musings, thoughts, and writings of Barbara W. Klaser


August 7, 2006

Literary pets

Does your pet have a history that seems to match a work of fiction?

If I had to name a novel that is most like one of my pets, it would be to place my gray cat Emily in Jane Eyre—as Jane herself. We’re not sure of her history, but we know it was difficult, until she settled into an easy life here with her Mr. Rochester—our cat Merlin.

Merlin used to meet other cats, even those he turned out to like, with a lot of hissing and grumbling and suspicion. But he fell in love with Emily at first sight, eager to welcome her into the house. We weren’t so sure about this skinny cat with her gray hair all dirty, brittle, and falling out. (In her modest, dove gray governess dress?) She was timid (terrified) of Merlin and us, everyone in fact but the dog, who even as a puppy I hesitate to compare to Jane’s charge, with her hair in ringlets—even though Emily became his surrogate mother and he is somewhat spoiled in a charming, innocent sort of way.

With Merlin, though, it was as if he stood at the door, opened it wide, and beckoned her in, saying to us, “Isn’t she beautiful?” while we looked on in amazement. She always did have lovely eyes, I must admit, but—but—we feared she was out of his class. Merlin never fussed over her presence, and he shared everything he owned with her from the first day. Up until then, I was his favorite. I hope that doesn’t make me the mad woman hidden in the basement attic. Er—no, that’s too literal.

What novel has your pet lived?

— Barbara @ rudimentary 3:28 pm PST, 08/07/06

March 19, 2006

Spring anyone?

Tomorrow is the vernal equinox, and that’s a little hard for me to believe right now. We’re used to getting May Gray and June Gloom here near the coast of Southern California, because of the coastal eddies. But this winter has hit us harder and later than usual. It doesn’t appear to want to leave yet. There was snow in the mountains just last week. Up the street, someone’s irises started to bloom a few days ago, but they shriveled over one cold night. Now they prepare to bloom again. Will they?

The cat still scrunches up against the wall heater each morning and evening, and she chases patches of sunlight coming in the windows during the day. A couple of days ago I watched her pat a bright spot on the carpet with a paw, then lie down on it, fur fluffed out. She’s an older cat, so perhaps she dramatizes the situation. Maybe I do, too. But this doesn’t feel like the day before spring to me. Not at all. We had a cold rain late in the day, with the clouds parting toward sunset. Maybe tomorrow will convince me. How’s the weather in your part of the world?

— Barbara @ rudimentary 11:06 am PST, 03/19/06

March 6, 2006

No one saw it coming

Last night my dad’s house burned down. It was there at seven-thirty in the evening. By eight-thirty it was gone. Destroyed in 39 minutes. No one saw this coming. No one’s sure what caused the fire, at this point. It appears to have started in a bathroom.

All five people who were in the house got out okay, with only their clothes—or in my dad’s case his pajamas—on their backs.

Life is strange, how it plods along, and then—poof!—a puff of smoke and a pile of charcoal is all that’s left of everything you own, as if it was a cruel illusion—which I suppose it is. Physical things create an illusion of permanence in an impermanent life. Love is all that lasts.

I’m still in shock, and I wasn’t even there. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 1:55 pm PST, 03/06/06

January 22, 2006

Habitual Meme

Rhubarb tagged me to post my response to this meme.

Five Weird Habits: (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 7:43 pm PST, 01/22/06

January 19, 2006

I started writing by hand

in the privacy of my bedroom, as a teenager, with colored pens. This involved lots of doodling as well as writing. Little hearts, daisies (shudder). I’m better at drawing the daisies now.

Later I taught myself to type on an old Smith Corona typewriter my mother or her mother purchased when Mom was in her teens or early twenties. She was born in 1923, if that gives you a clue to its age. It’s one of those typewriters that could be used to trace a murder suspect because of the way it slightly superscripts certain characters. I used it while seated on the floor of my bedroom beside my bed. Sometimes the typewriter rested on the floor, sometimes on a little castoff maple end table.
(more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 5:47 pm PST, 01/19/06


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