January 28th, 2011

Harriet Vane

Cat Dreams: "Last night ... "; or, Is it any wonder one turns to one's cats?

Snowlight, 1/29/11

Dear friends and readers,

Last night (morning dreams) I dreamt of  cats. I know because I woke twice during the dream, and on the first waking thought I was awake & the dream had happened: I dreamt that a baby cat like Ian (ginger tabby) had gotten into the house.

Ian and Clary when young

Then there were two more like him, then a white one, all scrawny. We couldn't find where they were getting in from. Then lo there was a white furry (long-haired) one.

Then I slept again. When I woke this morning I remembered my dream, & looked about me and felt Clary and Ian snuggled against me very tightly & so have written about it here ...

Ian recently, on the edge of our bed; he and Clary are siblings and you can see the family resemblance in their round faces, rather flat, eyes a little too large; he has jowls and she could have (but is too thin)

I have had other dreams of late where I wake say in the middle of the night or early morning dark hours, and think, it's really happening, but then sleep again to wake when it's not yet light and realize this is a dream.  However, when I wake in the morning light to rise, I've forgotten the dream. What made this unusual is I remembered it upon finally getting out of bed.


A kind friend invited me to phone her and we discussed the dream and it came out that I was feeling beleaguered.  Taking on too much for me. What had I taken on that was too much?  Well, I'm trying to help Isobel get help: since I'm nervous, prone to anxiety attacks, have to keep myself calm by not trying to do what is beyond me (like say traveling distances alone), this is very difficult. I don't integrate socially with ease; I'm not keen on phones. I know nothing of what we are eligible for.  This latter is the case with many people -- quite deliberately done by the powerful who run these government organizations. But that it's common doesn't help me. 

When I saw the first baby Ian, I was tempted to keep him, but then were the others, Jim said there were too many, and I knew he was right.  And I said to my friend "Too many cats!"  The phrase I said to my friend on the phone brought home another aspect of this. I do see it. It was Laura who reported Rob said "Too many cats" when Jim shamed her into taking the cats for a week after she had more or less refused me, after she had (in effect) bullied me into getting them.  Jim called it a case of Bait and Switch.  It was Rob who said this, Rob she has deliberately gone to live with who she represents as finding us unacceptable. Now since she lies so much this may not be true, and whenever I've been with him, he seems to like us and make far more intelligent cooperative sensible conversation than Laura does. She used to say Wally drank and I never saw it; she says this man drinks. I've never seen it.  But the phrase echoing in my deepest ear comes out of deep hurt and loss.

I encountered a total wall at the Social Security number. Tapes of general questions and answers I couldn't get past. I was not supposed to.  From Alexandria, they will not help unless I get a designation from SS for Izzy and three useless phone numbers. I've now supposedly hired a lawyer but had a phone number from a girl who works there (has a job) but it's not in her job description to read what I wrote only to fill out forms.  I now have three more places to call on Tuesday.  An appointment at Kaiser on Friday I don't feel eager about. So much more than the "too many cats".   Worried sick.

I miss my friend Nick whose avatar on facebook is a large long-haired white cat.  His letters to me so help me.

Perhaps it was also all prompted by my working so hard for 5 weeks to produce a really brilliant learned paper, to be told by the editor she liked it so, and then she turns around and becomes an ugly bully and (in effect) insists I savage it down to less than half its length.  Perhaps her publisher hated it. I cannot say. Only that I will never write for this woman again. The stress of this -- and more profound frustration -- the whole incident was handled by Jim who wrote the emails -- brought on the dream too.

Clary the way she looks now, walking along a bookshelf in front of others

The cats do twine themselves around my heart and comfort me.

A poem by Marge Piercy, said to be about Sleeping with Cats but probably a verse letter (in effect) to her (then new) younger husband:

"On Guard"

    I want you for my bodyguard,
    to curl round each other like two socks
    matched and balled in a drawer.

    I want you to warm my bedside,
    two S’s snaked curve to curve
    in the down burrow of the bed.

    I want you to tuck in my illness,
    coddle me with tea and chicken
    soup whose steam sweetens the house.

    I want you to watch my back
    as the knives wink in the thin light
    and the whips crack out from shelter.

    Guard my body against dust and disuse,
    warm me from the inside out,
    lie over me, under me, beside me

    in the bed as the night’s creek
    rushes over our shining bones
    and e weak to the morning fresh

    and wet, a birch leaf just uncurling.
    Guard my body from disdain as age
    widens me like a river delta.

    Let us guard each other until death,
    with teeth, brain and galloping heart,
    each other’s rose red warrior.

    by Marge Piercy, from Sleeping with Cats

On guard indeed. 

Looking up, 1/29/11