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The omens

I have a tendency to interpret things that happen in an almost superstitious way. Perhaps ‘Jungian way’ would be more accurate. Which isn’t to say, of course, that I am superstitious – that’s just abysmal stupidity; certain stimuli cause me to think certain thoughts – thoughts that I find interesting, but wouldn’t necessarily trust. In an absolute sense life is meaningless; the key thing is how one interprets life. So, while the events and experiences of life are merely semi-random dots on the page of space-time, an intelligent mind connects those dots in ways it finds meaningful. Meaning is created, not discovered.

While I was in Korea (I think I’ve mentioned this on here before, but I’m not entirely sure), on one of my trips to and from Homeplus I found a cat in the parky verge between a main road and the subway line. She was very friendly and seemed quite heathly and well-fed, and I ran into her several times in the following days. I even gave her a can of tuna at one point. I started thinking that maybe I could take her home with me. One thing that put me off was the idea that she might belong to someone; more importantly, I’d feel a bit of an idiot carrying a (possibly protesting) cat through the main shopping area near my home. After about a week I didn’t see her again (except for one or two times much later on).

I feel a bit foolish admitting it, but I couldn’t help connecting her appearance to Bertha, the elder of my two cats, who I’d left with my parents. Bertha is quite old, and I realised when I went to Korea that I may never see her again. When I made the acquaintance of the Homeplus cat, I thought that maybe Bertha had died and that this could be a sign – a feline angel, even. But I rationalised that, should Bertha die, my dad would e-mail me to let me know.

Yesterday – armed with keys this time – I went again to my parents house. As the 62 bus drove though Runcorn Old Town, I saw a white cat with black markings lying on the grass near the bus stop. It could have been asleep, but it was only a couple of yards from the High Street.

When I got to my parents’ house, pretty much the first thing I did was look for Bertha and Fluff. Fluff was around, but there was no sign of Bertha. I looked in the garden and didn’t find her. As well as being old, Bertha is also blind – which, in a curious way, actually makes her quite adventurous – and she’d have been unlikely to have been far from the house. I went on the internet, responded to e-mails, uploaded my backlog of blog posts, visited the various websites I always visit and logged off again. After that, I briefly looked in the garden again and went home – well, back to my brother’s.

If Bertha had died while I was away, is it conceivable my parents wouldn’t have told me about it? Yes, I suppose it is. The natural awkwardness one has when breaking bad news combined with their pathological laziness might even make it inevitable. Of course, it’s always possible Bertha was around somewhere and I just missed her; or that my parents, knowing she’s old and weak, might have taken her to my sister’s house where she might get a bit more attention. Right now I have no answers.

On my way back to St Helens, instead of waiting for the 62 on my parents’ street, I walked down to town. And, when I got near the bus stop, I walked past the now very obviously dead white and black cat.

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Categories: Life, Thoughts
  1. Drew
    3 September 2007 at 10:24 am

    Shit man. I hope Bertha is ok. That’s quite a depressing post. Cat-related death is a painful subject for me. Really, really hope Bertha is ok.

  2. 5 September 2007 at 10:34 am

    Thanks. I haven’t actually found anything out yet, but it’ll be on here not long after I do.

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