This morning I remembered falling in love with Ernie. Liz had a batch of kittens at home. She called, said she was sending her husband over with two kittens and I had to take them both. I was willing to visit with the kitties but I didn’t think I was keeping either of them.
came Rusty with the kennel and out of it tumbled a cute black and white
kitty. Then out of it sauntered this absolutely cross eyed, bowl
legged, smushed faced long haired black and white man/kitty. I believe I
might have gasped. He was an instantaneous yes for me. It was also
clear to me Liz said take them both because she was sure no-one was ever
going to pick that thing.
was quiet on the phone when I said I’d take the cross eyed one. Now
here it is nine years later and Ernie is laying on my arm while I type.
days I believe Ernie is the most beautiful cat I know. And as much as
he has grown into his face, when people first meet Ernie,
they might ask me what kind of animal he is, they are genuinely not sure
he is a cat. At a glance, he could be mistaken for a skunk or a
porcupine, he's so big and hairy he just doesn't look like what we think of as a cat.
like some art, teaches me about the uncomfortable feelings evoked by
atypical beauty. Beauty can have some teeth to it. And when beauty does
have teeth, it is often ineffable, nearly scary.
can bring me into unexpected terrains, often by some combination of beauty
and values. I don’t always love experiencing the ensuing mixed up
feelings but I find myself grateful for the stretch.