But you cat lovers have to admit; they are very sneaky. You never know where they are.

Call me crazy, but I find it disturbing to encounter a grey fuzzy cat critter lying in my bathtub or perched on top of the refrigerator.

Nono on refrigerator








I’ve Been Busted!

Somehow the digits discovered that I am an interloper from another age, trespassing on their territory where I have absolutely no business being.

This morning they took away my wi-fi network. What do you mean “You’re not connected to the internet”? Why not! And my in box!  What happened to my in box?? How can I check my email without my in box?  Maybe the exercise guy has a special offer on How to Strengthen My Core. What if Dr whatshisname is trying to alert me to the vegetable I must never eat!

With no internet and no in box, what’s a girl to do for distraction? Well, here’s what you do if you’re me. You CALL STEVEN!!

Some women think they are lucky because their daughter married a doctor, or an attorney. There’s probably some fortunate soul somewhere who has a geriatrician for a son-in-law. Well eat your heart out, ladies. My daughter had the intelligence to marry a friend of the digits! They’re very close.

Steven Alper is a fixer, so of course he fixed it. And here I am back, serving as your favorite distractor.

I have no doubt, however, that the digits will be back, exercising their intolerant authority over their domain. You know they have their sneaky ways of learning what you’re up to—algorithims and all that.


Outside My Window

Inquiring Minds Want to Know.

A middle-aged man strolling by, fringe surrounding his bald head and a little pot belly—shorts, flowered sports shirt—led by one of those darling fluffy lap dogs. Coming from the opposite direction another man exactly like the first: fringe surrounding his bald head, a little pot belly—shorts, flowered sports shirt—led by the same breed of little dog.

The men wave; they stop on my corner to chat, and the dogs go wild! They climb all over each other, exchange licks, run around in circles tangling the leashes. After a few minutes the men untangle the leashes with difficulty and move on. What’s the explanation? Twin men with dogs from the same litter? Very strange.


I Cried When I Saw the Look on Her Face; She Has No Clue!

What in the hell are we teaching to our children? How is it that a young woman can reach the threshold of adulthood, be enrolled in an institution of higher learning and be so ignorant—so innocent—that she has no concept at all of our American heritage, of our judicial system, or for that matter of the ten commandments.

At first, because I am pro-life, my reaction was anger—at her. But when I saw her face, I realized that it is she who has suffered a great wrong and it is we who have failed her. How on earth did this happen? And what can we do about it? We had better figure this out, and quick, because she is our future.

She believes (she knows) she is right and that’s what matters to her. If you have the courage of your convictions, apparently, anything goes. Reason, argument, debate, abiding by the law—none of that matters.

The entire educational system needs to be revamped—from top to bottom. And maybe what we need is another Great Awakening!

You’ve got to hand it to this cop. He tried to explain. Treated her with respect. He probably feels the same way I do.


I’m old fashioned, but I don’t mind it, that’s how I want to be . . .

Daughter Sarah, s-i-l Steven Alper, and their adult grand provide musical accompaniment for these observations. Just click the arrow.

When I sent my grandson an Amazon gift card for his birthday,  I received an email thank you. The first line reads: “I got your card in the mail. (You’re so old-fashioned.)”

Yes, I am.

Let me count the ways:

1. There’s no TV in our house.

2. I still write letters (to two people), and send all greeting cards, notes of condolence, and thank you’s by mail.

3. I write in a consistent cursive hand.

4. I prefer paper books (real books) to e-books.

5. I still pay bills by writing checks.

6. My taste in “popular” music runs to Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Glen Miller, Nat King Cole, Ben Webster and the like.

7. I don’t drive, not because I’m slow to react , which I probably am. Truth is except for a brief period, I’ve never driven because it always scared me.

8. Like all old geezers since the beginning of time, I think the young uns, as a group, have run off the rails.

9.. A lot of the music in my house comes from our large vinyl collection.

10. I’m patriotic and proud of it.

That’s ten. Now in my defense, here are ten ways I’m “with it.”

1. I have a smart phone. True, I only use it to summon Uber, buzz in the FedEx deliveries to my building (we don’t have a door man), and occasionally text a youngun to whom even email is so yesterday.

2.  I buy almost everything online—even groceries, with the exception of produce and things that need refrigeration.

3. Though I don’t do online banking, I use the computer to check my credit card statement from time to time to make sure the bad guys aren’t messing with it and my bank activity to see what checks have cleared.

4. I’ve co-authored two books that were published using POD. And if you don’t know what that is, Google it.

5. Does email count? Of course I have it, and am insulted when people ask me if I do. Doesn’t everybody?

6. I have a robot vacuum cleaner.

7. We own an Epson MovieMate and watch movies (admittedly many of them “old movies”) and some TV series.

8. I don’t read newspapers; I get my news from the internet.

9. I see great potential in the young people I know personally and their friends. I understand that their ways are not my ways. I’m coming around to accepting their love of video games, for instance, though I do worry that the addictive nature of all things digital deprives them of time to develop their natural talents and their true nature.

10. Although there are tremendous gaps in my knowledge of the computer, I can use it to do what’s important to me. I’m communicating with you via this blog, am I not?

However on balance, my grandson is probably right.

If we were to explore this subject more deeply, I’m pretty sure I’d qualify as old fashioned. But fortunately, Herb has agreed “to stay old fashioned with me.”