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Mr Pussy in Summer

September 3, 2011
by the gentle author

Those of you that luxuriate in the warmth of Summer, spare a thought for Mr Pussy who has a fur coat surgically attached and spends his languorous days stretched out upon the floor in a heat-induced stupor. As the sun reaches its zenith, his activity declines and he seeks the deep shadow, the cooling breeze and the bare wooden floor to stretch out and fall into a deep trance that can transport him far away to the loss of his physical being. Mr Pussy’s refined nature is such that even these testing conditions provide an opportunity for him to show grace, transcending dreamy resignation to explore an area of meditation of which he is the supreme proponent.

In the early morning and late afternoon, you will see him on the first floor window sill here in Spitalfields, taking advantage of the draught of air through the house. With his aristocratic attitude, Mr Pussy seeks amusement in watching the passersby from his high vantage point on the street frontage and enjoys lapping water from his dish on the kitchen window sill at the back of the house, where in the evenings he also likes to look down upon the foxes gambolling in the yard.

Whereas in Winter it is Mr Pussy’s custom to curl up in a ball to exclude drafts, in these balmy days he prefers to stretch out to maximize the air flow around his body. There is a familiar sequence to his actions, as particular as stages in yoga. Finding a sympathetic location with the advantage of cross currents and shade from direct light, at first Mr Pussy will sit to consider the suitability of the circumstance before rolling onto his side and releasing the muscles in his limbs, revealing that he is irrevocably set upon the path of total relaxation.

Delighting in the sensuous moment, Mr Pussy stretches out to his maximum length of over three feet long, curling his spine and splaying his legs at angles, creating an impression of the frozen moment of a leap, just like those wooden horses on fairground rides. Extending every muscle and toe, his glinting claws unsheath and his eyes widen gleaming gold, until the stretch reaches it full extent and subsides in the manner of a wave upon the ocean, as Mr Pussy slackens his limbs to lie peacefully with heavy lids descending.

In this position that resembles a carcass on the floor, Mr Pussy can undertake his journey into dreams, apparent by his twitching eyelids and limbs as he runs through the dark forest of his feline unconscious where prey are to be found in abundance. Vulnerable as an infant, sometimes Mr Pussy cries to himself in his dream, an internal murmur of indeterminate emotion, evoking a mysterious fantasy that I can never be party to. It is somewhere beyond thought or language. I can only wonder if his arcadia is like that in Paolo Uccello’s “Hunt in the Forest” or whether Mr Pussy’s dreamscape resembles the watermeadows of the River Exe, the location of his youthful safaris.

There is another stage, beyond dreams, signalled when Mr Pussy rolls onto his back with his front paws distended like a child in the womb, almost in prayer. His back legs splayed to either side, his head tilts back, his jaw loosens and his mouth opens a little, just sufficient to release his shallow breath – and Mr Pussy is gone. Silent and inanimate, he looks like a baby and yet very old at the same time. The heat relaxes Mr Pussy’s connection to the world and he falls, he lets himself go far away on a spiritual odyssey. It is somewhere deep and somewhere cool, he is out of his body, released from the fur coat at last.

Startled upon awakening from his trance, like a deep-sea diver ascending too quickly, Mr Pussy squints at me as he recovers recognition, giving his brains a good shake, now the heat of the day has subsided. Lolloping down the stairs, still loose-limbed, he strolls out of the house into the garden and takes a dust bath under a tree, spending the next hour washing it out and thereby cleansing the sticky perspiration from his fur.

Regrettably the climatic conditions that subdue Mr Pussy by day, also enliven him by night. At first light, when the dawn chorus commences, he stands on the floor at my bedside, scratches a little and calls to me. I waken to discover two golden eyes filling my field of vision. I roll over at my peril, because this will provoke Mr Pussy to walk to the end of the bed and scratch my toes sticking out under the sheet, causing me to wake again with a cry of pain. Having no choice but to rise, accepting his forceful invitation to appreciate the manifold joys of early morning in Summer in Spitalfields, it is not an entirely unwelcome obligation.

You can read more about Mr Pussy here:

Mr Pussy in Winter

The Caprice of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy in Spitalfields

Mr Pussy takes the sun

Mr Pussy, natural born killer

Mr Pussy takes a nap

Mr Pussy’s viewing habits

The life of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy thinks he is a dog

7 Responses leave one →
  1. AnKa permalink
    September 3, 2011

    Living with cats is such a joy. I don’t have one myself but lived with people who had cats. Their early morning agility can be a little unnerving but is outweighed, I think, by a cat’s charming way of letting us know its wishes.

  2. September 4, 2011

    I appreciate the cat posts. I had a cat named Eddie (gone ten years now…) who looked and acted just like Mr. Pussy. Still miss the guy.

  3. September 5, 2011

    Dear Gentle Author,

    please give Mr. Pussy my best regards and tell him that I am very much in love with him :)

    Kind regards from your German reader
    Nicole

  4. Ree permalink
    September 5, 2011

    My big black cat Jackson is very much a Mr. Pussy…Cats are such characters…

  5. Andrea permalink
    September 16, 2011

    Absolutely beautiful photographs..(especially the top one)..of a most handsome and delightful cat!.x.

  6. Shy permalink
    November 4, 2011

    Is Mr. Pussy still in good, happy health? I hope so.

    My Mister and Missy Pussy-cats delightfully give me much to complain about. They are young, and I am young, and I greatly fear losing them–as I know I will one of these days. Probably many days from now, but I still fear.

  7. Tina West permalink
    January 25, 2012

    Such a wonderful description of a sleeping cat – and one that everyone fortunate enough to have been owned by cats will recognise but wouldn’t be able to put into words more eloquently.

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