Let me tell you something about Luce the cat.
There has been a big change in my life recently, which was that the SMG was in another country for Te Trening. That meant that I was home alone with craziest cat in this entire city.
That cat is named Luce which is the Italian word for “Light” but this is one weird cat. She has very long fur and she looks quite majestic. She sleeps about 23.5 hours per day and is lucky to be awake at any time for more than 10 minutes at a stretch.
She has a quiet life with absolutely nobody and no one disturbing her whatsoever. She gets fed like a queen and yet she is constantly, constantly acting fearful around every single person, including me.
Her eyes bug out and she begins to tremble with fear when I get close to her, like I’m her Ole Massah whipping her like a field hand back in the slave days. If you placed a hidden camera in here and gave the footage to a shady lawyer, you’d be half convinced that I’m viciously and barbarically abusing her on a regular basis when of course that has never happened in any way.
Quite simply put, it’s like living with a mental patient sometimes. Unless I can find a cat psychologist in this town, Luce the cat is going to spend the rest of her incredibly pampered life in daily bouts of overwhelming fear for two or three minutes and then falling asleep for 10 or 14 hours.
I’ve tried using toys with her. I’ve tried ignoring her. I’ve tried making her chase a string or a rope, barely works at all. It’s almost impossible to get her to pounce on it. None of the toys or the things I tried could get anything more than a barely awake response. The absolutely only thing that gets her attention is if a moth gets in the house.
She loves moths and will enthusiastically chase one for about 120 seconds and then give up (because of course she’s out of practice from being so lazy) and immediately go back to sleep unless you’re disturbing her.
She eats extremely good food of top quality and about five or six other neighbor cats on a rotating basis regularly penetrate my back yard to get leftover scraps of this food. My cat food is like five-star restaurant food for cats.
And yet Luce acts pathetic and weak when trying to eat it, taking a few minutes to smell it and lick it before actually starting to chew and swallow it.
There are a few “junk food” cat products that she does get excited for but when she eats those regularly the only thing that changes is that she gets enormously fat. She stays exactly the same amount of lazy in every other respect.
Basically from everything I can tell, she has an actual brain malfunction and I’ve been given reports that she once had a seizure. So sometimes she acts exactly like an elderly grumpy woman after a stroke. She has some minor physical motor control problems but the real problem is that she’s often acting very fearful for absolutely no reason at all.
So that’s Luce the cat who I’ve been sharing time with here at HQ but I don’t want to end this on a downer. Luce is almost always asleep, which means that whatever problems she has, they don’t last long. When she’s asleep she’s not bothering anyone or anything. Most of the time she’s furry, peaceful and warm. She’s essentially a living statue.
And that’s when I realized that Luce is a pedigreed cat (with papers) and she came from a long line of temple cats, who would be welcomed into the shrines so that their voluntary presence would have peaceful and positive emanations for the humans who came to the temple.
Temple cats were not bred to jump or climb or dash about. They were bred to add a living, breathing element to a sacred space in order to honor and amplify its effects. The Hindus in India have hundreds of different animal shrines with voluntary animal inhabitants. There are Hindu temples that provide residences for cows, for monkeys, for birds, even temples for rats.
And those animals may serve their various purposes for the believers of that religion but one thing is definitely not in dispute, which is that no animal temple is more peaceful and relaxing than the Temple of the Cats with their (nearly) eternally sleeping guardians.
So Luce, I’m sorry that you are fucked up in the head and scared so much sometimes but I thank you and respect you for your Temple Cat heritage. You are the best sleeper I ever saw and that is the finest compliment I can give you.