Feral Cat Fridays: A Wish For No Mo’
I introduced Snowball last summer as a cat who kept her distance from us and spent most of her time in the stables just beyond our property line. Snowball had a sister who was just as skittish but would occasionally come to our deck for a snack.
When we first saw Snowball and her sister we were struck by how much her sister resembled two of the cats in our colony, Mosby and MiniMosby (AKA MiniMo). Snowball’s color made her easy to name. After some discussion we agreed that the most appropriate name for her sister was NoMo. After all, she was no Mosby and we fervently hoped we were nearing the end of our feral cat explosion and there would be no mo’ new cats. It turned out we weren’t quite at the end, but NoMo was among the last of the cats to appear on our property.
Although NoMo was solid gray like the Mosbys there was a piercing quality to her expression that made her distinctive. It’s hard to describe that look, but we were typically able to keep them straight. (MiniMo just reminded me not to use past tense about her. She’s soaking up the sun on her platform by the window as I write this.) It may be that NoMo’s more feral nature kept her serious and on the alert, while the Mosbys were gradually becoming more accustomed to life with us. You can see the intensity in NoMo’s expression in the photos.
- Feral Cat Fridays: A Salute To The General
- Feral Cat Fridays: Sherwood Of The Forest
You’re right about that expression: direct, but non-confrontational. We could use more of that these days.
Oddly, NoMo reminded me of a post I wrote in 2008 (!) titled “No Mo’ WriMo”. I just re-read it, and think it might be worth spiffing up and reposting. It certainly was worth re-reading. I wondered if NaNoWriMo still was around, and it is. It’s turned into a 501(c)(3), and has a logo! You can contribute financially! You, too, can become a published author! It reminds me of those art and writing schools that advertised on the inside of matchbook covers in the 1950s.
Who knows? NoMo may find her way into one of my posts somewhere down the road.
I can see how NoMo reminded you of NaNo, if only by the sound, but the No Mo’ sentiment also fits. I was amused by the idea of NaNoWriMo when I first heard of it some years ago and I checked it out like you did. Two things struck me. First it reminded me of much of what I see on the web about writing where some “expert” says readers don’t notice the writing, they only notice the story. I guess that may be true about some readers but I have trouble calling such books writing or their consumption reading. It’s like watching TV on paper, and bad TV at that. Second, I couldn’t help chuckling about the slogan that went something like “The world needs your novel.” I think that’s unlikely.
I read a lot of fiction but I have more and more trouble finding something that I can stick with and enjoy. The combination of writing well and saying something worthwhile without preaching is getting harder and harder to find. Of course, it simply may be that I’m turning into an old curmudgeon. That’s entirely possible. Your essay on NaNo was entertaining and worth a spiffing up and timely reposting.
Well, I’m personally rather fond of curmudgeons, so let the transformation continue. As a matter of fact, a fellow from my home town published a book not long ago. It’s title? The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don’ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life.
The author lived a few blocks from me and was two years ahead in school; we were on the debate squad together, and even then he was one of my heroes. We called him Chuck. Today, he’s generally known as Charles Murray: yes, that Charles Murray — he of The Bell Curve, Coming Apart, and the famous incident at Middlebury College.
As far as I know, he still hasn’t offered an apology for anything, and he abhors emojis as much as I do.
I expect that Charles Murray made a great debate squad mate. I remember when The Bell Curve came out and people on campus were outraged. I couldn’t understand how presumably thoughtful, intelligent people that I respected in other ways could get so incensed about Murray expressing a well-reasoned point of view, even if they didn’t agree with his conclusions. I never experienced something like the Middlebury College fiasco, but the rampant intolerance to certain ideas and arguments played a big part in why I chose to leave academia when I did.