Thursday, August 20, 2020

This Night's Monolith

It’s difficult to sleep in very hot weather. Add to that the usual problems that cats get up to, and sleepless nights - or, to be more accurate, unrestful nights - may result.

Very early this morning, Josie started throwing up. She normally gives plenty of warning - her heaves will continue for half a minute before they are consummated with the production of upchuck - so I had time not only to get out of bed and make sure she was in the bathroom - she was already - but to put a cat-food box under her to obviate any need to clean up a mess. It was only four o’clock, so I had another hour of sleep remaining, if I could drift off readily enough.

It was not meant to be. One of my outsider-cats, Jessel, had come by for some hard-food and had taken offence at the presence of another outsider-cat, watching him eat. This is one I have seen before, though rarely. A patchy orange and white fellow, whom I’ve named Beaumont, he has not, so far as I know, dined at Café Cosy. And Jessel evidently wanted to keep it that way.

This disagreement over place settings resulted in a wailing match that began behind my apartment, continued down an alley, across a street and back to my apartment, despite my strenuous complaints to a distracted Jessel and his even less mindful rival.

Have you seen 2001: a Space Odyssey? There is a memorable portion of the film, at its start, which depicts very early man’s tribulations when he has no weapons with which to defend himself. The nights are spent in terror of wild animals, and the days are filled with raucous fights between opposing tribes, none of which has the courage to close with its opponents in actual physical combat. This impasse is altered by the arrival of the mysterious and omnipotent monolith, which inspires man to create and destroy. I was reminded of that situation last night: two antagonists, neither of which wanted to risk injury, facing off to see who had the greater courage, or simple endurance.

I suppose, in a very loose adaptation, I was last night’s monolith. But I brought no weapon for one cat or the other. I merely consigned both would-be pugilists to perdition, telling them to come back later, and separately, and they would be served a good meal. I think if 2001’s monolith had taken that tack, mankind’s history would have been kinder. And more filling. I never did get back to sleep.


  1. I think I'm known in my neighborhood as "That weird woman who goes outside with a flashlight at 2 a.m. to break up cat fights."

    Just one of the many joys of being a Cat Person.

  2. other than Josie, I;m betting the rest of the crew had no trouble returning to slumber land !!! Do hope she's OK and just needed to pass a troubling hair "deposit" { ever wonder why they are called hairballs; when in all actuality they should be called hairlogs } ??? my weird thought for the day ♥♥☺☺

    1. My Chubs was all right afterward, though she ate lightly for breakfast. (And I’ve wondered, too: they are never in the form of balls…)

  3. We have 11 ferals and every once in a while a bad attitude newbie shows up just to create havoc and it gets rather loud sometimes.

  4. I'm so glad to hear that Josie has recovered. But while you were unable to get back to sleep, it looks like that was not a problem for the staff of the Cafe Cosy.

  5. I have no cafe just now. If I do, I have several who will come by and dine. Katie however will turn into a Tasmanian Devil cat! She can't stand another cat in HER yard. Her histrionics are epic, and should be videoed and put on Utube for kittens to watch and learn.

  6. I am glad Josie was all right afterwards, and hope you get a better night's sleep tonight.

  7. Ah! 2001 a Space l call it...
    Goodness what a bore..think l gave about
    15mins on it's first outing..! :(.

    Your a marvel to keep up with it all John..
    Keeping one cat can be a bit of a problem,
    but, you've got all yours, visitors, all the
    wild life, and the raccoons..notice l've kept
    the raccoons separate..just in case..! :).

  8. The cats are really loving the new bedclothes!

    1. I don't know if it's because the bedspread is new, or because of its material, or if the beasts are more conscientious in their duties, but it really collects the cat-hair.

  9. The photo of Neville and Tucker and Renn look so peaceful, it sounds
    like a true novel you have written, instead of actual happenings.
    Catterwalling can certainly keep any one awake at night, and disrupted
    sleep is just so hard to overcome. At least you can try to sleep just
    knowing that the indoor cats are comfy and the outdoor ones are fed
    and quiet temporarily. We have had such cold morns here in Ohio, it
    is hard to picture your heat. Hope your Sept break is cooler.

  10. I guess Jessel hasn't learned that the Cafe Cozy is open to all. I'm pretty sure I'd be up and hollering (to my neighbour's annoyance) if there was the potential of a cat fight in my back yard.

    Hope Josie was just ridding herself of some extra fur.

    Take care and stay well!

  11. We hope Josie is feeling better. The face off is something that comes from a hard life and hopefully when Jessel and the Beaumont begin to understand that there will be enough for both they will settle into a quiet stalemate. With the prerequisite at least 3' distance between them which it seems cats mostly prefer in the wild.