11 | Lost Cat | Granta 107 | Magazine | Granta Magazine
This morning, I woke with yesterday's story in my mind. I am writing all this week, and Kevin is looking after the kids (they are headed on bicycles to their first summer swim lesson this morning--and the sun is shining).
I did not mean to start my writing morning by reading a long essay by a writer who has lost her cat; but if you have time, consider reading it, too (link above: "Lost Cat," by Mary Gaitskill). It is about much more than losing a cat, of course. It is about how humans attempt to love and to change each other, out of love, or out of what we interpret as being love; and about how we are haunted by our childhoods; how our patterns establish themselves and persist; and about so many other small and moving things: the difference between sentimental and sentiment, and where our real feelings intersect with the feelings we use to hide from ourselves our real feelings.
In a paragraph that made me laugh out loud, the author begins to ask random people, strangers, even, whether they have a psychic feeling about where her lost cat might be, and she writes: "I am still amazed by how many of them claimed they did." Which made me wonder, would I claim to have psychic feelings about a stranger's lost cat, if asked? I probably would. I would probably appreciate being asked, and entirely believe that my feelings on the subject were as legitimate as anyone else's. Wouldn't you?
Well, anyway. The essay is not primarily about the cat, but about other relationships, of the human variety. I won't give it away. The pleasure of this essay--like the pleasure of so many experiences--is letting it unfold without guessing in advance what it will reveal. (Don't get me started on those movie trailers that spoil a good movie by revealing all the best lines).
Now I shall hang laundry in the sunshine, and mull the effect of this essay, and its effect on the story I am writing.
And then, I shall write.