It is Monday and the sun is about to set. I am sitting in my studio, next to the door that leads the balcony, the door that I have opened a while ago, together with the tilting windows on the house’s opposing side.
Outside, my neighbours are eating. The clinking of forks on porcelain, laughter and the faint smell of a small fire they started earlier are lifted by the warm breeze, then carried through the balcony door and living room where it slightly sways the lemon tree’s leaves before leaving the house through the facade’s open windows, towards the warehouses, the docks, the river’s mouth, the sea.
This is the hour when our cat awakens from his perpetual aloofness and starts to roam about the house restlessly. Today is not different: already for a while now he has been walking up and down the room, meowing occasionally while rubbing his back against the table’s legs, the doorframe and the cardboard box filled with CD’s and records I have yet to sort out. I know he wants food, but I am not giving it to him yet.
Where I grew up, there is a mythology around the white mist banks rolling across the fields early in the morning. Such mist banks are known as “Witte Wieven”: the Witty, or wise Women. According to the mythology, the appearance of mist banks on fields in the mornings where actually the incarnations of female herbalists and medicine healers. These women enjoyed high status in the community, therefor the mist-banks where often welcomed with ceremonies, offerings and rituals.
With some fantasy, I suppose one could see my cat - with his white fur - as a mist bank, but I am not ready to bring him his offerings, not yet at least. For now, I am enjoying watching his annoyance with my reluctance to feed him grow visibly, for it reminds me of TS Eliots the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
A bang and scraping sounds awaken me from my reverie. I look up and see the flower pot holding the lemon plant regain balance again. There is some potting soil on the floor, and our cat is standing inside the flower pot, concentrated on digging a hole. From experience, I know this situation calls for immediate action so I jump up from my chair to feed him finally.