January 15, 2010

Figure of Speech

I was quizzing Jeff in preparation for an English quiz. "What does 'cat got your tongue' mean?"

"You can't talk . . . and besides, Inky has her own tongue."

January 14, 2010

Cats vs. Dogs

I am a life-long cat lover, but the boys both adore dogs. I often tell them that they don't really have to choose; they can like both cats and dogs. It's a bit disingenuous, I know, a bit like an inter-married spouse encouraging the child to sample both religions, then being disappointed when the child chooses the "other" one. I understand, though. The boys love all dogs generally and one cat, Inky, specifically. I love all cats generally, and only one dog, Bob, specifically. Bob was a small black poodle who lived on our block when I moved in. He was already old then, sort of a genial senior citizen and neighborhood canine ambassador. He was owned by a lovely family, although I admit I miss Bob much more than his humans, who have long since moved way.

However, Jeff is known to all the neighborhood dogs and their owners. He times his morning wait for the taxicab to coincide with the morning constitutionals of the local dogs and their owners. He knows the dogs by name, but the people are "Max's dad" or "Rusty's boy."

On Hart's and my recent trip to Carlsbad Caverns, the ranger explained that no food, candy or gum is permitted in the caves. There must have been an illustrated sign explaining the rule: food attracts animals into the caverns. I didn't see the sign but Hart did, because he kept pointing out ledges and crevasses in the caves and explaining, "That's where the cave cats live." I reminded him that there were no animals in the caves except the bats, but Hart was not convinced. "I see where they are, the wild cave cats." Dutifully, I would look where he pointed. It was rather charming to imagine wild cave cats watching us with their luminous eyes, sweet-faced felines who had waited patiently for Hart and me to visit them.

Aunt Diana, Hart and Domino

January 4, 2010

My son, the classics reader

Jeff's diorama "book report" for THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK.

January 2, 2010


H: I have a new girlfriend.
L: You do? That's great. But does she like you back?
H: Yes, she likes me. She adores me.