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.