Captain was found, a couple of weeks old, roaming unfriendly winter city streets in 2001. He was a lucky little fella because the nicest couple ever, spotted him and picked him up only a couple of days before a snow blizzard hit Athens. Fast-forward a couple of months—though still back in the day of no Facebook and instantly uploaded pics!—and after a glimpse at the newspaper’s Pet Adoption section and a brief phone call, I was on my way to see him. He came home with me on the same day and the rest, I guess, is history.
Cleo, on the other hand, was lucky enough to have been born into a home—namely my parents’—and she was the only ginger among five snow-white fur balls. The minute we set eyes on her (at the time firmly believing it was a “him”) we knew she was coming home to be Captain’s companion in mischief!
Ο Captain βρέθηκε μικρό γατάκι, τον Δεκέμβριο του 2001, γωνία Πανόρμου & Αλεξάνδρας από υπέροχους ανθρώπους που τον φρόντισαν και μετά έψαξαν κάποιον να τον υιοθετήσει. Kάπως έτσι κατέληξε στο σπίτι μας.
Η Κλειώ, από την άλλη, είναι από σπίτι. Κάπως κακομαθημένη και η μόνη «κοκκινούλα» ανάμεσα σε πέντε κάτασπρα(!) αδέλφια ενώ στην αρχή, πέσαμε θύματα της στατιστικής και νομίζαμε ότι ήταν αγοράκι—στατιστικά οι ginger γάτες είναι αρσενικές, τα θηλυκά είναι πιο σπάνια. Αμ δε…
A un gato — Jorge Luís Borges
No son más silenciosos los espejos
ni más furtiva el alba aventurera;
eres, bajo la luna, esa pantera
que nos es dado divisar de lejos.
Por obra indescifrable de un decreto
divino, te buscamos vanamente;
más remoto que el Ganges y el poniente,
tuya es la soledad, tuyo el secreto.
Tu lomo condesciende a la morosa
caricia de mi mano. Has admitido,
desde esa eternidad que ya es olvido,
el amor de la mano recelosa.
En otro tiempo estás. Eres el dueño
de un ámbito cerrado como un sueño.
To a cat — Jorge Luís Borges
Mirrors are not more silent
nor the creeping dawn more secretive;
in the moonlight, you are that panther
we catch sight of from afar.
By the inexplicable workings of a divine law,
we look for you in vain;
More remote, even, than the Ganges or the setting sun,
yours is the solitude, yours the secret.
Your haunch allows the lingering
caress of my hand. You have accepted,
since that long forgotten past,
the love of the distrustful hand.
You belong to another time. You are lord
of a place bounded like a dream.
Update, January 2016: As our sweet boy grew older, he was diagnosed with what our vet refered to as “the initial stages” of kidney failure, in 2014. We made it a point of diligently monitoring the condition and he had had blood tests every 6 months to check his creatinine, among other things. He had also been on a special diet most of his life (due to FLUTD), which was supposedly helpful. Even though his test results had been close to normal within that semester, he suffered an accute episode right after New Year’s 2016, his creatinine levels suddenly spiking. He deteriorated within a couple of weeks and crossed the rainbow bridge on January 18th. Cleo misses him terribly…