Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cultivating a beautiful, cat-like, nonchalance

"I remember that I would wake up in morning and hear her saying things like, 'You are so beautiful! You are a princess! Look at you!' and as I'd open my eyes I'd realize that she's talking not to me but to the cat."

"You felt like the third wheel."

"Mmm hmm. You know, I know if there'd been another woman, I would have compared myself to her physically. Sort of what does she look like? What kinds of things is my girlfriend attracted to that that I could aspire to? You know, what personality traits? Is she funny? Ah, you know.... But there was just...I didn't know what it was about Sid. I mean I could see that she was a-attractive as a cat. I could see that...she had this nonchalance that was beautiful. She didn't seem to care, really, that she was loved. So those, those were things that I did think about, really--cultivating even."

"You thought about cultivating a nonchalance."

Laughing, "That I was this concerned about it shows you that it would've been a fake, but, yeah, I thought about cultivating -- that."

Since a pet can engage our affection, it also engages all the other feelings that can go with affection: jealousy, and dependence and anger, and all the others. And as soon as any one feeling kicks in, all of the complicated dynamics that happen between any people, any household, any family, inevitably kick in. As with Heather and Sid the cat.

"I felt sort of the same way I felt um you know how when you have a crush on someone and you're friends with their significant other? and all the awkardness as you pretend that, you know, you sort of don't have the feelings you do for this other person? I sort of felt that Sid was the significant other of the person for whom I had feelings. So I felt awkward around Sid. ... I felt like they were together before I was around, and I was an interloper. Y'know all the awkwardness surrounding that."

"And, so, what's it like to be in a love triangle with with, a-another woman and, and a -- cat?"

"Well it was pretty ah diminishing. I mean, it was a beautiful cat."

Excerpt from This American Life Episode #154.
Image from http://luminouslens.baltiblogs.com/whitelight/about.html


Nigel Tewksbury said...

Haha, cats really are funny and beautiful. I think it's because they are so mysterious but also a little annoying.

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