January 14, 2013
May 17, 2012
I’m sitting on the balcony with a spliff in hand and I am talking to MuMu but she isn’t sayinn a word. Instead she is pressing her face against my hand with an insistence that bespeaks a need we both have. And even though she does not answer me, I continue to talk because that’s my thing, words in all forms.
And as I speak I begin to realize that if I kept talking she would eventually answer me with words of her own. And then I get it, and I understand why it is that The Cat is carrying on. Because in teaching her to speak, she acquired a voice and once given language there is no returning to the silence of Pandora’s Box.
And I am thinking about this, about how language is a liberation of sorts for it allows us to realize our thoughts in an external form. We can articulate our wishes, desires, needs. We can share our thoughts, fantasies, dreams. We can put it all out there, not only to voice our world but to engage with another and create something new.
And I think about how The Cat talks all the time, not just with meows but with chirps and other noises. A full fledged vocabulary, a wide range of speech, not just of sounds but of tones, innuendos, implications, meaning, Everywhere is meaning and I am the only one who does not understand because when I say Hello she says Hello and when I say How you doinn she says Fine, thanks.
And sometimes I think she is the Queen of Small Talk with her observations about the mundane but then I think, This is her life. To her it is all that there is. And since acquiring a voice, she feels a need to narrate, to share a discourse despite the fact we are of different species. And then I think this liberation is a strange thing because once given her voice, she can do everything—she can praise just as quickly as she can complain. And once given a voice, it cannot be undone and now that she speaks, she is that much more able to enter my world. And I hers. And back and forth it goes. And what would it have been if she never learned to speak? I will never know.
But what’s amazing is that I learn all this in speaking with MuMu who is not my cat and doesn’t really know me but wants to chill. Because she loves attention and she loves weed and she loves to tell me things with gestures because gesture is the silent form of speech.