Thursday, 15 January 2009

Lily and The Crowd

Semi-feral Lily amuses herself with a piece of chocolate wrapper. It crackles and shines and when we pick it up and rub it between our fingers she is all furious attention. We pretend to throw it and she darts off to look for it, then turns back over her shoulder, guessing she has been tricked. Then we do throw it and she scrambles and pounces on it with both paws, picks it up in her mouth and brings it back half-way to us.

Or she plays with it by herself., tossing it, leaping after it, like Christopher Smart's cat Jeoffry (in Jubilate Agno), in the following way:

... at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.
For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.
For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
For fifthly he washes himself.
For sixthly he rolls upon wash.
For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
For tenthly he goes in quest of food....

She does indeed roll upon prank and work it upon stretch. She flicks the wrapper away and lies on her back at stretch admiring it, then flicks it again, carries it here and there, to the edge of the rug, then lies beside the rug with one paw under it to feel for it. She is wholly absorbed in this for a good ten minutes, then, quite suddenly, forgets it and strolls away. C and I enjoy watching her play. She doesn't do much else. That is the entertainment. The rest of the time is cowering, and sneaking, and darting, and scurrying, and lying down, curled into a ball, the startled eyes shut.


Here is the next episode of King Vidor's The Crowd.

When I get my big job, Bert. I'll take care of you for this...

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