ME and Ophelia

Thursday, October 16, 2003

A great thinker and genius

It's always a wonderful surprise to receive an email from you, so thought provoking and full of interest once again. Thank you. I'll be thinking of your journey to the hospital in Exeter today. And hope your ears are tucked up all nice and warm.

Right now it's 7.17 a.m. and a chilly wind is blowing in the dark outside. Lamps and fire are on. Ophelia does not want to go out. Strange that. Usually she is the first up and rearing to go out for her morning business and patrol.

Whenever she acts out of the ordinary I wonder what's up. Landslides are usual around the cliffs of this seaside area, especially after heavy rain. The geography of Britain's coastline is ever changing through natural erosion. Throughout history this island has been falling, inch by inch, into the sea. Ophelia told me about last winter's landslide by spending two days huddled up in fear beneath the kitchen table (where she never sits) - BEFORE the event.

Another cat, the late, great, deaf and dear old Cinnamon, who holidayed here for a few weeks while my friends (her guardians) were in India, acted very strangely and vociferously for three hours BEFORE a mini tornado struck this area. Cats sense atmospheric changes through their whiskers. They are like radar and better than any scientific instrument.

Reminds me of two alarming earthquakes experienced by people living in Japan this past month. Some bloggers in Japan were actually blogging online when a quake struck - measuring around seven on the Richter scale - in the early hours. Other bloggers from as far away as America commented online with real time news they were receiving re the quake that Japan was just waking up to. It was very interesting but frightening. Japan has hundreds of tremors annually and bloggers are speculating on the big one, yet to come, flattening Tokyo. Every household in Japan ought to keep a cat and get to love and know it well.

Sometimes I wish that Ophelia could speak. She does have a spoken language but it is brief and to the point. So far I have detected only five phrases and they are not easy to mimic. It's difficult thinking up good responses because she doesn't seem to hear my replies, unless they are sounded at high pitch. It makes me wonder if cats hear by vibration only.

Cats see and sense many things differently too. When I hold Ophelia up in front of a mirror her eyes do not pick up on the movement reflected by the mirror, even if I cradle her back and forth, her head moves inquisitively but her eyes do not zoom in on her reflection. And yet she can spot a spider moving from 10 feet away - or other things, not discernible by the human eye. She can freak out sometimes like she sees a ghost. I see nothing but her eyes get as huge as saucers, staring fixated at a wall or one particular spot, the hackles and hairs standing up on her arched back, as if electrified. Other cat owners know exactly what I am describing.

She has a great sense of humour and has no need to speak. Her body language is out of this world and tells me everything I need to know. The sun is now shining and it is noon. She is sitting on her chair by the fire with her front paws folded underneath her chest. Her ears are not hot and her nose is not dry (a sign if she is off colour). I can tell exactly what she is thinking and feeling. She is intelligent. We are not in for a landslide. It's just too cold for her to go outside.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 10/16/2003
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