Charlie, the Lonesome Cougar

Charlie, The Lonesome Cougar

I’m a big fan of animals in general, I have my own pets I love, and I’m frequently disturbed by stories of animal actors being mistreated on modern movie sets–but I also I love this live-action movie Disney made in the 60s that involves a cougar doing a bunch of un-cougar-like things like participating in a log roll, riding a log flume (for miles) and being chased by hunters on horseback and their dogs. While I suppose it’s possible that a cougar could be trained to do all of those things willingly, being that it was the 60’s, I wouldn’t stake my life on those cougar actors having the greatest on-set experience. I recently had my husband watch this movie for the first time, and he pointed out all the problematic aspects–which is a lesson to me not to show this movie to anyone who didn’t see it first as a kid. I

We Have Always Lived In The Cat-stle​

Sadie Sleeping

My life has been an unbroken chain of cats that connect my past to my present. Sadie, the grey tabby asleep on my floor, knew my father, who died ten years ago this summer.  Sadie knows my husband, who never met my father. I can’t talk to her about it, but I can watch the way her nose crinkles up when my husband’s fingers scratch her chin, and I remember that she did the same crinkle for my dad.

Sadie and I once lived with my parents and their cat Lacey, and Lacey, my parents and I used to live together with Silly Eyes, the fluffy yellow tomcat who showed up our new home (his old home) when I was three years old. I was allowed to name Silly Eyes, who eventually became just Silly, and he bore up nobly under that name.

My dad died just a couple of weeks before my twenty-ninth birthday, so this means forty years of cats in my life, stretching back over my sense memory like a living melody.