"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture
and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words." ~Goethe

~ also, if possible, to dwell in "a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious." ~Yeats

Friday, August 14, 2015

The RedBear Connection

Welcome RedBear!

Back in early June, my older sister Peggy sent this "picture of a kitty who has decided we are his family. I think I'll keep him and see if I can convert him to an indoor kitty. When I saw him outside the front door this morning I just had to take his picture because it reminded me so much of your quote, 'a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious.' Doesn't he look like he just belongs here? If I keep him I'll call him RedBear because he's a ginger boy and built like a little bear."

In addition to the E. M. Forster quotation, the words of Mark Twain came to mind when I saw RedBear waiting so proudly and patiently on Peg's front porch: "A house without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted, and properly revered cat, may be a perfect house, perhaps, but how can it prove its title?" Clearly, my sister has a perfect house, and this cat knew it! As a discerning feline, he could sense that this dwelling proved its title and chose it for his new home!

Coincidentally, my older brother Dave once had a similar cat with a similar name, and shared his story: "This cat looks a lot like the cat we had in Crailsheim that we named Bear. He was a big old woolly street cat that learned the joys of being a kept cat indoors. When he died of kidney failure I spent the last night with him laying on the laundry room floor. He woke me up to say goodbye and then passed right before my eyes. Needless to say, it was a long weekend. Good luck hanging on to this boy. He really looks like a keeper!"

At the end of the month, I asked Peg if RedBear was still hanging around, and she sent the good news: "RedBear is now an inside boy. Very sweet and fits in like he was always here. . . . learning the joys of being an indoor boy after living outdoors . . . getting along fine with his 'brother from a different mother.' His biggest problem is that we have to control his food or he gets sick. He's so used to fighting for his food that he wolfs down any food put in front of him. He's a wonderful addition to my home."

Thanks to Peg
for sharing these pictures of RedBear & Squiggles
and for thinking of my Fortnightly Blog!

Thanks to other readers as well, who have entered so gratifyingly into the spirit of my various blogposts:

Tracy: "I love that you save these things, it reminds me I have a kindred spirit out there who takes joy in the little things of our past and, with that, those little things become bigger."

Brigit: "Kitti Carriker, you're a cultural force of nature!"

Evelet: "Kit o' my heart! . . . May you always err on the side of audacity."

Jan: You understand "the power of story and poetry to transform and transcend. I am forever in awe of you and so so grateful to know you."

Jim: Kitti, you are the Keeper of Memories. Thanks for sharing them with so many . . . you are an essential connection.

Milly: "Today we were discussing diary and journal genres. Then we talked about blogs. I told the students that one of my friends has a blog. They wanted to see it, and I showed them. They thought it was cool and so literary, but the boys were more impressed that Sam played football for Purdue!"

Kitti: That is so sweet! Thanks for doing that! I wish all my friends who teach would show their students my blog, or maybe give them an extra credit assignment to read one of my posts! I always LOVED the concept of extra credit (both as student and teacher)! Sam has now graduated from Purdue and moved on to New York City, but I'll be sure to tell him that his legend has traveled to Northeast Missouri!

Why Connection & Coincidence?
Because as Henry James says:
"The whole of anything is never told;
you can only take what groups together."

In closing, I share the words of the ageless, timeless Hafiz:
"Still, though think about this, this great pull in us to connect."

and this excellent song about
Coincidence & Connection:
Come and See
Look up here,
Most people can't make out the difference
But it could be a small change
In the light

And sometimes
We watch our lives align
But the questions remain:
Did you will it? Is Sight benign?

Is it coincidence or connection?
Come and See
Fall to your knees
and hear the call
Are you still lovesick for it all?

Is it you that
Brighthens the same sea that
Curves my path and life-lines
Is your shine like mine?

And the difference between
Betting your life or dying
Could reveal itself in a small change
In the light

Is this coincidence or connection?
come and see
fall to your knees
and hear the call
Are you still lovesick for it all?
[emphasis added]

Sung by Young Galaxy
In one of our favorite summer movies:
The Way Way Back

Just Look at RedBear . . .
Such a Foxy Gentleman!

Next Fortnightly Post
Friday, August 28th

Between now and then, read
my shorter, almost daily blog posts

Looking for a good book? Try
my running list of recent reading


  1. Thanks for sharing the story of RedBear. He's still a happy boy and enjoying the comforts all animals deserve.

  2. That's our boy! :) And in the two months and change that he's been here, he's never once shown any inclination to escape, so he's definitely not a feral cat. (It's hard to tell from the pictures, but he's been ear-tipped, and his left paw is slightly misaligned; he reminds me a lot of a children's book by Berke Breathed, of "Bloom County" fame, called "Flawed Dogs." [http://amzn.to/1NvSHHn] Except Redbear is our flawed cat, and we wouldn't change a thing about him!)

  3. Such a kind comment from Marguerite's friend Jean: "Ah, it's nice to see such contented kitties (of the feline variety). I bet many of us have had similar experiences of having a kitty or puppy bestowed upon us like this, by the universe. I consider it an act of God. It's hard to know who benefits more--the critter or the person who takes it in. Thanks for sharing." ~ Jean C

  4. More compliments for RedBear & Squiggles from Marguerite's friends

    Lori: "Beautiful cat. Now if I could just convince Gracie to come in to the good life."


    Rick: "Such a sweet story. The photos are adorable!"

    Marguerite writes that Gracie is Lori's shy porch cat who still "panics whenever they try to bring her inside." And Rick "is the proud "Great Food Provider" to a large, male, black and white feline named Logan, a rescue cat from the Tulsa Animal Shelter. Logan reached through the cage and grabbed Rick's sleeve and wouldn't let go when Rick went there!"

  5. Also from Marguerite:

    After reading the story of the naming of RedBear, a name with gravitas appropriate to such a handsome and sturdy feline, I often think of these lines:

    "The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
    It isn't just one of your holiday games;"


    "But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
    A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
    Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
    Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?"


    "When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
    The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
    His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
    Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
    His ineffable effable
    Deep and inscrutable singular Name."

    -- from "The Naming Of Cats"
    by T.S. Eliot

    Link to T. S. Eliot audio recording of his reading of THE NAMING OF CATS: