Tag Archives: english

The bio of seventeen weeks old Tabby Tom

Hi There. Nice to meet you!

Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. How rightly so. Despite my sixteen weeks of life thus far, my feline instinct feels that there are unpathed waters and undreamed lands within me. So I deem it high time to unravel the mystery of Me.

My name is Toro, the co-editor at large of this blog with Stephanie. I am sixteen weeks old. I am a domestic short-haired tabby tom, but Stephanie believes that I am of an Egyptian Mau, admired by ancient Egyptians and the divine cat of Ra, God of the Sun, as portrayed in the Book of the Dead. I think Stephanie’s hypothesis of my suspected heritage is due to my beautiful turquoise eyes and dainty figure. She also seems to want to liken her and me to Cleopatra and her beloved Mau. (Wow!) Well, no one can blame her for regaling herself with such lofty imagination of my elated pedigree because – in all honesty – I look like one. What can I say? Seeing is believing, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Then the truth is to the end of reckoning, as the Bard chimed in.

As is the queen, so is the subject.

Despite my regal appearance, my biological and family background is that of an orphaned pauper, lesser than the pauper who exchanged his identity with a prince because he had mom and dad. When I was born, my mother left me alone, so a passing old lady took me to a nearby shelter where I met my sister Stephanie. I followed her because there was something that connected us from moods to tendencies and personalities. We share our peculiarities in mutual solitude shared by orphaned patronage of love and care.

How’s the writing going?

Because I was left alone to tend myself at so young an age, I am prone to frequent mood swings from high and low, which often makes me frantically run around the room back and forth, up and down, and left to right without stopping. I know this strange behavior of mine startles poor Stephanie, but I can’t help such impulsive pulsing as it is part of my irrepressible feline nature. However, one thing is sure that when I see Stephanie returning home from work, my whiskers are moving all withers, my tail rises to fortune, and my little feline heart fills with meows and more meows.

This much is the bio that I dictated to Stephanie for my new career in publishing. As I am excited about this new adventure with Stephanie on board, I hope readers will join us in our one of a kind literary enterprise in joyous spirit! Meow.

I am done with my share. So, I am taking a break.

Theodore Tom’s Virgin Maid – ‘How To Be Owned By A Cat’, by Kate C. – review

How To Be Owned By A Cat: Simple Action Plan For First Time Cat Owners Who Have NO Idea What They Are Getting IntoHow To Be Owned By A Cat: Simple Action Plan For First Time Cat Owners Who Have NO Idea What They Are Getting Into by Kate C.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Cats remind me of whimsical and capricious Greek gods and goddesses. Sometimes, cats are like Baroque European aristocrats with sophisticated finickiness. They are like spoiled children with no regard to manners in the sudden pulsing of stalking and jumping, rigidly dominated by their blindly unchecked ego. Whatever of the feline nature it may be, there is undoubtedly more than one of it; cats are convincingly intelligent, bracingly artless, and surprisingly affectionate with a display of individualities particular to each cat. No wonder there are celebrity cats as follows: A Cat in the Puss walking around as if he were man, Tom outwitted by Jerry, Garfield as laid back as his lookalike master, Felix the Car becoming a timeless icon of the style, and Theodore the Cat, who likes to challenge, “Who’s the Boss?” in this amusing read.

With an imposing name associated with a man of outstanding achievement, Theodore likes to think himself as a lifetime resident of a presidential suite attended by his matron-in-waiting Kate, a virgin cat owner without prior experience of raising a cat. Her meeting with Theodore, whom she happened to adopt from a pet shop, is a match made on earth, orchestrated by time and chance, aka Fortune. Or it may be the stars that shine brightly above their heads. The journey both Kate and Theodore has thus far embarked is akin to a real one of a road trip by a small caravan, consisting of bumpy drives, drive-ins, park-ins, give-ins, give-outs, etc. Kate’s relationship with Theodore parallels that of the Chef and his stray gourmet cat named Apollo in John Steinbeck’s “The Amiable Fleas” regarding the narrative’s realistic atmospheres illustrating the significance of ordinariness in daily life. Both works celebrate the values of simple pleasures that give a fresh hold upon our problems and different perspectives on life.

This charming little book also attests to Emerson’s tenet that thinking is the function, and action the functionary. In other words, the understanding of truth results from the successful union of knowledge and practicality on reality. Kate comes to the A-HA moment by realizing that her knowledge about cats from books and the media is not complementary to its applicability to tending her cat, Theodore.

