Nietzsche’s theory of Immanence is about intellectual kind of love of God, Agape, through an elevated perspective of God’s existence manifested in things great and small. That said, this vintage book about unconditional motherly love, first published in 1963, is a charming adaptation of immanence translated in simplicity of language in speaking “charity,” which also means love, as it is derived from “Caritas,” meaning “dear” in Latin. It is a kind of love that Mother Teresa expressed to all, discriminating none to prove superior level of love. And it is this love that Mother Cat has for her son.
The story of the Tabby Cat Mother and Son reads like a poem. Also, the book has adoring illustrations delineated with admiring details on the backgrounds: the wallpapers of rooms, the feline version of Mount Rushmore’s Great Faces, and the carved decorations of charming furnishings – all heartwarming elements that are so fitting to this book about love. The son asks why his mother loves him even when he is a little urchin to his younger sister and is naughty all day. The mother tells him full of affection that she loves him because he is her son and cares for him for who he is, not what he does. The son cat tries to reason his mother’s love for more innocent questions rather than nagging but then finds that the reason she loves him even in his least desirable behavior is lovely. The epiphany of true love also reminds me of Marilyn Monroe’s saying that if one cannot love her in her worst self, that person does not deserve her love. It is not a blatant egoism of a Tinseltown celebrity, but the truth about unconditional love, which is not synonymous with Eros on the heat of passion.
It is a story for all ages whose inner children refuse to grow beyond the evolutionary scale of time. Mark Twain, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and Walt Disney had never outgrown their childhood whose childlikeness became all the more radiant and illustrious with their boundless imaginations conjured in the alchemy of the arts. On a personal note, When I saw a tweet about this book, the forever child in me urged the grown-up me to get it because of the adorable illustrations of the Tabbies reminding me of my tabby cat Toro. I wonder if Toro’s mother might have looked like the Mother Cat because the son cat takes a solid resemblance to Toro. So I read the book to Toro, and he seemed to like it, starting to close his eyes on my desk and then purring softly. And I understand Mother Cat’s love for her son because that is how I feel for my little Toro, whom I adopted when he was nine weeks old. Now he is 11 months old, and although he is a sweetheart, his occasional Zoomies and forceful nibbling surprise me. Still, Toro is my cat. And I say to him every day thus: “I love you, Toro. Never forget that.” I know how the mother cat felt for her dear son.
Her love that has been, it is that which shall be;
and there is no one love but a thousand loves:
A gentleman and a foreman, a mister and a master,
A soldier and a sailor, a wrangler and a rancher,
A fighter and a keeper, a preacher and a paramour,
A singer and an actor, a drifter and a deceiver –
A Shapeshifter with a thousand faces of a lover
changing and changing, round and round, forever
all but his heart true blue to his mistress, dear.
P.S.: This is my a priori adaptation of Shakespeare’s idea of the perfect better half or lover in “All’s Well That Ends Well”. She sees different aspects of her sweetness dear whose various characteristics promise her fresh delights and never bore her.
When the night gently descends upon the day on the earth’s bed
And he silences her secretly with a force of darkness
Whispering softly in delirium, murmuring faintly in fever
blinding her with an extraordinary frisson of ecstatic fear
the spirts of tragic heroines of love – Dido and Ariadne-
run to the top of the hill where the sky lies above the earth
and lament their earthly journeys that ended in love alone
as Hounds of Love howl beside the beautiful losers in love
till the lovers’ tryst ends in a mist of passion and intoxication.
P.S.: I am always inclined to the stories of beautiful losers whose loves for their figures of the affairs of the hearts are not returned because there’s something tragically beautiful in them. Dido, the beautiful queen of Carthago, was cruelly forsaken by trojan refuge and founder of Rome Aeneas and chose to end her own life thereafter. Ariadne was a Cretan princess who helped Athenian prince Theseus to kill the Minotaur and to bring out the Athenian youths from the labyrinth with her inscrutable ball of threads as a guide to a route out. But Ariadne was also later deserted by Theseus and let alone on an island and forced to marry Dionysus, the god of wine. Hence this poem about those who are unlucky in the affairs of the hearts.
From a land ravaged by a wooden horse with a golden apple for the fairest of the divine beauties appearing to a prince so young, so impetuous in judgment thereof,
There came a poor beautiful stranger destined for the supernal fate to rule the mortal to the diamond eyes of a maiden queen ethereal in beauty, graceful in act and hapless in love.
Blindsided by Juno’s machination, swept by passion growing strong, growing stronger for the stranger,
The queen bade him with tears and roses in succession day and night, in desperate attempt to keep his presence, his body and his soul, all but an entreaty so futile,
So forlorn, with a promise of her kingdom and her fidelity in return for nothing but his surrendering of himself to her and herself to him till the mortal fate was ended, till one had to cross the River of Styx.
Alas, but the queen’s to be thwarted, she’s to be abandoned by the divine plan forced by the arrival of Mercury, god of war whispering to the poor stranger for the imminent departure for destiny far more magnificent, far more supreme,
As dictated by Jupiter, god of all regions crossing death and life forever who put forward a divine plan over mortal feelings however pitiable.
Thus did the stranger set to sail the seas full of perils ever more.
The queen defied, she cried, she pleaded, but all ended in nought as the poor stranger was to depart cruelly with no tender words of love that’s planted, nourished,
And admired by the queen so now distraught by his betrayal of her love with her plea wreathed in tears and flowers.
Now her love became her poison consuming all of her ever more,
Now he became her foe ravishing all of her in surrender of love.
But what of it when all’s ended in a sea of heartaches thousand times, with no reason to reign as a queen without her lover by her side?
Nothing, nothing’s to remedy her spirit that’s broken thousand times, for nothing, nothing would console the lonely queen in cruel abandonment,
But the last will to burn her body and soul consumed in madness of passion on an ancient funeral pyre that engulfed every part of her whispering to her departing spirit that love would come never more – Nevermore!