While Googling in preparation for the possible adjudication of a dispute in a CalPundit comment thread, I came across the introduction of a coffee table book entitled Cats of Cairo. I could not imagine a cuter collection of sappy Orientalism.
[E]very visitor to the Islamic world is aware of the innumerable cats in the streets of Cairo - and of Istanbul, Kairouan, Damascus, and many other cities. Virtually everywhere, one is reminded of the saying popularly attributed to the Prophet Muhammad: "Love of cats is part of the faith."

[ . . . ]

The life of a cat has always been considered precious throughout the Islamic world: in Turkey it has been thought that even to build a mosque was not sufficient to atone for the killing of a cat, and in Muslim Bengal only eleven pounds of the most precious commodity, salt, was acceptable blood money for the death of a cat.

[ . . . ]

But in the urban areas of Arabia and of other countries that became Islamized in the seventh and eighth centuries, cats played an important role, and folktales abound. For example, everyone knows how, according to folk tradition, the Prophet Muhammad cut off his coat sleeve because he had to get up for prayer and was loath to disturb his cat Muizza, peacefully sleeping on the sleeve; or how a cat gave birth to her kittens on the prophet's coat, and he took care of the offspring. Therefore, numerous friendly sayings about cats are attributed to him. For the future generations of Muslims, it was essential to know that the cat is a clean animal - even if she drinks from the water in a bowl, this water can still be used for the ablutions before prayer (while the dog's saliva renders everything impure). Thus we often find cats in the mosque, and they are gladly welcomed there not only because they keep the mice at bay, but also because the pious think that the cat herself performs ablutions, while purring is often compared to the dhikr, the rhythmic chant-ing of the Sufis.

To show mercy to animals, and in particular to cats, was considered meritorious. A lovely Sufi tale tells how Shibli, an Iraqi Sufi of the tenth century, appeared to someone in a dream after his death, and recounted how God Almighty had shown mercy to him. Being interrogated by the Lord as to whether he was aware which of his acts had gained him forgiveness, Shibli - so he told the dreaming person - had enumerated a long list of virtuous acts, supererogative prayers, travels in search of knowledge, fasting, almsgiving, and much more. "But the Lord told me: 'Not for all this have I forgiven you!' And I asked: 'But then why?' And He said: 'Do you remember that winter night in Baghdad, when it was snowing and you saw a tiny kitten shivering on a wall, and you took it and put it under your fur coat?' 'Yes, I remember that!' 'Now, because you had pity on that poor little cat, I have mercy on you.'"
Running in parallel is the introduction to Zen Cats, which may conflate the notions of nirvana and sleeping for twenty hours a day.
I am such an incredible gardener )

Ok, it is the area into which I toss what dead mice the cats leave on the kitchen floor.
The little one is safely home, at last, from the hospital, eating voraciously and napping in the laundry basket. Thanks to all for their best wishes; they were much appreciated.

New icon from the alternate universe in which it's Cordelia Chase, not Charisma Carpenter, guest-starring on Veronica Mars, for some reason ad libbing her own dialogue from "Killed By Death." Also, I made yet another Justice League icon.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It would be cute were it atpophenia, noun: seeing connections every year in June or July, and maybe at the occasional mini-meet.
I just took the Little One into the pet hospital -- it appears to be the same problem he had two years ago. This time, though, I caught it a lot quicker, which might be for the best but had I instead waited until tomorrow morning, I could have taken him to my regular vet, who I suspect is a lot cheaper. I've never really had to weigh a pet against money, but saving this cat is going to be more expensive than the new computer I'd been eying. Anyway, I'm a little heartsick over the whole thing.
Today's number is so embarrassingly high that I refuse to post it. I hate it when they set out to deliberately screw me! I mean, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Sunday's number is lower.

Thanks to everyone who responded to my last post. I'm planning to drop by the vet's after dinner ([livejournal.com profile] rahael -- I may be a little later than I suggested I would be). Keep your fingers crossed.
Today's number is 5:41.

Any day a cat does not die is a good day. I thought I was going to lose the little one today: around 10:30 last night, he became lethargic and wouldn't eat. By three, he was completely uninterested in moving. It was far too late to take him to the vet, so I put him in a warm, comfortable spot and tried to get some sleep. When I got up, I couldn't find him: he had somehow climbed down two flights of steps and curled up in the litter box in the basement. He was by now completely limp and breathing only shallowly. I called the vet, and they told me to bring him in at 11.
I had a previously scheduled dental appointment for 11 (my dentist is just down the road from my vet) so I planned to drop him off and check back after my cleaning.

I don't think I adequately conveyed the seriousness of the situation when I got there, but once the receptionist saw him, she rushed back to get the doctor. From what I understand, he had a blocked bladder; when they catheterized him, they drew pure blood. His temperature had dropped to 98 degrees (cats are supposed to run hotter than humans). Now, though, they tell me he is recovering nicely. He's on fluids and a heating pad, and is apparently alert and responsive. They'll release him either tomorrow evening or Friday.

I was sure when I got back to the vet's after my appointment that I would have been picking up an empty carrier; but I should not have doubted that this cat is charmed. I found him in my back yard when he was no more than four weeks old, covered in flies and yellow, pollen-like eggs. He had a wound in his neck where eggs laid by a different parasitic fly had hatched. He could fit into the palm of my hand and was practically nothing but head. But he survived that, and grew up healthy. This is the first health problem he's had since then.

I'll have to go back to the dentist in a week for some drill and fill, but today was a good day.
I have promised myself that I will write a real, substantial, LJ entry before Friday. It will pull no punches and speak truth to power. It will change your life, give you renewed purpose, and blow the lid off the military-hiphopdustrial complex.

In the meantime, please excuse the following blather.

Item the first: should I ever be in the mood to scare my cats, I now know exactly what to do. I just need to get them on edge by carting them off to the vets for some yearly boosters, then bring them home, let them get snug and warm and comfortable, almost to the point where they trust me again, then slip on my headphones and dance (if one can call a semi-epileptic crossbreed between the Watusi and a torn anterior cruciate ligament "dancing") around the kitchen to O{+>'s "Billy Jack Bitch."

Item the second: it crosses my mind that I'd like to see whether or not my spawn, my scion, the sole heir to all my worldly widely webly possessions, [livejournal.com profile] atpotch will be able to get down to London around the weekend of the 22nd. I assume that my meeting [livejournal.com profile] londonkds and [livejournal.com profile] yabyumpan is, as we say in O{+> speak, a 4gone conclusion. But I would be willing to expend an especial effort to meet the one I sired; though, obviously, it would be all the more convenient if I could get him to be the one who goes through all the hassle of UK travel.

Item the third: it's amazing how a not-that-flattering picture can, with the judicious application of just a little Photoshopping, be turned into an absolute nightmare of blotchiness and bignosiness. Errr, I mean, GIP.
I am a giant radioactive cuddly kitty exhausted from destroying Tokyo

Which sleepy kitty would you be?
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April 2009

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