Black and White. Part 1
“Look at your beautiful paws, Mina!” I hold them out for her to see, but she’s looking the other way as usual. Such a sleek black animal who doesn’t even realize that her paws are jewels, as black as jet. It’s the same with the bathroom mirror, I tell her to look at her beautiful fur and she just gazes into space.
It’s as if there’s nothing in that little head. Just a little black space filled with the transient flash of enjoyment as a tray of yoghurt is lapped up. As soon as the yoghurt’s gone, so has the experience, for cats don’t remember much. It’s all black again. Remember when you were a three year old? A smattering of memories with nothing in between? For a cat, life is a perpetual “nothing in between”, a continuum of blackness.
Apart from flashes of delicious white yoghurt that is.
As soon as she smells it, she knows what colour it is. Only if you asked her, she’d never be able to ask for it, just miaouw for food because something’s wrong in the tummy department. Offering her various smells tempt the appetite, but there’s nothing to beat the rich, sour smell of yoghurt!
Splitting the white tub down the middle means a black cat is chasing a halved yoghurt tub across the livingroom floor. It’s frustrating that there’s only the tiniest lick of that delicious white stuff when there’s so much of it there. As soon as the tongue touches it, it’s away – like trying to remember the name of your maths teacher at school. As soon as you get close, it’s away again into the black of forgetfulness.
I sit on the floor as a black cat licks the white tub towards me. A finger stops it and the tongue finally transmits colourful sensations the creamy resistance, the acid flavour that’s milky but not milk. I ask her if she’d like hands to hold her own yoghurt pot, but she just licks the sides of the pot clean.
What if a cat had furry hands instead of those sleek black paws that are so quintessentially feline? Mina would simply sit on them, the fingers would form together and barely touch the floor in that way cats have when moving. If it came to a half yoghurt tub on the floor, she’d be guided by her whiskers, her nose would follow and it’d pushed away with her tongue.
Those white dendritious extensions to my own being would be beyond my cat to employ. If something’s there, it’s there. If it’s not, it’s not. It’s black and white.