Literary Quotes: Robertson Davies

Reading. Writing. Literature. Blogging.

“Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.” (Robertson Davies)

In thinking about today’s quote, I have a little story to share with you about cats…

I have been going through a recent feline debacle, as my wife and I decided that dog people we weren’t late last year (in fact, I’ve known that I wasn’t a dog person for most of my life). With our newfound knowledge regarding our pet proclivity, we decided that we might be cat people instead, so we bought a cat and named him Mike, and he was nice for a time.

But something was off with Mike.

Instead of taking the accustomed week/week-and-a-half to acclimate to his new surroundings, it was some three weeks before he began to emerge from his hiding place to explore the house…and he only emerged at night. Animals with such temperament can only be defined as nefarious, which made me worry that he was stealing our breath while we slept.  

He was also skiddish, and, frankly, even as I write this, he still is the embodiment of a scaredy cat. You can’t get near him without him fleeing into the next room, and that doesn’t bode well for me, because I think one should be able to pet and play with a cat if it’s just going to be hiding all day. Not this cat. He is the type of cat that horror authors base cat-related murder stories on.

Now then, we thought Mike needed a buddy to help him get comfortable in the house, so we went and found him a friend in the form of the greatest cat who ever lived. We named this cat Doug (he is just the best).

Of course, Mike immediately hated him for reasons unknown. He clawed at him, hissed, chased him around the house, cornered him, dominated him in every possible way. Doug, I have learned, is a lover, not a fighter, which made Mike’s behavior unacceptable. Doug was upset. I was upset. Mike was upset.

So upset was Mike that he, up until this very moment, has taken to defecating around my house whenever he gets the chance. At first, we thought it was worms, but after the medication went through him, we realized it was an attitude problem, because he began to pepper each room in the house with his droppings. First it was my living room, then one of my daughter’s rooms, and then in my room.

This has been going on for weeks and weeks.

Well, we’ve decided to take Mike back to the pound where we adopted him because we’ve exhausted our options (talked to pet owners, the vet, the pound, etc.), and we adopted a new cat who seems to be more chill (he fell asleep in my wife’s lap during their first meeting). I think he will be better friends with Doug. Hopefully.

(Robert Davies was a Canadian novelist, journalist, and critic.)