Another Insane Devotion: On the Love of Cats and Persons by Peter Trachtenberg

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By Peter Trachtenberg

From “a real American Dostoevsky” (The Washington Post): a blinding, humorous, bittersweet exploration of the mysteries of courting, either human and animal.

When his favourite cat Biscuit is going lacking, Peter Trachtenberg units out to discover her. the adventure takes him seven-hundred miles and plenty of years into his past-- into the heritage of his relationships with cats and the historical past of his courting together with his spouse F., who may well herself be at the verge of disappearing. What ensues is a piece that remembers trip narratives from The fabulous trip to W. G. Sebald’s The earrings of Saturn. Trachtenberg ponders the mysteries of pussycat intelligence (why do cats ranking worse on a few checks than pigeons?), the origins in their domestication, their bad therapy throughout the center a long time. He additionally seems on the riddle of why any folks loves whom we adore and the entire unexpected locations to which that devotion leads us.

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She rose unsteadily and looked about her, then drank a little water before stumbling off to the spot by the radiator where she liked to sleep. I watched her through the day. Did she always sleep this long? Did her stomach look swollen, or was that just because it was shaved? ) Shouldn’t she be drinking more? I was used to sick people. All through my teens my mother and grandfather took turns trooping in and out of the hospital like the allegorical figures in those clocks you see looming over town squares all over Germany.

I hoped it didn’t read like an ultimatum, but of course that’s what it was. ~~~ Here are some of the places I’ve seen her sleep: On the frayed red modular sofa in the living room, beside the remote control I’d left there the night before. Stirring, she’d knock it to the floor, and the soft thump of its impact would wake her. She wouldn’t be startled. She’d only open her eyes, turn her head to see what the noise was, maybe going so 0738215266-text_Layout 1 8/24/12 10:06 AM Page 49 Another Insane Devotion 49 far as to roll onto her back and let her head loll over the edge of the seat cushion until she saw the control lying on the rug.

She looked offended. “No, not revenge—I wasn’t that kind of kid. ” She saw my incomprehension. “To give the girls. Those girls were always talking about how they wanted Beatle dolls. Everybody wanted them back then; it was the year of Beatle dolls. ’” Her smile had a child’s guilelessness. Just so a child might offer you a bouquet of wildflowers she’d picked from the side 0738215266-text_Layout 1 8/24/12 10:06 AM Page 24 24 P ETER T RACHTENBERG of the road. ” I know I reached for her, meaning to stroke her cheek.

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