Year of the Cat by Rhiannon Lucy Coslett Review – Reflections on Cats | Biography and notes

I I found myself reading part of Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett’s novel about the first year of her cat Mackerel’s life while sitting with Hector, my Norwegian Forest cat (I’ve always been happy about the fact that Jean Morris He also had one of these noble specimens). Hector, a stray who came in from the cold and who turns out to be female, is now blind, and we supervise her meals lest her housemates, Zsa Zsa, black and white, take revenge on juvenile arthritis, and Kiki the cat, a boisterous and lovable bitch, try to get her out of her dinner . When she finished, I took my head off the book and apologized to her for not being more talkative while she ate. Then he kissed her gently on the head. This is the kind of behavior that The Year of the Cat seeks to analyze and understand: Not only are emotionally caring owners often finding themselves overindulging in these highly unknown little animals, but reactions to our reactions, especially when they are upsetting.

“Cat Lady” is one such accusation, sometimes with the intense “crazy,” though my husband was crying for days when Hector lost her sight, fearing she would freak out and get confused (she’s proven to be wonderfully adaptable). Women who love their cats excessively are said to overcompensate—mostly due to the lack of sex or children—by showing them an intimacy they couldn’t experience elsewhere.

The most impressive and poignant aspect of Cosslett’s memoirs is that she does not entirely reject this thesis. She is keenly aware that the mackerel, which she and her husband drove miles across London to collect to avoid public transport at the onset of the pandemic, allows her to interrogate many painful areas in her life. Keeping this defenseless creature alive is a way to confront her fears and contradictions – a way to think deeply about the PTSD that gripped her after an unknown man. Try to kill her in the street When she was 23 years old, which resurfaced when she was subjected to terrorist attacks in Paris; to endure isolation from friends and family, including her beloved brother, who is severely autistic and lives in a nursing home miles away; and to cope with the clash between her overwhelming desire to have a baby and her fear of being “too angry” to motherhood.

Beneath these fears is another compelling argument: would she be able to write, and think, if she expended her energies in creating another human being? The Artists You Cling To The Most – Suzanne Valadon, Louise Bourgeois, Gwen John, Barbara Hepworth and Tracy Emin – We got different answers to this question. They also often had to grapple with the way women who make art are treated: as outsiders and eccentrics and as creators whose work must resist the accusation that its relevance to their lives makes it somehow less, “little more than an excretion”, a mere “write off your female brain, just as It expels blood and milk from your female body.”

But getting involved in the physical care of someone else who depends on you, as Cosslett discovers when a mackerel swallows a long string, often leads to dealing with shit. She recalls her brother throwing his pants into the flower bed in the supermarket parking lot and her therapist responded, who told her it was inappropriate to laugh about it. “Doesn’t everyone have a story about poo, or know someone who does?” she wonders. “Isn’t it a bit of a stretch to exclude people with disabilities from this well-mined field of human comedy?”

It’s dead right. If a man were not a hero in his servant, the much-vaunted dignity of a cat would not appear quite unscathed to empty its litter tray, which is a good thing: dignity is an exaggerated virtue when it comes at the expense of acknowledging the physical body of another creature. We’re all sieves looking for a thread, eventually, and it’s all the better for it.

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