It's not about the house.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Not The Winner, Part 10 (and final)

cake said...

Your favourite object in the house...whatever you would first rescue if there was a fire.

Okay, I'm going to assume we're not counting living creatures, here. Because, while I'm fairly certain John Patrick C. is capable of getting his own ass out the door, there is this other creature that I live with who I'm absolutely positive is not.

(There are no tricks in the camera-shot, I swear, that's just his stupid face. "Nuh?" he says. "Did somebody say pfeffernüsse?").

This one, on the other hand, could probably save herself ...

...but wouldn't, just to spite me.

My next assumption is that this is theoretical. Because really, if the house was burning down, I would probably grab my beer -- or coffee, or Diet Coke, depending on the time of day -- and run like hell. After, you know, alerting Johnny and evacuating cats.

So then, theoretically speaking, after all the living creatures were safe in the front yard, I would probably grab this:


It's a poem, hand-written by Truman Capote when he was in elementary school, lovingly preserved through the years by his cousin Sook -- whom you may remember as the simple, elderly Friend from "A Christmas Memory." And okay, the notion that she was the one to preserve it may be mere speculation on my part, but who else back then cared enough to save his schoolwork? Nobody, that's who.

(Actually, never mind. I just looked it up at the NYPL, and apparently this poem is dated 1935-36, by which point he was already living in New York with his drunken mother. So he must have preserved the thing himself. Which, I suppose, is a good alternate answer to the question: who else back then cared enough to save his schoolwork? Little Truman did already, that's who.)

At any rate, it reads like this (everything is sic -- he was just ten years old, remember. Or maybe eleven.):

Pussy: A Pussy Cat's Adventures

Pussy willow, pussy cat, pussy is just that
A plain fuzzy little cat whose name is simply scat.
She was public enemy to a fat and juicy little rat.

She went around on her nightly prowls;
And woke the neighbors with her howls;
The neighbors all complained
And I was naturally was blamed.

Pussy was not bad
For once she saved the life of
a lad, She chanced to meet
On one of those nights
When everyone else was quite asleep.

Pussy will never forget the feed
She had at the mayor's house.
The day she was awarded
For her brave deed.

It was bought for me -- with all its accompanying authentication from Lion Heart Autographs -- by my Lady as a Christmas present in 2006. I am Very Lucky.

This year, she gave me this:

Can you tell I have a bit of an obsession going, here? But I didn't choose to grab the photograph, because it has a negative somewhere and can be reproduced. The Pussy poem, on the other hand, is irreplaceable.

Just like the pussies themselves.


And no, I did not mean any double-entendre by the use of that word. I'm sure little Truman didn't either. But you try googling "pussy poem" and see if you aren't shocked. Especially by the number of people out there who want to punch Eve Ensler in the -- well, let's just say in the throat.

Thank heavens for Edward Lear.

5 comments:

Vanessa said...

I love your kitty's face. Its the nothing phases me kinda look!

iloveupstate.com said...

I used to have a picture of Truman Capote and Andy Warhol, one of them was dressed up as Santa Claus. Whenever I went on vacation I'd put it on my door with a note that said "Gone, Be Back Soon". I lost the picture...I should go google it and print out another one.

Stephanie said...

Mine would be my laptop - hopefully made less pathetic by the fact that it's my music and photos I'd be saving by taking it.

Yay, for you having a camera again, btw!

iloveupstate.com said...

Stephanie - Do you not back up your files elsewhere? I've had motherboards crash & burn on me. If your laptop is the only place your pics are stored, you might want to get a free flickr account or a flashdrive to dump copies onto.

theotherbear said...

Love the kitties. I have a very stupid cat that I would have to save in a fire. She was rescued by the cat protection society as a kitten, found in a jam jar with the lid on. She was a bit special after that. Then she fell off our balcony. It is not true that cats land on their feet always, and th8us she has been even more special since she landed on her head that day.
Great gifts from your friend! What a unique thing to own.