June 6, 1952
There is nothing quite so graceful as this female. She waves her
tail as an accomplished lady would a fan, keeping it up in the air
all fluffed up. No lady ever had a plume on her hat to match its
ever-changing style and grace. Her ears are always perked and
turning with a steady sweep from fore to aft, like radar antennae
in continuous duty. The everlasting curiosity in her deep green
eyes never leaves them, and at times seems almost anxiety.
For a cat, Patches has a pretty face. Her hair is not too long,
though she is Persian. Pure white are her nose, the inside of
her ears, her three white paws, her heart, and a few blotches all
over her down to her tail. One paw is black as coal, and so
is a patch over one eye. Here and there a slight touch of brown
proclaims her a female, so they say, but she would be a female
even if she were pure gold.
When she wants out she stands with utmost dignity in front
of the door and sends me a message with her eyes. I ask, "You
want out?" and she says distinctly, "Yaw." She goes out, or rather
flows out the door, her long slender body bending away from
the door frame and around the partly opened door. One look at
the weather outside and she may change her mind, even if it's
only the sprinkler out on the lawn.
When she wants in, she paws the screen-door spring which
hangs loose all winter. If I am reading or too lazy to get up,
I pretend I don't hear and hope she'll go look for some social life.
But she is determined. I go to the window to watch her. She
rears up and grabs the door knob between her paws and gives
it a shake. I decide perhaps I better let her in.
No one loves love like Patches does. When I have been away
for a whole day and she is starving, I come in and go straight to
the refrigerator, get a kidney, chop it, and put it in her dish.
Nix. She wants to say hello frst. I pet her till she purrs miles an
hour, and then, and only then, will she start eating.
Like any female would, she has taken legal possession of my
lap whenever I sit down. No bones about it, it's hers. The utmost
tact must be exercised to cheat her out of it, or her feelings will
be hurt. No one loves recognition like Patches. To ignore her is
the worst act of sadism. When she says hello, I must speak to her,
pet her, then she'll go her way.
The social life of a female cat is full of danger, and Patches
has had to learn how to cope with a cruel world. Toughy, a
Persian-Manx, bob-tailed, gray tom, lives next door. He has all
the toms in the neighborhood absolutely buffaloed and fights like a
cyclone that just hit a warehouse full of tacks. You can pet him if he is in
the mood, but I haven't found out how to tell when he is. He always
looks tough, hence his name. Toughy can't understand Patches. You see,
she is spayed and indifferent to his advances. She can't figure out why he is so mean. For a long time
he absolutely terrified her. She'd spit her nose out at him and run for the door. Gradually she discovered that Toughy is pretty
slow on his footwork because he is stocky and heavy. She found
she could outrun him with ease, bite his bob-tail, and outmaneuver him. Eventually she learned to wear him out till he just
gave up. To Toughy she is just a dream that never will come true.
The social life of cats, I have found out, consists largely of
pow-wow in which they watch each other intently, wag their
tails --if they have tails-- and chase one another. The
conversations are often very intelligent like, "Well, what's new
in the neighborhood today? Anything happen last night?"
"No, just the usual thing." Or when things get rough, "Ow! Ouch!
Stop it! Great groans, whiskers, scram!" For all I know the
translation may be unprintable judging from the way it sounds.
At any rate, most cats hate to miss it, and they get so bored
and lonesome when no one is around!
[Pages 8 and 9]
Give me your heart
February 20, 1972
Give me your heart, and I will treat it gently,
Like a bird that just flew in from the cold.
Come warm yourself by the flame of my love,
Little bird, and you'll be
Cold no more.
Give me your heart, and I will love it gently,
Like a bird that lost its song because
It was all alone.
Come close to me and the warmth of
My love will get you singing again.
Beat, beat, O heart of mine,
Sing a song of love and life.
Of life and love sing again,
As you did when you were young
And in love with every living thing.
Sing, sing, O heart of mine.
Sing a song of love and life,
Of life and love sing again
As you did when you were a child,
And you will never, never die.
The young prophets
August 7, 1991
Simon and Garfunkel's concert in Central Park conveyed
spiritual messages in sound and words. Music reaches the soul.
They evoked the days of the anti-Vietnam war activists,
the prophets of peace. Music is a way of loving. It caresses our
spirits. Even the illiterate get the feeling. The spirit of the
people is here expressed without words as well as with them.
The concert is a spiritual experience. God bless them all.
Change comes, and will come, through the young who see
what is right and what is wrong. We are living in an age of
prophets. Most of them young. Most of them do not even realize
they are shaping the civilization of the future; a world --wide,
tolerant, and full of variety and human qualities. The forces
of good and justice will triumph over the forces of greed and