I picked up this read because in reading its summary, I felt related to the author’s case for being a first-time cat owner without initial interest in cats. Her daily interactions with Theodore has taught her that there are no bad cats but only misunderstood cats due to a lack of patience or a deficiency in compassion on human parts. What will happen when what you read from books and watch from Youtube about cats contradict the realities of your Toms and Mollys at home? Just as lawyers do not learn their trade at law schools till they practice, pet owners will not know about their flurry fireballs till they clean their poops. In light of the above, this book is a lightheartedly vivacious and entertainingly down-to-earth read that makes you emphasize with her experience as a first-time cat owner.

Furthermore, for those who criticize the author’s poor writing style as posted on Amazon reviews, I want to tell each of them that being a purist regarding English Underfiled does not guarantee that you are not an ignoramus. Good writing means not in immaculate grammar but in the richness of sentiments and of thoughts. Therefore, I regard this book as an excellent read to read; especially, if you are a virgin cat owner like we are.



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Wounded Wings

I often feel excluded from circles of literary people who seem to think less of what I have written. Be it self-conscious or counterintuitive perception, but my senses feel acutely from the stolid reaction or derisive comments on writing platforms. When my writing is derided or ignored, I take arms against the invisible keyboard scoundrels to guard the bastion of my creative world. Otherwise, I will remain a victim of ruthless bullying combined with barbarous ridicule, which I do not deserve, ever. I am only a human, so there’s no magnanimous pretext of “constructive criticism” because there’s no such.

There are new comments for my review of a particular book posted on Amazon. The acrid and derisive comments that my writing was incomprehensible pierced my heart with a great spear and put my entire body fixed to the wall. While I have been trying to write better, the comments only affirm a doubt about the purpose of writing. The common denominators of the words were as follows:

  • They were both men.
  • They seemed to form an appreciation of English Undefiled.
  • They were British and American.

Though I always try not to associate people with their national characteristics, men who speak English as their mother tongue have a certain air of arrogance, young or old, and seem to delight in schadenfreude. What makes these men put their hands on keyboards to pillory my writing skills in public is astonishingly callous and vile. I am with the disappointment dipped in the anger of Timon of Athens uttering, “The unkindest beast is kinder than a man.” How rightly so.

People associate a fluency of language with a level of intellect, believing that thinking shapes language. Therefore, solecism in writing equals a lack of education, learning disability, or low intelligence. It is their ignorance of such a mode of thought because language is instinct, not a thinking product. It is said that the windows of learning other languages are typically closed at the age of 13. Given that fact, shall we regard someone who tries to exercise an adopted language by writing, however poorly, as a buffoonish dilettant pitifully trying to simulate the impossible?

I am more in sorrow than in anger as I am trying to compose my emotions’ agitated waves. That does not mean I beg for customary sympathy, empty consolation, or instant charity. I want to defy being put in a public pillory to endure underserving mockery, harassment, and ridicule like a poor maid masquerading as a refined lady of high society. Truth is truth to the end of reckoning, and it will reveal itself someday. You may not like my writing, but that doesn’t give you an ipso facto reason to belittle it.

‘The Amiable Fleas’, by John Steinbeck – review

John Steinbeck was all man. He was a writer of muscles. I meant the powers of strong individuality that disagreed with grandstanding with the political in-vogue trends of his time with his writing as literature for an ideology of grand cultural context, not for the mind’s pleasurable satisfaction. In a word, Steinbeck appears to be in touch with the real world, with the characters realistic and stories palatable, not confined in the seclusion of a leisurely abstract world of the elite. The Amiable Fleas conveys all of the charms described above of Steinbeck as an attractive raconteur at his best: humorous, heartfelt, and honest in his tough cowboy appearance in a strange city filled with quaint aromas of the old civilization.

The Amiable Fleas is Steinbeck’s testimonial narrative of the truth found in life’s ordinariness; the meaning of life realized in the joy of small pleasure against provisional needs of instant fame and worldly prestige. It’s an innate folly of human nature trying to reason against the significance of Serenity, Courage, and Wisdom as if they are remotely associated with Intellect. As Steinbeck held against criticism about avoiding the political and social issues of his time, he tried to reason his own reason for writing about such simple truth of life.

