V.S. Naipaul’s Cat

V.S. Naipaul about his cat (and also about grief) in The New Yorker:

The kitten was absolutely terrified. It had had an up-and-down life for many days and had no idea what was coming next. It tried now to run away, though there was no place for it to run to. It dug its little claws into the screen door and raced up to the ceiling of the utility room. That was as far as it could go, and I reached up and brought him down. Something extraordinary then happened. It was as though, feeling my hand, he felt my benignity. He became calm, then he became content; he was happy to be in my hand (not much bigger than him), so that in a few seconds, guided by a cat’s instinct alone, he moved from terror to trust. He ran up my arm to my shoulder; when I introduced him to some of my lunchtime guests, he sought to do the same with them. I knew nothing about cats. But he was easy to like.

I have had my time among the cats, and his words strike a chord. If I hadn’t suddenly become very allergic to cats in my mid-20s there might very well be a cat resident here now.


sara Fraser's picture
sara Fraser on July 22, 2020 - 10:27 Permalink

Peter~ I also became strangely allergic to cats (and anything with fur) in my 20s. So weird. BUT we got a Bengal cat, one of several breeds that are said to not trigger allergies, and I seem to be OK. You could also go for a hairless cat.