The Cat

I am because I am a Cat, cat in Earth Woman Tree Woman, Connie Pwll Walck Tyler, www.deephum.comSo I’m at this workshop, and the presenter says, if you want to get people’s attention write a blog about a cat,

and I’m thinking, yeah, there’s a cat in my book (The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet) – a kind of magical cat – who plays a major part – sort of.

He hasn’t got a name.  He’s just “the cat”,
that deep smoky gray of the Russian Blue cat,
wise,
independent,
and …

Thump!

Startled, Giselle looked up from gathering the things on the seat beside her to see a small blue-gray cat peering at her from the hood of the car.

“Where did you…” She leaned over, pushing her hair back from her face as she peered through the windshield at the cat – who sat down, intense green eyes staring at her…
He wasn’t very old – not a baby, but not full grown either – with the same kind of impertinent stare as some of the teenagers she’d volunteered with a few years ago when she was in college.Russian Blue, Connie Pwll Walck Tyler, www.deephum.com, cat

He leaned down and licked a shoulder…
She gathered her things and opened the door quietly, trying not to startle him as she scrunched her legs out of the car seat, her arms full, her skirt twisting under her making it hard to stand.

One of her sandals fell off.
She rolled her eyes as she poked her bare toes back into the sandal while trying to avoid stepping in an oil streak.

The cat was unfazed.
Moving to the edge of the hood and giving a demanding, “Meow,” he jumped down next to her and flicked his tail stepping along beside her as she headed towards the garage entrance. 

Once outside Giselle took a deep breath of the cleaner air. Southwest winds.
No fumes from the refineries today.

The cat flicked his tail and raised his head.
An older man was leaning against the telephone pole on the other side of the garage entrance.
The cat walked over to him, rubbing against his legs.
The man crouched down and caressed the cat.

“Is this your cat?” Giselle asked.

“No,” he smiled, his brown eyes glinting in his craggy black face. “I think he’s yours.”
Then standing, he walked away, hidden behind the trunk of the big tree on the corner before Giselle could comment. A moment later Giselle and the cat were distracted by a shrill, “Kee-ee-ar,” as a large bird launched itself from the top of the tree and spiraled up and up above them. 

“Kee-ee-ar. Kee-ee-ar,” it cried before it gave one last circle and headed north.
The cat lifted onto his hind legs calling a melodic merrowl to the bird, and then turned back to Giselle.

red-tailed hawk, Earth Woman Tree Woman, Connie Pwll Walck Tyler, www.deephum.com“Was that a hawk – a Red-tailed hawk?” Giselle asked the cat – or maybe just the empty air around her.
A hawk in the city?
But where did that man go?
She turned in a circle, then shrugged her shoulders and headed down the sidewalk and up the steps to the front entrance of her building, the cat marching at her side.

A newspaper lay on the top step.
The cat stopped and looked at it, then up at her.
“Ten Story Garment Factory in Kanidu Collapses Killing Hundreds,” screamed the headline.

Giselle sighed. Last week the explosion at the refinery in Port Blas had destroyed everything for blocks around it. A list of other major industrial “accidents” passed through her thoughts, and she shook her head.

The cat flicked his tail.
It almost seemed as if the cat… Giselle laughed at herself. Of course not.
She keyed open the door.

Head and tail high, the cat stepped past her into the tiny lobby – the Visiting Dignitary.Visiting Dignitary, Connie Pwll Walck Tyler, Earth Woman Tree Woman, Cat, www.deephum.com
Giselle rolled her eyes and fumbled with her keys, listening to the dogs whimpering excitedly on the other side of her apartment door.

The cat marched up to the door and sat.

Putting her things down on the floor, she reached for him.

He side-stepped away meowing loudly.
The doggy whimpering stopped abruptly and Giselle opened the door a crack.

The cat stuck its nose in and pushed it wider, strolling in past the two sitting, tail thumping dogs, and the potted ferns that lined the entrance way. The dogs trailed the cat as he surveyed the apartment, sticking his nose into the ferns, batting the strands of spider plant that swept downward from hanging pots in the windows, peeking into the bedroom and tiny kitchen, and finally settling in for a wash on the old trunk Giselle used as a coffee table.

Laughing and shaking her head, Giselle dumped her things on the old oak table in the dining alcove, greeted the dogs, kicked off her sandals, and settled too, sitting on the couch with her feet up on the trunk next to the cat –

who flicked his tail, then curved it gently around a small wooden statue that sat in the place of honor on the trunk– a woman who seemed to be emerging from a tree, with one foot stepping out into the world.

Giselle took the statue in her hands. The wood was so warm and smooth, her face so serene and calming, and there was something so promising about the foot stepping out.

She smiled at the cat whose tail flicked slowly back and forth, back and forth.

The plants became a smoky green aura pushing everything else into the background and she closed her eyes, listening sleepily to the swish and thump of the dog tails. That deep dark thinking space inside her head seemed to open out. It felt like something was there… touching her. Something beyond…

A fragment of a melody slipped through her mind and then a deep voice whispered,

Breath.
Whispering breath…

Her eyes popped open. “Where did that come from?”
The cat licked a paw and then turned his head to look at her.Messenger, Connie Pwll Walck Tyler, Earth Woman Tree Woman, www.deephum.com
She closed her eyes again.

Breath,
murmuring in the wind-whipped grasses.

She cracked her eyes open just enough to peer at the cat,
but he just flicked his tail,
back and forth,
back and forth…

******

Want to read more about “the cat”, and Giselle’s journey to the Tsin Twei, the Dance of Life, and maybe about that redtailed hawk?

You can order print versions from Powell’s Books or your local independent bookstore, or purchase print and ebook versions at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
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