This is really Isabella’s moment of zen and not mine. Nearly every morning when I get out of bed, Isabella immediately curls up in the warm spot I just vacated. Usually, she stays there for most of the morning before venturing out of the bedroom around lunchtime.
Category Archives: Isabella
by e e cummings – 1894-1962
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold.
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy
then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud
and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
Edward Estlin Cummings (often styled e e cummings) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on October 14, 1894. He began writing poems as early as 1904 and studied Latin and Greek at the Cambridge Latin High School. He received his BA in 1915 and his MA in 1916, both from Harvard University. In his work, Cummings experimented radically with form, punctuation, spelling, and syntax, abandoning traditional techniques and structures to create a new, highly idiosyncratic means of poetic expression. Later in his career, he was often criticized for settling into his signature style and not pressing his work toward further evolution. Nevertheless, he attained great popularity, especially among young readers, for the simplicity of his language, his playful mode and his attention to subjects such as war and sex.
The poet and critic Randall Jarrell once noted that Cummings is “one of the most individual poets who ever lived—and, though it sometimes seems so, it is not just his vices and exaggerations, the defects of his qualities, that make a writer popular. But, primarily, Mr. Cummings’s poems are loved because they are full of sentimentally, of sex, of more or less improper jokes, of elementary lyric insistence.”
Usually, when I order stuff from Amazon.com, I get what I order. I rarely have problems. When I have had problems, it’s because I read the description wrong and inadvertently bought the wrong thing. Usually, this has to do with the size of whatever I ordered. However, I recently ordered a corner shield with adhesive to go on my door frames to stop Isabella from scratching. She was scratching off the paint, and I needed to do something before she caused too much damage. I measured, and the ones I found were the perfect size (3/4 inches wide and 48 inches long), and they came in a pack of five. When I got the notice that they had arrived, I went outside and got them. The box was 5.5 feet long and 5 inches by 5 inches. It was a much larger box than I had anticipated, but Amazon often sends things in inordinately large boxes. I got the box inside and opened it up, and it contained only one corner shield.
I went back to my order and checked to make sure that I had ordered the correct thing, and I had. Amazon just shipped on corner shield. Four were missing. So, I had to contact Amazon, not one of my favorite things to have to do. The good thing is that Amazon is replacing the whole order. Chatting with Amazon is always an interesting experience. I used to chat feature and did not call because I have a hard time understanding their operators, and with my southern accent, they have a hard time understanding me. It’s easier just to type what I need. “Lester” was very helpful, and he put in an order for a replacement. He told me I would get a return shipping label, but I should ignore it. Then he wrote, “Before I let you go, is there anything else I can help you with?” I immediately started to type, “No, thank you for your help, Lester.” However, before I could even get the “No” typed, he cut off the chat. It was a weird exchange, but he put through the request to send a replacement.
The complete set of five corner shields should arrive on November 25. I hope they do as Isabella is soon going to find out that she cannot scratch the wall anymore, and she will likely move to another door frame. Before anyone suggests that I buy her a scratching post, she has several different scratching toys. She won’t touch any of them. The only plaything I have ever bought her that she will play with are those little toy mice (she prefers live ones, but now that I live in a newer apartment, there aren’t any). She will only play with toy mice as long as they have no catnip in them. She seems to dislike catnip. She did have one other toy that she liked. It was one of those sticks with a string on it, and at the end of the string, there were feathers with a bell attached. The bell was very faint, but no matter where she was or how far under the bed she was hiding, if I jangled that little bell, she’d come running. Sadly, a few months ago, I stepped on it and broke it. I have not been able to find a replacement.
Isabella seems happy to have me home. I’ve talked about her “work ethic” during the day while I’m home. She mostly sleeps, but she prefers to do so close by me. She loves to lay on the radiators while they are warming up. When the get too hot she gets down. She’s never liked being cold.
Sometimes she can be a bit silly. I have no idea why she hides behind the shower curtain. She’s not hiding from me, and since I’m the only one here, she’s not hiding from anyone else either. Sometimes she just likes to hide. Don’t we all?
She likes to block the TV if she thinks I should be paying more attention to her instead of the TV. She makes sure my attention turns to her. She’s a funny and persistent little girl. Except when she’s sleeping, she is usually within six feet of me at all times. She does not understand this new age of social distancing.
While most of the time she loves me, at night she begs to be petted and gets grouchy when I don’t. She does this by lightly touching my arm with her paw and occasionally with her cold nose. Once I’ve petted her to her heart’s content (she doesn’t allow me stop until she’s ready), she usually lets me know by giving me the look above. That is her “I’m done with you for the night” look. Usually after I get the look, I turn out the lights, and we go to bed.
Isabella seems very happy that I am home all day. She gets up with me each morning, and we have breakfast. Then she follows me into my home office. She’s enjoying her new supervisory role. She likes to be somewhere she can watch me. Sometimes, she’s sitting on the desk micromanaging. Other times, she watches from afar. The problem comes when she tries to do my work for me. Let’s put it this way, she’s not a good typist. She just randomly hits various keys. So for the first hour or so of work, I have to constantly move her from my laptop. Around 10 am, her workday is over. She either sleeps on the futon in my office, or she curls up in the midst of my bed. The rest of her day consists of sleeping. When it’s time for me to stop at the end of the day, she wakes up and let’s me know I am through working and that all my attention should be on her.
Poor Isabella was a bit traumatized by the movers. She hid in the box spring of my bed and was scared nearly to death when they tried to move it. I finally got her and shut her up in the bathroom where she proceeded to hide behind the toilet. When they left and I let her out, she promptly hid in the inner parts of my old couch that I’m getting rid of. When I got ready to take her to the new apartment, it was not easy getting her out of the couch and trying to get her in the cat carrier. It just served to traumatize her more. I finally got her in the cat carrier, which she did not like at all. When I let her out in the new apartment, she immediately hid. I tried to coax her out, but she just found a new place to hide. I finally picked her up and petted her head, and I knew then she was upset because she didn’t even fight me. She hates to be held. So I just let her alone to settle into her new home. After several hours, she finally came out and began very apprehensively to explore her new surroundings. By the time I went to bed, she had settled into her usual self and begging for head scratches. She ended up sleeping at the foot of the bed. I thought she’d finally settled in, but when I came home from work yesterday, she was once again hiding. However, as soon as I started cooking dinner, she came out and was out and about for the remainder of the night. I’m guessing it will take her a little while to get used to her new home. She’s found a favorite perch though:
From a feisty little kitten who liked to hide, to a grown cat who loves everybody, Isabella has come a long way. She loves to take my place on the couch, and she gets jealous when I sit in “her” chair. She loves to bite my toes when I’m on the phone; I guess she wants all attention on her. She also loves to lay on top of me whether I’m in the bed or on the couch. She knows where her toys are hidden and when that drawer opens she’s always right there to try and fish them out. If I can’t find her, I know that all I have to do is add food to her bowl or shake her favorite toy. Thankfully her true favorite toy, an ugly little bird with feathers that chirped, had the battery finally die. She used to shake it in the middle of the night and wake me up. She also likes to play fetch. If I throw one or her mice, she fetches it and brings it back for me to throw again.
Most of all though, she is a wonderful companion. Nearly two years ago, I lost one of my best friends and spiraled into a deep depression. While medicine and friends have helped, she is my constant companion. She waits for me at the door everyday when I come home, and she gets terribly upset if I don’t tell her goodbye in the morning. I am thankful to have a cat as loving as Isabella.