Love in Texas

1. Today a stray cat approached a friend and me while we were talking. It rubbed against both of our pant legs and was tremendously affectionate. It had a wound near its head that looked like another animal attacked it.

I’m calling animal control tomorrow, but I’m going to miss that cat. I really don’t like the thought of it being put down: I just hope they can find someone who will take it. I’d take it if I weren’t deathly allergic. The little cat hair it left triggered my asthma almost immediately.

2. Friendship is probably not seen as valuable in a goal-oriented, materialistic age. There are things to be accomplished! You go to school to get grades, use grades to get opportunities and jobs, use jobs to find someone to settle down with, buy a house and have a family or see your career as an end in itself and amass success. You shouldn’t even read a book unless you get something definite out of it. How on earth can time with other people who are not formally committed to you be of any interest?

What we didn’t anticipate in our friendless age: when friends go, so do home and family. Families can be wrapped up in the most arcane rules and petty politics even while being seen as a group one can do anything with. The virtue of family, that shared love can be extended, is meaningless. There’s no one for whom such love can be extended.

What that cat wanted simply doesn’t exist.

3. Can’t complain. Plenty of people do amazing things for me and treat me well. They even listen to the crazy, stupid things I have to say. I’m still thinking of that damn cat.

I’ve been addicted to Lauridsen’s “Ave Maria” recently. Like “O Magnum Mysterium” and “Lux Aeterna,” it has warm, chromatic tones and a tender feel. It doesn’t seem cloying to me. The emphasis is on Mary as Mother and raising one’s voice to her in a salute. Lauridsen’s setting definitely makes sure “Hail Mary” goes with the verses describing Mary’s earthly task and “Holy Mary” with those that unite us to her in hope.

I don’t know what to say. To complain would be ungrateful. At the same time, I get the feeling that if I’m feeling a lack of affection, some others are feeling a lack that much more. This state is what it is: self-reliant and rugged and individualistic. At least around Philadelphia, we were once apprehensive about Michael Vick.

3 Comments

  1. I once felt the same love for the black marble counter top in my kitchen as for my husband. Strange. Perhaps that kitty felt the love consciousness in your legs so she wasn’t trying to love you, just getting closer to the catnip?

    Don’t they have drugs now that prevent allergic reactions from cats?

    Don’t you still feel apprehensive about Michael Vick????

  2. My favorite part of this post:
    “Families can be wrapped up in the most arcane rules and petty politics even while being seen as a group one can do anything with. The virtue of family, that shared love can be extended, is meaningless. There’s no one for whom such love can be extended.”

    What a beautiful and terrifying observation. The power of a family is undervalued and underappreciated in every area of society today…. heres hoping that turns around soon.

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