Light The Light.

To One and All,

Happy ChrisHanuKwanSolstice 2018!

In a few  hours from now Top Cat and I will be guzzling champagne in our special Solstice spot on the shore of Long Island Sound as we toast the Return of the Light in a 60-degree wind and rainstorm. It’ll be just like every cliche in a romantic comedy, us getting soaked while making some grand gesture to the universe.

A few days ago I heard some caterwauling coming from the front stoop. It was Steve, defending his Stevedom from an intruder:

I’ve never seen this tabby before.

So, yes, there’s a new guy on the block.

He’s very handsome, and both sleek and a bit tubby so I know he has a regular dinner bowl set out for him somewhere, and his ear is clipped so, whew, he’s already been TNR’d, and he’s tame enough that he let me sit on the front step with him and explain that this is Steve’s turf and we don’t really need another cat, and I eventually persuaded him to go look for some excitement elsewhere.

He came back the next day,around late-lunch time, to inspect Steve’s buffet again, and again I had to mildly shoo him away and he, again, took his time deciding that OK, maybe he actually did have better things to do than irritate Steve.

And then the weather system that spawned tornados in Washington state hooked up with a massive storm from Florida and it’s been raining heavily here on the north shore of Long Island, so I haven’t seen Freddie for two days.

Right. I had to name the new guy Freddie because I am still getting my Queen freak on. And as if I could not crush on Freddie Mercury, Queen’s inimitable front man, any more than I already do, I recently learned how much he loved cats. At one time, he had ten of them. You can google all kinds of stories about Freddie and his cats, and while they all agree that Delilah was his favorite (he even wrote a song about her), the consensus was that Delilah was either a tabby or a tortoiseshell.

This is a photo of Goliath, Freddie Mercury’s black cat, and Delilah:

You would think, at any kind of newspaper or magazine or website, that there would be at least ONE proofreader or fact-checker who would know the difference between a tabby, a tortoiseshell, and a freaking calico cat.

But we all have shocking gaps in our knowledge of the world, right? This week, for example, it was revealed to me that Mars, the planet that humanity will have to colonize when we are finished trashing our own dear Earth, is behind us. That is, it is further away from the sun — 141.6 million miles (on a good day) compared to our 92.96 million miles.

Since approx. 1962, I have pictured Mars as being in front of us on all those scale models of the solar system that I have glanced at since second grade. For some reason, learning that Mars is behind us has upset my whole conception of interplanetary travel. We’re going to shoot people further out and away from the only life-giving star that we can count on in the entire universe??

It bothers me.

But then I go watch Queen’s set at Live Aid in London on July 13, 1985 and I don’t care any more that humankind wants to go ruin another perfectly fine planet, especially at the 7:39 mark when Freddie lunges into Hammer To Fall. I watch that video and I wonder, at myself in 1985, How did I not know he was gay?

We all have shocking gaps in our knowledge of the world, right?

But let’s not dwell on our stupidity. Let’s celebrate our abundant opportunities for enlightenment, in big and little ways, that life on this precious planet gives us every day.

That’s the spirit of all my ChrisHanuKwanSolstice wishes, Past and Present.

To all you Wonder Ones, my beloved Dear Readers, and all your favorite people and critters (even those taking their  sled rides in Heaven) —

A most enlightening and very Happy New Year.



9 Comments, RSS

  1. Patricia

    I did rather like that each cat had their own room in Freddie’s house. No doubt the cats preferred it that way also. One of our cats actually LIKED other cats and would bring strays home. He never minded other cats strolling through his yard. At 17 pounds, he was not easily intimidated. He’d just eyeball trash talking cats until they shut up and slunk away. His best buddy ( a Russian blue stray he rescued) lived next door and the boys spent all day long together …

    Merry everything and happy early boxing day. Friends of ours once celebrated Festivus and all went well until the annual airing of the grievances. That did not GO WELL. It required healing period of an extended period of time…

  2. Megan

    Seasonal greetings to you and yours! Happy ChrisHanuKwanSolstice. Just a few minutes ago at 9.23am we enjoyed the solstice here in the southern hemisphere… we are now happy it is all down hill to winter. I must say that Freddie is a very handsome cat, too bad Steve is having to protect his lunch buffet, still there is obviously an aura about your home that attracts the felines. Lovely cards that you’ve made in the past, very pretty love the sledding cat and dog. Hope you have a wonderful ChrisHanuKwanSolstice and that it is filled with peace and joy, stay away from the shops, no peace and joy there. Hope 2019 is a wonderful year for you and Top Cat and the cats.

  3. Karen

    Thank you for the cat photos and stories and all the lovely paintings. Your blog brings me so much cheer during the year. Happy Holidays to you and your family (felines included, of course!) and best wishes for 2019.

  4. Kirra

    Merry Christmas Vivian and other blog readers! I love your rainbow tree in the middle of the white forest. I hope your champagne drinking went well with Top Cat despite the storm?!?

    I’m sure Steve was having none of new cat Freddie trying to share his precious spot. Maybe you got through to him in the end. Thanks for sharing all your paintings, they are great for this time of year, especially as I’m in the northern hemisphere this time. However it doesn’t quite feel like normal Christmas, kind of surreal winter Christmas……funny as most people here can’t cope with the concept of a summer Christmas. Anyway I’m looking forward to trying out a champagne-o-meter, though it does require some coordination to remember to put it outside before it snows. You can tell I’m a rookie!

  5. Parisbreakfast

    I had to look up TNR. Next step check the ears of all roaming cats on the Ile. Always a fountain of information, Vivian.
    Does drizzle change after the Winter Solstice? Here I think not. I wish you many bottles of Champagne in the coming year, though that entails more snow so a paradox. I hope Freddie makes the grade…a good looking chap who doesn’t give up easily. Lovely artwork from Christmases past.
    Joyeux Noël!

  6. Becky

    I love the rainbow tree in the stark white forest.
    I never get tired of the kitty stories or the beautiful pictures you included. I especially like the one of the dog and cat sled with such glee.
    Happy holidays and the best in 2019!

  7. Freddie is handsome to be sure, but I hope he stays clear of Steve’s domicile. I don’t see a bromance here.

    How I love seeing your winter paintings again. I just finished yet another reading of Wanderers, this time month by month. How that art inspires me! I sometimes don’t know if I’ll ever find the free style I crave but oh, how I love your art!

    I’ve been off the grid for too long here and catching up, having made it through the holidays, if not in great health, good spirits. We bypassed the airing of grievances (well, almost — only they just came out without the designated speaker realizing the day!) and with cute babies and glorious glances at the rainbow tree card that made me smile on a dark dog day. Thank you for that!

    Here’s to loads of champagne (in and out of snow), remembering the Solstice, celebrating all the deserves to be celebrated, big purrs, healthy cats and people, too, and loads of creativity in the year to come!

    • Vivian

      I’m sending you a fluffy rainbow-colored cloud of good wishes for you, Jeanie, that a little magic dust will glitter into your paint box and you’ll find your stroke in 2019. Of course you will!

      We only saw Freddie once more so maybe his people are keeping him inside for now, which will be a big relief to Steve. And to Top Cat, who hopes to break me of my habit of bringing every stray home to our herd. We have our hands full with 8, where everyone has settled (more or less) in the pecking order and, for the most part, life is peaceful. Yes. 8 is enough.

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