Cecila’s Tale

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Cecilia stretched. That had been a really nice dream, but now she was hungry. She wondered when her human would come home and feed her. She had tried opening one of those cans herself once, but couldn’t quite get the hang of it; in any case what use were humans if not to serve cats. Didn’t the great white feline teach that this was their purpose? It went like this: the world was divided into three levels. On the top (of course) were cats, next there were humans and finally there were the lowest of the low – the dogs. The role of the human was to serve the cat. If she did this well then as a reward she would be reincarnated as a cat. If she did not serve her cat to the utmost then she would be condemned to live another existence as a mere human. If she mistreated her cat in any way then they would suffer the ultimate punishment and be reincarnated as a dog!

Her human had been acting strangely lately and Cecilia was trying to understand why. Humans had such complicated lives. For some strange reason they believed they always had to go out and do something. Maybe they believed they had to keep active else their heads might fall off. Cecilia much preferred just lying around and sleeping, eating or just looking out of the window. Of course there was a time long ago when she did go out and explore the world. Ah, she thought, that was when it all started.

It began about six years ago, when Cecilia was just six months old. She had an argument with her mother:

“Cecilia” her mother meowed, “you’re getting so big now. Surely you can go out and find your own human to live with.”

“But mother,” she mewed, “I like it here – anyway you need me, you’re going to have another litter. I can help!”

“No, you’d only get in the way. You know your problem? You’re scared. You don’t think you could tame you own human.”

This made Cecilia very angry. “I can too!” she mewed and out she ran into the street. Her mother sighed as she watched her leave. “Had to be done,” she said and went back to her preparations for her new litter.

Cecilia had never been out of the house before and at first she was very scared. There seemed to be so many humans. How would she know when she found the right one? Would she really be able to domesticate one? She had heard that they were very difficult to train! She ran on through the maze of streets and soon she was completely lost. She realized now that she could never find her way back to her mother’s house even if she wanted to. Suddenly she stopped short; the pads of her paws were perspiring. There in front of her was a cat’s greatest nightmare – a dog, but not just any dog; this dog was so large that it would not have fitted in her mother’s house. It was black and shaggy and had a rancid canine odor. Then it spoke to her in a deep gruff voice.

“What are you doing here little cat? This is my domain!”

At first Cecilia wanted to run, but then she decided to be brave. After all, she thought, dogs are known to be stupid; she was sure she could outwit it.

“I came to warn you” she mewed, “there’s a dog catcher on the next street. Run into your house. There you’ll be safe.”

“Thank you little cat” he barked, and ran quickly into his human’s home.

Cecilia wandered on through the streets feeling very proud that she had got passed the dog. She thought of her sisters and brothers – “They would never be that brave,” she meowed.

It was getting dark and Cecilia was beginning to feel hungry. Better find a human soon, she thought. She heard voices in the house up ahead and decided to take a look.

“Oh look, a cat!”

“She’s cute! Come here kitty. Are you hungry?”

Cecilia walked slowly toward the human and rubbed against her.

“Look she’s friendly! I’ll get her some milk.”

As Cecilia lapped the milk she started to purr. Nearly trained already, she thought – that was easy!

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Contemplating Author Appearances

As I get ready for the upcoming release of my novel P.A.W.S. I found this blog about author appearances from the Huffington Post interesting. I feel that the ideal author appearance might be a combination of all three approaches – maybe a short reading, followed by a Q and A and then a signing where the author gets to meet their readers individually. Thoughts?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-dicks/post_4820_b_3293703.html?ncid

Contemplating a Paper Cup

Back in St. Louis I spent some time with my daughter today in Saint Louis Bread Company (Panera in the rest of the country) and started contemplating the ubiquitous paper cups and thinking about how different this is from Israel and Europe.

During my trip I visited countless cafes and fast food places and was struck by one distinct difference – real cups, plates and cutlery – virtually the only time you’ll see a paper cup is when you’re ordering a drink to go – as it should be. The only exceptions American franchises like Starbucks and McDonald’s  Even in the vast food court in Stratford’s Westfield shopping center the food was served on real plates, cutlery and cups, that were dutifully collected by a real human being to be washed and reused.

Why is this simple act considered so difficult here in the States, that only “real” restaurants can do it? 

The Reward

It’s Friday and I’m in Madrid, sitting in a small Spanish restaurant drinking wine and waiting for my vegetable paella. This is my reward after weeks of packing boxes and going through mounds of photographs; after staying up all night at Ben Gurion airport and trying to catch a little sleep in the cramped Iberia plane. A day to myself – nine whole hours in Madrid.

I like to explore cities. I have friends I know who prefer the countryside; prefer to lose themselves in nature, but I, like my father before me, enjoy nothing more than losing myself in the streets of a bustling metropolis.  I love New York. I adore London (the next stop on this trip). And Madrid, so far, reminds me of London, but without London’s relentless crowds. It seems doable, civilized. Through the windows of the cafe I see a policeman directing the traffic and pedestrians, and everyone pays attention.

I have at least four hours until I need to make my way back to the airport. I could go to the Prado and admire the grand art, but I probably won’t. Instead I’ll wander the streets watching the people carrying on with their daily lives. This is my reward . . . today I get to do whatever I want.