The Amiable Fleas is the res ipsa loquiter of the value of small things that Steinbeck treasures, for it is what keeps the troublesome, pugnacious, bickering human tribe tamable and bearable with humor, which is a handmaid to hope and resilience. The amiable fleas represent the idyllic but oddly likable bunch of professionally intellectual people whose existence is a canvas of abstract painting that lacks a touch of realism. The poet, the architect, and the painter occupy their self-designated seats in the eponymous restaurants in Paris, doing nothing but contemplating about their artistic works in the selfishness of intellectual stasis. The excellent chef of the restaurant M. Amite embodies an artist whose ambition is the stir that his honest mind raises. The desire for fame is the infirmity of his admirably good, hearty nature. The star of the Michelin Guide is the apple of the discord, a symbol of outside influence that incites M. Amite’s ambition, not from his love of cooking to please his feline friend named Apollo. M. Amite is the image of an artist swayed by the great things of the world, even if it would cause him a loss of joyful dailiness.

Originally published in the historically renowned French newspaper Le Figaro on July 31, 1954, as the tenth weekly installment of “One American in Paris,” The Amiable Fleas was published in English for the first time July-November 2019 issue of Strand Magazine. The background of this charming and heartwarming short story was that Steinbeck wanted to be himself, not how the French media imagined him to be or wanted to create their version of him from the counterproductive interviews with the American writer. And so he wrote a series of short stories that only he could tell with his quintessentially American way of storytelling. Yet the result is beyond the territorial boundaries and cultural enclaves, for the narrative reaches the hearts of not only the hard-to-please sophisticated Parisian readers but also the universal readers of all ages. Steinbeck is undeniably American to the core. Yet his love of realism that gives a new viewpoint upon dailiness of life enables readers of the world to get a fresh, bright hold upon our problems. Given that perspective, everything is something, and everyone is someone.

‘Writers and Their Cats’ by Alison Nastasi – review

Writers and Their Cats: (Gifts for Writers, Books for Writers, Books about Cats, Cat-Themed Gifts)Writers and Their Cats: by Alison Nastasi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If dogs are man’s best friends with their childlike artlessness and uninhibited affection, what are cats? Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables, answered thus: “Cats are so nice and selfish.” Writers and Their Cats by Alison Nastasi is a delightful illustration of such a relationship between writers and their cats with peek-a-boo glimpses of the celebrity authors’ unknown personal aspects behind the public façade.

The fascination with the graceful demeanor and graceful capriciousness of cats is particularly intense among the volatile and imaginative writers as the muse of their lettered labyrinths. Edgar Allan Poe wished he could write as mysteriously good as his cat Catarina who liked to hover herself over Poe’s shoulders while he was writing. Mark Twain, whom I used to associate with something of a Dog Father, turns out to be a godfather of cats who rented cats to city dwellers during their holidays in the countryside. Twain also named his cats commensurate with his wicked sense of humor: Satan, Soapy Sal, Lazy, etc. Furthermore, Twain proclaimed that anyone who likes a cat is his friend. The imposing figure of rough and tough Ernest Hemingway may not match the delicate silhouettes of cats’ sophisticated society. Still, Papa Hemingway loved them with the tenderness he rarely showed even to his better halves.

The book also introduces readers to various writers of our digital era whose love of cats takes them to the world outside their comfort zones in selective solitude. Patricia Highsmith, a high-strung, highly opinionated, no-nonsense author of The Talented Mr. Ripley, reveals her Tate-a-Tate moments by greeting her cat, “We are going to have a great day today.” Marion James, who wrote A Brief History of Seven Killings, met Tom the Cat at a café in Brooklyn, New York, who, like the writer, enjoyed being outside among people because both of them thrived on the liveliness of the world around them as a creative force. Then Peeti Shency, the Indian novelist and artist, writes about the experience of sharing a terrific story about her trip to the Kedar-Gouri Temple dedicated to the eponymous goddess with a particular fondness of cats, thus elevating them to the divine status of the immortals. Shency resurrects the legends of holy cats in the temple to our digitalized reality of the world and connects them to our need for their presence for nature’s mysteriousness.

There are many other writers in the book whose love for their cats are touching. They all confess to their odes to cats that only cats can understand what they are and who they are. Whether or not cats have a supernatural sense of reading people’s minds, I have no intelligence. Still, I do know that a cat is good at observing your movement and facial expression from my observation of Toro, a 12-week old male brown tabby kitten, who likes to watch me what I am doing and where I am going. A cat is a curiously interesting beast, and it is this semblance of intelligence that makes a cat so attractive to the imaginative, high-strung writers. If you have a cat at home and a writer at heart, this book will present you with a delightful treat to your mind, packed full of beautiful pictures of writers and their cats not in grim portraiture but natural snapshots. Readers may tempt to show the writers’ photos with their cats to your cats.

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