My husband dreamed he was about to kiss me and Fitzroy stopped him, because I was a vampire. The next night I dreamed that a man was killing people (on board a ship?) and he found me listening in on the plans. I said I wouldn’t tell because I was in love with him in his other shape—an orange cat. He was a little disturbed by this until I pointed out that people fell in love with cats all the time. A nearby woman confirmed this. Then I said, “Don’t be jealous. You’re the cat; the cat is you.”


OK, we’re more than a little nuts. When we go out, we feel sad the cats can’t come too. We think Mouchette wants champagne, satin shoes and a diamond bracelet and Fitzroy needs a gang of guys to go clubbing with. Meanwhile, they just wish we’d clean the kitty litter and feed them more often.

I suppose there are instances when anthropomorphizing is a problem—like if you’re a zoologist trying to get tenure—but for a cat owner what’s the harm? I may dither a bit too much when I make plans to travel but in the end, I will go away. And in the back of my mind, I’m thinking: the crazier I get, the easier it will be to write a children’s book about a talking/magical/superhero what-have-you cat. I’ll just write down my daily musings and people will say,“ What an imagination! How good you are at remembering what it’s like to be a child!”

Once I wanted to be John Keats or Virginia Woolf. Now I’d be thrilled if a generation of children grows up with Fitzroy as the cat they want their own new kitten to emulate.

Today we’re going to MoMa to see the James Ensor show and whatever else strikes our fancy. We might even have a cocktail in the bar. (Note to self: pretty shoes, eye shadow.) The little ones will stay home, or lying in wait for each other under the couch. I’m my mother and it’s 1962.

Margaret Diehl