My new cat is not a lovely cat. She always smells like fish, a little, and always has bad breath. She has enormous hips, and when she sleeps on the fireplace, her bum is always hanging over the side because she can’t fit on it properly. But the most stunning feature is that she can’t purr; she snores. It sounds exactly like a large man snoring, and I give her pieces of bread to keep her occupied, not out of deep affection.
I had a dream about my host mother and the cat last night. I dreamt that we (who? I dunno. Some friends and I who were staying in some posh condo for a vacation) were watching the cats crawl on each other. And the cats were saying “mozhna, mozhna” because Dilda Apa had told them to. But they were acting very rude, hurting each other. And they were all the same cat – the cat who lives with us whose name I just can't get.
At dinner, the cat has been getting bolder and bolder. After all, she lives in a house with four gentle and fairly passive people. The cat will hop up in Shataghoul’s place when she gets up for the sugar, and everyone will kind of look at the cat for a while and then say softly, “kit.” [Leave.] Or, the cat will leap at the table with claws ready and sink them into the dastarhan (tablecloth, loaded with symbolism), while her rear swings. Snoring loudly, she’ll stay there for a few minutes until someone throws her bread.
Slightly related to this topic, when I came home yesterday, the cat was snoring outside the door and pacing like a zoo animal, and when I came into the house, there was a huge bag on the floor smelling like old meat and leaking blood. Yes, there it was. As it turns out, there’s a tradition that a family buys most of an animal every winter and they have a big party which involves eating as much meat as possible at a sitting or two. One of the courses is “bowl of meat.” Another is “Chunks of fat Surprise.” So, of course, the cat was as close to frantic as the cat gets, but was kept outside, out in the world of three-legged dogs. It was a warm night (above freezing) and the dogs were all busy, hopping around the streets and looking intense.