Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Tuesday Tale - Queen of Cats

Gentlereaders:

I'll be away from social media for a few days for bowel cancer surgery.
As such I am putting up a Tuesday Tale for your enjoyment while I'm away.

The following story is a retelling of the British folk tale "The King of the Cats."
I watched the one-eyed cat in my story scrounge and fight for food at the seaside restaurants along a strip on the Greek island of Paros.
The cat insisted I tell her story.


Queen of Cats

The three friends stared at the empty chair buffeted by the strong blast of wind from the sea.
It was a welcome wind, a respite from the noonday heat of the Mediterranean sun, and it sent the savory scent of grilled lamb over them.
"Damn, I wish she'd get here. I'm hungry, and we're nearly out of wine."
"She'll be along any minute. She just needed some time alone. You ever know her to miss a meal?"
All three laughed a light tinkling laugh. The wind, dwindled now to a light breeze, carried the laughter around the women, over the tables, and around the chairs. It danced past the ears of patrons along the waterfront and jumped and rolled down the street.
It tickled the ears of a thin, ragged white cat who batted it away with a paw and stretched herself in a puddle of warm sunlight. She yawned and sharpened her claws and then curled her head toward her tail and set about her regular midday bath.
She was a creature of the streets and alleys and of back yards under the moonlight. She depended on the soft hearts of tourists, the cold kindness of garbage cans, and the trust of small creatures for her sustenance.
Rough as her life was, a cat is a cat and as such must be presentable. Trusting this to be an absolute of her kind she licked and bit and worried and chased away the visitors who hid in her coat, sending them to the wind and the sun or to meet an end between her terrible teeth.
Her ears pricked up at the click of glasses and cutlery. The tones of the women's voices told her the friend had arrived.
She ran her tongue over a paw for one last check of the spot behind an ear where the fur went missing after a fight over a shrimp head and trotted over to the table, careful to seem interested yet not eager. She raised her tail and darted between their feet as the late arrival pulled out her chair.
"About time you got here. Did you get distracted at a shoe store?"
Wide–eyed and breathless the woman collapsed into the chair. "Who the hell is Tewlie Tillsbury?"
Blank faces met her question.
The cat raised her ears.
"God, I need some wine. You won't believe what I saw. I needed some exercise, right, so I took the back alleys along the edge of the village. And — I swear this is what happened -- I saw nine cats, all of them white, up on their hind legs carrying a casket."
The women stayed quiet. The white cat crept to a table leg and shrugged behind it.
The movement caught the woman's attention. She looked down "All white, just like this one. Oh, you poor thing. You've only got one eye."
The cat mewled and sat up straighter, cocking her head a fraction of a bit around the table leg.
"Anyway, the lead cat looked right at me and meowed."
The cat at their feet meowed.
"Yes. Just like that. And then it said, 'Tell Tillie Tewsbury that Tewlie Tillsbury's dead.'"
"Oh, come on."
"You always did have a good imagination. Cats and caskets. Please."
The one-eyed cat moved her head farther around and slid a paw toward the speaker, careful to keep her body braced against the table leg.
"I'm telling you."
"So," said one women fighting to keep the smile off her face, "this cat, it spoke in perfect English?"
"Close enough."
"And this message, it was just for you?
"I guess so. That's why I asked you when I sat down if you knew Tillie Tewsbury."
"No. And you're making this up."
"I'm not. It meowed again and said the same thing."
Below them the white cat meowed again, only louder.
The woman bent down. "Yes, kitty, just like that."
And the one-eyed cat's one eye grew wider. Her tail shot straight up. Her fur bristled.
"Anyway, it told me to deliver this message about Tewlie Tillsbury being dead. All I can do is repeat it."
The cat turned her eye to the woman. She raised herself up and hunched her back high as she was able. In a voice melodious  and strong the cat said, "Tewlie's gone? Our Tewlie's gone? Then I am Queen of Cats."
And she dashed between table legs and down the street and was never seen by human eyes again.
The woman sighed. "I guess I delivered the message. Is there any more wine?"

Monday, July 21, 2014

Gratitude Monday -- Weather Changes

I've always enjoyed the changes in weather.
 Each difference makes me appreciate the other. Cold makes me appreciate warm, wet makes me appreciate dry, still makes me appreciate the wind.

We've had some desperately hot weather recently.  Sleeping was difficult and cooking was the last thing on my mind. The heat coupled with the smoke from near and distance forest fires made me want to do very little.

It's cooled off and we've had  rain. We sleep better, eat better, and feel like doing more.
I am grateful for this and for the changes in the weather.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Photo-Finish Friday -- West Country Easter

EasterWestCountry 037 The Rocky Mountains at Easter. That's my husband in the foreground taking a picture. His presence adds some needed perspective.

Please click over to get the bigger picture.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Way I See It

We spend our lives cramming our souls into our limited, frail bodies.
Better we should anchor our bodies inside our vast, boundless souls.





ETA: The above quote is mine.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Yeah. So?

I have to remind myself I have cancer. Not to dwell on it, but simply to recall the fact of it.
It seems remote to me, a thing not part of my life.
For one, I suppose, I haven't had it very long. New things take time.
For two, I neither look nor feel sick. 
I have no idea how I am supposed to feel so whatever I feel is right for me.
As for looking sick, I don't and am glad of it. In fact I look and feel better than I have in years.
Whether it's real or reversed dysmorphia is immaterial. I think I look good, ergo I do look good.
It does, however, colour my perception. 
When I think of cancer patients I picture someone, pale, sickly, usually gaunt, and often bald.
This is silly. There are as many looks to cancer as there are people who have it.
But right now when I hear about the disease I think of those who have it or have had it.
Other people.

Then this happens:

Voice In My Head (VIMH) : "Hey, you have cancer."
Other Voice In My Head (OVIMH): "Yeah. So?"
VIMH: "Uhhh, hmm. Never mind."
OVIMH: "Okay."




Monday, July 14, 2014

Gratitude Monday -- That New Bike Smell

I got a new mountain bicycle on the weekend.
It's a Rocky Mountain Fusion with 29" wheels and 27 speeds.
Gears change with a click rather than the turn of a wrist like I've been used to. It's easier, but I have to adjust to which lever is up and which is down.
The seat goes back and forth as well as up and down and the handlebars can be adjusted to turn away or turn toward me.
The finer adjustments will take time and all of this is quite new to me.  The bike is several steps up to what I'm used to, but it is fun to find out the proper setting.
Right now I have a new bike and I am grateful.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Photo-Finish Friday -- A Boreal Sunset

The sun sets late in Alberta and the farther north one goes the longer lingers the twilight.
This photo was taken at Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, about 15 minutes after the sun had set, about 10:30 p.m.
It doesn't really get dark up there at night. The closest it comes is a deep twilight around 3 a.m.


Please click to enlarge

MartenSlavePark 005